Introduction

Hakikazi 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 change. 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 of weblinks.

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.