The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) conducted a 2 day capacity-building training on April 4 and 5, 2023 for its 23 partners from the Coast and Central zones and a 2 day capacity-building session on the 12 to 13 April to our 36 partners from southern highlands and lake zone that are implementing interventions in Social Accountability Monitoring in the water, agriculture, education and health sectors; social inclusion of youth and people with disabilities, and gender equality in various regions in Tanzania.
The training centred on Financial Management; Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Monitoring and Evaluation. The FCS head of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL), Mr Guesturd Haule, and Mr Wilson Petro, capacitated representatives of 30 organisations, while Ms Maria Chang’a and Ms Tusekile Anangisye facilitated sessions on Financial Management and Risk and Compliance for representatives of 29 organisations.
Mr Haule explained the importance of monitoring and evaluation for an organisation; exploring evaluation process concepts; examining efficiency and effectiveness; impact and sustainability of interventions, and cross-cutting issues observed in project interventions during implementation such as the inclusion of women and people with disabilities. He also said at least one team member within an organisation should conduct the evaluation process.
“Monitoring and evaluation is necessary for any organisation as it provides an opportunity to review progress and discuss areas that need to be improved during implementation. It also allows the review of organisation data and metrics. Data is used to assess the programme’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement,” Mr Haule said.
On the other hand, Mr Wilson Petro facilitated a session on data collection procedures and useful software for analysis. His session involved training partners in gathering data from sources such as surveys, interviews, observation, and other forms of research; how the data collected can then be used to draw conclusions or form hypotheses, and the tools for data analysis for both quantitative and qualitative research.
He presented baseline studies and their significance to partners, stating that such studies provide a benchmark for comparison because they provide a standardised way of evaluating performance and help to identify areas where improvements can be made. Mr Petro also shared tips on counting direct and indirect beneficiaries to determine the number of beneficiaries reached, and disaggregation of data.
Ms Maria Chang’a, the FCS Senior Grants Officer, discussed various areas of financial management.
She reminded partners on the importance of adherence to FCS internal policies, compliance with the country’s laws such as filing the required TRA returns; deducting statutory taxes from employees’ and service providers’ incomes and remitting the same on time, and meeting the relevant deadlines to avoid penalties and possible damage to organisations’ reputation.
Lastly, she asked partners to fully comply with the donor agreement.
“We strongly urge partners to adhere to FCS policies because that is the guide in their day-to-day undertakings,” Ms Chang’a said.
The ICT session was aimed at creating awareness among partners about the importance of digitalisation because FCS’s revised strategic plan has embraced digitalisation in all aspects of the grant cycle. Mr Bartholomew Mbiling’i, the ICT officer, conducted the session.
”Digitisation is a crucial aspect, bearing in mind the fact that the world is rapidly digitalising world. To effectively adopt digital systems, an assessment is conducted on the size of the organisation, and the needs of the organisation to determine if they need digitalisation. Partners need to know about digital systems, and how they can simplify their work. Before digitalisation, the FCS making cycle was conducted manually where applicants sent their proposals to the FCS head office,” he said.
Ms Tusekile Anangisye, the FCS Senior Risk and Compliance Officer, trained partners in issues related to Risk and Compliance to ensure that any potential risks are identified and addressed promptly.
She explained that it is important for an organisation to remain compliant with the relevant laws and regulations as the organisation can identify potential risks, develop strategies to mitigate those risks, and review its policies, processes and procedures to ensure that they are effectively implemented and monitored.
Partners learnt the importance of a company reviewing its audit processes, and were urged to read contracts carefully before signing them to avoid undesirable consequences.
Organisations in attendance were REDO, FDH, TARUCODEFU, RUT, G.P, AFNET, 4HTANZANIA, ESTL- SINGIDA, TASUWORI, TAS- MOROGORO, TAYOBECO, CIP- SINGIDA, CEDO, TREE OF HOPE, CRESD, WAJIBIKA, MALENGO DV PLAN, and YoWDO,TAWEA, GREEN LEAF, SHDEPHAT, FODEO, IDYAC, VIFAFIO, YEV,TACEDE, MMADEA, SHIVYAWATA RUKWA, VIPAMARU, RUSODEO, JLT, COCODA, CARITAS, IDYCD,FAHODE, SHIMKIMI, WEADO,AMWAVU, YEV, TAWEA, FAHODE, UDESO, ROA, TABUFO.
FCS partners said the sessions had imparted valuable knowledge to them.
Ms Ainessy Ngolle from TAS said, “I learnt about monitoring and evaluation (M&E), which are two distinct activities that involve assessing the progress and outcome of a programme or project. Standard evaluation criteria track success and measure progress. Results chains, logical frameworks, and theories of change and outcome mapping are all tools used to evaluate the effectiveness of a programme. They also evaluate its progress toward its goals. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the data gathered is clear, understandable, and effectively communicates the desired information.”
Ms Sara Ngajilo from YoWDO said, “During the Risk and Compliance session, I learnt the importance of establishing a risk management framework to identify, assess, and manage risks. I learnt that compliance is the process of ensuring that organisations follow the relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines. I went through organisational policies I didn’t know. The facilitator explained to me the importance of having a strong internal control system in place. This is to ensure that an organisation is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.”
Mr Shaban Mohamed from CIP said, “During the capacity-building session on finance, it was important for me to learn the importance of paying taxes at a particular time and tracking organisational expenses. I also learnt how to comply with organisational policies. I’m grateful for gaining knowledge on different types of taxes, and filing requirements. It was also important for me to learn the importance of accuracy and diligence in financial matters. Additionally, I was taught the significance of staying up-to-date on tax laws and regulations, and how to properly set up and maintain efficient accounting systems. Furthermore, I gained an understanding of budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow management, which are all essential for any successful organisation.”