In late 2012, Indigo gave a grant to the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme for their ‘Jamii Voices’ project. The scheme is intended to foster grassroots women’s organisations in Tanzania by improving their ability to share information, organise collective action and demand change.
One year on, progress is encouraging but there remains much to be done. With ambitious projects like Jamii Voices, it’s of the utmost importance to make sure the organisation has enough capacity to deal with the burgeoning demands of a growing and important project. Much of the grant has therefore been dedicated to equipping organisers and members of the Knowledge Centres with the ICT skills they need to move the project forward. This has been vital in laying the groundwork for future developments towards the project’s goals.
As a consequence, the impact of the project is only starting to emerge but has however been promising for the future. Jamii Voices has been used to report cases of mistreatment of women and girls including trafficking and rape. These reports culminated in the return of the trafficked girls to their families. Jamii Voices has also been used to disseminate relevant findings of research on gender-based violence to women thereby allowing them to better campaign on these issues.
The project has also had an impact on the civic level. The platform has been used to encourage women to contest for membership in the Ward and District constitution councils. It has also allowed women to voice their demands and contribute to the drafting of the new Tanzanian Constitution.
It remains to be seen how broad and significant the achievements of Jamii Voices and TGNP are likely to be. TGNP are looking into ways to gain feedback from users, further build ICT capacity and knowledge and realise initial plans to incorporate voice messaging to reach more women. It certainly is an interesting project and one we’re looking forward to seeing the progress of!