The assumptions that underpin CCR’s theory of change are being validated by the evidence.
Ujasiri is a precondition for protecting children and it is developed by cultivating empathy.
Ujasiri is a reflection of what people value, and it consists of the belief that children are blameless, the hope that the child will pay forward the help that they have received, and the moral code that says “I must behave responsibly” (McAlpine, 2014). Empathy is the foundation of Ujasiri. We have found two new and additional dimensions to the Ujasiri mindset. One of these is a hope that children be treated fairly. This reflects an important finding from the consultation about Tanzanians that violence is driven by underlying social relationships that perpetuate inequality and that put power disproportionately in the hands of men (McAlpine, 2016). People who identify as protectors of children reinforce the belief that ultimately violence will only be combatted when we live in a fairer, more equitable world.
The second new dimension of the Ujasiri mindset reflects that core moral drive to behave responsibly, but speaks more to the emotional motivation, whereby protectors speak of “My heart, which tells me to help.” This reinforces an important design principle that CCR needs to adhere to in building protectors’ toolbox, namely that it nurture their emotional and inter-personal development; rather than merely giving them information, tools, and techniques that speak to their rational intelligence.
When protectors have Ujasiri and a toolbox they protect children better.
The 2014 study of the world-views of protectors found out that protectors often improvise, do not engage with others, and do not always resolve the child's situation in their best interests. They do not tap into the resources of the willing when they take action. In addition to Ujasiri they need a toolbox that helps them resolve the dilemmas that they will face as they take protective action (McAlpine, 2014).
There is some evidence that as a result of their engagement with CCR protectors are protecting children better. In their own families protectors have apologized to their children for how they have been treated, have stopped using harsh language and have used their own knowledge to help their adult children parent better; thus breaking the perpetuation of aggression across generations.
In their communities protectors report that children are now being enrolled in school, that children with disabilities being integrated into mainstream classrooms, and that there has been a reduction in the use of corporal punishment in the local school and homes.
The Government will advance child protection when enough individuals within the system transform so that they possess Ujasiri, have a toolbox, and listen deeply to the science and people’s lived experience.
This assumption was based on a belief that the elite will only invest in child protection if they see the alignment between child protection and their own needs. We have nothing in our data that reveals the elite’s motivation.
Within central government momentum towards developing and resourcing a child protection response is starting to be achieved, it seems to be spurred less by a rational understanding of the cost of inaction, and more by the aspiration to position Tanzania as a global actor in achieving SDG16.2. This is a political move that is disconnected from the mindset of individual actors within the Government system, few of whom possess Ujasiri or would identify as a protector of children.
At a city level the dynamic is somewhat different, because individual councilors are called upon to respond to actual crisis situations involving children, and at the same time have opportunities to directly determine local decisions about resources and social service provision.
The second advocacy assumption is that agencies concerned to promote just forms of development in Tanzania listen to the science and design programs accordingly. But, research needs to be popularized and presented in forms that are attractive to people who have multiple demands on their time and interest. CCR has realized that on the ground our research carries the most power when packaged as videos and info-graphics, and when we have opportunities to present the nuances of our findings in learning meetings.
Collective action has the power to “widen the protective circle around children.”
Collective action has involves multiple forms of behavior and involves CCR members, other CSOs, and public servants engaging in co-operative, communicative behavior as they collectively try to navigate the complex problems that arise when protecting children. CSO staffs are starting to work together across organizations to achieve common goals; and are identifying opportunities for with each other and within the Arusha City Council for potential public and private partnerships that could be set up for implementing key child protection services.
One of the assumptions in CCR’s theory of change is that social capital can be intentionally generated in relatively short programmatic time frames (Pronyk et al., 2008). It also assumes that if social capital exists, community members will start to take group actions to protect children. However, we have evidence to back up either of these claims. The relationship between social capital and collective action in Tanzania needs to be further studied, both by CCR and by a number of agencies whose programming is underpinned by the idea that a changed ethos in a critical mass of individuals will result in a change in social norms and enhanced community cohesion across the country.