What is Usawa?
Usawa Agenda is a not-for-profit company duly registered and working in Kenya. The name ‘Usawa’ is Swahili for ‘equity’ and it underlines our strong belief that equity is the socio-political and economic exigency of our time in the education sector, but also in society generally. This belief is rooted in the work of our precursor (Uwezo program) that was implemented by Twaweza East Africa in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for the last 10 years.
In those 10 years, and while operating as Uwezo under Twaweza, we employed citizen-led assessment (CLA) methodology to conduct large scale survey of learning levels of children in Kenya. We used the findings to contribute locally and globally to shifting the narrative about basic education from the focus on inputs to learning outcomes.
Usawa Agenda has come into being following a strategic review within Twaweza in 2018 that ushered in a three-phased transition process of separating Uwezo from Twaweza. The first phase was strategic separation, which happened at the beginning of 2019; the second phase, which entails legal and fiduciary separation, happened at the beginning of 2020; while the third and final phase that entails operation and physical separation is ongoing.
Usawa has been fully registered and a board of directors to preside over its governance established. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed to govern the interim relationship between Twaweza and Usawa.
Usawa thus has commenced operations with a stellar record and a huge machinery of invaluable partnerships built over the years. We have built a big team (movement) of diverse actors who include: Over 300 sub-county based partner organisations, over 300 sub-county coordinators (identified by partner organisations), 47 county coordinators, over 500 village coordinators, 50 trainers, over 13,000 volunteers.
We are also supported by a technical team of 30 specialists from the Ministry of Education, in designing the tests that we administer and the assessment tools.
Besides, we have two officers from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) who do sampling and mapping of enumeration areas for us.