Improved Opportunities and Obstacles to Development (O&OD) is a methodology to build and sustain collaborative relationships between Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and community for better service delivery and local development by empowering communities and promoting Community Initiatives (CIs). It allows the people, LGA and other stakeholders to support one another to realise better service delivery and local development”. This was said by Dr. Mpamila M. Madale, the Rector of The Local Government Training Institute (LGTI) when officiating the improved O&OD training to Policy Forum members of the Local Governance Working Group (LGWG).
He further noted that given the mandate that LGTI has as the Lead Training Institute (LTI), they are the core trainers for the Improved O&OD training.
Policy Forum rendered support to LGTI to conduct a training on Improved O&OD to its Local Governance Working Group (LGWG) members for five days from 21st to 25th September 2020 at Royal Village Hotel, Dodoma.
The training aims at enabling LGWG members to understand the operationalization of the improved O&OD and how they can foster its implementation at the local level. It is foreseen that after the training, members will be able to share the acquired knowledge to the communities to facilitate their participation in the development ecosystem.
Some members partaking in the training expressed their prospects after the exercise. Alice Hannington from CARE International stated that understanding Improved O&OD will help her organisation to develop programs which will empower ‘Community initiatives’ and ‘Self-help efforts’ of people in a particular area. She further expounded that the knowledge would help enable entire members of the LGWG to complement their development interventions in LGAs level.
Moreover, Samwely Mkwatwa from ActionAid Tanzania also specified that the improved O&OD methodology will supplement their current engagements which aim at empowering community initiatives in different districts where ActionAid Tanzania is working for instance Mafia district.
Since the improved O&OD is the methodology to strengthen LGAs' capacity to grasp the reality in villages/Mitaa and design community development projects based on reflection of the reality of the people in each LGA, it then facilitates community initiatives towards their own development thus leading to sustainable development. This process enables the government to promote those self-help efforts of the communities, nurture them and establish a collaborative relationship to realise better service delivery and local development.
As opposed to the convectional O&OD which was just a participatory and budgeting methodology, the improved O&OD takes a holistic approach to establish collaborative relationships between the government and communities by strengthening LGAs' capacity in identifying and encouraging community initiatives as well as empowering communities to implement and complete those initiatives. Hence, communities themselves prepares plan and implement their initiatives for attaining better life in a sustainable manner.