Listening to critical friends | Monitoring brief

Every year, we conduct an internal review of our progress and accomplishments against annual goals. In 2016, we also wished to include feedback from selected informed individuals outside Twaweza (critical friends) on their view of our progress and direction, and reflection on our successes and areas of improvement. Below are the four main “food for thought” issues which arose through the exercise, and which we shall mull over during our upcoming mid-strategy review.

1. What would closer, better collaboration with government look like, without losing the status of an independent observer, thinker? Specifically, what are the concessions Twaweza can make (e.g. adjusting our communication strategy to share findings first with government, before going public with them), while remaining uncompromising in the messages themselves?

2. What would better, more strategic collaboration with civil society look like, while retaining the flexibility to distance ourselves if the direction taken is not consistent with our values?

3. Twaweza is built and staffed by strong, credible individuals, which forge strong and credible ties with other organizations; this was noted as important particularly in relation to government. The presence of trustworthy personalities was noted across the three countries. But for sustained impact, the organization ought to move from individual ties, which are a great starting point, to institutional ties. Can Twaweza develop a strategy for this?

4. Yes, Twaweza is unique in many ways, but it is by no means the only game in town. Does Twaweza understand its own value and position vis-à-vis other agencies (think tanks, research agencies, advocacy agencies, etc.)? Is there a particular space it wishes to occupy prominently, and does it have a strategy for achieving this?

Twaweza East Africa commissioned independent consultants to conduct in-depth interviews with a range of officials, opinion leaders and policy makers in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, with the aim of generating frank and constructive feedback on our work.

To find out more, read the attached monitoring brief

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Authors: Varja Lipovsek



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