‘NCA TANZANIA GOOD GOVERNANCE THEMATIC AREA PROGRESS AND IMPACT EVALUATION STUDY-2008/09’
Background: In Tanzania, NCA works with poor Communities and local partners (FBOs, Resource Partners and Strategic partners) in 41 districts of mainland Tanzania, including Zanzibar. The organisation’s vision is ‘together for a just world’ and since 2005 the organization has been implementing activities aimed at realizing this vision. The NCA’s operations are structured along FIVE key thematic areas one of which is Accountable Governance and Economic Justice. This thematic focus in line with cluster III of Tanzania’s National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction (NSGRP) also known in Kiswahili as Mkakati Wa Kukuza Uchumi na Kupunza Umasikini Tanzania (MKUKUTA). The NCA views Good Governance as key to poverty eradication. Good governance is seen as a process of effectively planning and using public resources optimally to deliver social services. It is an intricate process of exercising various forms of power (social, political, economic, legal and administrative) within various institutional and social arenas to manage national or local resources. NCA views Good Governance in the same prism as the National Frame Work For Good Governance (NFGG). According to the NFGG which is the major county’s reference, Good governance is understood as a set of eight characteristics namely, participation, rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and accountability. Purpose/ Objective: Over the past years Tanzania has undertaken major Decetralisation by Devolution reforms. These reforms underscore the need for participation of citizens in the governance and decision making process and the need for the local leaders to be responsive to the needs of the citizens. In the spirit, NCA has been supporting partners to conduct/activities that seek to strengthen good governance at the local level. NCA’s contribution or interventions has been through support of its partners to inter alia train communities and groups on Public Expenditure Tracking systems (PETS) and Village Community Banks (VICOBA). Despite these efforts, there seems to be still gaps that have to be addressed in order to sharpen and improve the quality of good governance at the local or community level. It is upon this background that NCA in 2008 engaged a consultant to conduct a study in evaluation of its Good Governance work for the last couple of years. 3.0 Expected objectives and tasksThe consultant was expected to:1. Evaluate and assess NCA’s thematic framework on Good Governance and Accountability and propose ways of howto improve it2. Evaluate and assess the ability of the activities that are implemented under the Governance thematic focus tocontribute towards good governance at the local government level3. Evaluate the ability of the activities conducted under this focus to strengthen local government structures in theNCA operational areas4. Evaluate and propose ways through which the NCA’s Good Governance and Accountability activities can contribute towards strengthening local community participation in the governance process5. Documenting NCAs Good Governance related activities and assessing to what extent they have brought about change and impact on the communities at the local level.6. This study will also involve interrogating of activities or projects like the Public Expenditure Tracking systems (PETS), Community Empowerment Programs (CEP) and Village Community Banks (VICOBA) to assess• Strength or suitability of their structures,• Number of people so far reached• Volume of resources financial and skills accumulated so far• Number of groups and communities established so far7. Interview a sample of implementing partners and beneficiaries or target groups of the activities implemented under the good governance thematic focus.8. Prepare and submit a concrete and well written report to NCA after conclusion of the study Methodology: This study involved both desk work and actual field visit to all or some of NCA’s operational areas. It further involved actual visitations and interviews with some of the local partners and beneficiaries of the activities conducted under the good governance thematic areas. The consultant was required to read and review relevant literature with regard to the NCA’s Good Governance Focus theme. The consultant was required to have a thorough understanding of Good governance and accountability processes and a hand on mastery of Tanzania’s policy and local Government Reform process. These processes informed the framework and theoretical basis upon which the consultant based in assessing the impact of NCAs work. Expected Outcome The consultant was expected to produce a concrete and acceptable report to the NCA (Executive Summary, Body of findings and analysis, a set of recommendations and appendixes or annexes). The discretion to judge the report as ‘acceptable’ was entirely upon the NCA. Key Findings: The preliminary findings of the evaluation indicated that the activities implemented under the thematic focus area were contributing towards strengthening local governance. The Community Empowerment Program (CEP) implemented by TCRS in Kibondo, Ngara and Karagwe had tremendously contributed towards improved governance at the local level. The Village Community Banks (VICOBA) was very popular amongst the ordinary people and this explained why their numbers were increasing rapidly in the districts visited. The religious leaders were beginning to take seriously the issues of Accountable governance.Already the impact was beginning to be seen as the Easter preachings strongly condemned corruption(Bishop Alex Malasusa, ELCT Tanzania, Nipashe 13 April; Catholic Bishop Augustine Shao for Zanzibar Diocese, Guardian 13 April) and ofcourse the Kilosa DED in trouble for amassing land (Nipashe, 13 April) and CCM’s NEC Member , Nape Nnauye condemnation of Corruption (Nipashe, 13 April). All this seemed quite a lot for one Easterweekend!. In some districts the PETs committees were still very infant. There was thus need for further nurturing of these committees. Recommendations: • Need for NCA-PETs local facilitators to have confidence and ability to speak out on the existing institutionalweaknesses that impede the successful implementation of PETs at community level. For example the local PETs facilitators should be able to clearly and confidently invoke and site the constitutional and legislative provisions in the local government Act and the Guidelines from the Prime Minister’s Office for Local Government and Regional Administration (PMORALG). All these documents mandate the people to undertake PETs. • Need for NCA partners to identify local resources that can be tapped into and used for development at the local level. For example, the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP) provides a window for funding agricultural programs at the district and village level. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also provides funds to support agricultural development and increasing value of selected products. All these resources should be tapped into by local communities and monitored to ensure they are spent as planned. • The need for facilitation of the local PETs coordinators to undertake their responsibilities at the local level. During the evaluation interviews all district and local PETs facilitators complained of inadequate facilitation and difficult working environments. This facilitation could include payment of small Honorariums or modest monthly stipend as compensation for their time and work. These honorariums could be paid upon submission of satisfactory reports to the district and NCA partner organisations. Other forms of compensation could include bicycles and motorcycles to facilitate their movements from one part of the district to another or one part of the village to another and respectively The bicycles and motorcycles could also be given as presents to those excelling in their work • There was need for more harmonisation and interfacing between the implementing partners under the ACT networkand the facilitating organisations. While it seemed obvious that the facilitating organisations had important and specific capacity building roles to play, in practice the huge capacity gaps in the villages or grass root communities were hardly being met by the facilitating partner mostly in Dar es Salaam in Arusha • Need for more advocacy and where possible lobbying for high level (including diplomatic pressure) for local government authorities to open up their doors to the PETs committees and to allow them to do their work. • Need for clear communication between NCA and its partners in regards to the disbursement schedule of funds inorder to reduce or eliminate instances of delayed disbursements • Need for integration of Gender in all Governance programs for all NCA partners. TGNP should conduct anassessment and develop a mainstreaming training program for all partners. The Gender festival could be used as a resource for sharpening the skills of partners on addressing Gender Based Violence and any forms of discrimination. • Local leaders need to be drawn into earlier stages of PETS training in order to improve the rapport between the local leaders and local village PETs committees. • Need to develop plans to conduct PETs training in areas which have not been trained and nurturing those areaswhere PETS trainings have already been undertaken.