Achievements,Challenges and Current and future engagements!
Before 2003, TANGO as a network, was mainly concerned in building the primary capacity of its member NGOs. That role is still relevant, however the focus has shifted to facilitating the analysis, lobbying and advocacy for citizen-friendly policies and development frameworks.
Some of the achievements that were led by TANGO or through its strong participation include:
- The formulation of the NGO Policy in the year 2000/01 and the subsequent NGO Act No. 24 in 2002.
- Pioneered and established the first Code of Conduct for NGOs in Tanzania [meant for its members only] in 2001. The role has now been taken over by the National Council of NGOs (NACONGO) where TANGO has a reserved seat as a national network.
- TANGO was the first network to pioneer and facilitate the formation of district and regional generic NGO networks – this work began since 2001 in close cooperation with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). Todate, a total of 12 regional NGO networks and more than 40 similar networks at the district level have been established by TANGO.
- Dialogues (popularly known as Public Policy Dialogues – PPDs) to facilitate cooperation between citizens, CSOs and the district / municipal councils have been conducted since 2005. More than 20 PPDs in 20 districts / municipalities bringing together between 50 – 100 participants in a closed exchange meeting, have been held.
- Participation in decision making processes for national level policies and plans – for example TANGO fought for the increase in number and the quality of CSO participation in the former structure of MKUKUTA / PER monitoring. It is currently supporting a process of harmonising representation in the new structure as well as JAST processes.
- Through the Kampeni ya Ondoa Umaskini Tanzania, which TANGO hosts, we have been able to remind and lobby our government and development partners every year since 2005 on the promises they have made to achieve the MDGs and more urgent the outcomes of MKUKUTA. TANGO also hosts a ‘trade justice’ campaign coalition called the Tanzania Civil Society Trade Coalition (TCTC). Specific achievements include debt cancellation and non-signing of the full EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in the EAC-region.
- Have mobilised and increased the number of CSOs involved in public expenditure tracking, participatory service delivery (PSDAs) and good governance assessments (LGB) especially at district / municipal council level. The interventions are social accountability monitoring mechanisms that CSOs use to carry out ‘evidence based advocacy’.
The National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP/MKUKUTA) recognises the importance and role of CSOs as partners in providing feedback on government’s performance including the central government, ministries and agencies (MDAs). CSOs are also important stakeholders in reporting back to citizens or informing about various government information / reports through meetings, workshops, conferences and through the dissemination of various publications – CSOs use simplified and popular versions of the report to get the messages across.
The third pillar of MKUKUTA is about good governance. This pillar has many shortcomings as far as the outcomes are concerned. CSOs’ position in improving the ‘good governance’ concept and increasing the space for interaction has not been emphasized.
CSOs in the country – including TANGO, operate in tough legislative and un-supportive policy frameworks. Some of the challenges - especially those that TANGO encounters as an umbrella body - include:
- Since the civil society sector is in its infancy, the leaders and executives of CSOs lack the necessary skills and experience to run their organisations effectively and efficiently.
- Opportunities and platforms for CSOs to advocate and lobby for alternative agenda are fairly few / weak.
- Where the opportunities / space exists, the key stakeholders especially the government – both central and local – do not take up the alternative agenda of CSOs despite the government and development partners recognising our role as important partners in development
- How can CSOs increase / enhance our community outreach so that finally citizens are able to hold our leaders [both elected and nominated] and development partners to account.
- How can we mobilise resources and sustain our operational costs as CSOs especially human resource recruitment / retention.
Current and future engagements
TANGO's work is informed by members' needs and as such is geared towards benefiting the member organisations. The current and future engagement are in turn guided by a Strategic Plan (2012-2014) that outlines how the Tanzania Association of NGOs (TANGO) envisages to contribute to poverty reduction and the attainment of the Tanzanian society that adheres to the tenets of pro-poor growth, good-governance and people participation in policy making. While the strategic plan provides the roadmap and strategic guidance on TANGO’s programmatic and operational activity priorities over and the next three years, it also serves as an information sharing and resource mobilization tool.
In addition to being aligned to TANGO’s vision, mission, and values, the strategic plan is set in the context of the organization’s current focus of up-stream policy advisory, capacity development, guidance, and coordination role for its members and partners organisation which operate at the sub-national levels (regional and district levels). The Plan is designed to ensure that these services are delivered efficiently with high quality.
Currently, TANGO is leading a civil society process that seeks to enrich the aid effectiveness agenda in the country including issues of harmonisation, aid delivery and CSO independent monitoring and parliamentary oversight. As well, TANGO is providing a platform as the largest and strongest network of CSOs/NGOs in Tanzania in deepening and widening the East African integration process, Tanzania being one of the five Partner States. TANGO is also hosting and coordinating three CSO coalitions namely:-
- Citizens Global Platform (CGP) jointly led by TANGO and United Nations Association (Tanzania Chapter) - the coalition's theme for 2012 is Climate Change but it has dealt with globalisation and debt issues before.
- Tanzania CSO Trade Coalition (TCTC) with more than 50 member organisations across the country including Zanzibar - issues being addressed include trade competitiveness, EU-ACP EPA negotiations, WTO and Trade Policy Review
- Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) since 2004 TANGO has spearheaded various civil society actors to take action and hold to account leaders at national and international level over promises made to achieve the MDGs and other socio-economic targets under the NSGRP/MKUKUTA and now the 5-year Development Plan (2011-2015).
Over the next three years, TANGO work will focus on four key result areas namely;
- Capacity of member organizations and networks in organizational development (OD), networking, policy analysis and engagement skills enhanced at all levels. (Capacity Development Programme)
- Public participation, analysis and advocacy in pro-poor development policies, strategies and programmes enhanced. (Policy Engagement and Advocacy Programme)
- TANGO members and the general public are well informed and knowledgeable about development policies and strategies and the implementation outcomes (Information and Communication Programme)
- Institutional capacity of TANGO secretariat to fulfill its mandate is enhanced and sustained (Management and Support Programme)
These key result areas reveal the emphasis that TANGO is placing on fostering citizenry participation in the local development process, relationship building between the LGAs and civil society, development of CSOs skills in undertaking social accountability initiatives (PSDA, PETS and LGB). Wider public information sharing and awareness about the development discourse and also the on-going work of TANGO and its members will remain cardinal in the course of implementation of this Plan. TANGO realises that meeting these objectives means strengthening TANGO as an institution by building new ways of learning and sharing within TANGO and putting in place accountability mechanisms and tools.
Last Updated (Monday, 06 August 2012 07:27)