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Resolving the Collective Action Problem of Violence Against Women and Children in Shinyanga District, Tanzania with the Women Fund Tanzania Trust

Women Fund Tanzania Trust wanted to understand how people can resolve the complex collective action problem of violence against women and children in Shinyanga District, Tanzania. We designed and facilitated a 2 year action research project with community members in 18 wards where we

  • Mapped highly connected individuals; enabling us to understand people’s help-seeking behaviours and relationships 

  • Interviewed government officials and local leaders to understand how much urgency for change they felt

  • Undertook dialogue with over 900 women, children, men and government officials to explore how they make sense of the system in which violence arises

  • Worked with the same citizens to brainstorm their ideas for solutions to violence and prototyped their ideas to learn what worked best and in what settings

  • Monitored the changes resulting from these prototypes to show that communities are actively working to prevent violence.

Want to know more about our research with WFT?.

You can also read the full report and summary report.

Exploring the wellbeing of care leavers: A study on residential care in Tanzania

We recently partnered with Worldwide Childhood Foundation and Eriks Development to explore the wellbeing of care leavers in Tanzania. This study, a collaborative effort between C4C, Railway Children, Pamoja Leo, Transform Alliance Africa, the Families and Futures Coalition of Tanzania, and ConnectGo, seeks to understand care leavers’ perspectives on both their experiences of the care system and their lives post-care. 


During the facilitation stage we will take a mixed methods approach. We will use survey tools and narrative interviews to collect data from 360 participants in Tanzania, including care leavers; child care institution owners, staff and volunteers; government social workers; and the families of children in care. These perspectives will enable us to


  • Understand the ecosystem of individuals with an interest in care reform; including identifying key individuals who are respected and used by their communities as key points of care

  • Understand young people’s journeys within the care system and out of it

  • Explain how young people’s experience of care affects them as young adults

  • Explain the interests and blocks that inhibit people coming together around a shared agenda for care reform

  • Develop a theory of change that will underpin how the collaborating partners approach their advocacy for care reform

  • Amplify the voices of care leavers in Tanzania.


Exploring the prevalence, types and costs of violence against children in schools in Tanzania

In 2021, the Porticus Foundation commissioned C4C to conduct a study to examine the prevalence, nature and drivers of violence in schools in Tanzania. Our research into the experiences of 188 primary and secondary students across the country revealed that corporal punishment and the attendant emotional harms are pervasive and pernicious, with 39% of children across all age groups saying that corporal punishment has occurred. What’s more, it is close authority figures such as teachers who pose the most danger for children. 


This piece of work highlighted the importance of child-centred approaches to seed child-led movements for safe and inclusive schools. To accomplish this, we facilitate meaningful child participation via our partnerships with Junior Councils, the Catholic church and Shule Direct. We also support children to learn protective behaviours, we develop their ideas for school safety and we put their ideas into action within schools and the wider community.


If you would like to read our full report, you can do so here.

Investigating the nature, prevalence and changing dynamics of protective social norms in Tanzania and Uganda with the Institute of Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University

In March 2020 our founder and CEO Dr Kate McAlpine received the Dianne Kipnes Fund for Social Innovation from the Institute of Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, for her investigation into the nature, prevalence and changing dynamics of protective social norms in Tanzania and Uganda. Described as “a highly collaborative innovation for the betterment of children in Africa’, Dr McAlpine’s research not only serves to examine child abuse and abusers, but it also explores the worldview of Tanzanians who actually take action to protect children.

This work led Dr McAlpine to understand the Ujasiri mindset as that which differentiates these child protectors from those who say “it’s none of my business” when they see a child suffer at the hands of a violent perpetrator. Ujasiri - the Swahili term for courage, fortitude and resilience - is a moral driver founded in empathy, stemming from an individual’s experience of their own childhood. When employed it can act as a powerful tool to mobilise citizens to do the right thing by children.

If you would like to explore Dr McAlpine's research further, you can do so here.


Seeding a child-led movement that fosters safe and inclusive Catholic schools in Tanzania

This 2-year participatory action research (PAR) project builds on research conducted by Citizens 4 Change to understand children’s perceptions about the prevalence of violence in schools. The project will enable C4C to better understand the characteristics of successful child-initiated solutions for school safety and inclusion.

We plan to seed a child-led movement that fosters safe and inclusive Catholic schools in Tanzania by training 72 students as Child Safety Action Researchers. They will act as the backbone of the research, engaging with the adults in their lives in a shared pursuit for safety. They will develop their toolbox to keep themselves and others safe; facilitate dialogic approaches to social change; visualise social change using photography; collect survey data, and monitor change.

Together with their teacher mentors, they will facilitate the PAR process in 24 schools. They will use the protective behaviours methodology to enable students to identify when they may be at risk and develop strategies to protect themselves better. They will survey students about their changing experience of violence in school and at home; facilitate dialogue about the relationship between power and violence; work with their peers to envision students’ dreams for safe schools; and prototype ideas for community-building and social practices that enhance student safety. They will then test and re-test these in real-world school settings, learning what works to prevent violence and in what conditions.

The project will benefit 24,000 school students who experience protection from violence.

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