Validated Participation Promotes Self-Efficacy and Citizen Engagement in Development
20 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017 Last revised: 16 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 14, 2019
Efforts to increase citizen engagement in local governance, particularly in low socio-economic contexts, are frequently ineffective because citizens believe their voices and actions will not be respected by relevant authorities. We conduct two studies with over 2,200 citizens in rural Tanzania to experimentally test whether an intervention designed to socially validate citizens' analytical skills and spoken contributions can positively affect self-efficacy beliefs and increase their engagement. We demonstrate that a relatively simple intervention, developed and implemented in partnership with a local civil society organization, augments citizen self-efficacy beliefs. In a study conducted two years post-treatment, we find higher levels of citizen engagement in schools that received our intervention when compared with those that only received information about the benefits of engagement and those assigned to the control group.
Keywords: self-efficacy, development, education, experiment, Tanzania
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