Using Social Marketing to Promote Ethics in Tanzania's PS
Author: Gordon Evans
Publication Date: 2014

In 2009, Ms. Adieu Nyondo, Director of the Ethics Promotion Division in Tanzania's Office of the President, had a novel idea. She believed that the application of social marketing techniques to the advancement of ethics in Tanzania's public service might succeed in changing attitudes where other efforts had fallen short. Securing CIDA support, she worked closely with Canadian advisors Mary Gusella and the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing to develop an effective social marketing campaign. However, a year and a half later, the project's prospects appeared bleak owing to an inability to secure sufficient funding for local consultants to complete the audience research in the pilot ministry. Sometimes, eureka moments are born of necessity. With few if any alternatives, the Canadian advisors and Ms. Nyondo devised a creative approach that fit within project budgets and timelines: do it yourself. In February 2012, the social marketing team received intensive training before successfully conducting 315 employee interviews, 301 client surveys and four focus groups. In April, the baseline results and proposed strategy were presented to and enthusiastically endorsed by senior management of Public Sector Management, Office of the President. The social marketing team then geared into overdrive to implement the strategy, including desk drops of the ethics code, employee briefings on the Code and signed compliance declarations, one-page notices tallying complaints received and resolved posted on ministry's public notice boards, notices welcoming citizen feedback on complaints, and an e-mail dashboard and supporting IT system for senior managers indicating the status of complaints resolution. In January 2013, the Canadian team returned to assist with an evaluation of progress-to-date. Notwithstanding the short time frames, marked improvements were observed in employee awareness of the Code and client experience with ministry officials. Given the pilot's success, phase-two implementation is slated to begin later this year.
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