Hello! We are Rhonda Schlangen (US), Julie Tumbo (Tanzania), and Ben Awinda (Tanzania), evaluation consultants specializing in advocacy and development. In Tanzania and other countries, civil society advocates struggle with developing skills and finding support for their efforts. We’re using the dissemination phase of an evaluation of three groundbreaking Tanzanian advocacy campaigns to support advocate capacity-building. This encouraged us to rethink the usual presentation-and-distribution-of-reports approach and conceptualize dissemination as a platform on which to build learning.
Lesson learned: Take a campaign approach to dissemination. For this project, we designed the Mwanaharakati (“Activist”) Campaign to both share the evaluation results and involve civil society actors, particularly those in Tanzania, in conversations about the case studies and use of the information to advance their own advocacy work.
- Start designing the dissemination campaign plan by first asking advocates how they and their constituencies would like to receive the information. We discovered that Facebook is out, WhatsApp is in, and everyone loves cartoons.
- Keep the conversation going! Ben poses biweekly questions related to issues highlighted in the case studies on the campaign’s social media accounts in both Kiswahili and English.
Rad Resource: Graphic novels! We wanted to reach young people, individuals with limited literacy abilities, and people with limited patience to read long documents, so we worked with a talented cartoonist to develop comic versions of the case studies. It was important to work with a local artist who understood the political context and the cultural nuances of images and colors. He accurately and compellingly conveyed the advocacy issues and tactics.
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