Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Policy Analysis and Advocacy

The overall objective of the Policy Analysis and Advocacy (PAA) unit is to promote broader debate and advocacy among key policy actors on education policies and social accountability, through the following:

Basic education research, analysis and advocacy
Information disseminating activities are at the core of HakiElimu’s work. PAA contributes to this by conducting research, analysis and advocacy, mainly in the education sector, to ensure broader and deeper understanding of what quality education entails for Tanzania. Activities related to this include analysis and reviews of the implementation of key education sector policies, the annual publication and dissemination of a position paper on a key issue in education and advocacy work with leaders at local and central government level. Positions and recommendations on key basic education issues are developed and communicated via position papers, rapid media responses and policy briefs. Key issues might include access for children with disabilities, gender equality, and curriculum. Position papers arise out of current nationwide educational issues while rapid responses are informed by systematic monitoring and analysis of news coverage of education issues.

Resource transparency and accountability
The PAA Unit conducts a number of activities that are intended to make budget information accessible to a broader audience in order to promote greater financial accountability within the relevant authorities. Some of these activities are related to the entire Government budget, while others focus specifically on the education sector. These activities include analyses and simplifications of major budget documents including the Controller and Auditor General’s reports. Other budget work is conducted through the Budget Working Group of the Policy Forum and with international partners like the International Budget Partnership (IBP).

Monitoring Government
Promises and directives made by Government officials on education and relevant democracy issues are systematically monitored and compiled and shared with the public towards enhancing accountability. PAA unit also monitors promises made in Parliament through examination of the Parliamentary Hansards (record of all proceedings in Parliament). In addition, commitments announced in speeches such as the Minister of Education’s annual budget speech are monitored for implementation. These activities are meant to enhance accountability by increasing public scrutiny of Government commitments.

National Policy Debate and Advocacy
PAA is mandated to provide information on policy developments and budget issues to other HakiElimu staff as well as to facilitate this process of information sharing more broadly. The unit mainly does this by organizing an internal policy day at least once a year and through the organisation’s established Thursday learning sessions. Towards engaging in the national policy debate outside of HakiElimu, members of the PAA unit as well as other HakiElimu staff participates at the 7.30 breakfast debates organized by the Policy Forum on the last Friday of each month and engage in national policy debate and advocacy work with and through other partners such as Fermat, TENMET and several other grassroots-based organizations as and when the opportunity arises. The Unit also contributes to two weekly newspaper columns published in English and Kiswahili and coordinates HakiElimu’s Working Papers Series, publishing 6-10 working papers in English and Kiswahili each year. The papers provide critical analyses and policy recommendations on specific topics, highlighting current policy debates and advocacy issues.


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