TMF wants to add fire to the demand of citizens for accountability – through a strong media that produces a large variety of high-quality stories about things that matter in the lives of Tanzanians. Therefore, TMF is interested in stories from grantees about how their media production changed something in the lives of ordinary Tanzanians: so-called ‘Success Stories’. Twenty-seven such stories are shared here.
Of course, not every story leads to immediate change. Some issues need years of attention before anything happens, and some stories provide valuable information to people without causing any observable effect. However valuable, these stories are not Success Stories: long-term change is important, but difficult to observe or measure in the short run. Success Stories are opportunities for TMF to show to others that its work is having direct impact.
What makes a Success Story? For one, it must have a clear impact on the lives of people in Tanzania. But there must also be a direct link between the claimed impact and the story itself. And: the impact must be verified. Programme officers and consultants visited different locations where they interviewed ordinary citizens and district leaders on how the project or a certain story influenced actions or trends in the community. This allowed TMF to verify whether the success claimed by the grantee actually happened, as well as verify that the story of the grantee played an important role in bringing about the success. In some cases, for example, it was found that change had indeed taken place, but that this was due to other actors with the story of the grantee only playing a marginal role.
The twenty-seven stories – 13 institutional, 14 individual – presented here have been verified by TMF. There were many other stories of success that were not verified by TMF, but did take place. And of the stories verified by TMF, only the prominent ones were included to ensure the list did not become too long.
TMF Success Stories Phase I (2008-2012)