CSOs seek coherent voice on Draft Five-Year Development Plan

Members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have called upon one another to come up with burning issues that could be included or rectified in the proposed 2016/17-2020/21 Tanzania Five Year National Development Plan.

The initiative was reached at a one-day national CSO consultative forum held in in Dar es Salaam to validate the proposed 2016/17-2020/21 Tanzania National Five Year Development Plan. The forum was organized by FCS to enable the sector keep pace with other key stakeholders including the private sector, academicians, and researchers whose views have been forthcoming.

Providing a way forward, Mr. Irenei Kiria, the Executive Director of Sikika, a CSO focused on advocacy on health issues, said that each sector-specific CSO should be proactive and table core issues that are vital to enrich the draft Five-Year National Development Plan.

For his part, Mr. Edward Mbogo from the NGO Network for Dodoma (NGONEDO) said: “There is no depth of information pertaining to some sectors when you look at the Five-Year Development Plan. Hence, this platform should enable us all in the civil society sector to provide workable and alternatives issues that we deem fit.”

Mr. Kaganzi Rutachwamagyo from Inclusive Development Promoters and Consultants (IDPC) said the proposed Development Plan still shows little inclusion of special groups, especially on their social economic empowerment and other support services. He then proposed for the change of modalities.

Global Endorsement of Charter for Persons with Disabilities

A charter to improve living conditions of persons with disabilities in crises has been endorsed at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. 

The endorsement is a significant milestone in advancing rights for persons with disability in Tanzania, greatly complementing long standing efforts by key development partners, including The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) and its stakeholders.

“The intersection between humanitarian crises and persons with disabilities is very strong,” Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, told the UN News Centre. 

“Persons with disabilities are always left behind and the humanitarian response is very complicated because there is no planning to address their needs. We see that constantly – in armed conflict situations, and natural disasters,” she said.

The Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action urges government representatives as well as leaders of non-governmental organizations and funding bodies to ensure that their future humanitarian actions will be inclusive of people with disabilities.

The Charter is based on 5 principles that include, non-discrimination and recognition of the diversity of people with disabilities; involvement of people with disabilities in developing humanitarian programs; ensuring services and humanitarian assistance are equally available for and accessible to all people with disabilities. Other principles are: implementation of inclusive global policies; and cooperation and coordination among humanitarian actors to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities. 

This resonates the 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which called for a deliberate move to mainstream the inclusion of people with disabilities in policy decisions.

The Charter is seen to be an incentive to improve programs by including people with disabilities into planning processes, and therefore enable decision-makers to address diverse needs, such as those with hearing and visual impairments.

New FCS 2016-2020 Strategic Plan given the green light

The extraordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) held in Dar es Salaam on 15 April 2016 has given the green light to implementation of the new FCS 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

However, the new FCS document is subject to incorporation of a few comments that emanated from the extraordinary AGM.

The new FCS Strategic plan for 2016-20 among others outlines the new organisation structure, logical framework for monitoring and evaluating of the embedded interventions, as well as the budget attached to it.

“I am quite convinced that FCS will achieve the positive change that it strives to achieve with this new strategic plan document. The new strategic plan is so vital to our image, and if well adhered to, I believe FCS will reach great heights,” said the FCS President Dr. Stigmata Tenga while seconding the new Strategic Plan document which received a nod from the FCS members. 

Prior to providing details to the document, the FCS Executive Director, Mr. Francis Kiwanga said the new Strategic plan document is a product of consultation and hence participation of all FCS stakeholders - including representatives from Development Partners (DPs), government, grantees and members from the civil society sector. 

Thus the new FCS 2016-2020 Strategic Plan comprises of five key sections, that include the organisational background, identity and value proposition; analysis of the operating context; strategic analysis and focus; key interventions and implementation strategies; and the implementation frameworks. 



FCS bids farewell to its outgoing Board Members

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has bid some fond farewell to its outgoing Board Members in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the growth and image of the organisation, and the civil society sector in general.

Held on 15 April soon after conducting the extraordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM), the FCS President Dr. Stigmata Tenga, said it was a great honour and privilege to have benefited from the service of devoted members of the board, who will be hugely missed.

The outgoing members of the Board include the former chairperson, Ms. Olive Luena; Ms. Rehema Tukai (vice chair); Mr. Casmir Makoye; and Mr. Adam Simbeye who have served in the Board since year 2009.

As per Memorandum and Articles of Association of the FCS, the Board of Directors is the second principle organ of the FCS after the Members who are rather chaired by the President. The Board thus is a Governing Board providing regular oversight of the activities of the Foundation.

The Board’s role include: approving any changes to the structure of the FCS, approving higher level policy and changes or additions to high level rules, regulations and procedures of the FCS, providing final approval of annual plans and budgets for endorsement at the AGM, review and discussion of the financial report with the auditors and presenting audited financial statements for approval by the AGM, and also, the recruitment and performance management of the Executive Director.  






CSO called upon to engage with EU and member states in Tanzania

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) Executive Director, Mr. Francis Kiwanga has teamed up with the Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) Ambassador Roeland van de Geer in the launch of a new brochure on EU engagement with Civil Society in Tanzania, detailing the latter’s aspirations to engage with the sector.

During the event held in early April in Dar es Salaam, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer said: “Civil society is a crucial actor that can effectively become even more vocal in terms of democracy and governance, both at national and local level.”

Traditionally, the European Union supports civil society in Europe itself and in many countries throughout the world. Over the period between 2014 and 2020, the EU together with its Member States directly fund civil society initiatives and local authorities with more than EUR 2 billion (about 50 trillion TZS) worldwide. 

During the event also attended by representatives from EU Member States, civil society organizations as well as public and private stakeholders, it was reiterated that civil society has always been a major focus of attention and recipient of EU aid in Tanzania. 

Over the years, the EU Delegation and EU Member States has interacted regularly with civil society actors, and to the admission of both parties, an active civil society represents and supports pluralism and helps to develop and monitor policies for sustainable development and inclusive growth. 

The launched brochure, which is available in English and Kiswahili, informs a broader public but specifically CSOs in Tanzania about opportunities available from the EU and its Member States for their engagement.

Support from the EU encourages actors in the civil society to work towards better governance and more participatory development. To facilitate its relationship with civil society and local authorities, the EU has thus established a space for dialogue and tools tailored to their specific requirements.

For her part, the Head of Unit for Civil Society and Local Authorities at the European Commission, Mrs Rosario Bento Pais said, “Civil society and local authorities need to be considered as actors of governance. All development is ultimately local, as underlined by the new sustainable development goals.” 



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