ECD Capacity Building For CBO's

ECD services in Tanzania with the exception of those provided by government sectors dealing with children are still limited to business oriented and they are for profit making, the only public services where children can attend are Pre primary schools which again concentrate with Pre primary education which has been harnessed by the Education and Training Policy. The situation of Pre primary schools in Tanzania has been faced with many challenges which are structural and process quality variables.

ECD Centers are mainly those which belong to religious communities or individuals where parents have to pay some fees for their children to be enrolled. The emerging Community Based ECD services are due to the work of CSOs where mobilization is being done to create awareness among communities on the importance of Early Childhood Development and the need for children to access ECD services for many developmental outcomes for children. All in all Community Based ECD Centers are very few in Tanzania.

Tanzania Home Economics Association (TAHEA Mwanza) having worked with rural communities in establishing Pre primary Schools, has decided to establish a Community Resource and Training Center where a Model Community Based ECD Center is used as one of the ways of mobilizing communities to establish such centers and communities are starting to respond to this course.communities on the importance of Early Childhood Development and the need for children to access ECD services for many developmental outcomes for children. All in all Community Based ECD Centers are very few in Tanzania.

In realizing this importance TAHEA Mwanza since 2014 to february 2021, has been implementing a project on building the capacity of CBOs and NGOs (Partners) in Early Childhood Development (ECD) under the funding of Firelight Foundation. The project involved 10 Community Based Organisations which are Tusaidiane Mwaloni Kirumba (TMK), Assist People with Disabilities in Mwanza (APDM), Umoja for Sustainable Society Development (USSD), Seeds For Future Organisation (SEFFO), Amani Girls Home (AGH), Mwanza Women Development Organisation (MWDO), Kikundi cha Wanawake Kilimanjaro Kupambana na Ukimwi (KIWAKKUKI), Sawa Wanawake (SAWA), Organization for Community Development (OCODE) and Elimu Community Light (ECOLI). 

The aim of this project was to improve the capacity of Partner organizations in implementing ECD programs and Organizational Development (OD).

 

TAHEA Mwanza is a Professional NGO and most of its Members are experts in one or more of ECD components. We have professions in Education, Nutrition, Health, Social Welfare, Community Development, Law, Agriculture and Environment. Micro Finance is a cross cutting component in all programs. The Members are mostly used in facilitation development processes.

ECD Centers are mainly those which belong to religious communities or individuals where parents have to pay some fees for their children to be enrolled. The emerging Community Based ECD services are due to the work of CSOs where mobilization is being done to create awareness among communities on the importance of Early Childhood Development and the need for children to access ECD services for many developmental outcomes for children. All in all Community Based ECD Centers are very few in Tanzania.

In this project TAHEA was Lead Partner and used a number of approaches to deliver capacity building sessions, As listed down below;

Baseline exercise intends to collect some information on the experiences of the Partners in ECD work, Institutional capacity, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The information helps TAHEA to develop with the Partners individual plans for Capacity building.

Site visits are for a participatory monitoring and evaluation of the progress and sharing of challenges and re-planning. In most cases site visits are conducted for the purpose of observing implementation of Partners individual plans, for mentorship and any immediate support.

The learning cycles are through sharing of experiences among participating organizations, Stakeholders at community/ward and district level. During these Cycles we focus on ECD enabling environment for young children where organizations share what happening in their communities, lessons, best practices if any and plans for change. The topics for discussions are specific to those agreed among Partner organizations where they need ECD stakeholders to plan for actions. During learning cycles invite a Guest Speaker who is a professional/ a Sector Official to talk around the issue of the session i.e. if the talk is around registration of ECD Centers then the guest speaker will come from the Social Welfare department, if the issue is around Birth registration then the guest speaker will come from the organization which deals with birth registration on behalf of the government. The learning cycles shifts from one organization to another.

This programme is through Peer visits to participating organization ECD programs and the existing TAHEA supported ECD programs. For example, we have conducted peer to peer exchange visits by involving the ECD centres facilitators to visit each other for purpose of sharing and learning.

Training sessions bring together the CBOs/ NGOs to participate in ECD related issues which directly improve their capacities in ECD service provision. We conduct trainings in ECD thematic areas like Stimulation, Nutrition, Health care and protection. We have also trained Partners on Community Microfinance program, Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM), Organizational Development (OD) and others. Our target group is the ECD centre facilitators, Partner management and program staff and other key stakeholders.

Implementation of any program needs to have check points for progress, so we hold 1 review meeting per quarter for the Partner organizations participating in the capacity building program to review the progress of the capacity building, to see what has worked well and what has not, it is the time of reflection of the organizations how better are they performing, and what could be changed for the better. The last quarter meeting is considered as annual meeting, which we use it specifically for planning.