About Serikali Yangu
Serikali Yangu/My Gov is a youth-led citizen-centric program that works to empower young Tanzanians from unemployment while holding their leaders accountable. Working with youth in Tanzania through our programs, we have learnt that the 66% of Tanzania’s youth labor force is not fully utilized because they lack entrepreneurship awareness and resources opportunities. Our modal is designed to improve the knowledge and access to such resources that will help to improve the youth livelihood in Tanzania.
Tanzania has 264 constituencies, our plan for program’s year one is to pilot it in ten (10) constituencies found in 3 Dar es Salaam districts (Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke), and each year expanding to other four constituencies. The program expansion will be done followed a careful evaluations and indicators tracking. Our program approach is focused on entrepreneurship capacity building sessions. The trained youth networks members will then be assisted to join Community Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) established by the Local Government Authorities, to access the Government led Youth Development Fund (YDF). We will work with the Youth Development Officers in the target constituencies (these are in charge of the YDF). The Youth Development Officers role will be to inform the youth on how to access the fund, and assist target youth to follow the procedures to access the funds for capital to start small businesses. Working with Local Government is a proven successful methodology to empower community members with both knowledge and resources for self-employment, therefore with entrepreneurship trainings we provide, we will focus on the Youth Development Fund as a source to finance the trained youth to start and run their businesses. We will also work with the Members of Parliament of the 10 pilot constituencies to dialogue with the youth on the status of constituencies’ employment opportunities and the access to the YDF. Making references to the Serikali Yangu impacts on youth within their constituencies, the MPs will also be engaged to champion policies on YDF and development in the parliament.
Why the Need for Serikali Yangu Intervention in Tanzania
Unemployment in majority of Tanzanian constituencies is stimulated by lack of entrepreneurship skills (including work experience). This is one of the top barriers to youth development. A weak business environment also impedes youth in Tanzania. Such barriers impact youth dis-proportionally because of their lack of experience in overcoming them and the limited links to entrepreneurship networks. Further on the business and entrepreneurship environment, the limited access to finance for start-up capital, which reflects young people’s limited assets for collateral and the absence of financial history, is an important constraint. This challenge is also associated with the little awareness youth have towards the accessibility of youth development fund within their constituencies. Together with this, majority of youth in the 264 constituencies do not have an awareness on how they could work in groups and join established SACCOs to access funds and resources that includes YDF for their start-ups. Another linked factor is that many youth in the four constituencies have no career guidance, mentorship and other counselling programs. This situation limits many youth from generating employment opportunities and advance in life.
Also the low level of interactions between Members of Parliament (MPs), Local Government Leaders and their communities, has limited cooperation and collective engagement in addressing youth unemployment. This low interaction also limits the opportunities for youth in the ten constituencies to know how they could access the 5% municipal funds of youth development fund set to engage in self-employment. Majority of youth in the ten constituencies have not had many sessions with the local government authorities to discuss how the youth development fund works and what the requirements for youth to access the fund are. This gap was confirmed by the MPs and LGAs during the series of meetings our organization has been having with them as our proposal is developing. Also in the interviews with some of the Youth Development Officers, they shared their experiences on the same issue. When they were sharing their information, they pointed out that limited engagement with the youth has significantly contributed to the lower awareness on how Youth Development Fund works. This lack of dialogue between people in power and citizens is further evidenced by qualitative research conducted by BBC Media Action, in which radio station managers commented that leaders often talk at citizens and leave little or no opportunity for questions to be asked of them.
There is limited empirical evidence of habits of the youth in interacting with their political leaders, however, one survey indicates that young people’s knowledge and participation in the development, implementation and monitoring of policy is 10.4% and awareness of national policies is 24%. This is remarkably low and indicative that young people are often unaware of, or left out of participating in, the decisions that affect them, this includes the use of youth development fund. This low participation in decision-making is also recognized by the Government of Tanzania, which the National Youth Development Policy (2007) seeks to partially address. This therefore, calls for our proposed intervention, Serikali Yangu that will be a platform that bridges this gap between entrepreneurship knowledge and resource, and interaction with their leaders and communities to bring about positive change in the society.
How are we going to Impact Target Groups with Serikali Yangu Intervention?
On highlight, this proposed intervention will focus on the following set of activities:
- Provide capacity building and training sessions on livelihood and exchange of best practices among youth networks to generate employment opportunities.
- Work with the Local Government Authorities through Youth Development Officers to assist trained youth to join established SACCOs to access channeled YDF for start-up capital to invest in small businesses in their constituencies.
- Design and launch Serikali Yangu media platform to provide a platform for the trained youth to constructively engage with their MPs, and Local Government through Youth Development Officers in following up on YDF and addressing the unemployment challenge.
A. Capacity building and training sessions on livelihood and entrepreneurship.
The part of program will have the following core components: develop training tools/plans on livelihood and entrepreneurship, the training process itself, and assist young Tanzanians to join SACCOs groups that YDF is channeled to, for access and use as capital to start small businesses. The approach to this aspect involves two phases:
Phase 1: Tanzania Bora Initiative will identify and design training tools and plans. The designed tools will then be used for entrepreneurship training with the selected networks. The content of this training will be refined through a consultative process with these networks, as it will need to best fit the needs of the target networks. Our organization will then work with the selected youth networks in Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke districs by agreeing on guiding principles that their networks will respect during the program implementation period; this will include commitments to the entrepreneurship training, and work in groups to join SACCOs for fund soliciting. Our organization will also work with the networks leaders and members to identify female individuals for support and mentoring.
Phase 2: The second phase of working with the selected youth networks, we will focus on training support on livelihood and entrepreneurship. Intermittently, the trainer will deliver basic skills on how to identify opportunities, leadership and business skills, and basic finance (how to solicit, manage income and expenditures: focus is put on the YDF). The aim is to improve the ‘know-how’ to start and run small businesses. Training programs will go beyond business plan preparation and foster linkages to small entrepreneurship service providers and networks. With this, every month, Youth Development Officers and MPs in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke districts, will be invited to come and speak on relevant YDF matters to the youth. Also sharing of best practices towards enhancing the capacity of the youth network to engage fully in fostering development in selected constituencies will be enhanced during this phase. In this phase, youth will also be assisted to form groups and join SACCOs with channeled YDF to access the fund for their startups.
Our courses are created for Tanzanian youth to get exposed to financial literacy and understand entrepreneurial and business skills, also mentor them to develop and grow their business ideas and empower them to be contributors of their communities’ economy. Our financial literacy courses address money management; credit and debt management; planning, saving and investing; risk management and civic financial responsibility. Our business /entrepreneurship course allow youth to learn; team management, negotiation, finance management, communication, sales and presentation skills, time management, simple IT skills for business,leadership and conflict resolution skills. The first 2 weeks of our 16 weeks program focuses on ideation, then we will move on youth best positioning their ideas to be able to launch their businesses. There will be a variety of workshops toward the research, planning and development of a business plan, along with a number of entrepreneurial skills to give potential business ideas the best chance for success. We will focus on youth bringing business ownership the reality of being self-employed, being a contributor to the Tanzanian economy and empower their ability to provide employment for others.
B. Interactions through Serikali Yangu Dialogues
Serikali Yangu dialogues platforms will be community-centered monitoring tool based on constructive youth engagement on interacting, question and receive answers from the MPs and LGAs in selected constituents. It is designed to strengthen community-led development, and engagement on following up on Youth Development Funds in the ten (10) constituencies through poll questions, results, and sharing of useful information. Each month, the trained youth will have a platform to speak-out their opinions and ask questions on YDF, and receive feedback from both Youth Development Officers and the four (10) MPs. Every month, Tanzania Bora Initiative’s program team will send information on the date, theme for discussion revolving around YDF. The dialogues will be conducted in a constructive manner, whereby, when raised questions, views on YDF requires responses, the MPs and Youth Development Officers will be invited to give in-depth insights and responses. Also our media interventions will pick these stories and cover them for wider public awareness. This proposed mechanism has been successful through Restless Development, one of our partners in Tanzania, where they had a program titled “Kijana Enterprises”, and shared experience that, getting MPs and Youth Development Officers to engage and speak about Youth Development Fund is not a challenge once they agree to collaborate in the project.
C. Serikali Yangu Media Reporting
We will use TV and Radio reporting to give the general public an awareness of the ongoing activities that relate to the livelihood training, status and access to youth development fund, and progress of entrepreneurship interventions by the youth networks as well as the on-going interactions between the MPs, Local Government Authority (LGAs) and the youth networks in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke districts. Our media will also report on how they work together to address the underlined unemployment challenges. The identified media houses are E FM, TBC , TV1 and Clouds Media. The partnering media will explore different stories that come from either entrepreneurship interventions generated or access to youth development fund interactions between youth and their leaders. Presenters will be encouraged to draw in selected questions or comments generated from the dialogue discussions and link to their media broadcasting. Through working with our media partners, we seek to bring about improved knowledge of governance affairs and greater awareness of how they can actively engage in their community or wider society. This is a mechanism to inspire and promote active citizenship in Tanzanians. We will also explore online digital media to amplify our impact even further.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation will be done throughout the implementation phase of this project. Tanzania bora Initiative will be conducting M&E to update on the project activities. We will use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in collecting information across the four constituencies. This will help to identify groups, design livelihood teaching, dialogues and learning modalities by assessing what is the specific interest of the youth groups in relation to the available sources for employment. M&E will also help to identify impacts and lessons learnt on the project. All the information discovered in the M&E will also inform the program on its target audience needs and interest, and help in improving the implementation strategy.
Project Sustainability Plan.
1. The Youth networks eligible to get funds are the ones that have joined established government SACCOS targeting youth population, these SACCOS have rules and regulations and reporting mechanism that inspires responsibility among peers, hence this is not a program that just dishes cash once and goes away, but ensures that the availabe funds cycle around municipal youth to benefit more others , and our team will work to coordinate and ensure the effectiveness of this plan.
2. We will build in bussiness mentorship program, so that youth networks receiving funds does not make that the end result of the program. We plan to encourage youth to continue returning the funds given so that they continue to qualify for even bigger levels funds as they continue to grow their business. Also we will work to link matured businesses to Microfinance and financial institutions, also network of investors for further funding and support.
3. Our trainings will also teache Youth to be visionaries, community leaders and responsible members of society, these values aim to ground them and assist them to have a bigger picture of their business, so that they envision not only running a small business but also inspire to grow into SMEs and be able to employ fellow youth.