Over two years a number of KT (Tz) staff and volunteers, worked on a pilot project aimed at developing the capacity of DPOs (and their membership) to be effective community action groups at district and ward level. In Moshi, Hai, Morogoro and Kilombero DPOs met together on a regular basis to conduct a variety of different activities with the support of KT (Tz) staff.
This ‘DPO Mentoring Project’, which was funded through DFID’s Accountability in Tanzania Program, achieved some remarkable results including:
- the establishment of 20 newly functioning district level DPOs with 1,249 new members;
- the training of 94 people (including district officers) in disability awareness;
- an action research process involving 40 people with disabilities resulting in the publication of research into the main barriers facing children with disabilities in accessing local pre primary and primary education [for a preliminary copy of the research report – Access to Education for Children with Disabilities in Tanzania – click here];
- the identification of 30 children with disabilities who had been hidden away in their homes;
- the enrolment of 69 children with disabilities into primary schools for the first time; and
- ongoing commitments from District Social Welfare Officers, district education special needs coordinators in Hai, Moshi and Kilombero. DPOs in Kilombero have been so successful at raising the visibility of disability access issues in the area that some wards have started to implement their own solutions (see case study).