Capacity building transforms Chamwino District Council

Since its establishment in 2007, the Chamwino District Council has been working without a strategic plan, a roadmap providing direction and focus. As a result the Council’s priorities and objectives were not clearly known, departmental objectives were not aligned with Council’s, therefore people pulling opposite directions thus contributing to programs’ implementation delays.
 
Other key organisation capacity gaps identified were: weak controls in procurement processes, poor communication strategies, inadequate numbers of staff, revenue collection processes, poor record keeping, ineffective involvement of staff in decision making and stakeholders’ participation in Council’s systems.
 
With our mission to empower Local Government Authorities to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS and provide quality integrated and quality continuum of HIV care and support services, we introduced capacity building intervention to all the 24 councils we work with in the five regions of our operations; Dodoma, Morogoro, Singida, Iringa and Njombe. Chamwino District Council, situated in Dodoma region, is one of these councils.
 
Heads of Chamwino were oriented on self-assessment; using Deloitte’s Government Performance Map they assessed and realised their strengths and weaknesses. For strengths Chamwino District Council had committed staff, proactive and responsive executive management team and a wide network of medical and educational facilities. To address the highlighted problems so as to speed up development, the Council proposed the finalisation of strategic plan, increase of staff numbers in the Council, strengthening of administration, monitoring, communication and procurement processes.
 
They have been addressing these gaps bit by bit and things are now happening in the Council. “The intervention has acted as a catalyst; it showed us areas that needed improvement. Since our strategic plan is now in place, we know our vision, mission, objectives, goals, focus etc. We are now working as one team, everyone feels involved, and we are now moving towards one direction, we have really improved.
 
Everyone wants to work with us,” says the Chamwino District Medical Officer, Dr. James Charles. Dr. Charles who is also the Chairperson of the Capacity Building Performance Management Team at the Council says bit by bit they have improved procurement, financial audits and communication systems. “We have the tender board meeting regularly, our relationship with the people we are serving has improved.
 
Frankly speaking we are proud of ourselves,” says Dr. Charles. He says the transformation by TUNAJALI II program is not only at the institutional level, but also at individual level. “The intervention is an eye-opener, it has built me as a manager.
 
It equipped me with skills, making me a better manager; I now can manage my business well and throughout all the functions. I plan my work, coordinate resources and I also delegate effectively. Everyone is doing her/his part. Awe we speak, although I am in the office now supervision visits are going on.”