Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America 2017-2019

Introduction

The DICOTA strategic plan is a document used to communicate organization goals, actions needed to achieve those goals and all of the other critical elements developed during the planning phase. As a component of our strategic plan, below is our Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat (SWOT) Analysis. To some, sharing a SWOT is an exposure of their weaknesses and vulnerability. However, to us it is an acknowledgement that we are a growing organization and an acceptance that looking inwards is the best way to be effective outwards. We are proud to be transparent in sharing the results of our SWOT analysis, which is a culmination of surveys of stakeholders and the DICOTA Leadership.

1. DICOTA STRENGTHS

1.1. Engagement
1.1.1. Ability to mobilize and convene Tanzanian diaspora in the United States of America, Tanzanian private sector and government officials; key decision makers from Tanzania and U.S. businesses; financial institutions, and international organizations with vested interest in investment and growth in Tanzania.
1.1.2. An established network of Tanzanian contacts and a database.
1.1.3. A Tanzanian organization that transcends internal US geographic borders.
1.2. Governance
1.2.1. Stable, experienced, and committed leadership.
1.2.2. A well designed governance structure with an articulated mission and vision.
1.2.3. The potential to be a recognized and reputable brand.
1.3. Programming
1.3.1. The DICOTA Convention. A recognized and respected flagship event.
1.3.2. Ability to convene reputable speakers to the convention
1.3.3. An existing and established platform to provide additional programming such as webinars etc.

2. DICOTA WEAKNESSES

2.1. Engagement
2.1.1. Need to connect and integrate with Tanzanian local communities (in the Diaspora).
2.1.2. Lack of an identifiable and financially committed membership.
2.1.3. Purpose of organization not clearly articulated and understood by all.
2.1.4. Need to enhance relationship with sponsors.
2.1.5. Not as visible outside the convention.
2.1.6. Inability to effectively leverage social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
2.2. Financial
2.2.1. Financially unstable and reliant primarily on Tanzania institutions for funding.
2.2.2. Lack of a diverse revenue stream.
2.2.3. Value for membership dues not clearly articulated.
2.3. Governance
2.3.1. Need to groom new leadership.
2.3.2. Slow to act on initiatives due to a lack of resources and capital.
2.3.3. Perceived lack of transparency in decision making
2.3.4. Lack of measurable action plans
2.3.5. Limited programming, outside of the convention. Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America- www.dicotaus.org
2.3.6. Perception that DICOTA can easily be replicated.
2.3.7. Need to enhance internal leadership development
2.3.8. Inability to effectively articulate accomplishments attributed to DICOTA, e.g. WESTADI.

3. DICOTA OPPORTUNITIES

3.1. Engagement
3.1.1. A sizeable Tanzania diaspora that could potentially be engaged and willing to showcase their achievements and share contributions to Tanzanian society attributed to DICOTA, e.g. WESTADI.
3.1.2. Potential to be the leading Tanzania diaspora organization around the world.
3.1.3. Opportunity to leverage the systematic organization of existing local communities to share, engage and disseminate initiatives.
3.1.4. Social media. A vast amount of the Tanzania diaspora is actively using and collaborating through social media. Social media could be leveraged as a powerful tool to fulfill the mission of DICOTA and also gather input and a source of engagement.
3.1.5. An opportunity exists for DICOTA to contribute towards the diaspora policy development and other pertinent national policies impacting the diaspora.
3.1.6. Passage of dual citizenship or a special status for the diaspora may encourage the diaspora to participate in DICOTA activities.
3.2. Financial
3.2.1. There exists financial opportunities through a number of organizations that could assist in diversifying DICOTA’s revenue stream and enhance its opportunities to fulfill its mission and enact major initiatives.
3.2.2. There exists financial opportunities through a number of organizations that could assist in diversifying DICOTA’s revenue stream and enhance its opportunities to fulfill its mission and enact major initiatives.
3.2.3. Engage with sponsors and become catalyst and marketing agents for their products in the diaspora.
3.2.4. Build on the positive momentum of recent DICOTA conventions.
 3.3. Governance
3.3.1. DICOTA possesses the potential to become a major resource for the Tanzanian government, specifically the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the Tanzanian Embassy in the US. DICOTA can be a critical resource to allow these agencies to fulfill their mission as it relates to engaging the Tanzanian community overseas and policies affecting Tanzanians living abroad.
3.3.2. The DICOTA convention is the flagship event of the organization. This event could be enhanced to bring together and even greater number of participants from the United States of America, Tanzanian private sector and government officials; key decision makers from Tanzania and U.S. businesses; financial institutions, and international organizations with vested Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America- www.dicotaus.org interest in investment and growth in Tanzania.
3.3.3. There is an opportunity to dispel the perception that DICOTA is elitist by having outreach programs or initiatives that would engage all walks of life.

4. DICOTA THREATS

4.1. Financial
4.1.1. If DICOTA does not diversify its revenue stream, the organization could find itself in serious financial difficulties due to matters outside of the organization’s control.
4.1.2. If DICOTA does not show a return on investment for its sponsors, these sponsoring organizations may cease or reduce their financial support for DICOTA.
4.2. Engagement
4.2.1. Lack of effective and clear communication between DICOTA and its stakeholders and partners.
4.2.2. The potential that other organizations could capitalize on the weakness of DICOTA and fill a void that DICOTA is not meeting.
4.2.3. DICOTA has relied mainly on the Convention for programming. There is a danger of the organization to be perceived as only convention focused and a talking shop without actionable deliverables.
4.2.4. 4.3.5. If DICOTA does not engage local Diaspora communities, it could alienate itself further and lose support from local community organizations which would erode any perceived gains that the organization has made since its inception.
4.2.5. If DICOTA fails to show value, it will struggle creating a membership base.
4.2.6. To encourage the diaspora and avoid apathy in the Tanzania diaspora community.
4.2.7. Lack of passage of dual citizenship or a special status for the diaspora may discourage diaspora members from engaging.
4.3. Governance
4.3.1. Perception that DICOTA is elitist could discourage potential members with critical contributions from engaging with the organization.
4.3.2. DICOTA needs to evaluate its decision making process to expedite decision making.
4.3.3. DICOTA must continue to resist the temptation to engage in party politics at home and abroad so as to not disenfranchise the Tanzania diaspora and potential donors who may hesitate from collaborating if we are perceived to be a political organization. Furthermore, DICOTA to focus on its mission and strategic plan, and resist the temptation to respond to every external request or current event regardless of fit with the mission 4.3.4.

From the Board of Trustees Chairman

The elected Board of Trustees’ primary role is to put in a place a roadmap for the organization to be executed by the duly elected President and his leadership team. I am pleased to present the 2017- 2019 DICOTA Strategic Plan. The work contained in this document is the culmination of many hours of discussion among the current and past leadership, review of stakeholder surveys and outcome of a strategic leadership retreat held in September 2016.

We in the Tanzania diaspora remain optimistic at the potential that exists for us to positively engage in the social-economic transformation taking place in Tanzania. The diaspora communities across the world are motivated and seek to be more connected with each other and their culture and heritage. Even more importantly for DICOTA, the recognition of the DICOTA organization and its efforts instills much more confidence in our vision and energizes us to imagine an even larger role for the diaspora community in Tanzania’s socioeconomic development.

DICOTA continues to seek to be a thought leader and partner with Tanzania diaspora organizations around the world in framing and shaping the role of the diaspora. Notwithstanding the many challenges ahead, as a young organization, we recognize we have a long way to go but are committed to travel the path and equally committed to learn as we do so.

Lunda Asmani,
CPFO January 2017

From the Executive Committee President

This plan is the blueprint for goal achievements that will determine how DICOTA allocates resources in pursuit of our mission to unite and strengthen the Tanzanian American diaspora and its supporters and enhance the economic, health, and social well being of Tanzanians and Americans. Peter Drucker said that “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Our plan states our goals and provides the means of achieving them.

The Tanzania diaspora in America is growing. From our children in Texas, graduate students in Kansas, entrepreneurs in Maryland, professionals in California, and artists in Atlanta the tapestry of our community is as diverse as our adopted home. However at the core of this community is the love and fondness for Tanzania.

DICOTA has laid a strong foundation for weaving these two countries together, by being a catalyst for the establishment of better economic, social and cultural cooperation. The main theme of our strategic plan is the creation and sustainability of a strong communication and collaboration platform that embraces alliances, promotes networking, nurtures future leaders and activates economic success.

None of these plans will come to bear without the help, support and leadership of the Diaspora community at large, and those in Tanzania. I call this the Art of the Possible, from the Executive Committee team and all our volunteers, we are going to embrace these goals, execute them and rise to greatness together.

Charles Bishota,
Esq. January 2017

DICOTA 2017-19 KEY GOALS

 

Goal 1 Financial Sustainability

The focus on financial sustainability is primarily to allow DICOTA to develop, manage and maintain a steady revenue stream and allow for effective pursuit of its mission and goals. In order to pursue financial sustainability DICOTA will seek to:

  • Minimize of the risk of relying on single sources of revenue, hence revenue diversity will be key
  • As a legally recognized 501 (C) (3), tax exempt entity by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), DICOTA will seek to not only maintain its tax exempt status, but also leverage the advantages the tax deduction benefits donors receive when donating or contributing to DICOTA
  • Demonstrate accountability and transparency in financial reporting

Goal 2 Community Engagement

The community engagement goal will focus on working collaboratively with community groups (“Jumuiyas”) to address issues that impact the wellbeing of Tanzania communities in the diaspora. DICOTA will undertake activities that help engage with communities and focus on unity and collaboration on all matters of mutual interest and benefit. The activities that will augment the financial sustainability goal, in addition to community engagement includes:

  • Grow membership
  • Networking and social mixers
  • Broaden representation

Goal 3 Membership

The focus on membership is to formalize and enhance the DICOTA membership structure so that it grants members enhanced benefits beyond the basic right to vote. The goal will be to further identify our membership and determine individualized needs of the membership whilst cognizant that the Tanzania diaspora is becoming increasingly more diverse and less monolithic. Additionally DICOTA will seek to:

  • Further identify the role of DICOTA in relation to Jumuiyas
  • Identify membership segments and membership interests
  • Articulate membership benefits

Goal 4 Governance

The focus on governance will be on how DICOTA can continue to provide strategic leadership across all fronts. From a thought leader in the Tanzanian community, partnerships with governmental agencies and sponsoring entities, DICOTA will seek to engage or develop products, policies and vision for the diaspora. DICOTA will seek to be a strategic partner with entities engaged in and with the Tanzania diaspora. These collaborations will spun from setting the direction, making policy and strategy decisions impacting the diaspora to ensure overall accountability.

Goal 5 External Relations

The focus on external relations will improve overall external support for DICOTA activities, build the partnerships needed (public, private and independent sectors) to accomplish DICOTA’s mission, share the various DICOTA accomplishments and develop the resources necessary to carry out the mission. Additionally, to be financially sustainable DICOTA will seek to:

  • Enhance external relations with Tanzania government, parastatals and private sector agencies
  • External relations with sponsors

Goal 6 Policy Engagement

The focus on Policy Engagement is to enhance DICOTA’s ability to effectively engage in advocacy for diaspora issues. DICOTA recognizes that policy advocacy is a key characteristic of high-impact nonprofits, and the need has never been greater Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America- www.dicotaus.org now that the role of the Tanzania diaspora is becoming more pronounced. To be effective, DICOTA needs buy-in from individuals at all levels of civil society engaged in policies that impact the diaspora. Additionally, to be financially sustainable DICOTA will seek to:

  • Learn how to create a realistic policy engagement agenda that can be implemented
  • Evaluate effectiveness of planned engagement efforts
  • Develop partnership and learn from like minded organizations who have experience, and knowledge of best practices in policy advocacy engagement
  • Become an identified stakeholder to be invited at early stages of policy formulation impacting the Tanzania diaspora.

Goal 7 Programming

The focus on programming is to allow DICOTA to plan an outline of events and activities that members and partners can engage in order to reach the goals of the organization. DICOTA seeks to have a diversified and successful program plan that provides year round engagement to complement DICOTA’s signature event, the DICOTA Convention which remains DICOTA’s flagship event.

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