Catalyst is a Tanzanian economic and social justice advocacy organisation
based in Arusha. Since 2000, we have developed an innovative approach to
working for the social and economic rights of marginalised communities and
individuals. Our basic belief is that knowledge can stimulate action for
We are best known for pioneering the use of
plain language guides to policy, although
these form only one aspect of a three level advocacy strategy.
The guides are the key tools of the first part of
our strategy, which aims to encourage people to learn about and engage
with the policies that affect their lives.
In producing the guides we aim to cater for a range of
levels of readership. At the basic level, the text is kept as jargon free
as possible and cartoons are included to illustrate key points of the
policy being discussed. Meanwhile, for those who wish to dig deeper into
the subject matter we provide pointers to further information in the form
The second part of our approach involves working
with communities to strengthen governance and generate a common
understanding of the implications of policy for livelihoods and local
opportunities. This includes up-streaming community feedback into
decision-making processes at local and national level, fostering a culture
of participation and accountability, and encouraging action for change.
Our third approach is to participate in civil
society networks at local and national level. We also network with faith
based organisations, research institutes, academia, and trade unions, as
well as government and the donor community.
Acting as a local catalyst to empower marginalized
people to have an effective voice in influencing decisions affecting
their lives and achieving their civil and political rights at local,
national and international level.
Demystifying and disseminating policy related
Researching, advocating and promoting sustainable
livelihood and employment opportunities and disseminating knowledge
empowering the poor to address problems of ignorance and poverty.
Facilitating participatory processes which foster
promotion of constructive dialogue between poor people and government,
at all levels, about basic rights and sustainable livelihoods.
Working in partnership with civil society to protect and
strengthen the social capital and networks which enable the most
vulnerable and socially excluded to participate in the development
Constructing initiatives which build and strengthen
civic groups and organisations.
Monitoring and raising awareness about policies followed
by government and donors in order to create an enabling environment for
the growth of civil society and sustainable development.
Offering a diverse range of capacity building support on
the dynamics and skills required in the creation of change to CSOs,
networks, NGOs, CBOs, mutual aid groups, common resource groups and
non-governmental professional groups.