Silo Fighters Blog

Using Machine Learning to Accelerate Sustainable Development Solutions in Uganda

September 14, 2017

A year and a half after it was prototyped, the radio content analysis tool developed by Pulse Lab Kampala and partners has become fully operational. The findings and lessons learned during the process were compiled in a report entitled: “Using Machine Learning to Analyse Radio Content in Uganda - Opportunities for Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action.” The recent Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Good Global Summit has brought together partners to define a roadmap for governments, industry, academia, media, and civil society to develop AI in a safe, responsible and ethical manner benefiting all segments of society. At the summit, the radio content analysis tool was showcased as one of the applications of AI currently in use at the UN. The tool was designed to leverage public radio content as a source of information to inform on issues relevant to sustainable development. The most complex part in the development of the prototype is capturing the transcription of spoken words into written text. This technology, called speech recognition, is used in applications ranging from simple voice dialing (e.g. "Call home") to fully automatic speech-to-text processing where every word is being converted into text (e.g. dictation to a document or email). The world’s largest IT companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM, invest significant resources in speech recognition for their products. There are also companies that specialise in speech recognition as Nuance Communications (Apple’s supplier) or HTK. This type of companies offer automatic speech-to-text dictation in about 50 languages, but languages and dialects from the African continent are not available among them. The radio content analysis tool was developed as part of a project conducted by Pulse Lab Kampala in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The tool works by converting public discussions that take place on radio in various African languages into text. Once converted, the text can be searched for topics of interest. The tool is now fully functional in the Northern and Central regions of Uganda and available for three languages: Luganda, Acholi and English (as spoken in the country). The report outlines the methodology and processes of the radio content analysis tool, distills the technology behind its creation and presents the lessons learned along the way. It also details the results of several pilot studies that were conducted together with partners from the Government, UN agencies and academia to understand the validity and value of unfiltered public radio discussions for development. The hope is that the processes and lessons detailed in the report can serve as examples and inspiration for using radio talk and data analytics to inform decision-making processes in development and humanitarian scenarios, in contexts where other sources of data may be missing or insufficient. Using Machine Learning to Analyse Radio Content in Uganda from Global Pulse Uganda’s population is the youngest in the world, with 77% of its population being under 30 years of age. The country is now gaining international recognition for the development of Artificial Intelligence products by its youth.Listen to insights from the young Ugandans working at Pulse Lab Kampala on the development of the radio content analysis tool.   Cross-posted from the United Nations Global Pulse Blog.

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Tune in to radio to take the pulse on peace and justice in Uganda

BY Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis | October 14, 2016

As world leaders committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) young Ugandans in the Northern town of Lira celebrated. They celebrated the launch of the SDGs and especially of Goal #16: to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. An important goal for youth in Lira, as the North of the country now knows peace after decades of civil war. Victor Ochen, the first Ugandan nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize was part of these celebrations. And in this video he shares his enthusiasm about the SDGs and urges the UN to take this opportunity to really listen to the people.   The 17 Goals were formulated by the very countries who committed to their achievement. People all around the world provided input on areas they want to improve in their lives. But now that the goals are launched, will the world continue to listen to the people, as governments and international agencies strive to makes them a reality? Talk radio as data to understand issues facing Ugandans An innovative application by Pulse Lab Kampala, a lab within the UN Global Pulse network, shows one way in which this can be done. By transforming what people say on radio in Uganda  into text, the application uses big data analytics to reveal a detailed picture of the priorities of Ugandans allowing people’s voices to be incorporated into the monitoring and achievement of the SDGs. Projects already conducted by the other Pulse Labs in Jakarta and New York prove how this can be done by analyzing social media. But while social media use is not widespread in Uganda, radio reaches all parts of the country and is the main platform for discussion.   Radio  has much greater geographic and demographic penetration than any telecommunication-based service. Uganda has 122 national, regional and local radio stations where people call into shows and discuss what is happening in their communities, be it farming, health or governance issues. Socially relevant radio dramas have also found great popularity in a variety of languages. And a lot of programming is focused on youth, culture and how people feel about peace, justice and national institutions. This reinforces even more the value of analyzing radio content to support the achievement of Goal #16. Transforming waves into text - a first for Ugandan languages Pulse Lab Kampala, has developed a tool that makes public radio broadcasts machine-readable through the use of speech recognition technology and translation tools. This application transforms public radio content into text allowing users to search for specific topics of interest. The tool works for ‘Ugandan English’, Luganda and Acholi, which are widely spoken in Uganda. The development of this innovative tool has been possible as part of the UNDAF innovation facility and thanks to the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda and the work of our partners at Makerere University of Uganda and Stellenbosch University of South Africa. Sentiment analysis provides insights on citizens’ opinions on the topics analyzed. Big data analytics can support policy makers to gain real-time understanding of citizens’ concerns related to the SDGs. Better understanding of public sentiments can also support bridging the gap between policy and implementation of development programmes. The radio tool is complex and can support development programmes in many ways. The best way to illustrate this is by giving you a chance to listen to some of the output: SDG16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels “An mere amito ngat mo ma pe okwano en aye otel wiwa...” Translation from Acholi: We want to get a person who has not gone to school to be our leader. They are humble, they have stopped in the lower classes so they don’t cheat the people. The ones who have gone to university only come and stamp on the people. “Wawinyo ni line mac ongolo wa ki kwene...” Translation from Acholi: Our MP promised us power, but the electricity lines have passed somewhere else. We elected you as our MP to do such a job, so that you bring us power just as other regions are getting. Translation from Acholi: Our LC3 chairman wants to be re-elected, but he's there drinking with the doctors... you go to the clinic and there are no doctors there, they are in the bar with the LC3. Pulse Lab Kampala is now conducting several pilots to prove how people’s voices can be used to inform development programmes. The Lab is in active consultations with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Uganda, and the entire UN Country Team, on how the radio application can support the real-time monitoring and evaluation of programmes. Pilot studies are ongoing to better understand how the application can support local governance processes. And the Lab is brainstorming with civil society organisations on how this new tool can support real-time monitoring of behavioral change campaigns on radio. All these are new ways for the Government and international agencies to find ways to continue to incorporate the people’s voices into programmes and projects resulting in the achievement of Goal #16. If you want to know more about this initiative and the radio content analysis tool and its functionalities visit us!!  

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Talk in Malawi isn’t cheap

BY Patrick Byrne | October 10, 2016

Currently, Malawi is among the most expensive African countries in which to make a phone call.  This is further shown in a study carried out by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), who claimed that network rates for phone calls in Malawi are among the highest in the world. This results in the following inefficiencies: Operating charges are costing the UN agencies far more than they should Joint programme and operations meetings are expensive and less effective as a result of the cost of communication between agencies and are becoming increasingly difficult to administer due to the growing volume of such programmes This issue is particularly pertinent during the implementation of joint programmes, those that bring more than one agency together to address multi-sectoral issues such as gender equality.  Regularly, separate agencies will have to discuss activities and outputs over the phone, driving up operating costs.  What’s more, in times of humanitarian response when programmes have to be monitored from Lilongwe, the costs associated with implementing activities increase sharply. Installing VOIP to Increase Efficiency We conducted a thorough analysis and then pitched a method of interconnecting agencies through a VOIP system, reducing the costs which are currently being incurred.  The VOIP system had a relatively low implementation cost, with agencies dialing each other free of charge thereafter. The implementation phase included the following: Install the VPN system, connecting all the agencies Use the existing switchboard equipment, of which the majority are VOIP compatible Procure voice cards for those agencies whose switch boards are not VOIP compatible This system, which was fully installed in September, will be complemented by cable technology, which is leased from local cable phone operators. This will also allow for UN agencies to be interconnected with agency switchboards programmed to use these lines when calling each other. Savings for Programmes Using a three month baseline from data within each agency switchboards, we think that the savings from the VOIP system will be impressive, with up to $95,000 saved every year. We plan to measure the savings by first, measuring the changes in the telephone bills from month to month and, second, by tracking  data on the agency switchboards quarterly.  What we save on telephone calls will be re-directed into programmes, increasing the development effectiveness of the UN in Malawi. We would love to hear others’ experiences making talk cheaper. Let us know what you have tried and what works.

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The Sustainable Development Goals go mobile in Uganda

BY Gleh Huston Appleton | September 2, 2016

We are always running these days, as we are constantly on the move. We run to catch the bus, run to get a coffee, or run with a coffee to make an appointment. As people deal with the many issues of life, they run with one thing in hand: a mobile phone. When we run around with our phones, we carry family, love ones, associates and friends, and stay in touch. We also have all the world’s information at our fingertips. “Nothing new here,” you might think. But wouldn’t it be great if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) touched people in a personalized, simple, intuitive, timely and interesting way through the one thing most of carry around in our pocket or purse? Tapping into innovative initiatives In Uganda, we ran with this idea, concluding that we could reach people best through a mobile app. Which channel could we use to feed this app? Like many UN country teams, Uganda is developing an intranet (through which we publish announcements and information for public consumption and headlines) and we have a UN website. Unlike others, we can tap into other innovative UN initiatives in data management and information such as Pulse Lab big data analytics (including the famous radio-mining project for development and the mobile air-time data for development), and the UNICEF U-Report (capturing the perceptions of young people on critical social issues). We realized that all these initiatives enable us to make information related to the SDGs and other social issues accessible to the Ugandan people in real time, in one go. We will constantly share data on the issues that matter the most to Uganda, Africa and the planet. Through our notifications we will increase awareness, facilitate the creation of communities of action and the exchange of experiences on common goals with national relevance such as the SDGs, the climate agreement, and the World Humanitarian Summit. The benefits that we see The mobile app will allow public users to access push notifications on UN-specific interventions nationally, regionally and globally. Messaging may include headline stories on human rights, education, healthcare, and employment as well as on UN partnerships, joint UN initiatives and new UN initiatives on data revolution, amongst others. Other information may include pop-ups of deadlines, recruitment notices, and procurement notices. …and then we kept dreaming While we place the SDGs at the center of the public’s mobile lifestyle, the app will also allow UN internal users to access key internal information on-the-go wherever they are. For internal users, feeds in the app will include: Agencies vehicle movement schedules pushed from the fleet management system that would enable agencies and staff to jointly plan their field movements; Feeds about the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and business operation strategy delivery rates and; Announcements of new joint common operational initiatives including new long term agreements and memorandum of understandings, internal announcements, etc. This will further integrate the UN in Uganda, allowing for the ease of communications wherever a staff member is. Most importantly, however, is what the app will provide external users. Through the many push notifications, users will be able to run with information about the SDGs in their hands, work with it in their pockets, and work out with it by their side, while paying attention to the very many issues of life on the go… putting the SDGs at the center of the mobile world for many people in Uganda!

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These are Zimbabwe’s Sustainable Development Goals: Parliament’s Responsibility

BY Kanako Mabuchi | August 10, 2016

“Ordinary Zimbabweans must own the Sustainable Development Goals. They are our SDGs!”, the Speaker of the National Assembly closed with these inspiring words a half-day dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently organized by the UN in Zimbabwe. The Speaker feels that Zimbabwe’s Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ensuring that no one is left behind in the country’s progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. Through the Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) 2016-2020, we at the UN in Zimbabwe are supporting the Parliamentarians to fulfil their roles and responsibilities as representatives of the People; as legislators; and, as overseers of the Government’s national and international commitments. A total of 195 Parliamentarians participated in the dialogue which was organized, for a change, in a bit of a new way:  We moved away from “death by PowerPoint” methodology adopting a “talk show” format of pre-identified questions and answers.    We started with a one-minute global video on the SDGs, to ensure that the spirit of the unprecedented Agenda 2030 filled the room – ensuring also that all participants were familiar with the 17 SDGs.   The Government presented its SDG Position Paper which initially prioritizes 10 out of the 17 SDGs and firmly positions them within Zimbabwe’s national development plan.   Each head of agency represented their respective UN thematic result group under the UN strategic plan. This positioned the UN as a team rather than a collection of individual agencies. However, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the real game-changing moment came during the open discussion. The ball is in our court During an extensive question-and-answer session between the Parliamentarians and the UN, a number of Parliamentarians started advocating for UN’s support for their respective constituencies. This sparked the Speaker of the National Assembly to intervene with an inspirational speech to shake up the Parliamentarians, reminding them of the responsibility of the Parliament to make the Government accountable to the People. Taking everyone by surprise, he emphasised that it is the Parliament’s responsibility as legislators to vote on proposed laws using the barometer of whether they are transformative for the lives of Zimbabweans. It is their responsibility to approve and allocate resources in a manner conducive to achieve the SDGs and; it is their responsibility to translate the SDGs for social change. When the Speaker of the National Assembly declared “The ball is in our court,” there was a renewed sense of urgency for action to take the SDGs back to their constituents where the ownership lies. The Parliamentarians decided to establish a parliamentary committee on the SDGs to take the global goals implementation forward, led by the Speaker of the National Assembly himself. By the end of the half-day dialogue, Parliamentarians embraced that they are key to reaching the Zimbabweans who are hardest to reach, to be the voice of the voiceless. From our side at the UN, with SDGs as a common playing field, we are here to support the Government through our common strategic plan.  Stay tuned for the continued volley! 

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Tanzania private sector: Open for business on the Sustainable Development Goals

BY Alvaro Rodriguez | June 17, 2016

We all know that the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals is an ambitious global plan, but if we are serious about it, building vibrant and systematic partnerships is a vital prerequisite for their successful implementation. At the UN in Tanzania, we are busy building partnerships to support the new global agenda. So far we have engaged the executive branch of the government, to include the SDGs in the next five-year national development plan. We’ve also reached out to youth groups, with whom we launched the SDG Champions initiative. And the media fraternity is joining us to spread the word about the goals in Kiswahili language; and most recently, the private sector.   Testing the waters Recently, the United Nations Tanzania partnered with the private sector to benchmark their readiness to support the implementation of the SDGs. We do this through the with the UN Global Compact, the Corporate Social Responsibility Group Africa Limited and the Africa Sustainable Business Magazine. Our first step was to get some information the private sector and their plans for engaging on Agenda 2030. We had a very group turnout - almost 280 of the 350 private sector companies  responded to our survey. This targeted research provided some interesting insights on the views of the SDGs by Tanzanian companies. The good news is that they are aware of the SDGs and interested in partnering with the UN to make them happen in Tanzania. According to the results, 60 percent of the people surveyed are aware of the SDGs, being the SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all - the one that resonated most among the participants.  SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere-, and SDG 3 -Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages - followed on the list of the most popular goals among this sector. The respondents also agreed that, potentially, they can have the biggest impact on SDG 8. Beyond just knowing about them, we are also encouraged  that the private sector is ready to partner with us to implement the SDGs, with 60 percent of the participants responding positively to a partnership opportunity to implement the Agenda 2030 in Tanzania. We shared the findings of this survey at the 1st Africa Sustainable Business Summit held in Dar Es Salaam, attended by the Vice President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, who encouraged the private sector to actively raise awareness about the SDGs and to build partnerships to assist their implementation. At this stage private sector companies are interested mainly in raising awareness on the new global agenda: Sharing information with their employees, especially on health-related issues, and sharing information on behalf of the UN about the SDGs. Keeping it up According to a UNIDO-commissioned report on engaging with the private sector, “building vibrant and systematic partnerships with the private sector is a vital prerequisite for the successful implementation of a transformative agenda to accelerate poverty reduction and sustainable development in the post-2015 era.” In Tanzania, we will keep working in this direction, we believe the private sector should be taking a strong role in the development in Tanzania with the Global Goals being an integral part of their business proposition. We know that in terms of protecting the environment, preventing corruption and strengthening employment the private sector is absolutely key and their commitment is therefore essential at this stage of Tanzania’s development. The UN will be there to support this effort.  Anyone out there that can share their ideas and experiences?

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Riding off each other’s procurement coattails in Ethiopia

BY Saman Mastiyage Don | May 5, 2016

Promoting sustainable technology. Protecting biodiversity. Training peacekeepers. The UN in Ethiopia is active on many fronts as we move towards the future. For much of this work, we use consultants to complement our in-house expertise and resources. Now we have a way of streamlining this system: a joint UN common procurement system. Our new online monitoring tool tracks our use of long term agreements (LTAs) with external vendors, calculates and analyses cost savings, and uses this information to ensure minimum waste and maximum efficiency. With the new tool, we can monitor the use of LTAs on a quarterly and annual basis so that we have a clearer picture of how each of the LTA is used. We can identify the gaps in common services, and work to develop more joint LTAs in the future. Last but not least, the tool provides data for informed advocacy calling for increased use of joint LTAs by the UN agencies in Ethiopia. This is no small thing. We use LTAs a lot. There are currently 28 UN agencies, funds and programmes in Ethiopia, making it one of the largest UN country teams in the world. As an example, just in 2014 we conducted 12,500 transactions to the total sum of over US$15 million. We used 120 individual LTAs dealing with travel, printing, advertising, etc. The opportunity costs of uncoordinated procurement Undertaking procurement itself is an opportunity cost – which is why we are working hard to see where we can save times by riding off each others’ LTAs. If one agency has undertaken a procurement process for, let's say' printing services – ensuring value for money and a fair competitive process, why should another part of the UN have to redo the whole process? The development of joint UN LTAs brings into play the stronger bargaining power of the UN. We can act together to bring about financial benefits by establishing more stable and predictable bulk purchases, and stronger relationships with suppliers. Here in Ethiopia, sharing LTAs has saved 9.5 million in labour costs. This is compelling evidence that LTAs help make us “fit for purpose.” Starting in 2015, the UN agencies in Ethiopia have been introducing joint UN LTAs for use by all agencies in the categories dealing with printing, travel, and purchase of drivers’ uniforms. By 2020 the UN expects cost savings of $6.9 million, with the categories of joint LTAs increasing from the current three to 25. All part of a bigger plan The online monitoring tool for LTAs was developed as part of the UN’s implementation of the Business Operations Strategy for Ethiopia. We started this kind of work in 2013, targeting common services such as premises in order to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the UN’s operations in the country. Our new plan (2016-2020) will focus on the development of more joint LTAs and common rosters; negotiate better exchange rate savings in order to channel more funds to development and humanitarian interventions; and build on the capacity of local implementing partners. Currently we are dealing with a drought affecting 10 million people in Ethiopia. We are working to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. We are coping with climate change, gender issues, and so much more. We are proud of what we have achieved and excited on what is yet to come. It is a perfect moment to make sure we have the right tools to tackle all this in the most effective way, and use our resources as intelligently as possible. We know we are not alone in this effort, so anyone out there working for the same goal, please do reach to us so, as the saying goes, we don’t end up reinventing the wheel.

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Let’s get digital: Bringing the UNDAF online

BY Martin Christensson | January 26, 2016

Do your new year’s resolutions include taking joint programming online in 2016?? We in Mozambique are moving in this direction. Working together with a team at HQ and Tanzania country office, we are on our way to fulfilling an aspiration of ours– to have an online United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). Do you want to make your UNDAF more accessible for people within and outside the UN? Do you want to be able to summarize and analyse planned expenditures across the UN in your country? Do you want to have nice graphs and maps of where and what UN did in the previous year? What about tagging results to the sustainable development goals to help track the UN’s support to Agenda 2030? If answering yes to any of these questions, read on… Drafts, track changes, more drafts and lots of emails In Mozambique, UN colleagues have been working towards joint planning and transparency on budget planning for some time, but without a really good way of displaying or disseminating the information. We still send all the information from agency to agency to coordinator who merges inputs and then sends it back via email to many stakeholders. Like many others in UN teams around the globe, we are spending a great deal of time gathering information and the process is subject to iterations without a good way to display data and monitor progress. We think that many of the hurdles we face during the design phase of our country strategies can be solved with an online solution. Why we think the UNDAF will be better online There are many other advantages associated with this solution, like: An online UNDAF can increase the transparency of what we do, what we plan, where we work and who we partner with; External and internal audiences will be able to see how our work links with the Sustainable Development Goals, External and internal audiences will be able to see how our work contributes to gender equality, human rights or any other important issue – we can tag it so they can see it. Being online will make the UNDAF more well-known to wider audiences; Being online will make the UNDAF more usable and strategic; Improving access to the UNDAF supports coordination and coherence within and among partners; Displaying data online gives incentives for UN Agencies to submit quality inputs on time. Prototyping with HQ The UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) has been also scoping out moving in this direction and we’ve agreed to take this forward together. Hopefully this is a good model to support the development of a global system which is designed with the needs of country level users in mind. DOCO is keen because they are often asked the simple question: What are UN country teams working on? And to answer this question now requires a human to read the usually scanned signed versions of UNDAFs and create a taxonomy of what issues are addressed in these UN partnership documents. 2016 will be a development year for the software and we are hoping to be up and running soon. We know that many teams out there have worked on similar platforms – Tanzania, Lebanon, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda, to name a few. There are probably things you have learned along the way that you can tell us so we don’t repeat the same mistakes or redesign features that have already been done. Any banana peels out there that you know of, let us know! And above all don’t hesitate to help us shape this tool so it can be easily adapted and replicated in your country context and for your UNDAF without you spending a single dollar!

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Go translate! Anchoring the SDGs in Uganda

BY Elisabet Frisk | December 23, 2015

The bottom-up approach taken worldwide to formulating the SDGs has indeed been unprecedented. In order to maintain this approach in monitoring and implementing the agenda, we need to ensure the population comprehends it. People need to understand the commitment and role of national and local government, how they can hold duty-bearers to account, and their own role and responsibility for the sustainable development of their communities. In Uganda, the Government has requested UN support in developing a SDG Communications strategy geared towards reaching as large a portion of the Ugandan population as possible with localized/contextualized and easy to grasp-messages that can be applied by national stakeholders and the UN alike in campaigns and communication products. To implement this strategy, we will need to work together with youth and other community members to develop the messages and connect them to local concepts as well as translate them into local languages. The vision is that wherever you go in Uganda people will have a basic understanding of the concepts of sustainable development. This past October, for UN Day, we launched a publication on Uganda’s journey to Sustainable Development entitled, “Our Constitution, Our Vision, Our SDGs”, highlighting how the concept of sustainable development is nothing new or foreign, but already embedded in national foundations and frameworks such as the Constitution, the Vision 2040, the Africa vision 2063 and the Ugandan national anthem; which all provide the basis for the notion and ownership of Sustainable Development in Uganda. In the publication we have also attempted to identify local concepts or notions of sustainable development, such as Ggwanga Mujje! Ggwanga Mujje! (which can be explained as “Community come”: rally the community for development causes through the beat of the drum). Building on the concept of beating the drum to rally the community, the launch event for the SDGs held 26 October was named “Beat the Drum for the Global Goals.” The event, which included an exhibition to visualize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with relatable materials, drew a crowd of over 400 people from civil society, government, youth, UN and development partners. That same day the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri K. Museveni also championed Goal 16 – something which attracted a lot of media coverage. To take the SDGs to the people across Uganda, the UN has set out to tackle the lack of technical capacity and awareness within Local Governments to respond to citizen’s needs and to the localization and implementation of the 2030 agenda through Local Government Plans. Through a collaboration between the UN Youth Convergence group and Restless development Uganda, 40 youth researchers in Northern Uganda have been sensitized to the SDGs and have helped to translate the SDGs into local concepts and languages. [gallery ids="787,788,786,785"]     This training session was particularly lively and enjoyable for the youth researchers! The researchers critically analysed which local language expression conveyed the true meaning behind a given goal. This required a deep understanding of each goal by reading the full SDG document. It also spurred debate around the meaning of the words themselves (what is industry? Infrastructure? Consumption?) People also had a keen desire to align the goals to local and cultural concepts (through proverbs, for example) and find a translation that would be accessible for the majority of people in their respective regions. Some of the local concepts and proverbs that were identified to explain the concept of sustainable development include: Luo: Dongo lobo labongo apoka poka pi tin ki pi diki – Development without inequality for today and tomorrow Luo: Tong gweno ma tin loyo latin gweno ma diki – An egg you have today is better than a chick you have tomorrow Ngakarimojong: Eyakaune ngolo ruba – Being there forever. Some examples of translating the short titles of the SDGs into local languages include Goal Translation into Local language English Translation Goal 5 – Gender equality Luo: Tero mon ki coo labongo apokapoka Treating women and men equally Goal 8 – Decent work and economic growth akarimojong:  Ngiticisio ngulu ajokak ka amucurusanu Good work and booming business Goal 13 – Climate action Luo: Tic ikom alokaloka me piny Working on earthly changes Goal 12 – Responsible consumption and production Ngakarimojong: Kimunji Totamunete AkitIYAUN Eat and remember to work for it The work done by the youth researchers will help inform the UN communication strategy for the SDGs, but will also feed into the next phase of the UN/Restless Development project where  youth researchers will discuss real-time data (U-report SMS data) on regional priorities with communities and local governments. The youth researchers have already identified which goals are aligned with the key youth themes emerging from their research, as well as thinking about how the fulfillment of these goals can support change in their local communities. Researchers were able to accurately align the findings of their research with the global goals. Through this process the researchers also highlighted the inter-relatedness of the goals and discussed how the achievement of one goal would support others. They felt that the majority of issues affecting young people were incorporated in the goals and that their achievement could solve many of the problems that their community youth are facing. They were informed about the presence of Hon. Kutesa (President of UN General Assembly’s 69th session) and H.E President Museveni at the launch of the global goals in New York as well as the commitments that they made. This spurred them on to use the SDGs as a policy framework and a tool to support their advocacy efforts on youth issues and to hold their local leaders to account. Initial feed-back from the youth researchers’ engagement with Local Government (which is ongoing) indicate that anchoring the SDGs into local concepts and languages, and leveraging the framework for discussions on priorities and responsibilities is highly useful. This is a time for UN to make sure that this new agenda is not seen as a UN framework but is truly owned and understood by the communities it is there to serve! Go translate!

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Youth code their way to better sexual and reproductive health

BY Charles Otine, Leslie Berman | October 22, 2015

Tech-savvy young people are exploring innovative ways to use mobile technologies, creating the change they wish to see. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) ‘Hack For Youth’ challenged 80 participants from 17 countries to design and develop creative solutions to sexual and reproductive health issues affecting their lives. Today’s young people are more connected and tech-literate than ever before and this has the potential to transform their lives, lowering communication and information barriers and empowering them with platforms to self-organize and build influential networks. Innovation & mobile tech The mobile industry continues to scale rapidly, and mobile phones are leading advances across sectors. We are seeing mobile health (mHealth) advances across the healthcare spectrum. This brings innovations to achieve a range of objectives: increase access to health data; improve the efficiency of service delivery; provide sexual and reproductive health information and referral services; promote learning, behaviour change and knowledge exchange; strengthen logistics and supply chain management; and hold health systems accountable to the needs of young people. The number of young people with access to mobile phones is ever-increasing. At the same time, many young people lack access to essential sexual and reproductive health information and services, which is critical to ensuring their ability to make healthy and informed decisions about their lives and futures. Could the first solve the second? ‘Hack For Youth’ event spurs innovation Developers worked through the night, furiously typing code into their laptops, racing to complete a working prototype. But this was no Silicon Valley startup. It was a conference room in Kampala, Uganda, filled with young people from around the world, all competing to devise the best, most innovative mobile phone app to promote sexual and reproductive health. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, recently invited young people to design and develop technology solutions to pressing needs and challenges in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. UNFPA hosted Hack For Youth in Uganda in July 2015. The three-day workshop – called a hackathon – brought together young people from around the world along with UN experts, engineers and partners. The winner was a quiz app called TriGivia. It dispels myths and provides accurate information about sexual and reproductive health. By playing the game, users win fun incentives, including points redeemable for free mobile airtime. The event received support through the UNFPA Innovation Fund, established in 2014 with a contribution from the Government of Denmark, to bring together creative and cutting-edge initiatives. The contributions of UN partners and the UN in Uganda ensured the hackathon’s success. A fast-paced competition The hackathon began with a kick off to set the stage and quickly moved to a design challenge: Working in teams, participants identified the key challenges they wished to address, and the technology solutions they planned to build. Over the next two days, teams were guided through an intensive process to build their mobile products. Teams worked late into the night as the excitement and (friendly) competition continued to build. Members of the UNICEF U-report team in Uganda served as mentors and active team members, sharing their experience using the U-report mobile platform to crowdsource feedback from mobile users, especially young people. UN Global Pulse’s Pulse Lab Kampala oriented teams to how big data opportunities could be embedded into their creations to yield important insights into their target populations. On day three, the hackathon concluded with a pitch session, where an expert panel of judges selected the winning app prototypes. Seven prototypes were showcased on issues including reporting sexual harassment, accessing health information and reaching first-time young mothers. The prototypes were presented in a public awards ceremony, presided over by the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi, and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie. The hackathon encouraged participants to think outside-the-box and design unconventional mHealth solutions to address challenges faced by adolescents, based on their real needs and experiences. Youth as agents of change Several teams are now developing their ideas from prototype to functional system, in preparation for pilot testing. These mobile apps have the potential to positively impact the lives of young people by helping meet their expressed sexual and reproductive health needs in diverse countries around the world. Science, technology and innovation can help us meet emerging development challenges. The young people who developed these technology projects are their country’s agents of change. This spirit of innovation is clearly seen throughout the Sustainable Development Goals as described in the outcome document to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Silo Fighters Blog

Hitting the ground running: the SDGs in Uganda

BY Sophie Tentrop | September 22, 2015

Uganda’s track record is rather mixed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Though more children are going to school, too many drop out without finishing primary and secondary education. On maternal health, progress is even slower, to the degree that it is stagnating. National and local ownership remained low throughout implementation of the MDGs in Uganda. Consequently, the National Development Plan was not aligned with the MDGs, which resulted in a separate financing, implementation and reporting framework. As the adoption approaches of the post-2015 development agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, national governments have begun preparations to localize the agenda and integrate it within national planning. Uganda is doing things differently this time. Listening to lessons learned More than 10,000 people in Uganda voiced what they want for their future during the first round of consultations in 2011 and 2012 to shape the post-2015 development agenda. We listened during stakeholder discussions in workshops and through U-report, an SMS-based surveying tool.  We learned an important lesson: The success of the post-2015 development agenda depends largely on the degree of ownership experienced by citizens, communities and their national government. This lesson (and other aspirations) fed into the global consultations, the World We Want web platform, the MY World global survey, and other channels, like the sustainable development track through the Rio+20 conference. Lessons from the MDGs and aspirations for the future fed into national planning in Uganda, making a significant difference in these key plans: Uganda Vision 2040 Second National Development Plan (NDPII) United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Uganda Vision 2040 and its five-year plans The importance of national ownership is an idea that influenced the country’s long-term development plan, Uganda Vision 2040, which outlines the ambition to become a middle-income country by the year 2040.  A series of five-year National Development Plans (NDPs) will set medium-term strategic direction, development priorities, and implementations strategies for Uganda Vision 2040. From the beginning of the post-2015 process, alignment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) with national planning has been a key concern. The Second National Development Plan was launched in June 2015, after an exceptionally collaborative process with an eye towards integrating the SDGs from the start. Highlights: creating a new national plan When work started on the plan a year ago, Uganda’s National Planning Authority (NPA) made a ground-breaking announcement: to fully integrate the SDGs into the Second National Development Plan. This announcement followed a workshop held by the United Nations Country Team on localizing the SDGs. Uganda then took integration to an even deeper level – with the alignment of the new NDPII with its new UNDAF, the strategic programme framework that describes the collective response of the UN system to national development priorities. Both the national planning and UNDAF processes benefitted in a number of ways: Rather than having separate country analysis, the UNCT supported the analysis of Uganda’s development needs for the NDPII and UNDAF. Joint understanding was fostered in the UNDAF design process, in which the Government was involved from the very beginning, to make sure that UNDAF complemented the objectives of the National Development Plan. Development of the NDP received extensive support by the United Nations. More than 18 different Government entities and every one of the 19 UN agencies in Uganda were part of the design process. The results of collaboration are remarkable. The new UNDAF addresses more than 85 percent of the SDG targets. The second NDP integrates 76 percent of the targets. Combined, the new UNDAF and national plan address 89 percent of the SDG targets – an outstanding result of a collaborative process, and a reflection of national ownership of sustainable development objectives. Next step: localization of the SDGs Uganda recently hosted the first Post-2015 National Briefing – leading the way in efforts to assist national governments in preparing for the “localization” at national level of the new development agenda. The event tested a briefing package developed by UNITAR and partners. The Ugandan government was the first in piloting this briefing package, together with the UN Country Team and two training experts from UNITAR. Uganda and the United Nations Country Team will continue to work together to ensure the goals are translated from the NDP into local government and sector development plans.

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Silo Fighters Blog

Listening to people’s voices in Tanzania

BY Alvaro Rodriguez | September 8, 2015

Mobile and online surveys are inspiring a new focus on communications and advocacy for the United Nations in Tanzania, where listening to people’s voices is a priority in our efforts to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Some 1,200 Tanzanian men and women replied to our survey asking, “What can we do better as the UN?” They received the mobile survey by SMS (text message) while attending the Sabasaba, an international trade fair and major promotional event organized by the government. We not only analyzed the results for use in our programming, but amplified the people’s voices through a UN exhibit at the fair. Recently, we received an award from the President of Tanzania for the UN’s outreach to the people. Showcasing the survey results at the Sabasaba fair Participating in the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair, known as ‘Sabasaba’, is a key activity related to the UN@70. In early July 2015, the event brought over 2,000 exhibitors from various countries in Africa and elsewhere representing government, entrepreneurs, the private sector and NGOs. Under Delivering as One, 23 agencies of One UN Tanzania participated. This was the fourth time we participated, but this time with a unique focus on peoples’ voices, including those gathered in the survey and from other sources. Gathering perceptions about the UN The UN in Tanzania has implemented a mobile survey platform aimed at hearing the people’s voices. The United Nations Country Team worked with the company GeoPoll, which administers surveys through SMS, voice or mobile web, to create a short list of key questions. Five questions were prepared that focused on the activities of the United Nations in Tanzania and what people think we could do better as the UN. Respondents could also propose means of receiving and sending information to and from the UN. The mobile survey was sent as a questionnaire in the Kiswahili language. It targeted the general public visiting the Sabasaba exhibition over a one-week period. Respondents came from across the mainland and Zanzibar, with each region, sex and age bracket represented. Interestingly, the findings were that people are keen to receive UN messages and information largely through SMS, WhatsApp, Email and Radio, in that order of preference. At the moment, we have been focusing on newsletters, social media, our website and print media as the means of communications with the people. The top three areas where people think we could do more as One UN are Education, Employment and Agriculture. The mobile survey was part of a series of Stakeholder Perception Surveys that reached diverse audiences in 2015. We also administered four other online surveys. They targeted government, civil society, development partners, the media as well as our own UN staff and personnel. What did the survey results tell us? Arguably, the most interesting data emerging from the mobile survey and other surveys was related to communications and outreach. In other words, if the UN wishes to maintain the interest of its stakeholders, it must work harder to expand audience reach and demonstrate relevance. This could include: Greatly augment ‘traditional’ forms of communication, i.e. email, events, meetings, website and newsletter; Much greater use of SMS (text messaging) and social media; More materials in Kiswahili language of; More ‘technical’ information on key development issues provided through popular versions with simplified language. The findings confirm the need for the UN to integrate the people’s voices into our plans since they help us improve our effectiveness and efficiency, especially on communications. We are also using the findings to help shape our next UNDAF. In addition to priorities in communications and outreach, other important insights emerged from the different surveys we have been administering: Demand on the UN in Tanzania is set to increase, and its relevance is widely acknowledged; The ‘added value’ the UN brings to the country is viewed in terms of ideas, not just financial resources; Poverty reduction remains a priority, and the UN has a key role in the three ‘poverty reduction’ clusters as defined by government: inclusive growth, social well-being and governance; Greater sensitization on the importance of mainstreaming human rights and gender equality is required. Development partners in the donor community recognize the importance of Delivering as One. However, the pace of change is not as fast as partners would like to see. UN staff require regular information-sharing, through a variety of channels, to ensure the spirit of Delivering as One in Tanzania is maintained. In Tanzania we are capitalizing on UN@70 to listen to the voices of the people! These lessons will be integrated in the content and modality of our programming, including our communication and advocacy strategy. An award for listening to UN stakeholders’ voices We have already started to overhaul our joint UN communications strategy, where mobile applications will now be a priority. And yes! We won an award – first prize on Information and Publishing. The award was given to UN Tanzania by the President of Tanzania, and received on behalf of the UN system by the Resident Coordinator. This shows that we are recognized as a development partner committed to reaching the people as well as to listening to them. It is all about ‘the voices, their voices, and our support’.

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Country Stories

Tanzania private sector: Open for business on the Sustainable Development Goals

BY Alvaro Rodriguez | June 17, 2016

We all know that the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals is an ambitious global plan, but if we are serious about it, building vibrant and systematic partnerships is a vital prerequisite for their successful implementation. At the UN in Tanzania, we are busy building partnerships to support the new global agenda. So far we have engaged the executive branch of the government, to include the SDGs in the next five-year national development plan. We’ve also reached out to youth groups, with whom we launched the SDG Champions initiative. And the media fraternity is joining us to spread the word about the goals in Kiswahili language; and most recently, the private sector.   Testing the waters Recently, the United Nations Tanzania partnered with the private sector to benchmark their readiness to support the implementation of the SDGs. We do this through the with the UN Global Compact, the Corporate Social Responsibility Group Africa Limited and the Africa Sustainable Business Magazine. Our first step was to get some information the private sector and their plans for engaging on Agenda 2030. We had a very group turnout - almost 280 of the 350 private sector companies  responded to our survey. This targeted research provided some interesting insights on the views of the SDGs by Tanzanian companies. The good news is that they are aware of the SDGs and interested in partnering with the UN to make them happen in Tanzania. According to the results, 60 percent of the people surveyed are aware of the SDGs, being the SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all - the one that resonated most among the participants.  SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere-, and SDG 3 -Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages - followed on the list of the most popular goals among this sector. The respondents also agreed that, potentially, they can have the biggest impact on SDG 8. Beyond just knowing about them, we are also encouraged  that the private sector is ready to partner with us to implement the SDGs, with 60 percent of the participants responding positively to a partnership opportunity to implement the Agenda 2030 in Tanzania. We shared the findings of this survey at the 1st Africa Sustainable Business Summit held in Dar Es Salaam, attended by the Vice President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, who encouraged the private sector to actively raise awareness about the SDGs and to build partnerships to assist their implementation. At this stage private sector companies are interested mainly in raising awareness on the new global agenda: Sharing information with their employees, especially on health-related issues, and sharing information on behalf of the UN about the SDGs. Keeping it up According to a UNIDO-commissioned report on engaging with the private sector, “building vibrant and systematic partnerships with the private sector is a vital prerequisite for the successful implementation of a transformative agenda to accelerate poverty reduction and sustainable development in the post-2015 era.” In Tanzania, we will keep working in this direction, we believe the private sector should be taking a strong role in the development in Tanzania with the Global Goals being an integral part of their business proposition. We know that in terms of protecting the environment, preventing corruption and strengthening employment the private sector is absolutely key and their commitment is therefore essential at this stage of Tanzania’s development. The UN will be there to support this effort.  Anyone out there that can share their ideas and experiences?

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Country Stories

Tanzania: The Universal Periodic Review: An Opportunity to Enhance Rights-Based Development Results

February 7, 2015

The government approached the Universal Periodic Review process with an open spirit and sincerity as it recognizes its potential to bring about productive outcomes in the areas of development and poverty alleviation under the umbrella of human rights. The linkages between human rights, law and development have been captured by the Universal Periodic Review. - Interview with Ms. Nkasori Sarakikya, Office of the Attorney General's Chamber, Division of Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights, Tanzania Abstract In 2011, Tanzania underwent its first Universal Periodic Review conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council. This provided a valuable opportunity to address long-standing human rights issues in the country. However, challenges in engaging with the Universal Periodic Review process and leveraging these opportunities for the benefit of the population were multifold, in particular the lack of knowledge and experience and limited ability to ensure a transparent, inclusive and participatory process among national stakeholders. The United Nations system, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator and supported by an inter-agency framework, was able to step in at the request of government to provide the required technical support to both State and civil society actors. It also mobilized a wide range of actors, including state officials from different rural areas, civil society, the media and the donor community, to engage in the Universal Periodic Review preparatory and review process, as well as to support implementation of its recommendations. As a result, the Universal Periodic Review process became viewed as a credible process, representing the genuine views of Tanzanians. The recommendations provide a powerful framework to take forward human rights reform in Tanzania and for policy makers and development partners to draw upon in advocacy, policy and programming initiatives. Background The United Republic of Tanzania has an estimated population of 44.8 million. It is a stable, multiparty democracy, comprising some 120 ethnic groups, with the main languages spoken being Kiswahili and English. The country is classified as a lower income country, with 13 million (34 percent) of the population living below the basic needs poverty line. Tanzania has long-standing relations with development partners, including the United Nations. It is one of eight pilot countries for the Delivering as One initiative for  United Nations System-Wide Coherence.1 Human rights situation Tanzania has ratified many of the core international human rights conventions.3 The Union and Zanzibar Constitutions include Bills of Rights and oblige State organs to respect and uphold human rights in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The government is in the process of elaborating a National Human Rights Action Plan that aims to address all categories of human rights, e.g., civil, cultural, economic, social and political rights, as well as the conditions of the most vulnerable groups in society. As part of the action plan’s implementation framework, a periodic monitoring of the human rights situation by Tanzania’s national human rights institution and civil society, validated by the parliament, is planned. The National Human Rights Action Plan also aims to strengthen links between human rights and development. In doing so, it supports the objectives of the 2011 Five Year Development Plan and the two poverty reduction strategies – Mukukuta II and Mukukuza II (2011-2015)4 – which identify human rights as underlying challenges to development that need to be addressed. While these legal and policy provisions are in place, implementation of Tanzania’s international human rights obligations is fragile. This is due to a number of factors, such as capacity weaknesses in the justice system, delays in incorporating human rights into national laws, and widespread gaps in the rule of law5 . Protection of some rights is also threatened by contravening customary rules. For instance, harmful traditional and cultural practices, such as polygamy, bride price and female genital mutilation, violate women and girls’ right to equality and dignity, as well as their right to health and to be free from violence.6 In addition, as a lower-income country, the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is a challenge for many Tanzanians affected by poverty, food insecurity and limited access to health and education services. Other challenges in Tanzania are the persistent discrimination faced by people living with HIV/AIDS, persons with disabilities, and persons with albinism. Moreover, the State does not accord the status of indigenous peoples to members of groups identifying themselves as such, arguing that all citizens are indigenous to Tanzania. BOX The Universal Periodic Review The Universal Periodic Review is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 193 United Nations Member States by their peers once every four years. The Universal Periodic Review is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the Universal Periodic Review is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.2 END BOX The Opportunity of the Universal Periodic Review Tanzania was due for its Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time in October 2011. This was viewed as a valuable opportunity to address some of the long-standing human rights issues in Tanzania. It opened up the possibility to discuss these issues at a national level in an inclusive and de-politicized way. As a comprehensive overview mechanism for examining the state of all human rights in the country, it had the potential to capture what the people of Tanzania collectively considered the most pertinent human rights issues in the country.7 The credibility with which the Universal Periodic Review is viewed – as a mechanism where all Member States are reviewed by their peers – powerfully reinforced these opportunities.8 In addition, the review was particularly well timed as it coincided with the development of both the National Human Rights Action Plan and United Nations Development Assistance Plan. It provided a major opportunity to increase momentum toward finalizing the National Human Rights Action Plan and to align both plans with recommendations emerging from the Universal Periodic Review. There were, however, a number of challenges to engage with the Universal Periodic Review and to optimize the opportunities it presented. As Tanzania’s first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, national stakeholders lacked knowledge and experience of the process. A shortage of financial resources also represented a challenge in ensuring an inclusive and participatory preparatory process, which in turn jeopardized the legitimacy of how the process would be viewed. Moreover, the national human rights institution in Tanzania, the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights, was finding it increasingly difficult to implement its mandate in recent years due to budget cuts. Channels of communication between this institution, the government, civil society and the media needed new impetus. The process of drafting the national Universal Periodic Review report was a unique opportunity for the country to assess positive developments made and challenges faced, as well as share its best practices in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. - Ms. Nkasori Sarakikya,Office of the Attorney General's Chamber, Division of Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights, Tanzania Strategy This situation prompted the government to request the United Nations Resident Coordinator for technical and financial assistance in engaging with the Universal Periodic Review. The United Nations country team saw this request as an opportunity to support a transparent and inclusive Universal Periodic Review preparation process with full engagement of all stakeholders. The Delivering as One context, in which the United Nations operates in Tanzania, provided a solid platform from which the United Nations could deliver on this request. Through the United Nations country team’s Human Rights Working Group, a key pillar of the United Nations country team’s structure, the United Nations was in a position to provide the expertise and coordination support needed to ensure a meaningful engagement with the Universal Periodic Review process. Under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, with support from the Human Rights Working Group and assistance from the OHCHR Regional Office for East Africa, the United Nations country team adopted the following strategies during the preparatory and follow-up stage of the Universal Periodic Review. Preparation stage of the Universal Periodic Review Capacity building and participation: In response to the government’s request for assistance, the Resident Coordinator facilitated a cost-sharing arrangement between OHCHR, UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women. This support facilitated the government’s Universal Periodic Review report drafting team to organize a hearing with a broad range of ministries, departments and agency officials on the content of the national report. The funding provided by the United Nations also enabled government representatives from Zanzibar (including the fairly isolated island of Pemba) and local government officials from rural areas to participate in the process, hence ensuring that the issues and challenges affecting different parts of the country were included in the report. The United Nations likewise advised the government on the rules of procedure of the Universal Periodic Review. It also supported the government to organize consultative workshops with civil society to provide them with the chance to dialogue with and provide feedback to the government on the national report. These consultations focused on a wide range of longstanding issues of concern, such as freedom of the media and abolition of the death penalty. The United Nations provided technical advice during the workshops and helped bring to the fore issues not traditionally perceived as human rights, such as indirect discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, labour laws and indigenous peoples’ rights. Once the national report was drafted, the United Nations country team organized a validation workshop on the national report which brought together over 50 government officials and representatives from civil society. The importance of having an inclusive and participatory approach throughout the Universal Periodic Review process was strongly promoted by the Resident Coordinator and Heads of Agencies. Public events and speeches, such as Human Rights Day (commemorated on 10 December) were used to continuously reinforce this message. BOX What is the role of the United Nations country team inter-agency Human Rights Working Group? Headed by the UN Resident Coordinator, the Human Rights Working Group provides strategic analysis and advisory services to the United Nations country team on a range of system-wide policy issues on human rights. It brings together a combination of specific United Nations agency mandates and expertise in the area of human rights. The group seeks to coordinate a cross-cutting and coherent United Nations approach to dealing with human rights. The group plays an important quality assurance role with regard to the mainstreaming of human rights in national programmes and policies, such as in the National Human Rights Action Plan. The technical expertise of the Human Rights Working Group is strongly valued by national counterparts. In the case of the Universal Periodic Review process in Tanzania, twelve United Nations agencies provided active inputs to the United Nations country team compilation report for the Universal Periodic Review across an expansive range of issues. This input enabled the United Nations country team to establish a baseline in the report of human rights challenges connected to policy priorities of each agency. END BOX Supporting the national human rights institution to engage civil society: The United Nations country team assisted Tanzania’s Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights to mobilize civil society to engage in the Universal Periodic Review process. The United Nations country team advised the Commission and civil society on the principles and purposes of the Universal Periodic Review, as well as the role and opportunities for non-governmental stakeholders to engage in the process and to provide submissions. By supporting the national human rights institution in this convening role, the United Nations contributed to the formation of four civil society coalitions around the Universal Periodic Review, encompassing more than 60 nongovernmental organizations, including trade unions. Engaging the Media: To support government efforts to engage the media in the Universal Periodic Review process, the United Nations country team helped organize and facilitate a workshop for around sixty chief editors of Tanzanian news and media outlets – known as the Editors Forum in Tanzania. The workshop provided the editors with basic knowledge about the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review process, including information on how to monitor the inter-state dialogue in Geneva. The Attorney General’s Chamber also presented the draft State report to the editors, giving them an opportunity to provide feedback from their perspective on the independence of the media and on the state of human rights in Tanzania. As a result of the workshop, there was a steep increase in news stories and editorials on the Universal Periodic Review, including coverage of the interactive dialogue in Geneva and interviews with the State representatives upon their return from Geneva. Moreover, human rights became a standard agenda point in the United Nations country team’s dialogue on the One UN reform with the Editors Forum in Tanzania. Human rights were understood to be at the core of the United Nations country team’s normative agenda. Engaging the Development Community: The United Nations country team kept development partners informed of the various stages of the Universal Periodic Review process and of expectations from the inter-state dialogue in Geneva. The United Nations also organized briefings between government counterparts, the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights and development partners on the Universal Periodic Review recommendations and opportunities for supporting government follow-up. Consequently, a number of development partners are actively supporting follow-up. For example, the Canadian High Commission is supporting the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights with advocacy on the Universal Periodic Review recommendations and with efforts to disseminate the recommendations widely across civil society. Follow up to the Universal Periodic Review recommendations Tanzania participated in the interactive dialogue in Geneva on 10 October 2011. Stemming from this dialogue, the Human Rights Council made 164 recommendations to Tanzania, of which Tanzania accepted 96, with 53 deferred for further consideration. The United Nations country team took a number of steps to encourage and support the government in addressing the pending recommendations. It organized a Universal Periodic Review Dissemination Workshop with the government, which aimed to review and develop a final government position on the pending recommendations. Within this process, the United Nations country team provided technical advice to the government on several of the standards and norms highlighted in the recommendations. For example, it sensitized the government on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Tanzania had been recommended to ratify. The United Nations country team also invited two non-governmental organization coalitions – one concerned with media freedoms and the other with the rights of indigenous peoples – to present their views on the Universal Periodic Review recommendations concerning adopting a media bill and recognizing and acknowledging the notion of indigenous peoples.9 Following this process, a further eight recommendations were accepted by the government, including the ratification of the Convention against Torture and the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopting a new media law enshrining freedom of the press, aligning policies to ensure access to land and water for pastoralists, and strengthening efforts to protect women and girls from sexual violence.10 The United Nations has also set aside funding to respond to requests for capacity building of state attorneys and other government officials on the scope of the treaties and standards that the country has committed to ratify or incorporate into national law, including the Convention Against Torture. Moreover, these commitments are informing the design and implementation of the activities of the United Nations Development Assistance Plan. Each “programme working group” of the United Nations Development Assistance Plan has been provided with an overview of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations that are relevant to the goals of their group; enabling them to draw upon these recommendations in advocacy and policy initiatives to take forward the objectives of the United Nations Development Assistance Plan. Finally, the National Human Rights Action Plan has strong potential to support the government in taking forward the recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review. In response to the many recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review to finalize the plan, the government hastened to do so. This was an opportunity to reflect the recommendations within the plan, ensuring that follow up to the Universal Periodic Review became an integral part of the plan. BOX Examples of recommendations of the Human Rights Council to Tanzania Of the 96 recommendations made by the Human Rights Council that Tanzania accepted immediately, some of the recommendations include: Strengthen the capacity of the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights. Complete as early as possible preparations for the National Human Rights Action Plan and ensure effective implementation. Put in place a comprehensive strategy and effective legislation to eliminate cultural practices that discriminate against women, such as Female Genital Mutilation. Harmonize legislation to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. Strengthen legislative and policy measures to protect the rights of vulnerable groups, including people with Albinism and persons with disabilities. Take adequate measures to protect the population from violence committed by security forces and establish an independent body for investigating complaints. Address child labour in accordance with international commitments, notably ILO Conventions 138 and 182. Work with the media and other stakeholders to ensure that all organs of the state understand and appreciate the constitutional guarantees of freedom of press and assembly. Results Delivering as One as an enabling framework for human rights: The wide range of human rights issues addressed by the Universal Periodic Review touched in some way on the mandates of all United Nations agencies in Tanzania. This helped bring together the United Nations around a common platform and framework, resulting in greater coherence in advocacy, policy dialogue and programming. By being able to speak with ‘One Voice’ on human rights, the United Nations country team had a more powerful presence and impact. Through the Human Rights Working Group, the United Nations country team also became recognized as a valuable source of expertise on human rights, providing advice to the government, civil society, the national human rights institution and development partners. This ultimately positioned it as a leader among development partners in Tanzania. In addition, through the United Nations country team’s deep engagement with the government and its efforts to keep international development partners continuously informed on the process, the United Nations country team managed to elevate human rights on the development cooperation agenda in Tanzania. Discussion and advocacy on complex issues: One of the most significant outcomes from the Universal Periodic Review is that it provided a legitimate and inclusive forum to discuss complex issues, such as the death penalty, discrimination against marginalized groups and Female Genital Mutilation. This provided an exceptional advocacy opportunity. Civil society formed itself into working groups to advocate on specific issues. For example, one coalition focused on the rights of specific groups, addressing the issue of discrimination and inequality for Indigenous Peoples, People living with HIV/AIDS and Women. Others focused on the administration of justice, economic, social and cultural rights and media and freedom of expression. Individual agencies, including UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women have capitalized on the new human rights commitments of the government. For instance, UNFPA has leveraged the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review for its advocacy and awareness-raising efforts to prevent harmful traditional practices that discriminate against women, such as Female Genital Mutilation. Credible and strategic policy and programming tools: The participatory and inclusive Universal Periodic Review process resulted in a national report that genuinely reflected country-wide perspectives on human rights priorities. Both the national report and the recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review provide policy makers, advocates and development partners with credible and validated data on national priorities and State commitments. These commitments can be drawn upon during the preparation of national development strategies, such as the poverty reduction strategy, the United Nations Development Assistance Plan and the National Human Rights Action Plan. Enhancing civil society partnerships and the role of the national human rights institution: The multi-stakeholder engagement strategy opened up new channels for communication and cooperation between the national human rights institution, civil society and government. As noted by a representative of the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights, the Universal Periodic Review “has helped forge new roles for the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights like never before”. The Universal Periodic Review defined the valuable role that the national human rights institution could play in assuming a position between the government and non-governmental organizations and in creating greater awareness of certain human rights. Post Universal Periodic Review, the development community is supporting the Commission for Good Governance and Human Rights to take forward its advocacy strategy for government implementation of the Universal Periodic Review recommendations11. Acceptance of pending Universal Periodic Review recommendations: Following the United Nations country team’s guidance, a firm commitment by the government was made to the Convention against Torture in its final statement at the adoption of the Universal Periodic Review outcomes in March 2012. The government has also accepted that legal reform needs to be accelerated in the area of media and freedom of expression. The government recently informed the parliament of its plans to table a media bill for adoption in 2013. This was followed by a public commitment from the Minister representing the State during the Universal Periodic Review inter-active dialogue that civil society will be given a privileged seat in the drafting process for the new bill. While the government did not accept the recommendation on indigenous rights, it did recognize the ‘special needs’ of indigenous peoples and committed to further explore the issue with a study on the relevance of international standards to the situation of these groups in Tanzania as part of the National Human Rights Action Plan finalization process. Equally, while the government did not commit to implementing recommendations on the abolition of the death penalty, it agreed to facilitate public awareness-raising on the issue and invited civil society actors to sensitize the public on global trends and submit proposals for consideration during the forthcoming constitutional review. National Human Rights Action Plan: Five recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review specifically urged the government to prioritize completion of the National Human Rights Action Plan. In doing so, national support and momentum was leveraged to take forward the National Human Rights Action Plan. The National Human Rights Action Plan has since been approved by concerned ministries, and is now only pending final endorsement from the government in Zanzibar. The National Human Rights Action Plan provides a road map for translating recommendations from international human rights mechanisms into national policy and practice. It also bridges an important gap – the mainstreaming of human rights into national development processes. One of the explicit goals of the National Human Rights Action Plan is to promote a human rightsbased approach to development and poverty reduction. Lessons Learned The United Nations has an important convening and capacity-development role to play at the preparatory phase of the Universal Periodic Review, in particular ensuring that the process is participatory and transparent. At the follow up stage of the Universal Periodic Review, the United Nations, through its development programmes, has a role in supporting the government in implementing these recommendations. It can also draw on the recommendations for its own advocacy and policy initiatives. Human rights provide a common platform and framework for joint United Nations programmes and advocacy within the Delivering as One context. Conversely, speaking with one voice on human rights can enable the United Nations to have a more powerful presence and impact in addressing human rights issues. The Universal Periodic Review provides an opportunity to bring national actors together to discuss complex and sensitive issues and work together to address them. Endnotes When the Secretary-General launched Delivering as One in 2007, the governments of eight countries—Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, and Viet Nam—volunteered to become “Delivering as One” pilots. The pilot countries agreed to work with the United Nations system to capitalize on the strengths and comparative advantages of the different members of the United Nations family. Since then, Delivering as One has been adopted by a total of 32 countries.8 Together they are seeking innovative ways to increase the United Nations system’s impact through more coherent programmes, reduced transaction costs for governments, and lower overhead costs for the United Nations system. Source: www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx Tanzania is party to the following instruments: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Mukukuta II is the poverty reduction strategy for Tanzania, while Mukukuza II is the specific poverty reduction strategy for Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. United Nations Development Assistance Plan, 2011-2015, Tanzania, p.18. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Concluding Observations, United Nations Tanzania, 2008/A/63/38. para.117 Interview with Ms. Nkasori Sarakikya, Office of the Attorney General’s Chamber, Division of Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights, Tanzania. Interview with Mr. Alberic Kacou, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Tanzania The Universal Periodic Review recommendations called for Tanzania to: “Adopt new legislation that guarantees the freedom of the media as well as the right to information”, and “Recognize the notion of indigenous peoples with a view to effectively protecting their rights”. www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/ recommendations_to_tanzania_2012.pdf. Interview with Epiphania Mfundo, Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance, Tanzania.

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