This project extension has now been completed. We thank the many participating organizations in the Districts in which we worked and their national office representatives based in Dar es Salaam. The project provided many beneficial outcomes and we hope that we can continue to work with and support these project partners in the future through other similar initiatives. Thanks also goes to our donor, the Accountability Fund of Tanzania [AcT]. They were instrumental in the sucess of this project. An external evaluation of the work of the ICAAD project overall can be found on this website at: Learning Impact and Evaluation. Also available is a management response to the assessment report: Management Response.
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Project Extension: Improving Community Awareness and Advocacy on Disability [ICAAD]
Over the past two years the Kesho Trust has been facilitating a project in four districts in Tanzania (Moshi, Hai, Morogoro and Ifakara) working with locally established committees of people with disabilities. It has sought to empower people with disabilities to take up a social/rights based approach in their advocacy efforts with key decision-makers and community representatives especially focusing on the needs of disabled children in education.
Through the ICAAD project we have built a strong network of committed people in the four districts actively engaged on issues regarding disabilities. This strength helps extend the initiative, enabling us to work towards greater inclusion of children with disabilities, particularly girls in the education system.
The first step will be to develop some effective tools for both awareness raising as well as advocacy activities based on the action research reports from the previous stages of the project. Once the tools are in place a series of awareness raising events will take place in all villages that took part in the two research phases. It is hoped that these events will also help to stimulate local level discussions around what can be done to increase the participation of children with disabilities (most especially girls) in local schools. There will be meetings with parents of children with disabilities, community leaders, teachers, religious leaders, children with disabilities and other potential stakeholders.
Critical too are the planned meetings at the District level with key decision-makers using the results of the action research as a starting point. Our aim is to have action plans at the District level that detail how inclusion of children with disabilities will be implemented.
Promoting and extending earlier work with public media, especially with local FM radio stations, to achieve low cost advocacy outcomes will also be part of the process. Training and developing effective advocacy messages at village and district levels can then reach a wider audience.
As observed during the past two phases of working with people with disabilities, there is a continuing need for awareness raising around the rights of people with disabilities and a great deal more research could be carried out. Now that DPO members have experience and motivation in conducting research there is a growing cadre of expertise, which could be used for future work. During this extension phase we will work with the district steering committees to help them put ideas together for further research work.
This project extension has been made possible by the generous support of the Accountability in Tanzania Fund [AcT].
For further information about the ICAAD work leading up to this extension please follow this link to the description of the original ICAAD project.