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Uwezo Tanzania is a Non-Governmental Organization(NGO) committed to improving competencies in Foundational  Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) among children in Tanzania through an innovative, citizen-driven community engagement and public accountability approach to social change.   

Uwezo meaning “capability” in Kiswahili. Is a citizen-led assessment initiative that was introduced in 2009 in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, hosted by the various organization (TEN/MET in Tanzania, UNGOF in Uganda and WERK in Kenya) to fill the learning assessment gap by generating new information/evidence on children’s literacy and numeracy learning levels in a manner that informs the public, stimulates countrywide debate, and creates pressure for policy change from the bottom-up.

Later from 2012 to 2019 Uwezo in the three countries were merged to Twaweza East Africa. Uwezo Tanzania, just like Uwezo Uganda and Uwezo Kenya, was finally registered as an independent NGO in 2020.

Uwezo Tanzania’s main goals are to contribute to improved learning outcomes by generating independent data on levels of learning outcomes especially in basic literacy and numeracy among children aged 4-16 years, to stimulate evidence-based policies that would result in equitable learning for all children and community engagement for stimulating citizens to take actions to improve learning outcomes for children.

For the past 12 years, Uwezo Tanzania has conducted a citizen-led learning assessment in 159 districts of Tanzania mainland, and the results revealed the actual status of literacy and numeracy competencies among the children. For example, in 2017, 62% of children in class 3 could read fluently a Kiswahili story while only 48% of the children in class 7 could read a simple English story of class 2 level. These findings are used to engage with policy actors and citizens to address the learning crisis. Uwezo has used the citizen-led learning assessment approach and methodology pioneered by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) in India, in which trained citizen volunteers carry out learning assessments on children’s competencies in literacy and numeracy at the households.

Uwezo Tanzania currently implements “Jifunze”, a learning initiative to support children who are lagging behind in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy using Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach. The initiatives is implemented in 50 primary schools from Gairo, Kisarawe, Mvomero, Ludewa, Mbarali, and Kilolo  It mobilizes communities for collective action to improve learning outcomes  through its well-designed community engagement program ‘Uwezo na Jamii’.  Uwezo enables policymakers, parents, students, local communities, and the general public at large to become aware of actual levels of children’s literacy and numeracy. And build on that awareness to stimulate community collective response and policy change for improved learning across Tanzania.

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