Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) organized a 2-day (April 13 to 14) reflection session with key Civil Society sector stakeholders in Zanzibar with the purpose of learning and discussing new engagement approaches to strengthen the sector in the Isles. The session was attended by Government officials, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Leaders and their representatives. Others include development stakeholders as well as participants from universities and the public sector.
The workshoprevisited the current CSOs strategic approaches implemented in Zanzibar and their impact. They also reviewed the challenges CSOs face and the impact of their work on beneficiaries and their communities. The workshop brought to light how CSOs can effectively engage with government in critical issues and use evidence to influence policy changes.
On development policy processes, participants discussed more effective ways of engaging with the government. They outlined strategic and practical approaches to adopt, hence overcoming challenges in the process.
The session moderator, Edson Nyingi challenged CSOson the need to work closely with the government while implementing their activities to ensure sustainable public linkages when the projects end. He further insisted on citizens’ and community ownership of these initiatives as this ensures community participation at all levels of the project implementation, including working with local Government authorities and the media.
For over 17 years now FCS has supported CSOs in Zanzibar through its grants and capacity development services. In 2016, FCS and the Association of Non-Government Organisations in Zanzibar (ANGOZA) launched a joint programme to enhance capacity development for CSOs in Zanzibar as they make significant contribution in community development. They support the government efforts in providing development services and build local capacity to find solutions for their challenges.