|Tanzania AIDS Forum Strategic Plan|
Tanzania Aids Forum (TAF) is a national platform whose purpose is to support the long-term strategy of coordination and networking for Civil Society Organizations that engage with HIV & AIDS related activities in terms of influencing and monitoring the implementation of policy and national strategic frameworks in the HIV & AIDS sector. In order to do that, TAF needs to incorporate this goal into its organizational structure and develop functional strategies for implementation of its projects.
This document is meant to direct and orient the activities of TAF in the years to come covering the period 2011-2015. It reflects the ideas and dreams of all those that together form and shape the forum. This is a revised strategic plan. After some discussions in the board of directors meeting in October 2010 and concerns from partners, it was agreed to revise the TAF strategic plan to address all areas of concern for TAF and relate it with the National Multi-sectoral Strategic Plan (NMSF).
Since its inception in 2006, TAF has made contributions to national policy frameworks such as the review of the national HIV & AIDS policy and MKUKUTA, and the development of AIDS law. TAF has also played and active role in efforts to strengthen CSOs capacity to advocate for reforms within the Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund, and other dialogue structures. This has been done, for instance, by organizing preparatory meetings for CSO members that are members of the TNCM, so that they can organize issues to be presented at the TNCM meetings, enabling strong, united representation of CSO interests within the TNCM.
TAF is also a member of the recently formed national steering committee for CSO coordination, a committee interfacing with the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS). The forum also plays a key role in the national technical committees at TACAIDS. Through meetings, these committees serve as a point of contact between TACAIDS, development partners and NGOs, providing equal representation of member interests as well as feedback on CSO positions on various matters to do with policy in the HIV & AIDS sector.
Mission, Vision & Values
Participatory and transparent policy, budget and national strategic plan processes in the HIV & AIDS sector where citizens and CSOs can effectively hold the government accountable for policy planning, formulation and implementation.
To influence and build capacity of member organizations to effectively engage in policy and national strategic plans formulation, implementation and review, and to motivate them to demand good governance and accountability in the HIV & AIDS sector.
The HIV & AIDS epidemic is a stumbling block for Tanzania’s successful development because the disease corrodes the productive force of the country. According to the World Bank’s estimates, during time of 1985–2010, the average real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate decreased from an estimated 3.9% without AIDS to between 2.8 and 3.3% because of AIDS.
A number of positive results have been seen from interventions for the National Response to HIV & AIDS epidemic. The Tanzanian government is now able to track down budgeted and spent resources through its computerized financial management system as well as the HIV fund, which is a pooled funding arrangement system for donors that was established to support the implementation of the National Multi-sectoral Strategic Framework. The Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) has also initiated the CSOs National Steering Committee, which provides easy access to CSOs conducting HIV & AIDS related activities, facilitating communication and dissemination of policies and initiatives such as the National Multi-sectoral HIV Prevention Strategy for 2009-2012. In addition, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) sites around Tanzania have increased from 521 in 2004 and 2,314 in 2010.
Unfortunately, poor utilization of resources and weak implementation of plans have also been noted, and the HIV & AIDS situation in the country has been slow in changing for the better. What is not clear is the extent of efforts that have been put in monitoring the implementation of plans from the budgeting stage. The HIV & AIDS sector has received a lot of attention from the government, donors and CSOs, which resulted in several efforts being put in place to combat the disease but unfortunately leaving a lot more to be done in order to achieve set goals. As of the fiscal year of 2008/09, 84% of HIV and AIDS funds have been given by donors, of which PEPFAR accounts for 74% and the Global Fund accounts for 16%.This share has recently increased to 98% of HIV & AIDS funding that can be attributed to donor support, of which 72% can be attributed to PEPFAR and 20% of which can be attributed to the Global Fund. This is a concern since HIV & AIDS funding for interventions has been generally perceived to be of lower priority by development partners. Additionally though, HIV & AIDS National policy frameworks and strategic plans, such as the NMSF and the Health Sector HIV & AIDS Strategic Plan- II (HSHSP) 2008-2012, have been formulated and well documented, and Multi-sectoral AIDS Committees were formulated to assist in the implementation of HIV and AIDS activities.
Substantial improvements can be realized if effective mechanisms are applied to deal with the pandemic, and given the necessary support. Social Accountability Monitoring is one particular method that TAF will utilize in implementing its policy and advocacy activities. Social Accountability Monitoring goes beyond national planning and budgeting; it is a method that citizens, communities and civil society organizations can use to hold the government officials, service providers and private sector accountable with regard to the use of public resources. Social Accountability can be used to include citizens and CSOs participation in public policy making, participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, citizens monitoring of public service delivery, citizens advisory boards, lobbying and advocacy campaigns. It is a mechanism that involves participation of citizens in the process of managing public resources.
Members of TAF will be encouraged to participate in monitoring the different processes as part of social accountability, and this will eventually lead to greater improvements in the HIV & AIDS sector in the country and will minimize cases of mismanagement of funds. Good service delivery by the service providers will be realized, budget allocation according to priorities will be implemented. At the moment these things are not happening.
In terms of district and community response, there has been minimal resource allocation, At times even the funds that are budgeted in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework have been cut down because HIV & AIDS interventions have been perceived to be of lower priority in recent years. Also, the amounts that the MTEF has allocated for school based prevention activities have not increased in a manner that corresponds to the increase in the number of primary and secondary schools in Tanzania. In addition, there has been a general shortage in human resources in the health sector. The majority of the HIV & AIDS funds are not approved by Parliament, and less than a quarter of the available funds are being spent on prevention.
SWOT Analysis for Civil Society Organizations
Knowledge of situation at Citizen level
A large number of TAF members work to provide services at citizen level, which provides them with significant knowledge and experience of citizen concerns and needs. This means that these CSOs have a access to information on what citizens see as priorities to improve services in the HIV & AIDS sector.
Large number of CSOs, strength in numbers
TAF itself has more than 50 members, and there are hundreds of CSOs conducting activities in Tanzania that can play a part in ensuring accountability among service providers at citizen level.
Varied representation- enhanced knowledge base in the HIV & AIDS sector
CSOs conduct various activities in the HIV & AIDS sector, which gives them a significant opportunity to obtain information of various kinds in the HIV & AIDS sector. This is a vast amount of information that can be organized and put to good use.
Large number of contacts
The sheer amount of CSOs in Tanzania, along with the number of stakeholders that each has, makes it possible to access a large number of potential partners through the TAF network.
Weak capacity in terms of technology
Some of the TAF members lack technology that is widespread in this day and age, such as internet and computer resources. It is also difficult to develop these resources due to other issues such as lack of funds, infrastructure, electricity shortages, etc.
Limited communication among CSOs
Despite the large number of CSOs, many of whom are doing similar activities, there is limited communication and interaction among them, and lack of awareness of the activities of others. This limits the opportunities among CSOs to collaborate effectively to achieve objectives and learn from each other.
Many CSOs find it difficult to gain funds needed to conduct many of their activities, in many cases due to their lack of capacity to prove how they will use funds effectively,
Limited research capacity
Many CSOs tend to focus on providing services, and have limited ability to conduct research of their environment that will help them to seek out the root problems that are causing various issues that hinder the provision of adequate health services in the HIV & AIDS sector.
Limited knowledge of advocacy techniques
CSOs have limited capacity to advocate due to limited knowledge of advocacy techniques as well as limited individual access to government representatives and policy decision makers.
Many CSOs lack strategic focus for their activities due to weak organizational development, which can lead to these organizations overextending themselves in their activities, or working towards their goals in a manner is less efficient than it otherwise could be.
Networking among CSOs to establish fruitful working partnerships
Through TAF, CSOs that are conducting similar activities or share objectives will have the opportunity to work together to assist each other and to learn from each others experiences.
Enhanced knowledge among CSOs through better communication
Improved communication among CSOs within the TAF network will improve the spread of valuable information among CSOs, that can help each member to conduct activities within the HIV & AIDS sector.
Considerable potential to influence policy makers through unified advocacy
Active CSOs uniting to lobby for a single purpose will produce effective pressure on decision makers in the HIV & AIDS sector through the use of evidence based advocacy.
Efficient achievement of NMSF goals through organized and coordinated CSO activities
The coordination of CSO activities under the NMSF objectives will enhance progress towards the completion of these goals and allow for the strengthening of relationships among CSOs that are working towards a shared vision.
Increased access to important potential partners at government/NGO/Donor level
CSOs can allow each other access to their various contacts, allowing for access to new beneficiaries, development partners and other bodies that can help facilitate the completion of CSO objectives. Strengthening of networking will be a product of this, and allow for stronger more effective advocacy.
Decreased funding for HIV & AIDS related activities from development partners
Prominent development partners such as PEPFAR and the Global Fund have decreased their funding for HIV & AIDS related activities in recent years, causing a decrease in funds available to CSOs for their activities. This has been further aggravated by the round 10 Global Fund Proposal not being approved.
Government view of the credibility of CSOs?
Government has often been reluctant to take into account the views and recommendations of CSOs, and has in the past complained that CSOs have kept quiet on issues and not taken advantage of their right to raise issues in various meetings, Technical Working Groups, etc.
Limited access to information
This is a big threat to CSOs for which research is a large component of their work. Information can be difficult to receive from concerned parties, if it is even available, which can be problematic since access to information is critical in allowing CSOs to support their arguments with evidence.
Financial dependence on donors
To perform its set activities, every organization requires a lot of resources such as human resources and materials. CSOs depend on contributions from development partners. This poses a threat to the ability of CSOs to implement their activities.
It is likely that social accountability monitoring conducted by CSOs will reveal substantial issues on the spending of the public funds. The government may refuse to respond to some of the queries that are raised by CSOs, or might even view some of these queries as a threat, causing them to be uncooperative when it comes to working with CSOs to improve policy
The role of TAF in relation to CSOs
There has often been confusion in the past about the role of an umbrella organization such as TAF. Many have often assumed that TAF should participate in the implementation of the activities of its members, whereas the true role of TAF as an umbrella organization is to coordinate the activities of its members and facilitate networking among them so that the members can establish relationships amongst themselves that will enable them to implement their activities more effectively and to work cohesively towards shared objectives. It is also TAF’s responsibility to represent the views of its members as a whole on national and international platforms in terms of the policy process in the HIV & AIDS sector.
TAF also shares the opinion that it is important for CSOs to assist the government as much as possible in achieving the objectives outlined in the National Multi-sectoral Strategic Framework, and to do this, it is important for CSOs to implement activities that assist in achieving these objectives in order to successfully combat HIV & AIDS in Tanzania.
Effective and implementable policy is an important factor in achieving this, which is why it is important for CSOs to monitor the policy process to ensure that resources are being used in the most efficient manner possible. It is also important for CSOs to hold those who are using these resources accountable for the use of these resources in completing objectives and achieving objectives that are related to the NMSF.
In order for this to happen, CSOs must play an active role in advocating for change. Many of TAF’s members are organizations that provide services, rather than advocate for change. TAF therefore sees a need to create awareness among its members of the importance of advocacy in improving the policy process in the HIV & AIDS sector, and acknowledges that members will benefit from training on effective evidence based advocacy techniques that can be used to bring about improvement in initiatives to combat HIV & AIDS. It is possible that CSOs may change their strategic direction and the way they operate in order to incorporate advocacy and Social Accountability Monitoring activities, and therefore there will also be a need to build capacity among TAF members in areas such as strategic planning and organizational development.
Additionally, TAF is planning to raise funds for capacity building and training for its members, and Social Accountability Monitoring will be an important area to focus on when imparting knowledge among TAF’s members.
What is Social Accountability Monitoring?
Social Accountability Monitoring is an important approach that TAF will use in order to reach the objectives set forth in this strategic plan. Social Accountability Monitoring is the obligation that service providers and executives have to provide justifications and explanations to those they serve (citizens) concerning the use and management of public resources. Consequently it is every citizen’s right to ask for justifications and explanations regarding the utilization of public resources and the performance of officials and service providers. Social Accountability Monitoring is a comprehensive approach that can be used at central level all the way down to local level to monitor the use of public resources, and TAF feels the need and responsibility to ensure that CSOs are aware of this approach and to promote its use among CSOs in the HIV & AIDS sector to promote more efficient understanding of how public resources are used in Tanzania.
There are five stages of Social Accountability Monitoring;
1. Planning and Resource Allocation
This is the stage where one identifies what resources are available and what the plans are for these resources. TAF, through its members, can easily start monitoring the use of public resources for better service delivery at the first stage of Planning and resource allocation, Here, one would want to know how much is available for the HIV & AIDS sector or for the specific programs that members carry out; and also monitor if the plans are realistic in relation to the funds that are available and whether plans address the needs and priorities of citizens. TAF will seek to influence members to examine government budgets at central and district level to monitor how the allocation of resources affects service delivery, and how current allocation is aligned to priorities of the NMSF and the needs of people living with and affected by HIV & AIDS.
2. Expenditure Management
At this stage one wants to find out if resources are spent effectively and according to plans in order to be able to hold officials accountable in case of misuse or mismanagement of resources. Under spending, overspending and wasteful spending should all be monitored. The analysis of how resources are being used is an activity that will be implemented by its partners in order to gather evidence that can be used to evaluate the use of resources and to hold government officials accountable for expenditure. This is an important stage since it is difficult to accurately measure the performance of service providers (Stage 3) if they are not allocated sufficient resources needed to perform their functions well. TAF will seek to influence its members to monitor whether funds are used for the purpose that they were allocated for and to seek answers if use has not been according to allocation.
3. Performance management
Monitoring of the performance of service providers should be based on the planning, resource allocation and expenditure. It seeks to answer the following questions: How do service providers perform? Do Ministries, departments and service providers perform according to the commitment they made and objectives set? If these parties cannot perform according to plans, which eventually may result to poor service delivery, then they should give explanations and justifications. Failure to do that must lead to corrective actions be taken against them. TAF will seek information on how various bodies in the HIV & AIDS sector such as TACAIDS, the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, and even Primary & Sub recipients of the Global Fund, are performing activities to counter HIV & AIDS, and will encourage members to hold these people accountable for efficient and responsible expenditure of funds according to their allocation.
4. Public Integrity
At this stage monitoring should be on whether there are mechanisms that will prevent misuse of resources and if corrective actions were taken in cases where public resources were mismanaged or abused. These mechanisms include disciplinary mechanisms for corruption and abuse of resources, such as hearings, as well as ensuring that there are established oversight bodies to oversee use of resources and performance management. Systems must be in place to hold people accountable for failure to perform as required. Again, TAF can monitor this through its members, and can also advocate for the proper mechanisms to be put in place both as a CSO network and through its members.
Oversight bodies include the Controller Auditor General, members of parliament and watchdogs for Development Partners, such as the Global Fund; these have the mandate to ensure that service providers perform as required, and if they don’t, actions must be taken against them through oversight reports, disciplinary hearings, etc. TAF will monitor if officials and service providers are held accountable in case of failure to perform and mismanagement and misuse of public resources. This can be done both through member activities conducted to monitor the previous four steps in the Social Accountability Monitoring process, after which TAF can assist in unifying and coordinating member advocacy to improve processes under each of the 5 Social Accountability Monitoring process, including increased oversight and improved disciplinary measures for wrongdoers and underachieving parties. TAF is well placed to do this as a representative organization for CSOs that can facilitate strong, unified advocacy by its members.
It is the responsibility of the state to manage public resources on behalf of citizens. The state must plan and distribute funds taking into consideration the people’s needs and priorities. In order for the state to implement this task effectively, the five processes of Social Accountability Monitoring must all be applied. The processes of Social Accountability are interrelated and depend on each other.
Objectives and Activity Description:
Overall Objective: To unify and increase the capacity of organizations to create an environment of accountability and good governance in Central & Local level policy making and implementation in the Tanzanian HIV & AIDS sector by raising awareness on the importance of participating in the policy process and monitor implementation, facilitating networking and coordination among national and international organizations that are working in this sector.
The strategic objectives will therefore be as follows;
Strategic Objective 1: To coordinate, collate and share information with all members to encourage them to implement activities under objectives of the four thematic areas of the NMSF framework.
Regular communication with TAF members
TAF will ensure that there is regular communication with its members through newsletters both in electronic and paper form, and will also seek to share information among members through its website, as well as through a mailing list that it will keep regularly updated with email addresses and telephone numbers. The other form of communication will be through member, general, Technical Working Group meetings and other meetings that occur.
Establish knowledge of the plans and activities of all members in relation to NMSF objectives
TAF plans to encourage members to compile strategic plans, from which TAF will study the objectives and activities conducted by its members so as to have adequate knowledge of the activities that each member plans to do. We then plan to identify whether these activities fall under thematic areas of the NMSF and whether they are useful in helping to achieve goals set out under this framework. The aim is to establish a one stop shop for resources that CSOs can use to implement activities related to the NMSF. TAF will also provide a website space for all members as well as for affiliated international initiatives.
Encourage members to align their activities with the NMSF Objectives
TAF will encourage members to conduct activities that are in line with the goals of the NMSF as much as possible within thematic areas that each specific organization works under to ensure that efforts to curb the HIV & AIDS epidemic are as focused as possible. We will also encourage members to look at policy planning and implementation under these thematic areas in order to streamline interventions as much as possible towards achieving the objectives found in the NMSF and HIV & AIDS strategic plans. In addition, we will seek to influence donors to fund interventions that directly contribute to the completion of objectives under the NMSF.
Strategic Objective 2: All members using the Social Accountability Approach to monitoring and influencing policy processes through evidenced advocacy
Encourage members to monitor and advocate for improvement in planning, expenditure and performance by government ministries, departments and service providers
TAF will also encourage members to monitor the government’s activities under the SAM Fundamentals of Planning & Research Allocation, Expenditure Management and Performance Management. We will also encourage members to use evidence based advocacy to influence the improvement of these processes.
TAF will seek to build capacity through conducting workshops on Social Accountability Monitoring, as well as provide information and facilitate member participation in training opportunities for SAM. Workshops will also be organized on advocacy, particularly with a focus on citizen involvement, best practices for research & analysis, policy planning and other beneficial concepts that will improve members ability to monitor planning, expenditure and performance in the HIV & AIDS sector and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Encourage members to monitor the oversight process and the presence of public integrity to ensure that all parties responsible
for planning, budget expenditure and implementation are held accountable for their actions.
TAF will encourage members to conduct research into the workings of the oversight process and monitor the overall effectiveness of oversight bodies in the HIV & AIDS sector. This will link directly into the previous objective in monitoring the instruments that are already in place to ensure proper planning for and utilization of resources, as well as effective performance of the ministries, departments and service providers that are utilizing the resources to provide services to the citizens of Tanzania. TAF will aim to build capacity by spreading information on the oversight process through written documents and organizing training workshops providing contacts to oversight bodies and stressing the importance of public integrity as an oversight tool used to ensure the proper use of resources so as to provide the most benefit to Tanzanian citizens. TAF will also assist in organizing unified advocacy efforts to enable the improvement of policy that is implementable and enforceable and to ensure that oversight bodies have the capacity and the will to hold government officials, service providers and other relevant stakeholders accountable for their performance.
Strategic objective 3: Improved and focused advocacy in policy engagement and development among its members.
Participate in and facilitate member participation in Technical Working Groups, the Tanzania National Coordinating
Mechanism, and public dialogues to create positive change in governance and accountability
TAF will participate as an organization, as well as facilitate participation of its members in Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and public dialogues that address governance and accountability issues in the HIV & AIDS sector, particularly in cases where planned interventions according to the NMSF have not been undertaken the way they were supposed to be. TAF will use consultative sessions in order to provide members with the opportunities to ensure that MPs, CSOs and relevant organizations such as TACAIDS are aware of issues concerning the policy process and to encourage them all to actively participate in dealing with these issues through their separate roles. TAF will also coordinate member participation among members who are part of the Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism (TNCM) to allow for unified, stronger representation of CSOs in the TNCM. TAF will also make use of the media in order to create awareness among the populace about its work, as well as to make known its stance on various issues including the importance of the inclusion of women’s voice in the improvement of HIV & AIDS policy, and to encourage citizens to hold the government accountable for not following through on plans laid out in the NMSF and strategic plans for the HIV & AIDS sector. We will also stress the importance of gender mainstreaming in ensuring that both men and women’s ideas, concerns and experiences are taken into account in all decision making that has to do with policy making in the HIV & AIDS sector.
Coordinate representation of its members in established committees
TAF will coordinate active and participatory representation of its members in established decision making groups under TACAIDS such as the Finance & Audit Committee, which will allow its members to influence policy and budget in these key decision making bodies in the HIV & AIDS sector.. TAF will also represent members and facilitate member participation in various national and international HIV & AIDS conferences, such as Biennial HIV/AIDS sector reviews and Worlds AIDS Day meetings, which will enhance the organization’s image and further its progress towards achieving its objectives. While members will advocate for and implement specific issues related to their organizational plans, TAF will take a lead role to coordinate members so that they can advocate with one voice, particularly in matters of accountability and good governance.
Ensure that TAF gives a clear representation of its purpose and its objectives it wishes to achieve.
TAF will engage with the media through press releases, press statements and other forms of media in order to ensure that its views on policy processes and its stance on any issues of importance within the HIV & AIDS sector are clear. TAF will make sure that its role as an umbrella organization is clear in that the organization seeks to coordinates the activities of its members, and does not seek to implement these activities itself. TAF will also make sure that it presents itself in accordance with this role in all meetings and events that it participates in. TAF will also encourage its members to portray TAF accurately according to its role.
Strategic objective 4: Increased organizational capacity of local CSOs
Support members to improve their internal systems and capacity to monitor, engage and positively influence policy processes inthe HIV & AIDS sector
TAF through its members or partners, will organize trainings and workshops on areas such as advocacy, organizational behavior, and strategic planning. TAF will also gather and disseminate information on how CSOs can influence parliamentarians and other influential figures in the government to bring about positive policy changes to improve services in the HIV & AIDS sector., TAF will also organize trainings on proposal writing to improve the quality of the proposals and applications for grants. Furthermore, the organization will assist members in developing organizational development policies and documents, such as Strategic Plans and work plans, which will help members to be more aware of their organizational direction and enable them to become more transparent and accountable for their activities.
Assist in forming partnerships among members that will help to build their capacity.
TAF will strive to build the technical capacity of its members by assisting in forming partnerships among members that conduct similar activities locally and internationally, furthermore connecting members with organizations that can either help them to conduct activities or benefit from working with them. The purpose is to enhance the achievement of member objectives, particularly within the 5 stages of social accountability. Additionally, TAF will ensure regular updates of the website with information on what members are doing, and will encourage the spreading of information on opportunities to learn about social accountability and other useful subjects. This will help to build the knowledge base of its members on how to promote effective and efficient monitoring of public resources that lead to positive and meaningful improvement at policy implementation level. TAF will also promote programs where TAF members have the opportunity to make contact with international NGOs performing similar activities and enable them to learn new practices and advocacy concepts that may prove to be beneficial in performing activities of their own.
Sources of funds
Currently the sources of funds for the forum include the following:
Each TAF member is supposed to contribute 200,000 TSH as membership fee that is paid yearly. However, members’ contribution is weak, as most members don’t pay their fees. As TAF builds its capacity to communicate with members and increases closer links are established, we hope that this issue will be resolved.
Development Partners are organizations that provide financial or technical support to TAF. The organization has been funded by both national and international partners, and has enjoyed the support of the Government of Tanzania through TACAIDS and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). We hope that this support will continue in the future as TAF continues to grow.
TAF’s Board of Directors currently comprises of 7 members, although according to TAF’s Memorandum of Understanding, the Board of Directors shall not comprise of more than 10 members, led by the Chairperson, who governs the Forum. The Board Members are representatives of different constituencies as follows: 3 Local NGOs, 1 International NGO, 2 faith based organizations, 2 PLHIV network, 1 women based organization, 1 disability based organization. The Chairperson is elected for a period of two years and may be re-elected for an additional two years depending on their performance. They will not be re-elected more than twice, except after a period of two years.
The forum is led by the coordinator who is mandated to manage a team of seven staff and is directly responsible to the chairperson of the board. Since its establishment, TAF has experienced problems of insufficient funds to run its activities. With its limited resources, obtaining and retaining experienced and competent personnel has always been a challenge. This has been a challenge due to lack of funds for the organization, which has been caused in part due to a number of issues as outlined by a capacity assessment conducted by TAF. The assessment outlined factors such as the lack of a diverse funding base, high dependence on external financing, weak internal financial management protocols, lack of communication and information sharing protocols, and the lack of a defined management structure and cited vacancies for key staff positions. Most of these weaknesses have been addressed through the development of a new strategic plan, and finance & human resource manuals, as well as the hiring of an accountant to put TAF’s finance in order. We believe that through it’s new strategic plan, TAF has focused activities and objectives under a well defined long term strategy that development partners will find sound and logical in terms of enhancing the general effectiveness of CSOs in improving the policy process in the HIV & AIDS sector for Tanzania.
Legal status, Organizational policies and Code of conduct
The registration of TAF is as a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a share Capital. The organization is conducted under legal documents known as The Memorandum and Articles of Association, which have recently been reviewed after being found to have weaknesses that were complicating the day to day functioning of the secretariat. The functions and directives of the company are clearly stated in the documents.
TAF, through its board of directors, saw a need of having a financial policy and a human resource administration manual; these documents have been developed and will support the implementation of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
CSO representatives within TAF are required to adhere to specific codes of conduct that were developed. The codes of conduct were approved and endorsed by TAF members during the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Plans are underway to find a mechanism to ensure that the codes of conduct are implemented accordingly.
When TAF was established, the financial aspect of TAF was managed by Human Development Trust (HDT). TAF has now recruited an accountant who is in charge of the financial matters of the organization and will report to the chairperson. The financial system of TAF will be managed in accordance with the regulations of the International Board of Accountants and the National Board of Accountants and Auditors of Tanzania. Members and partners can easily access the audit reports whenever they see a need because they are publicly available. Financial reports will be written quarterly to be reviewed by the board before they are submitted to development partners. Accounting software will also be purchased and used to facilitate smooth financial transactions and report writing.
Partners and stakeholders analysis:
TAF members are very important for the strength of the organization. The forum has varied membership, which includes International organizations, Tanzanian AIDS service organizations, PLHIV, faith based organizations and gender oriented organizations. These members have wide experiences in different areas that significantly contribute to the HIV & AIDS national response. The implementation of the TAF strategic plan largely depends on donor support and membership contribution. TAF’s main role is to coordinate and to facilitate networking among its members to engage in a number of national level advocacy undertakings, including budget tracking, financing of HIV & AIDS programs and the strengthening CSO representation at policy and decision making levels. Most TAF members have limited resources and lack skills in SAM advocacy and proposal writing, as well as Strategic & Organizational planning. TAF therefore strives to build the capacity of its members, with local CSOs being the priority.
Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism
The Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism was originally developed as the Country Coordinating Mechanism that would coordinate the receipt and use of Global Fund Grants for the Tanzanian Government, but has since been given responsibility for the oversight of national and foreign sources of funding allocated for the massive scaling up of response to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and other major epidemics, as well as health related programs that require inter-sectoral interventions. Through TAF, Tanzania is implementing the CCM II Project (Country Coordinating Mechanism Strengthening Advocacy Project), where TAF coordinates regular CSO representative meetings prior to the Tanzania National Coordinating Mechanism (TNCM) meeting that are aimed at enhancing the voice and participation of CSOs in the TNCM. The main objective of the project is to strengthen CSO's engagement for better functioning and performance of the CCM (TNCM for the case of Tanzania), including supporting better coordination communication and governance amongst CSO’s representatives within CCM and with their wider constituencies. A baseline survey that was conducted to assess the barriers that hinder effective engagement of CSO representatives in the TNCM showed that CSOs participation in key decision making bodies has been found to be weak, and this affects the quality of services, citizen’s health status and CSOs constituency. TAF advocates for the strengthening of CSO representation, which will increase their ability to engage in national decision-making and implementation of high standard programs for better service delivery.
Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS)
Tanzania Commission for AIDS coordinates the national multi-sectoral response to HIV & AIDS and provides strategic leadership for the planning and implementation of interventions to curb the spread of the disease. TACAIDS operates under four thematic areas: Prevention, Care & Treatment, Enabling Environment and Impact Mitigation. TACAIDS operates in partnership with a number of different stakeholders, one of which is CSOs, which is done through TAF, which provides CSOs with an avenue to influence planning and implementation of HIV & AIDS policies through committees, which are run through TACAIDS.
International NGOs & NGO Networks
TAF has worked with a number of international NGO’s and NGO networks, participating in projects and receiving technical support and advice from them. TAF will welcome the opportunity to learn from other organizations as well as to collaborate with them on projects that will help TAF to further its progress towards achieving its strategic objectives. Examples of the above organizations are:
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
Voluntary Service Overseas is an international development charity organization that provides volunteers to work with locally based partners around the world. It is currently the largest independent volunteer-sending organization in the world. VSO has provided volunteers for TAF in the past, who have been very helpful in performing the organization’s activities, and VSO shares two areas of focus with TAF, which are HIV & AIDS and Participation & Governance. VSO also helps to share knowledge among local grassroots organizations in order to facilitate learning and promote best practices, for instance through the Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa.
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)
ICASO is an organization whose purpose is to mobilize and support a large community of diverse organizations to form an effective global response to the HIV & AIDS epidemic. It is a network made up of a number of networks, of which its African arm is the African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO). ICASO operates in over 100 countries worldwide, and was responsible for funding the CCM II project that was implemented through TAF for the TNCM.
Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO)
EANNASO is a regional network that works to coordinate national networks of AIDS service organizations, helping them to achieve effective joint advocacy as well as continued networking and information sharing among its members in the East Africa region. It aims to build the capacity of national networks and CSOs to combat HIV & AIDS through policy advocacy, research, knowledge management and institutional development. TAF is one of the networks that EANNASO works with, and EANNASO has been helpful in providing technical support to TAF particularly when TAF was creating its Code of Conduct.
The United Nations have been very helpful in providing both financial and technical support in previous years. This has been done through the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV & AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). UNAIDS has provided consultation on a number of issues, and UNDP has provided volunteers and office equipment, as well as funding to implement a number of TAFs advocacy activities in the past. We will continue to welcome future support from the UN in these areas, and look forward to finding ways to work with them in the future.
Framework for TAF