Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) established the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Resource Centre in Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania as a one stop centre for CSOs sector and knowledge hub for different stakeholders; local communities Civil Society Organizations, policy makers, private sector, academic and research institutions, government officials, international community, citizens, etc. to access , embrace, learn and support the work for the civil societies and philanthropy in Tanzania. The centre also provide advisory services to the Civil society organizations and other stakeholders on the civil society sector.
1.FCS Knowledge and information Hub
For the past 18 years, FCS has been working as a centre for CSOs, government and other stakeholders to access all information on the work of the civil society. The CSO resource centre hence is an FCS initiative to expand on this role and serve more CSOs. It is a learning hub to enhance knowledge. The centre hosts a library and archive offering the opportunity for stakeholders, development actors and the public to acquire information and knowledge on the CSO sector and its operations; Laws governing the CSOs sector and compliances; CSOs and their interventions and impact on communities in Tanzania. As a knowledge hub, the centre also provides The library in the centre gives access to printed materials, publications, posters, and books from an array of information sources.
2. Provides Statutory Laws and compliance guidance to CSOs
There are over 20,000 CSOs operating in Tanzania. The resource centre is a one-stop centre with all necessary and relevant information regarding Tanzanian Civil Society Organizations, their operations, particularly regulatory frameworks and coordination by relevant government institutions and offices. The centre helps CSOs understand statutory requirements better and subsequently become more compliant with the laws, policies and procedures governing their operations. The centre supports CSO’s access information on Registration, compliance and Local Government authorities permits as detailed below;
a) Registration: The civil society resource centre provides adequate information on required procedures for registration of CSOs in Tanzania with ease of access to required documentation.
b) Compliance: In October 2018 the Government issued new regulations that require all organizations registered under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children to comply with. This means organizations ought to submit to the office of the registrar the agreements/ contracts whether in person or via email in order to ensure compliance hence the centre provides guidance to CSOs on compliance issues, particularly in the legislative frameworks in the CSO sector
c) Permits to work in local governments: increasingly CSOs are required to seek permits issued by PO-RALG to implement projects in their localities. The civil society centre provides adequate information and required procedures on how to address issues with relevant authorities in Dodoma
3 . Strengthening partnerships between development actors
The resource centre provides safe spaces for constructive dialogues, building partnerships, and greater engagement between CSO actors, development actors and officials from various government ministries, agencies, parliamentarians and alike, for the improvement of CSO operations and achievements of the civil society sector. The centre envisions providing conference facilities for organizations to host events at its premises eventually.
4 . Facilitating CSO Capacity Development
The centre provides a platform for mentorship, apprenticeship and coaching for smaller, grassroots CSOs and youths to practically build their capacity on the best practices and lessons obtained from years of the evolution of the civil society in Tanzania.
5. Strengthening CSOs and GOV engagement
The centre seeks to enhance and strengthen CSO’s engagement with the Government for the greater achievement of development for citizens across Tanzania. Engagement between these actors creates and deepens sustainable growth fuelled by civil society’s effective engagement in efforts to achieve Tanzania’s development vision. Through GOV and CSO collaborations and engagement enables CSOs effectively to serve excluded, marginalised and vulnerable populations in the interest of development in Tanzania
6. Linking Research and Academicians
The hub links academic and research institutions. Through the centre , researches, lecturers and students access key research document . The Centre is encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting intellectual exchange, principally through educational interaction and academic research. The end goal is for greater collaborations between CSOs, Researchers and Academicians.