The CSOs Week 2019 Organizing Committee met on 14th August, 2019, to discuss plans for the upcoming annual Civil Society Week to be held in Dodoma in November this year. Members of the committee in attendance included officials from Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), POLICY FORUM, WAJIBU Institute, TWAWEZA, SAVE THE CHILDREN, YUNA, Legal Services Facility (LSF), CARE International and Msichana Initiative.
Since the inaugural CSO Week held in 2018, there has been increasing appreciation among stakeholders on the importance of the Week as a platform for comprehensive engagement among CSOs and citizens in Tanzania as well as engagement between CSOs and the Government.
FCS Capacity Development Manager Edna Chilimo spoke on the importance of the Week to the civil society sector in Tanzania.
” Last year the Tanzania Civil Society Week was held from 22nd to 26th October in Dodoma with the theme drawn from the National 5 Year Development Plan (2018/17 – 2020/21)—”Nurturing Industrialization for Economic Transformation and Human Development”. This year the CSOs Week is about a collaborative effort among a bigger CSOs group. The Week is a space geared at showcasing the CSOs’ work in facilitating citizens’ as well as community’s participation and CSOs’ contribution in the building of the nation. It is an avenue for information exchange and learning experience on people as the central element of sustainable development, the policies and plans that facilitate all that. It is a space for constructive dialogue between CSOs, citizens, policy makers and lawmakers to facilitate effective engagement of the public and CSOs on issues of national interest. It is also focused on establishing a broad understanding of the work of CSOs and its complementarity to government efforts.”
Justice Rutenge, FCS Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Advisor said:
“The CSOs Week this year is, about bringing CSOs even closer to the citizens who we serve, CSOs engagement and Government partnerships with CSOs. This year the sector has planned for an even more engaging, comprehensive and constructive week for our stakeholders. In September, we plan to launch a website for the CSOs Week that will ease registration of participants who are keen on attending the event and highlight key news and information about the week. FCS’s goal is to ensure we actively facilitate growth and development in the sector and the country through effective engagement.”
Last year, the CSO Week brought together over 700 CSO representatives from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar to strengthen working relationships and collaboration between the Government, civil society and private sector through the culture of constructive dialogue and continuous engagement with the Government for improved working relations and collaboration.
The Week achieved an improved relationship and sharing of information between CSOs, Parliament and Government and facilitated complementarity between the work of Parliament, Government and CSOs; increased understanding of CSOs and their contribution in the socio-economic development of the country. Furthermore, it increased collaborations and partnerships between national CSOs, international CSOs, the private sector, policymakers besides increased linkages and engagements between CSOs and the central as well as Local governments.