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CBA14 Marketplace: Using a social accountability model to empower young people to lead communities in dialogue with local authorities on climate commitments

Submitted by Sheila Garry 17th September 2020 2:55
​The illustration shows the main elements involved in CVA.

​The illustration shows the main elements involved in Citizen Voice and Action (CVA) model.

Introduction

The key focus of Sustainable Actions Uniting Tanzanian and Irish Youth or ‘SAUTI-Youth’ is actively building young people’s engagement in political processes through the monitoring of government service delivery and advocating for their improvement. SAUTI is the Swahili word for Voice and it is the empowerment of youth to be strong voices in and for their communities and to monitor government commitments on climate action that will bring about the programme’s results of measurable local government actions on climate. Ensuring meaningful inclusion of youth, i.e. that young people are included in decision-making processes and have a voice in sustainable development dialogues.  SAUTI-Youth will build the capacity of young people in target communities in Tanzania (in the Tanga region: Handeni and Korogwe districts) and Ireland (in Galway) to monitor governance processes, access public policy delivery and advocate for sustainable service delivery improvement.

SAUTI is an EU funded project implemented by World Vision Ireland, World Vision Tanzania and Youth Work Ireland Galway. It is in line with the AU-EU Youth Agenda and AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub ‘Governance and Political Inclusion (Accountability), recognising that, as youth are often excluded from policy making processes, their inclusion as actors is vital to achieve good governance, alongside developmental gains. The methodology will be outlined here and some of the project's innovations will also be outlined. 

Methodology

The programme methodology is one of capacity building, training, facilitation and support using World Vision’s Citizen Voice and Action (CVA) model. CVA is an evidence-based, social accountability model that operationalises and strengthens relationships of direct accountability among citizens, policymakers and service providers to tackle the root causes of poverty, vulnerability, marginalisation, exclusion, inequality and poor governance. The model empowers communities to monitor the performance of local governments. Through CVA, communities learn what their rights are, how to analyse the gaps in their services, to prioritise what changes they want to see in their services, and to dialogue and take action together with local government leaders and service providers. The chain of effects occurs through the implementation of World Visions’ social accountability model CVA. CVA has been applied with success to World Visions’ development programmes for the past fourteen years but here will be applied specifically to youth and also to the Irish context, empowering the accountability actions of youth in both Tanzania and Ireland. The model trains communities in a step by step process to engage with government stakeholders. Together, joint action plans are developed that all commit to and that the youth are able to monitor.

SAUTI-Youth builds on the experience of previous and ongoing CVA programming that WV has been implemented in hundreds of programmes worldwide. Typically it has focussed more on sectors such as provision of education and health services. SAUTI Youth is the first major World Vision CVA project with a specific focus on government climate actions.

Another new element that SAUTI-Youth brings is the fact that it is essentially being piloted in Galway, Ireland for use in youth groups in a European context. Although the two countries are socially and economically different, the relationship and cross learning that this difference offers are central to SAUTI Youth’s methodology. It will provide a stimulating way for youth to learn and share through ongoing regular exchange and the two face to face exchange visits between Ireland and Tanzania.

Model steps

There are a series of steps that are taken:

  • Training of staff and youth ToTs (Training of Trainers) in CVA model. 48 young people in Tanzania and Galway will be trained on the model.
  • Roll out of training These trained youth TOTs (or CVA focal points) will then be supported by the SAUTI Youth staff. The CVA training will therefore be rolled out to 800 group members in Tanzania and 120 in Galway. Through this training, youth CVA groups will understand the stages in the CVA model, be equipped with the capacity to engage in governance issues and be informed around climate change commitments made by the government. As a result, groups will be ready to engage government representatives in a constructive, productive and well-informed manner.
  • Youth groups, supported by SAUTI-Youth staff, assemble the evidence on government commitments and actions on climate change. The trained youth then engage in a mapping exercise which will involve reviewing the relevant policies, strategies, guidelines, actions on climate change and assessing the commitments versus the reality. As a result of this process the youth will have generated evidence on commitments versus reality.
  • SAUTI Youth staff and CVA Focal Points will summarise, simplify and document the information they have gathered on government processes and systems in relation to policy development and budgeting for climate action. They will create a package of accessible information for each of the three target areas and use these materials in their community level actions.
  • Youth raise awareness across communities to inform them of the project and prepare them for the CVA process. Youth outreach through campaigns, meetings and presentations to 12,000 community members on the CVA modality, their findings to date and the importance of citizens engagement. Youth enable broader citizen engagement in their communities, informing all community members on the Country National climate policies, building a relationship with the duty bearers. This will also include orientation of ward and district leaders and relevant departments in Tanzania and city and county Councils in Galway and the Department of Child and Youth Affairs (DCYA) on the CVA process, seeking their support and identifying and building networks and coalitions.

Following the steps outlined above, the trained youth groups will now be ready to deepen their engagement with their communities, to develop CVA Action Plans through a highly participatory step in the CVA process, referred to as the ‘Community Gathering Process’. The process has four separate sessions taking place over time leading to the development of community CVA action plans.

  •  Initial community level planning meetings (session one of the Community Gathering process): Twenty community (village) planning meetings take place in the two districts of Tanzania. In Galway, there will be 2 initial meetings which the groups will work on together. At these planning meetings the whole group, facilitated by the youth and supported by the SAUTI-Youth team, will assess government commitments for climate action and hold meetings with government stakeholders to build engagement.
  • Monitoring Standards Meetings will be held: Youth groups in both countries will observe and engage duty bearers of climate actions to compare the reality with government commitments.  They will visit sites where the government has committed to delivery on climate change mitigation or adaption (e.g. sustainable agriculture actions)
  •  Community Scorecard Meetings are held at which youth groups score the services they have seen. This is a participatory approach where CVA members ask the local community and government service provides what an ideal implementation would look like, compared to what delivery has been to date. The process scores what has been observed using a simple score-card tool, if necessary, through a visual aid to note quality of service as well as simply existence.
  • Communities hold Interface Meetings (session four of CVA process): Community members in each community/village in Tanzania will participate with the trained youth activists and local government representatives in the’ interface meeting’ at which stakeholders share information from ‘monitoring standards’ and ‘scorecard’ processes. SAUTI staff will facilitate and support, providing effective coordination and logistics etc. CVA focal points may also designate other community members where it is appropriate to lead focus group discussions. In Galway, each trained youth group will carry out the interface meeting with other youth groups, associations and government stakeholders.

It is through this interface meeting that the youth lead the community, government and service providers in creating a joint CVA Advocacy Action Plan. This plan is a simple chart that shows what action will be taken, who is accountable, what resources will be contributed and who will monitor the action to ensure it is undertaken. The process to develop this plan collaborative, rather than confrontational, resulting in a plan that is jointly agreed across all stakeholders. The plan is therefore considered to be implemented in collaboration with local authorities.

The Joint Action Plan will be implemented over two years with ongoing monitoring by the trained youth leaders.

Planned Results

The overall goal of SAUTI-Youth is to have empowered youth monitoring, engaging and influencing government on climate change. Tanzanian and Irish young people will be engaged in local government processes to contribute toward positive climate action by 2023. 

SAUTI Youth will result in youth-led advocacy actions bringing about increased dialogues, accountability and action in regard to local government commitments. It will result in improved relationships and trust between the Youth and government and ultimately in change for their communities through the implementation of CVA and practical measurable climate mitigation actions.

Specifically, local governments will be shown to have met a total of 10 additional standards (e.g. implementation of planned reforestation) in improved service delivery for climate action at District/ward or city/county level as a result of youth-led CVA engagement and 80% of youth groups will be able to demonstrate having contributed to local government improved actions and accountability on climate action. All youth groups will have carried out sustainable accountability processes in their communities and all will have benefitted from the inter-country exchange and learning between Tanzania and Ireland.

The youth will use a youth friendly digital interface to record the engagements and progress of the community actions and to share approaches between groups, both within and between Tanzania and Ireland. This digital interface will allow them to generate data to support their CVA advocacy work. The project details and findings will be widely shared in both countries and beyond with a view to enhancing citizen awareness about the importance and value of engaging in social accountability and climate change actions and the vital role that youth can play.

SAUTI Youth project innovations

SAUTI Youth innovations:

  • The programme takes a unique approach in uniting youths from seemingly very different contexts, recognising that they in fact have much in common – being affected by climate change,  having a potentially strong voice and acting as agents of change. SAUTI-Youth allows for the opportunity to share learnings and exchanges between African and European youth, increasing understanding and emphasising the need for global solutions. Once trained, the youth groups will interact to share learnings and experience; a small group of youth selected by their peers will make exchange visits between the two countries.
  • The project is innovative in its targeting in Ireland, working across two language areas (English and Irish) in County Galway, recognising the challenges faced by the Irish-speaking Gaelteacht, where youth have noted particular climate challenges such as the lack of sustainable public transport in difficult to access areas and more limited opportunities for youth participation in governance.
  • The SAUTI-Youth CVA methodology, once it is up and running, is relatively low cost, making it easier to roll out, scale up and replicate. Once the youth have seen the impact of implementing CVA for climate action, they will be able to transfer their skills in the modality. Youth groups will be empowered to advance other rights and entitlements in the communities, leading to knock-on impacts on, for example, seeking educational and health entitlements in Tanzania and in Galway, as noted by young people in the design, for engaging with duty bearers on issues such as mental health services for youth.
  • The digital platform will enhance youth involvement in citizen engagement and Information Technology, bringing on board youth who have been usually left out in in regard to their own development.
  • The analysed data from the digital platform will be utilised to inform climate change interventions nationally, regionally and globally. When it is rolled out it will offer the ability to have a youth level District / county wide bank of data and analysis to inform climate and other advocacy actions.