158 participants attend the Manage Your Grant Session in Dodoma
* Let’s work in unity, build resilience: Kiwanga
The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) conducted the Manage Your Grants (MYG) Training in Dodoma from May 29 to 31 for 158 stakeholders from 79 partner organisations from various regions in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. The training, which aimed to build the capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) that are recipients of grants from FCS, highlighted factors that should be considered in the implementation of projects to achieve the intended results.
In his opening remarks, the FCS Executive Director, Mr Francis Kiwanga, spoke about institutional changes linked to cooperation between FCS and CSOs that receive grants from the foundation, saying the recipients are regarded as partners because, through such a partnership, FCS empowers them and builds the institutional capacities of its partners so that the empowered partners can have a greater voice in bringing about positive change in society.
“I urge all our partners to be resilient and ready to adapt to changes in their operating contexts. This will go a long way toward facilitating success. Work closely together to identify more opportunities, make progress and bring about the desired impact in society,” he said.
“MYG is an opportunity to learn and exchange experience and best practices. Today is a very important day because it is the day most CSOs will complete their intervention activities and finalise work plans. I’ll be glad to get feedback on issues related to the implementation of activities and our work. We at FCS value accountability. Our responsibility is to ensure that our work benefits people in our communities. We need CSOs so that we can advocate the rights of the people. CSOs work with other development stakeholders to bring development to the people,” Mr Kiwanga added.
He emphasised the importance of partners abiding by the Non-Governmental Organisations Act, saying CSOs should submit their quarterly reports without fail and pay registration and annual fees at the office of the NGOs Registrar.
He reminded partners of the importance of audits, which he said were key to ensuring and promoting honesty and institutional transparency.
Ms Edna Chilimo, FCS Programmes Manager, said the MYG training is important because it has also enabled FCS to meet with its partners.
“We expect to do a great job in the next three days. We need to ask ourselves: What challenges do we encounter in project implementation? What prevents us from implementing projects smoothly? We want to assess our performance and identify what needs to be improved going forward,” she said.
Mr Guesturd Haule, FCS head of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning, stressed the need for FCS partners to report changes resulting from project implementation and compile data on results to accurately gauge project success.
“Meetings bringing together partners in the implementation cluster this year were a success as they enabled us to get valuable information on the political, economic, technological, environmental, and legal contexts as far as the operations of our partners are concerned. This will help us improve our reporting of results,” he said.
Mr Ayubu Masaki, FCS Finance and Administration Manager, spoke about financial and administrative matters that partners need to consider in the operations of their organisations in line with the relevant laws. Mr Octavian Kichenje from the TRA Institute of Tax Administration said CSOs were required to pay taxes like other taxpayers.
Ms Sarah Masenga, FCS Communications Officer, delivered a presentation on the power of communication, saying efficient communication is a powerful tool that brings partners together for positive results.
“Communication is an important strategy for every organisation working to bring about positive change in society. Communication should not be a one-off affair. Successful organisations always put in place effective communication strategies,” she said.
Mr Bartholomew Mbiling’i, FCS ICT Officer, said various improvements have been made to digital online management of grants to improve efficiency.
During the MYG training, FCS Project officers also reviewed the partners’ project implementation activities, analysed project budgets, reviewed the results framework of project implementation and assessed project indicators and goals to establish whether the desired results will be attainable.