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VICOBA

By Randall Ortiz,2014-05-17 15:38
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VICOBA

    VICOBA

    [Village Community Banks]

A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY EMANINCIPATION FROM POVERTY “MKUKUTA”

A PAPER PRESENTED TO NATIONAL POLICY DIALOGUE ON MKUKUTA,

    P.E.R. ANNUAL CONSULTATIVE MEETING th st On 19to 21 November 2008

    AT BLUE PEARL HOTEL-UBUNGO PLAZA

    DAR ES SALAAM.

    TANZANIA

    By:

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES OF TANZANIA

    P. O. BOX 110062, DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA.

    Tel: 022 2863271, Mob: 0713-602390, 0786-951999, 0787-909045

    E-mail: sedit_vicoba@yahoo.com

Introduction: ........................................................................................................... 3

    MKUKUTA clusters and goals are: ................................................................ 3 Cluster 1 has six goals: ...................................................................................... 3 Cluster 2 has five goals: ..................................................................................... 3 Cluster 3 has seven goals: ................................................................................ 4 Context: ..................................................................................................................... 5

    Technical description: ........................................................................................ 6 Group formation: .................................................................................................. 6

    Governance: ........................................................................................................... 6

    Bank Operations: .................................................................................................. 6

    Capacity building: ................................................................................................. 6

    The Credit of this Procedure:.......................................................................... 7 VICOBA Performance Cases: .......................................................................... 7 Ilala District VICOBA project: ........................................................................... 7 Mtwara VICOBA project:..................................................................................... 7 Orgut-SEDIT VICOBA project: .......................................................................... 7

    Intake one: ......................................................................................................... 8

    Intake two: ......................................................................................................... 8

    Intake Three: ..................................................................................................... 8

    Constraints: ............................................................................................................. 8

    Cultural constraints: ............................................................................................ 8 Educational Level constraint: ............................................................................ 8 Infrastructure Constraint: .................................................................................. 8 Lack of funds: ........................................................................................................ 8

    Challenges: ............................................................................................................... 9

    Mushrooming Actors: ........................................................................................... 9 Documentation System: ..................................................................................... 9 Office Management Expenses: ......................................................................... 9 Different styles by different Agencies: ........................................................... 9 Strength: ................................................................................................................... 9

    Recommendations: ............................................................................................ 10

    To the Government:........................................................................................... 10 To the Government agencies .......................................................................... 10 To the Development partners: ....................................................................... 10 To the community ............................................................................................... 10

    Conclusion: ............................................................................................................. 10

    Special Thanks: .................................................................................................... 11

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Introduction:

    Fight against poverty is as old as the history of man on this planet. In year

    2000 critical poverty symptoms in Tanzania were, illiteracy, underfeeding,

    poor shelter, diseases such as Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, diarrhea,

    cholera, anemia and unemployment especially for primary, secondary and

    higher learning graduates. The cases are less severe in the Developing and

    developed countries with better education and advanced technology. World

    and National summits have been and are still organized in the fight against

    the malady. The 1990s Millennium Development Goals address the same with

    2015 - 2025 a time target wherein the symptoms are supposed to be

    absolved. In Tanzania this target is however becoming too close to be

    realistic.

It is in this situation that the Government of Tanzania in year 2000 opened a

    new page. In collaboration with International stakeholders it developed a

    Poverty Reduction Strategy known as National Strategy for Growth and

    Reduction of Poverty MKUKUTA in Swahili”- for Tanzania from 2005

    to 2010 is set out with very detailed goals and strategies

MKUKUTA clusters and goals are:

    The strategy is set up in three clusters in stead of being divided into

    sectors like health, youth, agriculture ECT. Each cluster has some main

    goals, pinned out with targets and strategies to reach them.

    The first cluster is Growth and Reduction of Income Poverty. Cluster 1 has six goals:

    1. Ensuring sound economic management.

    2. Promoting sustainable and broad-based growth.

    3. Improved food availability and accessibility at household level in

    urban and rural areas.

    4. Reducing income poverty of both men and women in rural areas.

    5. Reducing income poverty of both men and women in urban

    areas.

    6. Provision of reliable and affordable energy to consumers.

    The second cluster is Improvement of quality of life and social well being.

    Cluster 2 has five goals:

    1. Ensuring equitable access to quality primary and secondary

    education for boys and girls, universal literacy among men and

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    women, and expansion of higher, technical and

    vocational education.

    2. Improved survival, health and well-being of all children and

    women and of especially vulnerable groups.

    3. Increased access to clean, affordable and safe water and

    sanitation, decent shelter and a safe and sustainable

    environment and thereby reduced vulnerability from

    environmental risk.

    4. Adequate social protection and rights of the vulnerable and

    needy groups with basic needs and services.

    5. Systems in place to ensure effective universal access to quality

    public services that are affordable and available. The third cluster is Governance and accountability

    Cluster 3 has seven goals:

    1. Structures and systems of governance as well as the rule of law

    are democratic, participatory, representative, accountable and

    inclusive.

    2. Equitable allocation of public resources with corruption

    effectively addressed.

    3. Effective public service framework in place to provide foundation

    for service delivery improvements and poverty reductions.

    4. Rights of the poor and vulnerable groups are protected and

    promoted in the justice system.

    5. Reduction of political and social exclusion and intolerance.

    6. Improved personal and material security, reduced crime,

    eliminates sexual abuse and domestic violence. The clusters are well defined for the role players to execute defined tasks

    systematically and organically. But who are the role players? Sometimes the

    citizen say it is the Government, Government say are development agencies,

    and so on. But at the end of the day it is an every body task. We are all

    called to be creative and daring to make MKUKUTA a success.

SEDIT [Social and Economic Development Initiative of Tanzania] is a non-

    governmental, non-political, non-religious organization which was registered

    to the Registrar of Societies under Ministry of Home Affairs on 23rd February

    2005 with Registration number SO 13048. The NGO has defined its position

    in MKUKUTA since 2002. It has adopted a tool called; Village Community

    Banks (VICOBA). A grassroots based lending scheme with a focus on

    fostering participant‟s ability to innovate and manage viable income

    generating activities through entrepreneurship training among others. This

    paper explains VICOBA and its role in MKUKUTA since 2002 hitherto.

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Context:

    In 1991 the MMD model was innovated by CARE International in Niger West Africa. The model was later exported to Zimbabwe, Msumbiji, Uganda and Eritrea. It was later modified and adapted in Tanzania Mainland by SEDIT staff in the year 2002 and thus named Village Community Banks (VICOBA).

    The village women in Niger West Africa where the MMD model started had shown three symptoms/causes of poverty which were most obvious among others. These were; poor living conditions, meager capital, and poor entrepreneurship strategies. Behind this was a lack of relevant and realistic vision and will power. It was a tormenting situation. Not a curse from God but a historical curse, something that could be changed. The situation was not only in Niger, but every where and especially in the developing countries like Tanzania.

    Community members in this situation are in most cases found also engaged in other social economic and environmental evils. Random bush and forest harvesting and clearing, unplanned/random utilization of water resources, drug abuse and peace breaking gangs are some of these side lobed evils. To support such vulnerable communities in a positive course is therefore also to safeguard the society at large.

    It is in this situation that CARE International in 1991 pioneered the coining up of this tool called MMD by then for the women emancipation in Niger. In it economic vision and will power are revitalized through sensitization meetings and training, entrepreneurship strategies are refreshed through training and a capital basket is established through special saving and credit scheme

    called Village Community Banks. It is special because of two reasons; first there is no external saving or crediting partner apart from the village bank members. What external partners do/can do is only to support groups with seed money through donations, gifts, fundraising campaigns and sometimes soft loans that can be afforded by the group. Second is the entrepreneurship training package.

    After two years the innovation in Niger gave forth recommendable fruits. The women had shown a defined move out of poverty. Living conditions of the women changed remarkably. The innovation was thus exported to Msumbiji, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Eritrea and finally modified by SEDIT staff and adopted in Tanzania Islands and the Mainland in 2000 and 2002 respectively. Since then the spread of VICOBA in Tanzania is as shown in the map below:

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Technical description:

    Group formation: Groups are voluntary formed by target village members post awareness

    creation campaign. They decide themselves who is to join them in the five

    units groups (collateral/pressure groups) and which unit group should join

    each other to make a VICOBA group of 30 members.

Governance:

    Group members decide themselves the rules and regulations which should

    guide them. They select their own leaders; they decide their own share

    values and social protection contribution values. They decide themselves

    when and where to meet for their weekly bank operation and training

    sessions.

    Bank Operations: They command all bank operations on their own. They contribute their shares

    and social protection amounts on weekly basis. After 14 to 16 weeks of

    training they take loans to support already identified relevant and realistic

    projects. For the first few months they take short term loans of three months.

    Later when they have gained competency in entrepreneurship skills they take

    long term loans of six months. Each loan is returned to the group basket with

    added value. This together with gifts etc. swells up their capital basket.

    Capacity building:

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    SEDIT provides technical skills to group members through a training period of fourteen to sixteen months. In it members are equipped with knowledge on the meaning and importance of a VICOBA group, meaning and importance of VICOBA group leadership committee, rules and regulations, conflict resolution skills, saving and credit operations guidelines, any cross cutting issues relevant to each particular community such as HIV/AIDS and finally entrepreneurship skills.

The Credit of this Procedure:

    This procedure guarantees, community capacity building, empowerment and sense of ownership. A foundation for Capital and projects ownership at the grassroots level is strengthened. In this way group members identifies and utilizes opportunities and resources in a sustainable manner that could not be achieved if things are forced from above. This is the secret why VICOBA members are becoming Millionaires everywhere.

VICOBA Performance Cases:

    VICOBA lending scheme has already proved to be one of the better tools for community emancipation socially and economically in Tanzania. This is evident in the people benefiting from the scheme. There are a lot best performing cases but only few are explained here to represent others.

Ilala District VICOBA project:

    In Ilala District VICOBA project, the 18 groups started between 2006 and 2008 under the facilitation of SEDIT have achieved an accumulation of approximately 110,000,000/=Tshs and dished out approximately 120,000,000/= Tshs loans to members in a period of eighteen months only.

    Most groups started with a weekly shares value of 1,000/= but now because of an improved income of each group member, they have lifted up the value to 2,000/=

Mtwara VICOBA project:

    stMtwara VICOBA project 1 phase which covers three Districts; Masasi,

    Newala and Nanyumbu started in 2007 (last year) under the Ministry of Finance poverty eradication department and SEDIT funded by UNDP has performed as shown below in less than two years. In its First Intake; Each District formed 12 groups and hence 36 groups in all three Districts. A Minimum capital raised by groups‟ members is around 80,000,000/=

Orgut-SEDIT VICOBA project:

    The project is funded by the Deepening Trust. Orgut Consult and SEDIT execute the project jointly; Orgut being the project supervisor and SEDIT carries all technical issues of the project. The project is in three phases.

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Intake one:

    The intake covers five (5) districts, which are Ukerewe, Bunda, Serengeti, Musoma Rural and Tarime between August and September 2008. Each district already has 40 VICOBA groups. Each raise 80,000/= in estimate every week. In a month with four weeks a total of 12,800,000/= is raised in each District. Therefore, a total amount of 64,000,000/= is collected every month for five District.

Intake two:

    This intake covers seven (7) districts. They are; Handeni and Kilindi in Tanga Region, Simanjiro, Kiteto, Babati and Hanang in Manyara Region and Singida rural in Singida between September and October 2008. Each raise a minimum of 85,000/= in estimate every week. In a month with four weeks a minimum total of 13,600,000/= is raised in each District. Therefore, a minimum total of 95,200,000/= is collected every month for seven District

Intake Three:

    Is expected to start in January 2009 and will cover seven Districts which are Iramba in Singida Region, Karatu and Monduli in Arusha Region, Mbulu in Manyara Region, Dodoma Rural, Bahi and Kongwa in Dodoma Region.

Constraints:

Cultural constraints:

    In some places especially in rural areas, women who are potentially better performers are restricted from joining by their husbands on jealous grounds

Educational Level constraint:

    In some communities members fail to grasp the advantages of the scheme just because of low understanding capacity reinforced by wrong perceptions.

Infrastructure Constraint:

    Some communities are located in remote areas that cannot be easily accessed by facilitators and development agencies like SEDIT.

Lack of funds:

    Some places with vulnerable communities remain uncovered because of lack of funds.

    Some vital activities and support in the implementation package are sometimes skipped such as VICOBA trainer‟s refresher course, leadership and

    financial management training to the group leaders, monitoring and evaluation of the existing VICOBA groups, seed money for groups to boost up their loan capital, etc.

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Challenges:

Mushrooming Actors:

    In 2002 the imported scheme (MMD) was reformed by SEDIT staff to suit the

    specific poverty symptoms and effects in Tanzania. It was thus made to

    address community economic emancipation through better entrepreneurship

    practices. But unfortunately since then the scheme has been differently

    adapted by different actors. In some places the training package and

    duration is purposely or accidentally modified etc. In this situation the

    credibility of SEDIT is watered down.

Documentation System:

    As mentioned above, today are several VICOBA implementers and

    stakeholders. As such are myriad practices differently documented or not

    documented at all. It is thus difficult for any of the different role players to

    give a comprehensive account on the impact of VICOBA in Tanzania. A

    centralized documentation system is lacking. The Ministry of Finance -

    Poverty Eradication Department in collaboration with SEDIT is working to

    solve this. To start with, a document on VICOBA practices Countrywide to be

    funded by the Department will be prepared in this fourth quarter of 2008.

Office Management Expenses:

    Since 2002 up to date SEDIT with 12 employees is struggling to pay for its

    office and staff expenses through paid consultancy fees. A certain percent of

    each payment is slotted out to the NGO common basket for the expenses. It

    is a risky option that SEDIT is forced into. We hope this will not last long. A

    funding agent will be secured.

Different styles by different Agencies:

    There are several schemes by different actors targeting same communities in

    Tanzania. Sometimes people fail to decide where their valuable efforts should

    be invested. They are left confused. Today you have VICOBA, tomorrow

    FINCA, and then PRIDE, all targeting the same people. At the end of the day

    people are left where they were without a single step forward.

Strength:

    ? VICOBA is a project which is fully owned by the target communities.

    The management costs are all taken care of by group members alone

    under voluntary basis. It is less cost in its management activities.

    ? VICOBA is a scheme that can easily be accessed by all the poor at the

    grassroots. Unlike SACCOS in which some of those below poverty line

    fails to qualify as share holders. In VICOBA it is different because

    share values are planned by group members themselves.

    ? VICOBA scheme can be used to address other social evils such as

    Diseases and environmental destruction. WWF in RUMAKI project for

    instance targeted conservation of environment and wild life. SEDIT

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    proposals for the campaign against HIV/AIDS are already worked out

    looking for a partner funding agent.

    ? VICOBA scheme is fully down top in terms of decision making,

    planning, implementation and ownership. This guarantees sustained

    economic evolution in line with MKUKUTA strategy.

Recommendations:

To the Government:

    Government measures to identify, encourage and support development

    agencies and partners are appreciated. We however recommend the efforts

    in line with MKUKUTA to be strengthened and seasonal bulletins of updates

    be produced. We recommend VICOBA scheme to be given a special attention

    so much so that its contribution is made louder.

We also recommend that the efforts to filter and coordinate development

    agencies schemes going direct to the citizens be revisited and strengthened.

To the Government agencies

    We recommend to all Government agencies to respond positively to

    networking and coordination measures for the better of the community who

    is our common target.

To the Development partners:

    We recommend to all development partners, donors and funding agencies to

    positively respond to the call from the Government partners that are

    grassroots role players for support. The constraints that SEDIT faces

    hopefully will find answers from those stimulated by this call.

To the community

    We recommend to the community that a scheme like VICOBA which enable

    them grow in awareness, knowledge, skills and capital from within

    themselves be positively embraced for their own good and the Nation at

    Large.

Conclusion:

    The scheme is positively contributing to the National Strategy for Growth and

    Reduction of Poverty “MKUKUTA in Swahili” which focuses at; „Growth and

    reduction of income poverty, improved quality of life and social wellbeing and

    Governance and Accountability‟1. Currently the Government is finalizing the

    Social Protection framework (SPF) that is greatly impeded in MKUKUTA. In

    Tanzania SPF is aiming at reducing poverty by contributing in economic

    growth (building human capital) and addressing the needs of the poor from

    disadvantaged communities who are mostly covered by VICOBA model. The

     1 DPG/National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty/mkukuta/

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