TAREO STRATEGIC NETWORKS: FROM COMMUNITY PROJECTS TO GLOBAL TRANSFORMATION
From March 2000-2008 , TAREO organized various meeting and workshop set up the theme of our Strategic Management. The workshop focused on what was then the cutting edge issue for rural communities , the movement beyond village level projects to a concern with focusing the NGO’s resources on clearly defined objectives to leverage national scale change. We identified democratization as a unifying concern of TAREO action across TANZANIA. We addressed the need for coalition building at national and sub-national levels to combine resources within the NGO sector toward the definition and pursuit of a shared vision of national development.
Human society is locked into a mind-set that places it on a collision course with the limits of a finite planet and the psychological and social tolerance of its own members. The task before us is one of breaking humanity out of this pattern of collective self-destruction. This task takes us far beyond the traditional role of assisting the poor through village based development projects. It requires new ways of working and thinking, new organizational relationships, new strategies, and new skills.
MOVEMENTS AND NETWORKS: HOW PEOPLE CHANGE UNRESPONSIVE INSTITUTIONS
The small size and limited financial resources of TAREO make them unlikely challengers of economic and political systems sustained by the prevailing interests of big government and big business. Yet the environment, peace, human rights, consumer rights and women’s movements provide convincing examples of the power of voluntary action to change society. This seeming paradox can be explained by the fact that the power of voluntary action arises not from the size and resources of individual voluntary organizations, but rather from the ability of the voluntary sector to coalesce the actions of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of citizens through vast and constantly evolving networks that commonly lack identifiable structures, embrace many chaotic and conflicting tendencies, and yet act as if in concert to create new political and institutional realities. These networks are able to encircle, infiltrate, and even co-opt the resources of opposing bureaucracies. They reach across sectors to intellectuals, press, community organizations. Once organized, they can, through electronic communications, rapidly mobilize significant political forces on a global scale.
NGO THEORY OF POVERTY: FROM BASIC NEEDS TO DEVELOPMENT VISION
Tim Brod head says that to be a development organization it is essential to have a theory of poverty that directs us to its underlying causes. Without such a theory the organization inevitably remains a relief and welfare agency, responding only to poverty’s most evident symptoms.
Indeed TAREO is concerned with the plight of the poor did begin as relief and welfare organizations, and many remain so today. They see that people are unable to meet their basic needs and, without asking why, respond in the most direct and immediate way by providing food, clothing, health care, and shelter as required. They engage in first generation strategies.
The more thoughtful for TAREO at some point find themselves asking, “Why are these people poor.” They began, at least implicitly, to formulate a theory of poverty. We attempted to “look upstream,” searching for the source or cause of the problem. Many NGOs that pursue this question conclude that the problem is local inertia, a sort of self-imposed and by implication self-correctable powerlessness resulting from lack of organization, political consciousness, belief in self, credit, and basic skills. Armed with an action theory that suggests this inertia can be broken through appropriate external interventions, they set about to intervene with community development programs. They reorient themselves to second generation strategies.
There are a number of basic issues to be addressed by those of us who chose to define our roles as catalysts in the formation and guidance of strategic networks as elements of a larger movement for global social transformation
TAREO works in partnership with rural and urban communities to achieve educational, information access ,healthy and productive societies. We place communities at the center of our development activities as we believe that only through strong communities can Africa lead itself, appropriately exploit its natural resources, educate, care for and protect its children, promote the economic well being of rural people and live in peace. As such, TAREO is committed to the following 7 key values in its work and organizational life. These values serve as our working norms and establish the behavioral guidelines for successful organizational performance.
- Excellence in Performance: TAREO works to ensure that its programs are high quality, effective and efficient in nature. They are results-oriented, achieving both development effectiveness and desired results; and are gender and age sensitive as well.
- Partnership:TAREO works respectfully in collaboration with local and central governments, communities, the private sector and donors, bringing together the unique resources of all to achieve common objectives. TAREO enjoys unique access to decision-makers given our long experience and track record of development effectiveness.
- Teamwork:TAREO board and staff work on the basis of mutual respect and accountability, dialogue and collaboration. In our work we seek to understand the views and ideas of others, as well as to recognize the positive contributions of each person, so as to build strong relationships within and beyond TAREO .
- Integrity:TAREO consistently works in a spirit of mutual trust, honesty, transparency and accountability.
- Open communications: TAREO is committed to sharing information in a respectful and collegial manner. The timely and regular exchange of quality information – between headquarters and field offices, board members and our partners – provides the basis for informed, consultative decision-making in our operations.
- Diversity: TAREO seeks to have a workforce that reflects inclusiveness and is diverse by race, gender and geography.
- Heritage: TAREO takes pride in being the oldest and largest national and international development organization working exclusively on rural development, that is principally led by Tanzanians. In addition, TAREO remains committed to promoting the leadership and individual development.