Category Archives: work

Chart of the week #28: If elections were held today, who would you vote for?

The latest Sauti za Wananchi survey brief was launched earlier today, on politics. It covers a range of topics, and I highly recommend reading the whole brief. But Angela Ambroz has put together this excellent graphic on the big issue: which potential presidential candidates have the most support?

There’s a lot in there, but the headline conclusion is clear:

A year before Tanzania’s next elections, the race is wide open.

Here’s the same data, this time in the form of the chart used in the Sauti brief:

Source: Sauti za Wananchi surveys

Source: Sauti za Wananchi surveys

Nobody has very strong support, the biggest single group of voters are those who “don’t know”.

Is that a sign that voters are uninspired by the options before them? It is clearly not a vote of confidence for any of the frontrunners for the CCM nomination, Lowassa, Membe and Pinda. Any one of them could win through, but there is also plenty of room for an outsider to step up.

Chart of the week #23: Popular support for open government?

Do people in Tanzania, and elsewhere, support the idea of open government? It’s not a question that is asked very often, but a new dataset collected by the World Bank and others seeks to rectify this.

They asked people in 62 countries – including six in Africa – a short set of questions. Here’s some of the data for Africa – choose a question from the list on the right:

The data was collect through an internet survey, which means the data is dominated by responses from wealthier folks in urban areas. But with that caveat in mind, and focusing on Tanzania in particular, what can we see?

Well, a majority said they thought the government was already open (51%) or somewhat open (29%), but nevertheless, a solid three quarters of respondents expressed support for open government. This doesn’t vary much with the different questions asked:

  • 77% would like government to be more open
  • 76% would trust government more if it were more open
  • 75% would like more information about government
  • 78% said citizens should have a say in government spending and contracting
  • 75% said they thought government would be more effective if it was more open

Does the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) apply to Tanzanian NGOs?

IATI cartoon

Twaweza published its first set of IATI data last week. By doing so, Twaweza joined 276 other organisations sharing data on their work in a common standard. And since doing so, I’ve been asked several times why we have done this: isn’t IATI something for official aid agencies like DFID and USAID, and for the bigger international NGOs? Continue reading

Chart of the week #18: What do Tanzanians think about corruption?

Three charts from Twaweza’s latest Sauti za Wananchi brief, on corruption.

First, how do Tanzanian citizens see corruption now compared to ten years ago?

corruption seen to be on the rise

 

And second, how familiar are Tanzanians with the big corruption scandals of the last few years? Continue reading

A plan with (some) potential

Tanzania’s latest Open Government Partnership (OGP) Action Plan is now available, on the much-improved opengov.go.tz website. The plan covers the two years from July 2014 to June 2016.

The first action plan was a disappointment, with very few of the 25 commitments implemented. This time there are only five, but they are focussed and (mostly) ambitious:

1. Freedom of Information: To enact an FOI by December 2014.
2. Open Data: To establish an open data system by December 2016.
3. Budget Transparency: To make budget data (eight key budget reports), audit committee reports and tax exemptions publicly available by December 2014.
4. Land Transparency: Make land use plan, ownership and demarcated areas for large scale land deals accessible online for public use by June 2016.
5. Extractive Industries Transparency: Tanzania to fulfill its EITI commitments by June, 2015

The good points? Continue reading

Ten key features of a good Freedom of Information law for Tanzania

Late last year, President Kikwete announced that his government will pass a Freedom of Information Act:

“We are now working on enacting a freedom of information law. We are working on that one, we think by April next year, we will send to parliament this bill, and have it enacted. It is giving the common Tanzanian citizen the right to have information from government.”

“We are talking of the people, the government becoming more open, people having greater access to information, and when they ask for this information, they should not be seen as venturing into territories that are not theirs. … If people want information on how medicines are distributed, if they want information about budgets for their primary
school, then they should have the right to know this.”

Tz map flag FOIThe timetable has slipped, but the proposed bill is prominent in the new action plan for the Open
Government Partnership. And according to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, progress is being made on a draft law.

As so often, however, the devil is in the detail. Freedom of Information can be very powerful, but until we see what the new law looks like, it is impossible to know whether it will deliver on its potential, or will end up as a missed opportunity.

So, what does a good Freedom of Information law look like? Continue reading

Two opportunities for data lovers in Tanzania

The excellent School of Data, part of the Open Knowledge Foundation, have two great opportunities for Tanzanian data lovers.

First up, a Data Expedition focussed on water sector data, for anyone with an interest in data, or water, or both. The School of Data team will be helping people to play with water sector data, and to see what interesting stories they can find within it.

It on Friday June 6, from 9:30am to 16:00, at TANZICT’s BUNI Hub, in the COSTECH / Sayansi Building (see map). You can register for free here.

More details on the School of Data site, and on the TANZICT site.

Second, an opportunity to become a School of Data Fellow. They are looking for ten data analysts/activists, including one from Tanzania, to join a six-month fellowship programme. Fellows are expected to spend at least five days per month on the programme, which includes training and other events.

From the School of Data website:

The School of Data fellowship programme aims to to recruit and train the next generation of data leaders and trainers to magnify the reach of our data literacy programme. The fellows will provide training and ongoing support to journalists, civil society organisations, and individual change makers to use data effectively within their community and country.

More details are available here, and you can apply here. But if you are interested, or if you know anyone who might be, you need to hurry as the deadline for applications is just a few days away: June 10, 2014.