Thanks to support from the RCUK’s GCRF Development Fund, N/LAB and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, visited Tanzania at the end of march to meet with partners for the newly established network of stakeholders that are part of the GCRF Anti-Slavery and Sustainable Development Hub proposal to examine vulnerability and all its surrounding issues in the region.
The trip featured several extremely fruitful network building activities and meetings (involved a range of stakeholders key to the hub), and we would like to thank our friends and partners in-country for sharing their valuable time and expertise in the co-creation of this project.
In particular we’d like to thank the World Bank, DfID, D-Tree (Health NGO), Humanitarian Open Street Map Team (NGO), Hope for Women and Girls (FGM NGO), Crowd2Map (Mapping NGO), Tanzania Development Trust (NGO), Engage Now Africa (Anti-slavery NGO), Local Government and Ward Leaders in Dar es Salaam, Department of Roads (Zanzibar) and various academic partners at the University of Dar es Salaam and State University of Zanzibar for their time and collaboration. Many thanks to all involved
The trip’s focus is based on the fact that there are an estimated 40.3 million slaves in the world today, the vast majority in developing countries. The hub proposal N/LAB are part of, which is led by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, is taking up the challenge set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to take slavery seriously as a development issue. The global community now includes slavery in the development agenda, as target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Absent from the Millennium Development Goals, the target of ending slavery offers an opportunity to build a global framework for collective action. Alliance 8.7, led by the ILO and currently designing its agenda, is an important new attempt to create a global multi-stakeholder development initiative for ending slavery. And slavery itself, embedded in issues of debt bondage, working conditions, forced child labour and human trafficking, speaks directly to many other surrounding issues – Poverty, Gender Inequality and Financial Vulnerability. Theses issues lie at the heart of our work.
In particular, we were very lucky to be part of discussions around some of the pressing local issues around the hub’s agenda with community leaders in Dar es Salaam, discussing how there local issues might relate to the hub’s goals – and how local communities could be integrated into the work.
These also led to valuable discussions with local community members – here specifically concerning the Kigogo Ward of Dar es Salaam (Dr John Harvey pictured here in discussion with local residents).
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team are already doing much good work in Tanzania, and have facilitated many of our connections with local ward leaders – on this trip we had the opportunity to work with Ivan Gayton (pictured below) from the NGO, who has provided invaluable collaboration on how the hub can survey, interview and unpack the key issues surrounding vulnerability in Tanzania, thanks to his extensive experience both working in country on “Ramani Huria”, but also prior to this at Medicin San Frontier.
As part of this trip the proposed hub has also made fantastic connections with teams of local volunteers that would be part of our local capacity, many currently studying at Ardhi University at Dar es Salaam. These volunteers helped the team to pilot an exploratory street survey that we took the importunity to undertake during the trip, and to inform the hub’s proposal, to explore the extent of some of the hub’s issues as relevant to urban areas. Pictured below are some of the volunteers:
The GCRF hub bid is very much focussed on co-creating processes that can lead to real impact – and as such we were honored to be able to work with Rhobi Samwelly, director of the Hope for Women and Girls NGO, doing such valuable work in Northern Tanzania providing safehouses for girls faced with FGM. We look forward to continuing discussions on how hub interventions might help with these existing infrastructures in country, and establish great communication between regions facing similar issues.
The network of stakeholders in the hub ranges from NGOs, local communities through to policy makers – engagement at a policy level is crucial to the hub, and on this trip we took opportunity to reaffirm those connections. Pictured below are Dr Bertrand Perrat and Dr Mark Iliffe in discussions with local government members in Zanzibar:
In many ways, the exciting part of the Hub’s proposed work is the new light that we can shed on some of the crucial issues surrounding SDG 8.7, and in particular greater understanding of Financial Vulnerability in Tanzania that novel data streams such as mobile money data can provide. Financial vulnerability is an issues which lies at the heart of why many people end up involved in forced labour, and is a central focus of our work here.