CSOs advised to improve engagement in democratic processes

As Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) sector start the year 2016 with fresh memories of key democratic processes that took place hardly few months ago, more advice has been given to improve the sector’s future democratic engagements.

Giving the advice to CSOs representatives from different parts of the country towards end of last year at the 13th CSOs Annual Forum organised by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Dar es Salaam, the coordinator of the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders (THRD), Mr. Onesmo Ole Ngurumwa said he observed some lapses of coordination within the sector during the key democratic processes.

The referred to key democratic processes include the just ended general elections and the then constitutional review process.

He said: “Despite all that happened during the 2015 key democratic processes, CSOs did something great but have to improve in a number of things.”

“To improve in our future engagement in crucial democratic processes we need to ensure we continue building the capacity of CSOs to perform the tasks and to fundraise, improve communications skills and documentation so as to attract wider publicity as well as networking,” he said.

 

For the general elections, Mr. Ole Ngurumwa was of the view that CSOs have to go beyond electoral observation and voter education while maintaining professionalism and trust in educating citizens on a number of issues.

Mr. Ole Ngurumwa 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).

 

 

FCS relocates to Ada Estate

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has moved from the Haidery Plaza Building at the city centre to 7 Madai Crescent, Ada Estate Plot No. 154 in Dar es Salaam with effect from Monday, 11 January 2016. 

Since its inception in 2003 the FCS premises have been located at the Haidery Plaza. 

The new office at Plot No. 154, Madai Crescent - Ada Estate is located few yards 

 

CSOs advised to mainstream SDGs in their strategic plans

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating in Tanzania have been advised to consider mainstreaming the newly enacted Strategic Development Goals (SGDs) into their organisational strategic plans so as to move together with the current global development trend.

Speaking at the official opening of the 13th CSOs Annual Forum organised by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Dar es Salaam on 1 December, the FCS President Dr. Stigmata Tenga said mainstreaming the SDGs is vital to enable local CSOs implement the new global development goals as well as being able to be measured in terms of results achieved.

She said: “A good example can be taken from the FCS. While writing our FCS 2014-2018 Strategic Plan we did not take into account these new Strategic Development Goals (SDGs). But as we speak now we are in the middle of reviewing our Strategic Plan so as to integrate it with the current SDGs.”

“So as CSOs you also have to borrow a leaf from the FCS and take it as a challenge to also mainstream the global SGDs into your organisation strategic plans. Doing so will enable you acquire the mandate of implementing the SDGs, and above all be measured in terms of results achieved,” Dr. Tenga advised. 

Dr. Tenga also advised members from civil society from around the country to ensure that they perform their duties in a more creative and professional way so as to achieve results.

The two-day CSOs annual forum had brought together over 250 representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), scholars, government representatives, development partners, and members of 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).

FCS aspires to ensure value for money with its grantees

The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) Executive Director, Mr. Francis Kiwanga has appealed to all civil society organisations (CSOs) working with the FCS in Tanzania to ensure that they abide with the value for money discourse as well as integrity while implementing their projects.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day CSOs Annual Forum organised by the FCS in Dar es Salaam on 2 December, Mr. Kiwanga said the FCS for its part will not tolerate any of its grantees found to be involved with any allegedly misuse of donor funds.

“We are at a point where we will not negotiate with any kind of grants’ abuse. Our recent grantees audit exercise has shown that we have a few grantees appearing to be involved with misuse of funds. You are either with us or against us,” he said.

He also urged the grantees to abide with the speed that the new Tanzanian government is taking in a bid to combat all types of corrupt practices.

“We support our current government spirit of accountability as also enshrined in our core FCS values. We want to see every grant provided to grantees is used accordingly. Gone are the days when we heard of stories that some CSOs were not good enough in the implementation of projects such as the Rapid Funding Envelop on HIV/Aids and the likes. We as FCS, will tighten our controls even harder,” promised Mr Kiwanga, while closing the CSOs annual forum in Dar es Salaam.

The CSOs annual forum had brought together over 250 representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), scholars, government representatives, development partners, and members of 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).

Priorities set for Tanzania Civil Society ahead of implementing SDGs

Over 250 representatives from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tanzania have agreed upon to some key priorities ahead of implementing the new Strategic Development Goals (SDGs).

The CSOs have arrived at this strategic thinking development after being led by the Head of Department of Short Courses, Research and Consultancy at the Mzumbe University, Prof. Honest Prosper Ngowi, who is also the chair of the Board of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Happening at the CSOs’ annual forum organized by the FCS from 1st – 3rd December 2015 in Dar es Salaam to discuss the civil society’s implementation of the new global SDGs, the CSOs alongside with some invited scholars, government representatives, development partners, and members of the private sector were thus convinced to around six key priorities for the implementation of the SDGs.

First, Prof. Ngowi urged the CSOs to understand well the SDGs prior to undertaking any significant implementation step – which was then mutually agreed.

CSOs were then tasked by the moderating scholar, and agreed to think of selecting specific Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) out of the total of 17 SDGs, since the goals are already too many and it is impossible for each CSO to venture into implementation of all SDGs at a go. 

Prof. Ngowi also challenged the CSOs participants present in the forum organised by the FCS to ascertain sources of funding for the implementation of the SDGs since all that has to be factored in.

Fourthly, the CSOs agreed to another priority that they should always stick with accepting clean sources of funding to finance the SDGs’ implementation – and not from any other doubtful sources.

However, as per Prof. Ngowi’s suggestion, the CSOs assented a motion that the civil society sector has to narrow its focus around Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) and Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) around the sources and funding of the SDGs – as part of the SDGs implementation.

Finally the CSOs representatives present in the CSOs annual forum took as a priority lobbying and advocacy of SDGs financing in the local budget since all the good cause cannot simply wait to external donor funding to be implemented.

 

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