Study of socio-cultural drivers of violence and positive change in Tanzania and Zanzibar

This study focused on exploring knowledge, attitudes and practices that give rise to violence against children in Tanzania and Zanzibar. The study was conducted in partnership with Mzumbe University in Tanzania and involved research in ten regions across Tanzania and Zanzibar. The methodology involved focus groups with children, adult professionals, parents and community leaders as well as the innovative use of a community based action research process to engage community members in critically reflecting on socio-cultural norms and practices in the way children are treated. This involved a process of participative action inquiry and social learning in communities to build capacity for change. In parallel, children and young people were engaged in participatory research to ‘voice’ their experiences and perspectives on violence against children and strategies for change which in turn informed dialogue with policy and practice professionals. This was highly innovative in a country where the rights of the child are undermined by cultural traditions that prevent children from speaking out against abuse. The purpose of the study was to inform where policy and programming work can have the most impact and to provide an evidence base for the National Violence against Children Strategy. The results of this study were written up in reports for Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar and involved two major stakeholder dissemination workshop events in January 2016.