Partner country: Tanzania

Integration of Global Goals Leads to Enhanced Youth Participation 

Within the framework of the “Together Towards Sustainable Development Goals” project, three schools in Kibaha, Tanzania, along with Wisbygymnasiet in Gotland, Sweden, have collaborated to integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their curriculum and development initiatives. Through this project, students in the Kibaha region have been provided with a platform to explore and discuss how schools can contribute to achieving these global goals. 

Utilizing two different tools, the Ladder of Children’s Participation and Lundy’s Model, the schools have established a structure where students’ voices are heard and their opinions are valued. The Ladder of Children’s Participation is utilized to assess the degree of children’s involvement in decision-making processes, empowering students to increase their influence over school activities and decisions. On the other hand, Lundy’s Model focuses on children’s rights to participate in decision-making that affects them, and has been a crucial part of the work in Kibaha 

One of the central aspects of the project has been the establishment of SDG clubs, providing students with a platform to explore and discuss how schools can contribute to these global goals. Through analyses of the school’s performance towards the global goals and open discussions, students have expressed desires for improved access to clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, and safer school environments. These desires have been compiled into an application to a national funding body, resulting in significant projects to improve school infrastructure.  

Lessons for the Future 

One of the most significant insights from this work is the importance of including children and young people in decision-making processes that affect them. By creating safe and inclusive forums for children’s participation, it has been observed how their proposals and opinions have been acknowledged and taken into consideration by decision-makers. Despite the successes, there have also been challenges, particularly in convincing school leaders to allow space for student influence, highlighting the need for continued efforts to strengthen youth participation at all levels. 

At the same time, students reflected on how the focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the design of SDG clubs and participation forums had been shaped by teachers and the local community, with input from these stakeholders considered the most valuable and prioritized. The team also identified challenges in persuading principals to allow space for student influence, as they often are cautious about delegating decision-making authority. Despite the progress made, the team recognized that there is still room for improvement and that increased empowerment of young people is crucial to foster an even more inclusive and democratic school environment. 

SDG clubs have proven to be effective platforms for youth to develop and build ideas together. By involving children in local decision-making processes, communities can better achieve sustainable development. The project in Kibaha has now decided to develop a toolbox to facilitate the establishment of SDG clubs in other schools. By sharing experiences, the aim is to spread the model and strengthen youth participation in more communities. 

The work in Kibaha demonstrates the opportunities and potential of youth to be co-creators of their own future and society’s development. By promoting youth participation and influence, we can collectively work towards a sustainable and inclusive future. 

Topic
Child rights and youth participation
Swedish partner
Region Gotland
International partner
Kibaha Town Council

Empowering Local Voices: The Role of Participatory Research in SDG Voluntary Local Reviews

This report analyses the use of community-based, participatory methods in producing Voluntary Local Reviews. Since 2022, the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy has supported municipalities with policy integration of the Sustainable Development Goals. Research teams together with three of these municipalities (Bijeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Emboreet and Kibaha in Tanzania) applied community-based participatory research (CBPR) to collect data, information, and collective experience from the communities within the towns. The outcome VLRs work as a laboratory for an alternative kind of review on SDG implementation, with a focus on stories, perception, and co-ownership rather than on data, measurements, and indicators. This report explores the process that led to the VLRs, the contents of the reviews, and the lessons that can be learned for other local governments to adopt and contribute to a more inclusive and participative approach from the bottom up. It showed that more participation increases the community’s perception of their ownership of decision-making, and that bottom-up VLRs can constitute a mechanism for citizens to affect, change and improve the policymaking process.

Publication Type
Research Reports
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governanceLocal economic development, innovation and livelihoods
Sustainable Development Goals
17 - Partnerships for the goals
Topic
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
Tags
Action research, CBPR, Localising SDGs, Participatory Research, SDGs, VLR, Voluntary Local Review,

Bridging the gap between research and practice in Tanzania – ICLD Alumni Talks 

In the month of March this year we hosted an Alumni Talks including a Local Democracy Lab in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under the theme “Empowering Change.” The event gathered 40 Alumni participants for ICLD , Swedish Instituet or Sida i from various sectors such as local government, civil society, and leadership, who have previously attended ICLD programmes. 

The Local Democracy Labs aim to bridge the gap between research and practice, allowing participants to present governance challenges to researchers, gain new insights, and share experiences through peer-to-peer learning. Additionally, the workshops provide networking opportunities among alumni from different programmes and countries, fostering democratic dialogue and collaboration. 

Highlited challenges 

ICLD collaborated with the Swedish Institute, the University of Dar es Salaam, and the Swedish Embassy in Dar es Salaam to organize this event. This collaboration facilitated a dialogue between researchers and local government officials, enhancing the connection between research and practical governance. The workshop exemplified the power of collaborative efforts in promoting democratic governance. 

The workshop featured four thematic breakout sessions such as Democracy and Human Rights, Social Accountability, Ethics and Corruption, Gender Equality, and Climate Change. Each session, led by experts from the University of Dar es Salaam, facilitated discussions on relevant policy dilemmas and practical experiences. 

Participants discussed the evolving democracies in Africa and the importance of human rights education, highlighted challenges in service delivery and the need for enhanced social accountability mechanisms. They also focused on women’s representation and participation in politics, identifying cultural and systemic barriers and addressed governance dilemmas related to climate change, emphasizing the need for community resilience and adaptive strategies. 

Major Takeaways 

The workshop successfully facilitated dynamic and realistic discussions, leading to several key outcomes. Participants expressed a genuine desire for more interaction between alumni and researchers, peer-to-peer learning provided inspiration, and the democracy labs addressed the disconnect between research and practice. The relevance of the chosen topics resonated well with participants, highlighting practical challenges and solutions. 

The success of the Dar es Salaam Democracy Lab has paved the way for future initiatives. There are plans to make the event an annual fixture, strengthen collaborations with the Swedish Institute, Swedish embassies, and East African universities, and extend the democracy labs to other East African countries. 

The Dar es Salaam Alumni Democracy Lab, themed “Empowering Change,” exemplified the power of collaborative efforts in promoting democratic governance. By harnessing the collective expertise of alumni and researchers, the workshop not only enhanced individual capacities but also contributed to the broader goals of democratic development and effective governance in East Africa. Participants expressed their satisfaction with the workshop and a strong interest in future events, highlighting the importance of continued networking and knowledge-sharing. 

About Alumni Talks

The main objective of the ICLD Alumni Talks is to facilitate continuous structured learning, knowledge-sharing, and exchange of practical experience among teams and individuals in ICLD’s programmes across the world. The aim of the talks is to create a constructive dialogue and exchange of experiences among former participants – the ICLD Alumni (Read more about ICLD alumni on our Alumni page). ICLD wants to maintain and enhance a highly engaged, vibrant community of our alumni and friends worldwide. We hope that the ICLD Alumni Talks will contribute to this.

Welcome to join!

International partner
Dar es Saalam

Region Gotland and Kibaha Town Council

Project: Together against Gender Based Violence

The project focuses on tackling gender-based violence (GBV) in Kibaha and Region Gotland with a specific focus on societal cooperation to address this urgent concern. It aims to enhance knowledge and implementation of national strategies, identifying gaps in gender desks and administrative levels at the village level in Kibaha. Key steps include developing a GBV training manual and educating residents on reporting incidents and accessing support.


The recent data from Tanzania highlights concerning rates of violence against girls and women, with nearly 30% of girls experiencing sexual violence before the age of 18. The National Five-Year Development Plan of Tanzania aims to combat gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against children (VAC) across 184 councils, including Kibaha Town Council (KTC). In KTC, data from 2020/21 to 2022/23 reveals a significant increase in GBV cases, including physical violence, psychological abuse, sexual assaults, and child abandonment. Instances of psychological abuse rose from 270 (2020) to 460 (2022), while reported sexual and gender-based violence cases increased from 92 (2020) to 300 (2022). Child abandonment cases also surged from 165 (2020) to 218 (2022). These alarming statistics signify a grave violation of human and child rights as outlined in international covenants.

In response, KTC and the Kibaha Education Centre (KEC) propose an awareness campaign titled “An Awareness Campaign to fight Gender Based Violence across Kibaha Town Council.” The initiative aims to address and mitigate the escalating GBV issues within Kibaha, aligning with national efforts outlined in Tanzania’s development plan.

Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
5 - Gender equality
Swedish partner
Region Gotland
International partner
Kibaha Town Council

Voluntary Local Review – Kibaha Town Council, Tanzania

This Voluntary Local Review (VLR) aims at understanding how well the SDGs have been localized and implemented in Kibaha Town Council (KTC), Tanzania. The process employed Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to represent local voices in a participatory and inclusive manner. The results show that localization of SDGs has helped the government and citizens to foster their cooperation in solving challenges encountered during implementation of SDGs. Citizens of KTC help the council in implementing SDGs through mobilizing local resources, capacity building; local monitoring, and participating in grassroots initiatives on SDG-related activities. Localization of SDGs was constrained by challenges such as financial limitation and lack of meaningful participation from key stakeholders. The review concludes by emphasizing the importance local monitoring of SDGs in promoting the co-production of knowledge through citizen’s participation in decision-making.

Publication Type
Working Papers
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced inequalities11 - Sustainable cities and communities16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions17 - Partnerships for the goals5 - Gender equality
Topic
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
International partner
Kibaha Town Council
Tags
Agenda2023, CBPR, CBPR, LocalisingSDGs, VLR, VLR,

Voluntary Local Review – Emboreet village, Manyara, Tanzania

The United Nations Agenda 2030 contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets to address global social, environmental, and economic challenges by 2030, of which many must be implemented at the local level. Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR) have gained prominence as a means for local and regional governments to assess SDG progress and remaining challenges. Citizen and community engagement in SDG implementation have been recognized as instrumental in achieving the goals and targets. This report presents the findings of a Voluntary Local Review conducted in Emboreet village, Tanzania. The objective was to assess the localization of Agenda 2030, explore the involvement of citizens and other social actors in SDG implementation, and understand their perceptions of the efforts made in achieving the SDGs. The research employed a Community Participatory Action Research methodology to ensure active community participation and collaboration. It reviews thirteen SDGs as a combination of those adapted by the Emboreet village from the Tanzania Vision 2025 and priorities of community stakeholders.

Publication Type
Working Papers
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
1 - No poverty10 - Reduced inequalities11 - Sustainable cities and communities13 - Climate action16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions17 - Partnerships for the goals2 - Zero hunger3 - Good health and well-being4 - Quality education5 - Gender equality6 - Clean water and sanitation7 - Affordable and clean energy9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Topic
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting
International partner
Emboreet, Simanjiro
Tags
Agenda2030, CBPR, SDGs, VLR, Voluntary Local Review,

Postdevelopment Assistance Made Possible? A qualitative analysis of the ICLD’s International Training Programmes in Tanzania from the local stakeholders’ perspective

Development is a contentious concept, praised by some for enabling progress and criticised by others for perpetuating global power imbalances. Development assistance tends to strengthen the donor-recipient dependency, which, according to critics, primarily serves the interests of the Global North while neglecting the needs of the Global South. Mainstream market-driven strategies have exacerbated inequalities in developing countries provoking the need for exploration of alternative solutions, such as those proposed by postdevelopment.

This thesis examines the possibility of integration of postdevelopment into current development programmes. It is based on the case of the International Training Programmes (ITPs) conducted in Tanzania by the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) and it aims to assess if the ITP participants’ perspectives, needs, and values were considered when these programmes were conducted. By incorporating the voices of the development assistance recipients, the author endeavours to acknowledge their ownership over the development processes.

The literature review in this thesis presents the deficiencies of development practice and is followed by the presentation of the postdevelopment theory, its key aspects, critique, and prescriptions as well as possible postdevelopment scenarios. The data was gathered using qualitative semi-structured interviews with a sample of 14 ITP participants and analysed by applying the thematic analysis approach. Complementary methods, that is observations and semi-structured interviews with the ITP organisers, were used to triangulate the data. In the methodology chapter, the author also reflects on his positionality and ethical aspects.

The results show multiple aspects of development assistance from the perspective of the ITP participants and are divided into two sections, that is the applicability of the programmes and power relations. Their presentation is followed by a discussion in which the author connects the results to the theory. The findings served to present the experiences of the Tanzanians involved in the ITPs and how they relate to postdevelopment. It allowed the author to conclude whether development assistance could be compatible with the postdevelopment agenda

Publication Type
Master Thesis
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
17 - Partnerships for the goals
Tags
fieldwork grant, postdevelopment, tanzania,

Widows, land rights and women’s empowerment: “Who will own the kitchen?” – Findings from the Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania

Women around the world are constantly being denied their land rights due to discriminatory practices. Widowed women are particularly at risk. This prevents advancing women’s empowerment and women’s equal opportunities for participation and leadership at all levels of decision making processes. Through a qualitative case study within the Chagga community in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, this thesis’ aim is to understand how widows perceive their land rights, what challenges and opportunities they face in accessing their land rights, and why, and to what extent widows participate in local government decision-making processes in land management.

The findings reveal the nuanced ways in which widows perceive their right to land, transcending mere ownership to a more holistic view that encompasses cultural, social, and economic dimensions. Delving into the challenges and opportunities of accessing land rights, the study showed that while the widows exhibited remarkable negotiation skills and resilience, obstacles such as limited knowledge of land laws and familial responsibilities were obvious. Chagga widows’ participation in local government decision-making processes in land management reveals a complex landscape shaped by limited knowledge of land laws, challenges in attending local government meetings, and varying degrees of women’s representation in local leadership positions.

Publication Type
Master Thesis
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
5 - Gender equality
Topic
Gender Equality
Tags
land rights, local participation, tanzania, Women's Empowerment,

Women’s political representation and effective participation in Ngara, Tanzania

This action research project aimed at understanding the factors obstructing and enabling participation of women in the Ward Councils of Ngara, and design a policy intervention. The study employed qualitative methods including interviews, focus group discussions, and document reviews. Following empowerment theory, it reveals socio-economic, socio-cultural, and institutional factors hindering women’s participation, such as financial difficulties, lack of political knowledge, social norms and stereotypes. It also identifies individual, community, and institutional factors that positively influence women’s access to ward council positions, such as grassroots leadership experience, support from other women, mindset changes, and reduced gender stereotypes. The study emphasized the importance of quotas in enhancing women’s representation but reviews the factors obstructing equal influence. Overcoming these challenges is concluded as crucial for women to have an equal voice, access resources, and shape development plans, policies, and strategies. It highlights the need for women’s empowerment, resource sharing, and civil society support, and recommends additional leadership positions for women, coalition building, addressing gender-based violence, and promoting gender equality in nominations. The study concludes with targeted recommendations for local government, political parties, civil society and community members to promote gender equality and effective women’s participation in decision-making bodies.

This research is the result of an “impact research grant” – an innovative approach to research that starts from the policy end. Following the request from Ngara District Council in a Local Democracy Lab to investigate the barriers to women’s political participation in its wards, this project set out to study obstacles and enablers in a manner that involved the community to directly address them.

Publication Type
Research Reports
Project Area
Inclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
5 - Gender equality
Topic
Gender Equality
Tags
Forskning, Gender, Gender equality, research, tanzania,

TRANS-Lighthouses

Regional Focus: Europe

Time: May 2023-2026

ICLD is part of a consortium of European organizations to undertake a large-scale research project on inclusive nature-based solutions (NBS).

Abstract:

TRANS-lighthouses aims to gather evidence on material and immaterial results of NBS in order to rethink and reframe the main elements that compose the complexity of creating social and ecologically just NBS. More than a driving process, the collaborative work on planning and making NBS functional might stimulate a more concerted response towards environmental and climate crises, increasing the commitment of different stakeholders and upscaling their own spheres of action. TRANS-lighthouses adopts a nonlinear perspective and opens up space for the adoption of a fluid and organic position that is able to integrate the diversity of subjects, institutions, knowledge(s), practices and values. TRANS-lighthouses’ ambition is to become a European reference on sociopolitical challenges for supporting NBS projects and solutions. The socio-politics dimension will be part of the public agenda for NBS towards SYSTEMIC CHANGE. This ambition will be achieved by assessing the benefits and limitations of NBS co-creation that have already been implemented and designed, tested and disseminated economically and socially fairer guidelines for NBS implementation. For this purpose, the project will conduct a thorough assessment, grounded on a transdisciplinary approach and critical analysis. Constituting a well-oiled network of citizens, local governments, scientific institutions and civil society-based partners which acts across borders, disciplines and sectors, TRANS-lighthouses will lead research on activities aiming to implement socioeconomic and political changes capable of enabling pathways for a socially and ecologically just implementation of NBS. TRANS-lighthouses integrates a network of NBS lighthouses for urban, rural, coastal and forested areas in 10 EU countries and 6 non-EU.

NBS Lighthouses are:
● local/regional arrangements/platforms bringing together multiple actors;
● to enhance the NBS contributions to social and economic targets;
● to test new governance and co-creation models;
● to adequate NBS responses to different socio-political contexts;
● small-scale but big-picture projects than can be upscaled over time.

Expected output: designing economically and socially fairer guidelines for NBS implementation.

TRANS-Lighthouses is an acronym:
T – Transformative
R – Reflexive
A – Activist
N – Networked
S – Solutions
Lighthouses – shedding light on just and equitable practices to guide the way forwards

ICLD’s role in primarily in the governance and co-creation dimension, aiming to unveil and understand the governance and co-creation context, including under-researched actors, sectors and landscapes, agendas, rules and interactions; to design innovative governance models, towards community-based decisions; and to co-monitor and co-evaluate. We host Local Democracy Labs, and our deliverables will include policy briefs, learning cases and animated videos.

Partners

  1. Centre for Social Studies (CES) Portugal
  2. Roskilde University (RUC) Denmark
  3. Technical University of Munich (TUM) Germany
  4. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) Cyprus
  5. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) France
  6. Nantes Université (NU) (Affiliated to CNRS) France
  7. Université Gustave Eiffel (uni. Eiffel) (Affiliated to CNRS) France
  8. University of Louvain (UCLouvain) Belgium
  9. Sapienza, Università di Roma (Sapienza) Italy
  10. University of Extremadura (UEx) Spain
  11. Universidade dos Açores (UAc) Portugal
  12. ATHENA Research Centre (ARC) Greece
  13. Economias BioRegionales (EBR) Spain
  14. Município de Estarreja (CME) Portugal
  15. Município de Barcelos (CMB) Portugal
  16. Ville de Bruxelles – Stad Brussel (Brussels) Belgium
  17. Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD) Sweden
  18. Associazione Jangada Onlus (Jangada) Italy
  19. Cooperativa de Incubação de Iniciativas de Economia Solidária (Kairós) Portugal

Associated partners

  1. Universidad de Chile Chile
  2. Universidad de Buenos Aires Argentina
  3. Universidade de Brasília Brazil
  4. Prefeitura de São Paulo Brazil
  5. Tata Institute of social sciences India
  6. University of Illinois USA
  7. University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania
  8. Polycom Development Project, Kenya
  9. Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Brazil

This is an EU-funded project under call HORIZON-CL6-2022-COMMUNITIES-01 (Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities)

Project Area
Environment/Climate changeInclusive leadership and governance
Sustainable Development Goals
11 - Sustainable cities and communities13 - Climate action
Topic
Participatory democracy, citizen dialogues and budgeting