The event kicked off with a panel discussion from Community Development Officer, Health Officer, MKAJI representative, Raleigh Tanzania representative, Village leaders and community monitors. This panel was open to respond to open questions from the rest of the attendees. This activity provides opportunities for everyone to understand how Raleigh Tanzania’s Social Accountability project is been implemented and how stakeholders can intervene and create an Integrity Community. All communities that SAY operates has formed a Joint Working Group which act as a solution – focused platform and the community can get feedback from. Also, there was an open discussion on how Social Accountability through Youth Project can be inclusive and ensure marginalised groups are engaged and have equal opportunities towards community development and participation.
How will Joint Working Groups in the villages ensure sustainability of MKAJI project?From the meeting, Village Executive Officers suggested that there should be on going meetings by Joint working groups within communities. Also, joint working groups must ensure transparency of information to the entire community. Lisa Mungure, who is a Project Coordinator, stressed that communities need to understand that Joint Working Groups are the key part to promoting social accountability. If Joint working groups are empowered and have good representation from different social groups, they are likely to bring a positive impact. Moreover, VEOs agreed that, communities need to have access to important information about the project. Community members should know when and how to seek information from their community leaders. As part of this project, Community Monitors are integral part to the success of this project therefore they need to know all the information related to MKAJI project. Access to Information can not only help them during monitoring but can help them to find solution of challenges or problems. Village Leaders agreed to raise awareness on civic education to their communities about the project and understand their roles and responsibilities. Most people are unaware of their roles and responsibilities in their communities; therefore, this makes difficult for communities’ members to engage fully in community development.
How Social Accountability will promote inclusion of marginalised groups, including young people, women and people with disability?Most village leaders agreed that marginalized groups in communities disengaged in community development therefore they feel excluded, having discussed on this matter VEOs agreed the following:
- Put more emphasis on people to help people with disabilities to accompany them in village meeting and raise their concerns.
- Provide civic education to all marginalised group in communities so that they can participate fully in community development. Moreover, they can learn their roles and responsibilities as part of the community.
- Marginalised groups should work with village leaders closely so that they can understand what is going on in the community. Village leaders stressed that, it is important for project donors who are bringing projects in the community conduct a needs assessment before implementing of the project. This will ensure the inclusiveness and participation in the project.