Networks within CSOs poised to redefine paths

Within the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) cycles any Civil Society Organisations’ network that has been performing well learns both the art of accepting triumph with grace and even stomach criticisms with a smile, so as to redefine the paths.

Thus, quite recent in Dar es Salaam the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) conducted training to different regional and district CSOs Networks in Tanzania to remind them of what is largely expected of them. While leading them to the new desired paths, there were albeit a few lessons for the networks to stomach.

Making an own assessment of the CSOs networks, Mr. Vincent Kuligi from Sumbawanga Municipal Association of NGOs, said CSOs networks have to act upon situations that threaten their relevance and go back reality.

“Speaking as a leader in one of these networks, it is regrettable to see that we have not done enough to mobilize our members to become dependable in enhancing solutions towards citizens’ quality of life.

For his part, the General Secretary of the Association of Non-governmental Organisations of Zanzibar (ANGOZA) Mr. Hassan Khamis Juma sees networks not being effective enough in living up to the values for their stronger existence.

“With this training we have been reminded to make sure that we bring our CSOs members together so that we can have common goals - and finding ways to achieve them,” said Hassan.

He added that, the strength of CSO networks depends on building the internal capacity of its members to be sustainable and hence contribute to the development of the entire nation.

Mr. Cosmas Makongo, who facilitated the training said: “The CSOs networks seem to have somewhat lost focus. But with the training we have been able to come up with strategies that will guide them in performing their activities better - including adherence to governance policies.”

Thus, CSOs network have agreed upon strategies for fundraising, to be more accountable to their constituencies and to the development partners, as well as be measurable in bringing about change for the quality of lives into the communities that they serve.

FCS zonal resource persons vow to help enhance CSOs vibrancy

Ahead of assuming the crucial role of supporting the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in building the capacity of CSOs in different parts of the country, a team of the newly recruited zonal resource persons have taken a vow to be part of the solution in enhancing vibrancy, accountability and good image in the sector.

The entire group comprising of nearly 40 resource persons selected to provide support in the area of Capacity Development, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Due Diligence have unanimously agreed to help the FCS meet its strategic goals by being part of the solution to enhance the sector’s vibrancy.

The resource persons made a solemn promise during their orientation and reflection workshop held in Dar es Salaam from 23 – 26 February. Speaking during the session one of the resource persons, Mr. Israel Ilunde urged his colleagues to liken themselves as football team coaches, who are by virtue of their positions ought to be accountable if their teams do not get good results.

“We as zonal resource have to sometimes consider ourselves as football team coaches/ managers while building the capacity of CSOs. If our clients (the CSOs) fail to excel, we are also deemed to succumb to the pressure,” analogized Mr. Ilunde, depicting that the resource persons are really up to the task ahead.

To cope with the growing demand for capacity development and monitoring of its grantees, FCS decided to enter in a selection process for qualified, experienced Tanzanians to join a pool of its resource persons. The resource persons will be responsible for providing technical backstopping to CSOs across the country, as well as undertaking special assignments on part time basis to selected CSOs, in a bid to build the CSOs capacity. The resource persons will also undertake performance monitoring pertaining to the FCS key thematic areas, as well as be engaged in conducting due diligence exercises to the FCS grantees. 





FCS to enter crucial stage on review of its draft Strategic Plan

As the year 2016 unfolds, the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) Strategic Plan review exercise is also expected to reach its crucial stage that will among others, involve the validation process of views collected from various stakeholders before arriving at the final approval of the document.

The draft 2014-18 Strategic plan review process has initially involved the participation of all FCS stakeholders - including the FCS staff, Board Members and Members, Development Partners, the government, grantees and members from the civil society sector. 

The FCS strategic plan review exercise had taken consideration of the FCS Organisational identity (mission, vision, values, philosophy); the context analysis with emerging issues, trends, developments and implications; opportunities and threats; analysis of strategic options/ scenarios; program and thematic focus  (based on context, suitable frameworks), as well as geographical Focus.

The exercise also focused on the FCS internal analysis - strengths, weaknesses, track record; theory of change; approaches, assumptions, principles; positioning, niche, critical/key success factors; strategic objectives/goals (expected results, changes); Organisational Structure, etc.


CSOs urged to fundraise by documenting their work

As a New Year resolution, some members of the civil society sector in Tanzania have been advised by their peers to invest more on documenting results of their work in communities, if they are to become visible and hence simplify their efforts to fundraise and remain sustainable.

Speaking recently on the lessons learnt from the CSOs Annual Forum organised by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) towards end of last year, the Executive Director of Mzeituni Foundation based in Ukerewe, Mr. Meshack Masanja, said things have now changed and the world would only like to associate with CSOs that are visible as opposed to those which do so much but never want to get seen.

“I can openly confess that we as local CSOs have been a bit sluggish in documenting our work for our own good. Now that we are entering in the era of implementation of the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs), we have to keep our presence felt and avoid doing business as usual,” advised Masanja.

In line with that, the FCS management and staff wishes the entire CSOs sector to accomplish their entire New Year resolutions and plans for the good of our people and nation.


Private sector keen to partner with CSOs in developmental issues

In a bid to ensure realization of the newly enacted Strategic Development Goals (SGDs), the Private Sector in Tanzania has shown keen interest in partnering with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the attainment of meaningful results.

Speaking at the 13th CSOs Annual Forum organised by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Dar es Salaam towards end of last year, chairman of the East African Business Council, Mr. Felix Mosha said the two arms are left with no options other than seeking solid partnership to enable Tanzania realize the global development targets.

He said: “Implementation of the SDGs needs the private sector, government and the CSOs as a tripartite coalition.”

Based on his wealth of experience in the private sector, he however concluded that CSOs and the private sector do not have any option other that forging a strong partnership to be able to realise the SDGs agenda.

Mr. Mosha made the remarks at the two-day CSOs annual forum that had brought together over 250 representatives from the CSO sector, scholars, government, development partners, and other members from the private sector from around the country to share and exchange experiences and ideas around “The Role of CSOs in effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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