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A Bridging technology and politics Ben Taylor, IDPM Seminar, July 4th, 2011 A practical example.

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Presentation on theme: "A Bridging technology and politics Ben Taylor, IDPM Seminar, July 4th, 2011 A practical example."— Presentation transcript:

1 a Bridging technology and politics Ben Taylor, IDPM Seminar, July 4th, 2011 A practical example of using mobile phones to increase local government accountability in Tanzanias water sector

2 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Outline Context – rural water supply in Tanzania How the Maji Matone programme works Lessons and challenges

3 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Access to clean and safe water is declining

4 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Rural Tanzanians are not happy

5 making local governance work for the poor Daraja A Sustainability Challenge Only 54% of rural waterpoints functioning in 33 surveyed districts All Waterpoints (including non-functional points) Functional Waterpoints Only

6 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Average coverage Nzega District Distribution of WPs highly unequal Targeting of new funds? Less than half (40%) of new funding going to wards with below average coverage An Equity Challenge 11 wards have no access to clean and safe water, still get no new funding

7 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Maji Matone – Raising the Water Pressure These are political problems, not financial or technical – Keeping waterpoints functioning is often a communications issue, or a question of priorities – Budget allocations are more obviously political So they need a political solution

8 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Maji Matone – Raising the Water Pressure Mobilising citizens, amplifying voices – Creating user-friendly opportunities for citizens to take action – Harnessing new and old communications technology – mobile phones, printed materials and radio

9 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Rural waterpoint breaks down Rural Citizen sends SMS to SMS delivered to Daraja Acknowledge, thank, explain SMS forwarded to DWE, MP SMS shared with media partners Waterpoint database updated Follow up, question, publicise, pressurise Local Government gets the waterpoint fixed Follow up, clarify Maji Matone – How it Works

10 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Initial Results – Is it working? Switched on in 3 districts in November 2010 – 960 SMSs received in first 6 months – 196 forwarded – 15 known successes in first 6 months Not overwhelming, but: – Clear evidence that district water officials take media seriously – cant be ignored – And on the back of an envelope …

11 making local governance work for the poor Daraja 6 months, 3 districts, 16 successes = 15/6/3 ~ 0.8 successes per district per month So, in 140 districts over 12 months = 0.8 x 140 x 12 = 1344 successes per year Say 1300 successes, 2000 people per village = 1300 x 2000 = 2.6 million people benefit per year Initial Results – Is it working?

12 making local governance work for the poor Daraja Lessons and challenges Getting participation, especially quality participation, has proved to be very difficult – Overcoming apathy, low expectations – Making technology as user-friendly as possible Information alone doesnt bring accountability, doesnt bring change – Needs political weight / leverage – In our case, its the radio that delivers

13 Asanteni Ben Taylor Director, Daraja blog.daraja.org Facebook.com/darajatz


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