During the last decade, one of the significant achievements on the growth chart of the civil society in Tanzania was its recognition by the governments for what it truly is, a means through which the participation of citizens in governance processes and development arena can be achieved. We have seen stronger organizations arising from communities, with enhanced ability to meet bigger challenges and achieving better outcomes. Gone are the days when local civil society organizations (CSOs) were perceived to be lacking in capacity and experience to effectively implement projects. We are
now seeing a big shift and movement within civil society organizations sector. Most of civil society organizations are growing and becoming stronger and their roles and mission are becoming clearer. They are working in diverse issues and exhibiting good professional expertise in their areas of work.
Without doubt, the civil society organizations are agents for change in our communities.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are one of the change agents as far as community development is concerned; thus, investing direct resources into them is a viable strategy for community transformation and change. Being a part of CSOs, NGOs are among the most important and potent forces for economic, social, cultural and environmental development. They are imperative partners in the development process of any nation. NGOs complement governments’ efforts towards transforming the social wellbeing of the people. They make a difference in the lives of many people as they supplement public institutions by providing human needs that are not adequately covered by the institutions.
Increasingly the governments are now recognizing NGOs as partners in the development process. Hence it is expected that the governments will put in place and create an enabling environment for the NGOs to work effectively and efficiently for the development of the countries concerned. Evidence on ground show that most of CSOs are getting sufficient support from their governments which is an indication that they trust and appreciate their contribution in improving people’s lives in communities.
On the other hand, many NGOs have been formed in many countries, yet few are sustainable and resilient to survive challenging times. They still face many problems. The challenge for their future is to recognize their weaknesses and strategically address them. However, the main reason for the demise of many NGOs has been the fact that most Development Practitioners (founders, managers and workers) have inadequate or no skills in the management of institutions of such nature, this is due to the lack of a resource-book.
Fortunately, the author, Dr. Yusto Muchuruza, a social scientist and proficient worker, with experience and expertise in social development and organizational management, a facilitator and an experienced Development Practitioner has written this “Practical Handbook for Development Practitioners – The NGOs Perspective.” This book represents a modest attempt to build the organizational capacity of the civil society in Tanzania
and beyond. It represents a body of knowledge and skills required by Development Practitioners to effectively carry out their duties and responsibilities, and finally achieve organizational goals. With that in mind, I congratulate Dr. Yusto Paradius Muchuruza for writing this handbook. I have read it and found it to be a helpful resource for all organizations; NGOs founders, practitioners, leaders, and other development stakeholders.
For this reason, I recommend it to all Non-Governmental Organizations, Governmental Organizations and Governments, to sustain the civil society sector’s eagerness and commitment to seize their roles in mobilizing citizens for development at the local, national and international levels.
The Foundation for Civil Society
Dar es Salaam