Community Relations, Inclusion, Transparency
Aiming for increased transparency and accountability at the local governance level in Tanzania, MFA conducted trainings for 7000 local government officials over a six month period in 2011. The Project Theme was Community Sensitizations so that they may know their civic rights. We were awarded US$139,353 in 2011, US$ 140,000 in 2012 and US$150,000 in 2013 by The Foundation for Civil Society.
Focusing on the four wards in Mbeya District (Ilomba, Mwakibete, Mwasanga, and Tembela), the training targeted ward councilors, secretaries, community development officers, education coordinators, local chiefs. And common citizens. Ensuring the trainings were community driven, more than 20,000 citizen representatives participated. Trainings, presented in two sections, were led by two trainers from the Mbeya District Council and three from the Mbeya Community Development Office. Prior to the program, reports of corruption by political officers, poor family planning education, poorly managed infrastructure projects, and tax evasion were common. With an overall objective of increased transparency and accountability, trainers addressed community concerns and problems through workshops on ethics, good governance, anti-corruption, rights for vulnerable children, and conflict resolution. In the last day of the training we contacted a debate.
The panelists came from the HIGH COURT, TAKUKURU, POLICE, TUME YA MAADILI, MIGRATION OFFICERS, AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE MBEYA CITY DIRECTOR. Through the Debate the trainees were happy to talk with top leaders the issues that hinders transparency and accountability to citizens.
The success stories resulting from the trainings are many. Follow up studies in the targeted districts have shown that local governance offices are designing and implementing transparent strategic plans, educating the community on family planning and labor laws for pregnant women, and following through on the construction of infrastructure projects such as school construction and road and hospital repair. Also notable, local chiefs across the districts are conducting their own trainings to further expand the good governance message. Additionally, as a result of the youth driven focus, several programs were initiated, such as a co-ed football team, that provides young people an accessible place where they can gather to use their talents, learn new skills, and avoid dangerous life styles. Finally, and affirming the long term impact of the project, the training program created an influx of social responsibility and community driven conflict resolution in each ward as a direct result of the specific attention paid to ethics and community awareness.
Citizenship and Good Governance In Tanzania
This project is a continuation of efforts of MFA which aims at making sure that government officials especially VEOs and WEOs cooperate with communities in solving their problems instead of commanding communities on what to do and what they should not do. MFA through its funding from the Foundation for Civil Society implemented a pilot project in Mbeya Rural where one of the major outcries of the community was poor relationship between them and their leaders especially in implementing developmental plans. While communities were complaining that their leaders were dictating what should be implemented in their localities, leaders on the other hand were insisting that they were implanting orders from the council. Unfortunately some leaders used to threaten communities and some members were giving out money to silence them unknowingly that they were giving out bribes.
After successful implementation of this project, many communities forwarded request to MFA to ask the implementation of similar projects in their localities. In Chunya, for example, communities insist that they need an open forum between PCCB, Primary courts representatives and VEOs in order to have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities in developmental process in the localities.
The project will sensitize different parts of communities on roles of each pillar in village development process and emphasizing community’s rights in order for each member of the society to live peacefully, while contributing to the development of the communities.
This project aims at reinforcing good governance and rule of at grass root level by creating awareness to community on their rights and responsibilities in demanding for justice and being able to execute their own plans without being disturbed or threatened by authorities. The project will link communities, and key pillars of justice including PCCB, village officers and primary court representatives in there localities in order to discuss with communities on what they can do when their rights are not be fulfilled, or when their leaders use their positions to deny for their rights.
- Increased accountability between leaders and the community hence improved social service provision and foster development;
- Good governance which follows citizens’ rights and rule of law where all communities are treated fairly and equally;
- Increased and improved community participation in planning and implementing their own developments;
- Clear understanding of Community and their leaders on their role in bring up their own development; Leaders participate in planning community development and uses the funds allocated wisely;
- Village and ward development committees have been trained on how they work with their leaders and can be able to hold their leaders accountable;
- At least four hearing meetings organized between communities, PCCB and primary courts aimed at solving communities’ concerns.