A Tale of Two Dashboards
Summary: Low national examination pass rates in 2012 caused a public outcry in Tanzania, but the public’s understanding of the broader context (and thus ability to demand accountability) was limited by a lack of information about the country’s education sector. Two recently established portals are trying to remedy that situation, providing the public with more data on examination pass rates and other information related to schools. The first, the Education Open Data Dashboard (educationdashboard.org), is a project established by the Tanzania Open Data Initiative, a government program supported by the World Bank and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) to support open data publication, accessibility and use. The second, Shule (shule.info), was spearheaded by Arnold Minde, a programmer, entrepreneur and open data enthusiast who has developed a number of technologies and businesses focused on catalyzing social change in Tanzania. Despite the challenges posed by Tanzania’s low Internet penetration rates, these sites are slowly changing the way citizens access information and make decisions. More generally, these projects are encouraging citizens to demand greater accountability from their school system and public officials.
Dimension of Impact: Empowering Citizens—Social Mobilization