The work of the WaSH Project has, for the past 3 years, revolved around the community of Vingunguti. Prior to our involvement, all households were using pit latrines, a method which collects and stores human faeces in pits directly below the toilets. These pits should be periodically emptied; however, due to the cost of this, most households neglect this method, instead allowing sewage to overflow during the rainy season. Simplified sewerage offers an affordable, safer alternative, which combats the levels of trachoma and waterborne diseases which otherwise thrive. So far, 45 new toilets have been connected to CDI’s network, impacting over 320 people.
Practically, this task has taken several forms. On the one hand, I have met with our major stakeholders, in order to determine the success of the deferred payment scheme (allowing people to pay back the cost of the toilet over a period of years to increase affordability) and the Sanitation Users’ Association (a group of representatives from the households on the network who are responsible for maintaining it and resolving conflicts). On a community level, meetings with the three SUA chairpersons helped to establish the practical feasibility of the network within the community, and the household surveys we conducted in collaboration with CDI’s Health Project gave insight to the day-to-day habits and challenges faced by the individuals within this settlement.
As a small organisation, the way in which we can draw conclusions from this work will differ hugely from a bigger organisation running the same project on a larger scale. With only a small amount of data collected, it is hard to find specific trends or correlations. Where other organisations can survey several hundred people, comparing multiple networks and thereby discovering clear patterns in data, our conclusions have to be more tentative.
However, due to the scale on which we work, our Theory of Change diagram bears inconsistencies to the data we collect. One example of this is that, whilst we have found significant progress in key areas including toilet construction and the deferred payment scheme, the SUA model still does not function as we might expect it to. The chairpersons are performing their duties, but the fact that nothing is recorded results in an informal and unstructured association. Impromptu meetings and affable agreements are the norm in the informal settlements of Dar es Salaam, and so, whilst our project is achieving its goals, the process by which they are reached is not what we initially expected.
As we move forward, this also informs our strategy as an organisation: to research and pilot projects before handing them over to other, larger bodies. Our projects necessarily remain small-scale while we run them. However, once we have reached a proof of concept, they can be scaled up by others. Our M&E informs all that we do, and the fact that it focusses heavily upon community engagement and specific one-on-one feedback is only an advantage. We are best placed to carry out this kind of work, and it ensures that the value we place upon close collaboration and community empowerment is upheld.
Our final video of the 'Brief Intro' series this summer looks at the progression of the DAREnterprisers course.
Following the businesses from the stage of ideation to investment, it highlights the practical, hands-on nature of the course and the support it intends to give the participants.
There will only be one more blog this summer - please do follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates throughout the year!
In collaboration with their partner, Bridge for Change, CDI's Education Project have set up several workshops for Tanzanian students: the Self-Discovery Workshops, Youth Empowerment Clubs and KompyutHER.
All the workshops aim to empower and equip the youth of Dar es Salaam with the soft skills side-lined by the education system.
For more information about the launch of Kite Dar es Salaam, which is happening on Saturday 9th September, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/118196042173392/?active_tab=about
Women shoulder a disproportionately large share of disease within Tanzania, with gender inequity, neglected maternal health, and sexual-based violence all acting as major obstacles to good health. As of 2014, Tanzania had failed to achieve the 5th MDG (Millennium Development Goals): to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. Moreover, although Tanzania was on track to achieve MDG 3 (gender equality in primary education) in 2014, it lags behind in the Gender Inequality Index, ranking 125 out of 155 countries.
In response, CDI’s Health Project decided to facilitate a series of Women’s Health Workshops within the informal settlement of Vingunguti in Dar es Salaam. Initially, we conducted focus groups with Community Health Workers, to ensure that our proposed workshops would effectively meet the needs of the community. The main issues identified primarily revolved around UTIs, contraception, breast and cervical cancer, and maternal health. The interviews which were later conducted at the Buguruni Health Centre confirmed these findings, therefore providing a clear curriculum around which to structure the workshops.
Good health is both a cause and a consequence of socioeconomic development. Although only part of a wider set of amelioration initiatives that need to be taken, CDI are focussing upon empowerment and education as methods with which to advance the quality of women’s health in Dar es Salaam. Women can be major agents for change, but are routinely denied access to the most basic tenets of information regarding their own health. Until such deficiencies are accounted for, women will continue to bear the brunt of weak health systems and inadequate infrastructures. As a WHO report into Tanzanian women’s health concluded, ‘the preferences and experiences of women should […] inform health system design.’ Through the Health Project’s workshops, CDI hopes to make a positive change that will liberate women, enabling them to take an active stance in their bodily choices and decisions.
Construction is currently underway, and this video follows the progress of the WaSH Project as they build their fourth simplified sewerage network in Vingunguti.
Designed to be a cheap and flexible system, this form of sewerage is able to overcome the difficulties associated with densely pack, low income settlements.
We are now just over a week away until the launch of Kite Dar es Salaam - see our Facebook page for more details!
The OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is a cross-country measure of discrimination against women in social institutions across 160 countries. In their profile of Tanzania, they categorise the country under the SIGI category of ‘High’, stating that ‘the 1977 Constitution of Tanzania prohibits gender-based discrimination but the country’s legislation has yet to be adjusted to support this principle’. This assessment is backed-up by the data collected by several other international organisations, which has found that:
· Women in Tanzania earn only 68% of what men earn whilst performing similar work.
· Approximately a quarter of Tanzanians believe that boys’ education is more important than girls’.
· Only 22% of graduates are female.
With statistics such as these standing before young women, CDI’s Entrepreneurship Project has been focusing upon how we can encourage the empowerment of female entrepreneurs who are striving for social change.
One of the areas we particularly addressed was the fact that the female demographic within the DAREntreprisers course is so low: only 24%. This is a topic our Project team has frequently discussed, but it was especially constructive to hear the thoughts of the participants themselves. One specific reason they articulated was that, in Tanzania, there is still the prevailing expectation that a woman’s role is primarily within her household. When a student’s university term ends, it is expected that she will return home and assist with the day to day upkeep of her family household. Consequently, girls are not often supported by their families to apply for opportunities such as the DAREnterprisers course, and so either reject the place or drop out.
Another reason for the low rate of female applications which we considered was that the three tracks of the course (Manufacturing & Urban Living, WaSH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) and Off-Grid Energy) may be perceived as ‘masculine’. All of these tracks imply an engineering, STEM focus which, traditionally, has been dominated by men.
There is always more that organisations can do to encourage female empowerment in the workplace, but the ideas generated through our discussion during and after the Workshop are steps which CDI will continue to explore and implement. The SIGI quite rightly points out that ‘as underlying drivers of gender inequalities, discriminatory social institutions perpetuate gender gaps in development areas, such as education, employment and health, and hinder progress towards rights-based social transformation that benefits both women and men.’ It is CDI’s vision to ensure that both our projects and our organisation as a whole are spaces in which such transformation and positive development can occur.
 World Economic Forum, 2013, p. 354
 UNICEF, 2010, p. 28
 UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015
Our fifth video this summer looks at the Health Project's focus upon community engagement.
In addition to the research they have been conducting, the team have been running surveys and workshops in the informal settlement of Vingunguti, in order to raise awareness about the most common diseases in this community, and the methods of prevention against them, particularly in the area of women's health.
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Approximately 85% of the world’s youth live in developing countries. According to the Restless Development youth led research, Tanzania has the 10th largest youth population globally, with 66% being under the age of 25.
Even though they make up such a large proportion of the population, sadly most youth are marginalized and do not take part in the development of Tanzanian society. Young people remain the group with the least opportunity to contribute their ideas to influence positive change. Indeed, many do not even take part in solving the tiny problems in their daily life. Great minds with vibrant ideas do not have a platform to air them nor the ability to pilot them. This represents a huge setback to achieving a genuinely inclusive society.
It is in this context that the CDI Education Project, in collaboration with Bridge For Change, set up the Think Big Challenge. Now in its third cycle, the Challenge is encouraging energetic and enthusiastic youth from schools in the Temeke District to design and implement initiatives that solve problems local to them. The teams are provided with workshops that aim to develop the students’ solutions as well as mentoring them to develop their soft skills.
In order to gain insight into how the students are finding the Challenge so far, we chatted to a couple of them about their experience as young people and how the programme is helping them tackle this:
“The Think Big challenge has helped me to think outside the box to get the best possible and feasible solution to the Early Pregnancy problem that my team have decided to solve and we have come up with a concrete action plan. In the beginning it was hard to convince people to join my team, but after we formed this team, we have gained public speaking skills.” - Haji Mwinyimvua (Wailes Secondary School).
Ban Ki-Moon, the ex-Secretary General of the UN, once said, “The youth are often at the frontline to stand against discrimination, inequality and marginalization. The youth are a force for transformation.” CDI acknowledges the crucial role of youth in the transformation of their societies, and urges all young people to take charge of their lives. When youth are encouraged to think big, they have the potential to become the change-makers in their societies.
 Restless Development 2011 Annual Report
Focussing upon the Education Project, this next video takes a look at the Think Big Challenge.
Run in collaboration with Bridge for Change (a local NGO), this programme aims to give secondary school students an opportunity to develop employability-boosting/entrepreneurial soft skills not covered in the standard curriculum, and to empower young people to work towards mitigating some of the problems experienced in their schools and communities.
Committee applications closed today; if you still wish to contact CDI about this, please email email@example.com
At present, over 80% of residents in Dar es Salaam live in low-income, high-density settlements that suffer from a lack of adequate sanitation. The majority of households use pit latrines that crack, collapse and leak. Indeed, the preferred emptying method is simply letting the latrines overflow into the streets during the rainy season - paying a vacuum truck to empty them is a luxury not accessible to most community members.
The simplified sewerage network is part of the WaSH Project’s solution to this problem. We connect approximately twelve households to each route, and each household has a representative who sits on the Sanitation Users’ Association (SUA). This representative is trained in key issues such as how to manage the latrines and how to ensure the smooth functioning of the network in terms of behavioural, technical and financial issues. These training sessions are designed to impart skills to the community which they are unlikely to obtain elsewhere, as well as reinforcing the community’s complete ownership of the network.
Participation in such schemes breeds ownership, which fosters ‘self-empowerment’, a theme at the root of a lot of CDI’s work. The SUA structure and local participation model are fundamental to ensuring the network’s sustainability: ultimately, it is the community who are responsible for the functioning of their latrine system. Every initiative undertaken by the WaSH team aims to move the project closer to our overarching goal of a model which runs without any external input. It is only through sustainability that such projects have the potential to beneficially develop communities and globally spark long-term changes.
 https://www.unicef.org/media/files/JMPreport2012.pdf, UNICEF/ WHO (2012).
 https://www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/WSP-Econ-San-TZ1.pdf, Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) (2012).
 http://apps.who.int/gho/data/view.main.ghe3002015-TZA?lang=en WHO (2012).