In the welcoming remarks the TCDD
chairperson thanked the Guest of Honour, the Permanent Secretary in the
Vice-Presidents Office (VPO), Honourable Abubakari Rajabu, for coming in person to
officiate the opening ceremony of the workshop. The personal presence of the Permanent
Secretary at the opening function of the workshop showed Government dedication and
interest in recognising the role and contribution of CSOs towards poverty
eradication. The VPO is the Government Focal Point on the NGO sector and issues related to
poverty eradication including HIPC/PRSP. The Chairperson also thanked participants
and invited guests for attending the workshop and paid special thanks and tribute to
upcountry participants from the 38 Local Government Reform Districts for enduring to
travel long distances to Dar es Salaam for the workshop.
further expressed its sincere gratitude to the government for recognizing the invaluable
contributions of CSOs towards development in the country. He said that TCDD and its
members are committed to participate effectively in poverty eradication and campaigning
for the total cancellation of illegitimate, huge and unpayable debt burden of the country.
In recent years, TCDD had played a significant role in lobbying for deeper and faster debt
relief. TCDD represented Tanzania in key debt cancellation advocacy forums in
Cologne, Prague, Seattle, Tokyo, Washington and New York. We were there in all
these forums. TCDD also played a significant role during the preparation of
the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), but regrettably the government ignored
valuable suggestions made by the CSOs. We made specific suggestions but we did not
know what happened to them, they were simply not reflected in the final documents.
Although TCDD shares the values that underlie the PRSP, we deplore the fact that
the World Bank and IMF make it as a conditionality to debt relief. This
conditionality slows the pace to deeper and faster access to much needed debt relief.
has decided to participate in monitoring the implementation of the PRSP. This is the
objective of organising this workshop. Our objective is to provide knowledge and
skills to CSOs on both the PRSP itself and how best they can engage in monitoring its
implementation. In that regard, CSOs plan to develop their own framework and system
to monitor the PRSP. TCDD presents a viable forum for CSO engagement in monitoring the
PRSP since it is made up of local and international NGOs, religious organisations, trade
unions, media, pressure groups, network and advocacy groups which have direct connection
with the grassroots people. Also, as member of the Jubilee 2000 Global Campaign,
TCDD will continue to network with other stakeholders globally for the campaign for total
debt cancellation among highly indebted poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
2:2 Opening speech by guest of honour, Permanent
Secretary, Vice-Presidents Office, Hon. Abubakari Rajabu.
The Guest of Honour
thanked TCDD for inviting him on behalf of the Government and the Vice President Office to
officiate the opening of the workshop on civil society engagement in monitoring poverty
and PRSP. The guest of honour observed that this workshop is an important landmark
in the history of our national anti-poverty framework, since it aims at equipping Civil
Society Organisations with basic concepts and skills required to engage in monitoring
poverty and PRSP working side by side with the Government, at the district and national
guest of honour continued by saying the following: The PRSP process started in November
1999. The Tanzania PRSP was approved by Executive Boards of the World Bank and IMF
in November 2000. The formulation of the PRSP is one of the requirements to
qualifying for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Relief
Initiative. A country must have a PRSP in place before it can qualify for enhanced
debt relief. It should be noted that the Government had already articulated its
priorities and focus in reducing poverty before the PRSP. This has been done in the
context of the Vision 2025, which provides long-term poverty reduction benchmarks,
including eradicating poverty by 2025 and halving it by 2010, the National Poverty
Eradication Strategy (NPES) which outline Government efforts for poverty eradication in
the medium-term, and more recently the Tanzania Assistance Strategy, which identified
priority areas for external assistance support.
further underscored that the Government cannot do the work of implementing these
strategies alone, so we re-emphasize that CSOs have a critical role to play in the
implementation of the PRSP. We therefore call upon the workshop participants to
discuss plans on how to strengthen Government-CSO relationship in the race against
poverty. Infact, the Government has already made a decision to include CSOs in the
National Poverty Monitoring Committee that is being established, as well as to participate
in its Special Task Forces. Apart from these committees the Prime Minister has
appointed another committee to monitor the state of family welfare as an attempt to link
the macro and micro level performances and impact on poverty.
Permanent Secretary called upon the NGO sector and Civil Society Organisations to continue
with efforts to campaign and lobby the international community to increase funds to be
available to finance the PRSP.
paid tribute to the efforts of CSOs through TCDD for organising the workshop to deliberate
and strategize mechanisms to enable CSOs and the entire NGO sector to participate and
engage in monitoring poverty and the PRSP. Civil Society Organisations have a great role
to play in informing the on-going national dialogue on poverty and debt, and advocacy for
anti-poverty initiatives within the context of the PRSP and other related programmes.
had made valuable contributions towards the PRSP formulation processes, which was in
itself an entry point for promoting a forum for dialogue with the government around the
areas of poverty and debt relief.
participation of CSOs in the PRSP consultative process had been one thing, but the
challenge for CSOs to participate in the monitoring of the implementation of the PRSP
still remains and needs to be addressed. In that understanding, UNDP encourages CSOs
to participate in the Government-led National Poverty Monitoring System, and all its four
Working Groups - i.e. survey and census, routine data collection, research and analysis
and dissemination and advocacy working groups. Civil Society participation will ensure
that the agenda of the Poverty Monitoring System is drawn from different perspectives and
therefore enjoys broad national ownership. That notwithstanding, it is
understandable for CSOs to develop strategies and a system to monitor poverty and PRSP
independent from the Government-led National Poverty Monitoring System. An
independent CSO system to monitor the PRSP will provide the necessary checks and balances,
as well as complement data and information generated by the government led Poverty
Monitoring System. UNDP expressed optimism that the workshop would manage to develop
practical and sustainable civil society strategies and mechanisms for monitoring poverty
and the PRSP.
supports the PRSP process and CSO participation in PRSP or policy dialogue in general.
DFID official observed that several opportunities for civil society participation were
lost in the past and therefore challenged CSOs to take quick and immediate steps to ensure
that participation in the PRSP process and poverty monitoring system was attained
successfully and effectively. The following challenge questions to CSOs were posed: