Call for Research Fellows

Twaweza East Africa invites interested early career professionals to partner in conducting a mini-study aimed at understanding and enhancing the relationship between citizen agency and development. We define citizen agency broadly as the participation of citizens in making and implementing decisions affecting their lives. Specifically, citizen agency involves seeking information, monitoring and following up on policy decisions and their implementation, attending public meetings, speaking out in public, and acting to make positive change. We contend that, when citizens exercise their agency effectively, better decisions are usually made resulting in more sustainable and equitable outcomes.

For decades, practitioners and scholars around the world have been learning, experimenting, unlearning and innovating various approaches aimed at promoting active citizenry and responsive authorities. In developing our current Strategic Plan (2019-2022) we reflected on our past experience as well as experiences of others. We have realized that to fully understand and improve the dynamics of citizen – state interaction, we need to spend much more time in the villages and working along with communities on issues that are most relevant to them, there and then. As a result, we have adopted the animation approach as an approach for galvanizing local citizen agency in select geographies in Tanzania and Uganda.

We have started implementing this animation approach in Mbogwe and Kigoma Ujiji since 2018. Plans are under way to introduce this animation approach in six Districts other in Tanzania and Uganda. Ultimately, this strand of work aims to see citizens who are acting, organising for change, they use multiple strategies to do so and their local governments are largely supportive and responsive to their demands.

The work of Twaweza and partners will focus on unblocking demand side (citizens) and supply side (government) factors that prevent them from realizing meaningful citizen-state collaboration in bringing about equitable and sustainable development. On demand side, our collaborative initiatives aim at contributing in enhancing the ability, motivation and opportunity for citizens to engage effectively in solving their systemic problems at the local level. On supply side, our collaborative initiatives aim at contributing in making local and national government agencies operate in ways that take account of citizen concerns, voices and civic action, and are able and driven to act in response.

Research Aims

As we embark on the second year of our current strategic plan, we want to conduct a mini study that will improve our understanding of whether and how meaningful citizen agency results in improved local governance and development outcomes. This proposed study will document the experiences, successes and lessons from ongoing and concluded animation initiatives by others within and beyond Tanzania in order to inform our own work and sharing the findings with the broader community of researchers and practitioners on issues of citizen participation in local governance processes and service delivery.

Required competencies

  • Minimum Master’s level education in relevant fields: political science, sociology, anthropology, history, economics, and development studies among others
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English and Kiswahili languages: writing, reading, speaking and listening
  • Experience in conducting extensive/systematic literature reviews and synthesizing the findings
  • Passionate about learning and contributing in promoting meaningful citizen participation in local governance processes

How to apply

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their application materials by close of business on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020. A complete application package will include:

  1. Three page letter expressing interest and stating applicant’s fit for the assignment (sent directly to Twaweza by the applicant);
  2. Two page resume (abridged CV) (sent directly to Twaweza by the applicant); and;
  3. Two confidential letters of recommendation/evaluation in support of the applicant (sent directly to Twaweza by the reference);

Applicants are responsible to ensure that their references have submitted letters of recommendation by the stated deadline. All application materials should be sent via email to copying

For more information read term of reference here.

Read more: call for proposals



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