Crunch Time

I am approaching my last week in Tanzania and we have laid most of the groundwork for implementing the baseline survey and phone distribution! We have laid out the regions in which we will be working: Rufiji and Mukaranga. The phones will be distributed to mobile-less female small-scale farmers who are part of community based organizations with JET (Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania). We were connected with this organization through Care International, with whom they work to help these women understand their land rights and manage their finances. We are putting the finishing touches on our baseline survey, script, and consent form. The next steps are to screen for mobile phone ownership, administer the baseline survey, and distribute the phones before election season rolls around. Election season could pose a huge problem to phone distribution, as many women may think that they are receiving phones as part of an election campaign (bribery is very common to secure votes during election season).

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To the Field

 The past few weeks we have been contacting all of the women who participated in Phase 1 last year, and doing follow up interviews. Because the treatment period for phase one was very short, it is useful to see whether or not these women have their phones, and how they use them, a year later. Not only were the qualitative data we gathered extremely useful, but it was great to meet the women and hear their stories.

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Elections

Elections in Tanzania are coming up this October, and from what I can see, this is going to be a fun one. To paint a picture: one ruling party has won every presidential election and maintained outright majority in the National Assembly since Tanzania returned to a multiparty democracy 1992, and has been in power before that since Tanzania’s independence.  This party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, is about to face its toughest election yet. It now leads with significantly reduced margins, and ahead of this election, Tanzania’s opposition parties have signed a unity deal. Thus, this is about to be one of Tanzania’s most contested elections.

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Partnerships: Hamna Shida

Hamna Shida: No Problem

It is July, and I am currently living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I can now: haggle prices in Swahili, navigate the capricious Dar public transport system, and tell you where to get the best street food. I’ve formed fast friendships and received help from kind strangers that I will never see again. I have both wandered and been lost. But enough about the beauty and grit of experiencing an entirely new place, let’s talk research.

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Abstract: Mobile Phones and Women’s Empowerment

Hello, my name is Catie Crowley and this summer I will be working on a project in Tanzania that seeks to assess how mobile phones impact women’s empowerment. This project is overseen by William and Mary’s Philip Roessler and Daniel Nielsen of BYU, and is implemented through a partnership with Tanzanian research institute, REPOA.

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