Latest News

Policy Forum decided to dedicate October’s breakfast debate to the issue of CSO engagement with the newly-elected administration. Titled “What Civil Society Organizations Expect in the New Government?,” the debate on Friday 30th October, 2015 focused on the manifeso that CSOs produced as part of their citizen sensitization programmes.

The 2015 elections marked an interesting time for Tanzanian politics with issues of accountability, transparency and good governance at the forefront of the agenda. As always, the role of Civil Society Organizations in the election process remained crucial and it is for this reason CSOs came together to formulate their own manifesto as guidance to citizens, political parties, government and other stakeholders during the election process of what changes civil society in the country desired to see.

The main presentation was made by Onesmo Olengurumwa, the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders-Coalition National Coordinator

Mr Olengurumwa  began with a background of the concept of the CSO election manifesto stating that it was an outcome of a CSOs meeting that took place in 24/7/2015 aimed at evaluating the position of civil society organizations in democratic process including the 2015 general election.

The main purpose of  the manifesto was to act as a road map and vision for citizens and all political parties participating in the 2015 elections. This included observing principles of free and fair elections and the constitution in the electoral process and putting forward an agenda that represents what CSOs would like to see the next administration prioritize in different sectors over the next five years. 

Moreover, Mr Olengurumwa stressed that CSOs faced many challenges such as the lack of capacity, rivalry between CSOs, lack of sustainable coordination and the constricted civic space affecting their engagement in the democratic process in the country. Despite these, he acknowledged that there are some CSOs in the country that have been at the forefront of agitating for reforms and remained the largest influencers of democracy in Tanzania.

Mr Olengurumwa went on to discuss Chapter 2 of the manifesto which comprehensively describes the CSOs wishes after the 2015 elections and calling on the government to consider them. The main priorities of the manifesto include:  the need for improvements in the rule of law (which centres on everyone including leaders to abide by the law), the importance of the separation of powers that ensures all constitutional organs adhering to their functions and reducing interference, the observation of human rights according to the constitution and the ensuring of  CSO space in the country.

He also pointed out the importance of improving the availability and access to social services, enhancing gender equality, and sustainable economic management.

The discussion that followed championed the idea of a CSO manifesto but emphasized a need to move into a plan of action as to how the manifesto shall be successfully incorporated into government policies and monitored. Discussants also stressed the need for education to enhance citizen engagement because active citizens are an important pre-requisite for an effective state.

A call has been made by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) to strengthen its Ad hoc working group that was formed with the intention of collaborating with CSOs to promote good governance and accountability.

Speaking at a Policy Forum members meeting with the National Audit Office on 12th November 2015, Richard Angelo, the Manager for Capacity Enhancement at Policy Forum said the network is ready to provide the office with their Social Accountability Monitoring findings so as to enhance the performance audits of NAOT as part of implementing the Controller and Auditor General’s initiative to advance public participation in the audit process.

He also recommended other areas where CSOs could strengthen their relationship with Controller and Auditor General Office including the popularization of the national and local authorities audit reports so to make them more accessible for ordinary citizens for their effective engagement in public resource management processes.

A representative from NAOT, Mr. Elibariki Lyaruu, presented the work and functions of the Controller and Auditor General and expounded on how the institution works with CSOs including how they collaborate with key non-state actors in the dissemination of audit reports such as civil society and the media and train them on the audit process as well as obtaining valuable feedback.

He mentioned the areas where NAOT is already working with CSOs in Tanzania including the formation of the Ad hoc Working Group of 18 members consisting of CSOs, government members and the office of the Controller and Auditor General with the aim of offering opportunities for citizen participation in their annual audit planning process and mainstreaming Social Accountability Monitoring in the audit process.

Mr. Lyaruu assured Policy Forum members that NAOT is an independent body which annually submits its audit reports parliament and that different assessments (both national and international) done have indicated that NAOT as a Supreme Audit Institution is an efficient and effective body.

Acting Controller and Auditor General, Mr. Jasper Mero reiterated that the CAG is open to avenues for collaboration with CSOs and called on them to utilize platforms in place to assist the CAG.

Semkae Kilonzo, the coordinator of Policy Forum closed the meeting by thanking NAOT for accepting to meet with them. He said PF is looking forward to future engagements with the office especially on areas of SAM and popularization of audit documents.

“The functioning of the CSO Desk at NAOT as agreed in the Ad Hoc Working Group will be the next logical step in enhancing this collaboration since the focal persons have now been identified. Also, we hope to see future performance audits of NAOT integrate SAM findings and more regular activities coordinated under the Ad Hoc Working Group,” Semkae Kilonzo concluded.

The Ad Hoc Working Group was formed to facilitate a convening space for a constructive and open discussion between CSOs and NAOT, provide an opportunity to learn about good practices on the strategic multi-stakeholder engagement and develop a framework for implementing participatory audit approaches in Tanzania.

Related stories:

Advancing public participation in the audit process in Tanzania:

http://www.policyforum-tz.org/advancing-public-participation-audit-process-tanzania

Policy Forum Members Pay Visit to The National Audit Office and The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance:

http://www.policyforum-tz.org/policy-forum-members-pays-visit-national-audit-office-and-commission-human-rights-and-good

Statement by the Policy Forum's Budget Working Group (BWG) on the 2011/2012 CAG’s Report:http://www.policyforum-tz.org/statement-policy-forum%E2%80%99s-budget-wo...

Advocacy work to curb illicit financial flows and increase financial transparency that can spur development is only getting started, the Financial Transparency Coalition said at the end of the 6th Financial Transparency Conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia last week.

The coalition which brings together civil society, governments, and the world’s foremost experts on illicit financial flows, explored ways to stop the illicit financial flows that are stifling economic growth and development and to strengthen the broader movement for financial transparency. 

“We must continue to push for further equity in the decision making process. It’s quite stark that we had more than 25 countries represented here in Jakarta, but more than half of these countries have no voice and no vote in tax standards being set by the Paris-led OECD, despite being some of the most affected by tax dodging and illicit flows,”  said Alvin Mosioma, Chair of the Financial Transparency Coalition.

“This is perhaps one of the most diverse groups of civil society we’ve seen yet,” said Porter McConnell, Director of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Whether it’s tax justice campaigners, human rights groups, transparency advocates, or the open data community, we are all waking up to the fact that a broken and secretive financial system is at the heart of many problems plaguing our society.”

“This is perhaps one of the most diverse groups of civil society we’ve seen yet,” said Porter McConnell, Director of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Whether it’s tax justice campaigners, human rights groups, transparency advocates, or the open data community, we are all waking up to the fact that a broken and secretive financial system is at the heart of many problems plaguing our society.”

A call has been made by civic actors to the new government to enhance budget transparency and public participation in the budget processes. This call was made by Boniventura Godfrey, Manager for Research and Policy Analysis Unit at HakiElimu ,a presenter of the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held on 25th September 2015 at the British Council Auditorium.

Boniventure said this when he was presenting on the finding of the Open Budget Surevy,2015. He explained that the Open Budget Survey is a tool used to measure budget transparency, Participation and Oversight in 102 countries around the World, Tanzania being one of them.

He mentioned some of the findings of the survey as being: Tanzania scored 46 out 100 (Global average is 45), Tanzania provides public with limited budget information, 6 out of 8 key budget documents are public available and Uganda is leading in EAC with 62, Kenya-48 and Rwanda-36,Public Participation in budget process is weak and Budget oversight by Legislature is weak (the score is 39 out of 100).

Based on the findings of the survey, he recommended the following : Produce and publish a Mid-Year Review and Year-End Report, Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal, Increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget and establish accessible mechanisms for capturing public perspectives.

The discussant of the debate Mr. Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director of TWAWEZA emphasized that there is a need of the government to make sure that the information it provides is relevant and important to citizens and is produced in a way that is easy for them to understand.

 

 

Policy Forum has produced a TV spot that is currently being aired on ITV which aims at sensitizing citizens to exercise their right to vote during the 2015 general election. To view the TV spot please click on the following link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G79vBSFoyuU

Tanzania Tax Justice Coalition (TTJC) has produced a tax documentary based on the analysis of  Value Added Tax (VAT) and Tax Administration (TA) bills presented during the CSOs engagement with Members of Parliament in 2014. The VAT  and TA bills have already been passed and assented by the President. The documentary was aired on two TV stations which are ITV and Star TV.

Click on the following link to view the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK0sI35NRlY

Policy Forum in collaboration with PSAM conducted a three days workshop aiming to develop a collective learning agenda on SAM by drawing from trainers experiences in training and applying the PSAM approach. The workshop was held on 22nd to 23rd September at Royal Village Hotel, Dodoma Tanzania.

The workshop drew together current and potential SAM trainers from Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and together aimed, among other thing to have improved collective understanding of what has been learnt so far in the application so far in applicability of the PSAM approach through training, localization and application of the approach.

Also the workshop aimed at the end to have an improved understanding of the challenges trainers face within the social accountability field and how to address them.  And also to have insights into the ways training and application can be strengthening to improve interventions.

As the wayforwad, the workshop at the end will compel evidence from the participants that tests the applicability of the PSAM approach by assessing if the demand side actors gain a better understanding of public resource management as a system and whether from the supply side will act on this demand. Also weather the approach have the explanatory power that is whether the change in supply side was caused by a better understanding of the determination of service delivery problems

Civic actors have called upon the government to enhance "local-local" content so that the gas economy benefits the host communities. This call was made by Prof. Honest Prosper Ngowi, a Mzumbe University lecturer during the Policy Forum breakfast debate held on the 28th of August 2015 at the British Council Auditorium entitled: “Tanzania’s Gas Economy: Examining Local and National Perspectives.”

Prof. Ngowi referred to a study conducted by Policy Forum to identify gas service levy revenue issues in local council budgets in Kilwa and Mtwara district councils, noting that the Local Government Finance Act (LGFA) of 1982 is the main law that governs revenues in LGAs and requires that service levy shall be 0.3% of the turnover net of the value added tax and the excise duty of companies. It is still not clear, however, where the 0.3% should be paid. For instance, Pan African Energy Tanzania has been paying its service levy to Ilala District Council where it is registered but the Ministry (MEM) advised it to start paying it to Kilwa District Council from 2012.

Prof. Ngowi recommended that diversification of revenues should be conducted and that investment should also be done in other sectors such as roads, dams, irrigation infrastructure or social infrastructure in the form of water.

Because gas reserves in Kilwa are estimated to last for only about 20 to 25 years meaning the revenues from these sources will eventually dry up, he said the ability to these local councils to finance expenditure from this revenue source will be limited. He therefore recommended that the councils think seriously how to fill the revenue gaps well before resources dry up.

Mr. Brian Cooksey, an Independent Researcher the second presenter of the debate provided the national perspective of the Tanzanian gas economy, he accentuated that enthusiasm over the recent discoveries has to be moderated with some realism, there are a lot of hurdles that need to be overcome before East Africa can reap the benefits of its large gas  discoveries, he concluded.

The Commission of Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) has pledged to further enhance its interactions with civil society organisations so as to improve on extending the socio-economic rights so as to see the effective delivery of public service to the people of Tanzania. This vow was made by the Chairman of the commission Hon. Bahame Tom Nyanduga during a meeting with Policy Forum members.

“That is why we as the commission, from the start of this year, have attended numerous civil society events and increased our visibility in the media. We want to communicate to civil society and the public that we can work together to enhance human rights,” said Hon. Nyanduga.

The Chairman also expressed keenness for CHRAGG to continue to receive sensitisation on the Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) approach used by Policy Forum as described by the network’s Coordinator, Semkae Kilonzo, who emphasised that it involved the right for citizens to acquire justifications and explanation for the utilisation of public funds from those assigned (duty-bearers) with the task of managing them.

Policy Forum and CHRAGG have been collaborating with CHRAGG since 2013, organising joint interventions such as appearing together at the Tanzania Chapter of the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC) 10th Annual General Meeting in June 2013 and preparing a joint presentation, co-publishing a booklet on good governance aimed at sensitizing both leaders and the community on the subject.

PF also collaborated with CHRAGG by conducting an orientation training to CHRAGG staff and management on Social Accountability Monitoring that was held in Dodoma in June 2014. This not only enabled CHRAGG staff to obtain baseline knowledge of the importance of Social Accountability Monitoring in good governance and service delivery and how it links to local level work of CHRAGG and other government institutions, but also to gain an understanding of the importance of working with civil society.

The Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRAGG) is an independent government department established as the national focal point institution for the promotion and protection of human rights as well as being watchdog on the observance of The Principles of Good Governance in Tanzania. It was established under the Constitution of The United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, and became operational on 1st July 2001 after the coming into force of the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance Act No. 7 of 2001, as amended from time to time.

Policy Forum was this week invited to a stakeholders meeting to validate a report which looks at the Tanzania Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH) strengths and gaps for WaterAid Tanzania (WAT) to reflect on as they plan their new strategy. The meeting also aimed to offer an opportunity to gain insights on stakeholders’ plans with respect to key areas highlighted in the report and to solicit feedback and suggestions from partners on where they think WAT can add most value in the sector in the next five years.

The following are the key issues observed at the event:

1. Institutions, policies and stakeholders: There is more money, more players, more programmes and better organisation in the WASH sector now than in the past but there is lack of integration of sanitation and hygiene in national water policies hindering prioritization of sanitation and hygiene implementation across all levels, with much effect at village levels. It was also noted that budgeting tends to be input rather than output based and WASH funding is influenced heavily by short term political considerations. WASH stakeholders are numerous but there is little strategic dialogue among all key players on gaps, bottlenecks and impediments to WASH delivery.

2. WASH Sector performance, planning and sustainability: Tanzania will not meet either the water or sanitation MDG targets. The situation is worse in rural than urban areas and despite increased investments in water sector, Tanzania is not doing well in WASH, as more people (absolute numbers) still lack basic WASH services. Funding for water supply has not kept pace with population growth even though emphasis of investments is inclined towards water supply as opposed to sanitation.

3. WASH social context: Vulnerability is mainly driven by disability, exclusion and climate change.  Up to 13.2% of Tanzanians have one form of disability or the other. WASH is equally important to the children and the elderly who face different sets of risks which require targeted responses. Their periods of life are identified as particularly important: for example, the first 1,000 days of a child’s life or the transition from home to school, or from work to retirement all need elevated levels of water supply and sanitation.

4. Wash and climate change: Climate determines the economy of Tanzania and the livelihoods of people and WASH in particular are dependent on the climate.  Around 60% of the Tanzanian GDP is associated with climate sensitive activities, including agriculture, forestry, energy and tourism. Climate variability is already a major economic burden for Tanzania

WaterAid is a Policy Forum member organisation and the two have worked together in budget analysis and advocacy as well as governance reviews.

Related stories:

The Problem of Sustainable Water Accessibility: Is it an issue of technology or accountability?

 

Pages