Lesson Learned
Home Contents Introduction Opening Remarks Objectives Introduction to NPMS CSOs/Govt Partnership Poverty Assesment Day One Recap Research Methodologies Monitoring Technique Cross-cutting isssues S E Database Role of CSOs in PRSP Lobbying & Advocacy Monitoring Strategy Lesson Learned Closing Remarks



16.0    Lessons Learned from TEN/MET's Experience on Monitoring the Impact of Cost Sharing in Primary School Education.

Ms Kate Dyer from TEN/MET/Maarifa Ni Ufunguo was given an opportunity to share with the workshop participants the experience of Maarifa Ni Ufunguo in monitoring poverty (through cost-sharing in Primary Schools as an entry - point to that) in Kilimanjaro region. Maarifa Ni Ufunguo in collaboration with Oxfam GB Tanzania chose to do the study in Kilimanjaro because they identified certain anomalies and inconsistencies with respect to the delivery of education in Kilimanjaro. These anomalies were not understood by policy/decision makers. Policy makers assumed that Kilimanjaro is a "wealthy" region so cost-sharing in primary education should be easily accepted and complied to. However, this was not the case. Further, the amount of "other contributions" in the school exceeded the limit that was put in place by policy. Maarifa Ni Ufunguo used purposive judgemental sampling criteria. One lesson to be drawn from here is to base the sampling process on observed policy and financing gaps, and choose to make an intervention where the problem at hand is acute.

Another lesson to be drawn here, it is importance to strengthened the relationship between stronger/better NGOs and smaller ones/CBOs. Once Maarifa had established a methodology for this work, it was possible for smaller NGOs like LUDEA in Songea to adapt it to their own situation and carry out similar work using funding accessed through TEN/MET, and borrowing also staff from the larger organization to contribute to the work.

The Kilimanjaro experience followed the following process;

(a)    The monitoring process had four distinct phases:

i)    Planning and preparation
ii)    Training
iii)    Field work
iv)    Wrap-up workshop

(b)    The research was done by a consortium of NGOs (or within the framework of a network). It is always better to do advocacy related research within a network of NGOs.

(c)    The monitoring process began with a planning phase that involved the following activities: -

(i)    Selection of a core research team
Maarifa Ni Ufunguo used existing NGO networks to handle fieldwork logistics. The field workers were identified from existing NGOs. Handling of logistics such as appointments, local (village) companions/guides, booking of places for the monitoring team to stay were delegated to NGOs that are within the existing network of NGOs, but which are more actively engaged in the research villages. This process enabled Maarifa Ni Ufunguo's initiative to be linked with other on-going networks and advocacy initiatives.

(ii)    The next step involved revisiting the broad research objective/or research questions (TOR's) and developing probe questions that will guide interviewers to lead the people in providing their views and perception on the subject matter.

(d)    The next phase is the Training phase. Once the field workers were chosen, it was observed that not all of them understood participatory techniques. Training was provided to them on how to conduct focus - group interviews and other methods of soliciting information and perception of the poor at the community level. Field workers also pre-tested the interview guidelines.

(e)    Next was the commencement of the fieldwork. The team spent an average of 4 days in each community. These days were spent in the following manner:

(i)    First one and a half days were used for focus group interviews. The team pre-selected to meet the following groups in their interview guideline:


Village government


Village men


Village women


Teachers (sometimes with the head teacher interviewed separately).


Boy pupils


Girl pupils


Boys out of school


Girls out of school

Note that it is import for the monitoring group to sample the relevant groups for the focus group interviewers.

The researchers divided themselves into groups of two to three to facilitate discussions. At the end of the day, the teams met to compare notes and consolidate the findings.

(ii)    The last one and a half day groups were used for individual (as opposed to focus group interviews). A public discussion in a community meeting/village assembly was also held in each research village. It was interesting to see how people brought out issues, which were otherwise only spoken privately, and no in meetings.

(f)    Maarifa Ni Ufunguo's experience also had a video component, which captured the process on the video, to provide a visual record of the findings. The video shooting was done on the last day when most of the researchers had left the community. A video shooter would remain alone to capture community discussions, thereby reducing the number of outsiders who pose the potential to distract the discussions.

(g)    While fieldwork was progressing, there was a team that was conducting interviews with district officials to get a better understanding of the dynamics behind the budgeting process and how it affects education and the PRSP targets.

(h)    Wrap-Up workshop
A wrap-up workshop was organised to deliberate on the work done in the community research sites and link them with the findings from national and district level budgeting.

(i)    Final Report
Maarifa Ni Ufunguo's then produced a report which was based as much as possible on quotations from focus group interviews (attached to the names of the respondents where they permitted them to do so). This enables the report to have a "human face" therefore giving it a strong advocacy potential.


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