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MS Tanzania has for another year been implementing its 2004-08 policy paper under the three themes of:
- Good Governance and rights.
- Civil society organisations and local development initiatives.
- Linkages and Networking.
A number of immediate objectives are targeted, including:
- Partner organisations participating effectively in influencing policy issues and playing active roles in the local government reform process.
- Partner organisations mobilising resources to sustain local development initiatives.
- Partners demonstrating good governance in their organisations and fighting corruption in their target areas.
The strategic decisions and changes at MS Denmark in 2004 prompted MS Tanzania to embark on a number of changes too. In 2006, MS Tanzania stakeholders continued with discussions on refocusing. A new Rural Livelihood – Rural Development through popular participation strategy was finally adopted. A topic team approach has been initiated to help improve MS Tanzania’s capacity input to its partners. The approach will also improve effective use of the human resources - Development Workers, Programme Officers and partners. As a result, an improved communication and participation especially of DWs and partners in deciding, designing and implementing partnership interventions has been noted.
The Code of Conduct on good governance among MS Tanzania partners was finally approved and three quarters of the partners have held workshops on implementing it. In some partner organisations the document has sparked thinking and need to improve transparency. Also the Quarterly Monitoring Charts have increasingly been adopted by our partners with an increase in reflections and organisational learning.
Partners have been capacitated and supported to improve internal governance and capacity to engage in policy implementation, dialogues and advocate and lobby for policy changes.
Various indicators show that partners’ internal capacities have improved. A number of partners have had board and annual general assemblies as per their constitutions. Some partners have carried out strategic plans to improve their focus. Policy advocacy capacity building has produced results. A number of village land tribunals have increased capacity and are effectively resolving land conflicts. Women’s voices have been raised and are being heard - some women becoming local leaders, others strong advocates for land, children and women rights. One strategy to increase the voices is to build strong networks and alliances, and MS Tanzania has been keen in supporting such networking activities.
MS Tanzania has also been working to empower its partners to be able to effectively participate in Local Government activities. Public Private Dialogues has had a lot of impact in the various districts where our partners work.
Financial sustainability is one of the challenges facing the partners we work with. MS Tanzania is supporting its partners in fundraising. MS Tanzania is planning to fundraise by utilising the opportunities offered by EU; where by MS Tanzania in collaboration with relevant partners will develop proposals for funding.
Among the challenges faced include low capacities of boards and leaderships of our grass root partners. Also the advocacy campaigns conducted by the grassroots partners are faced with a number of challenges, among them, interference by politicians. The topic team approach has also faced challenges of lack of human capacity and wrong expectations from participants and partners.
MS Tanzania will continue working to address all these challenges so as to improve its performance and that of its partners. In the next financial year, we will have more topic team activities which will group partners together to increase cost effectiveness in the use of resources and also improve cross partners linkages. We will also increase our involvement and contribution to the Policy Forum as it has working groups that are in line with our interest in working with the decentralization/local government reforms process. MS Tanzania, in collaboration with the other MS entities in the region will also pursue the idea to forge an East Africa NGOs cooperation so as to increase the CSOs contribution on various East Africa integration issues.