MTA: Guidelines on cooperation with other organizations

Guidelines on cooperation with other organizations

By Macha and Tulama Self-Help Association, June 15, 2018

The Macha and Tulama Self-Help Association (MTA) is a not-for-profit organization established to advocate for sustainable cultural and socioeconomic development of the Oromo society with a focus on rebuilding indigenous national institutions based on Oromo democratic tradition and values such as the Gadaa system.  It is well known that members of MTA publicly and privately participate in a wide range of political, religious and civic groups.  In fact, MTA is widely regarded as the organization that started modern peaceful Oromo resistance against oppressive Ethiopian regimes. What is more, many of the political leaders of Oromo struggle were either its members or inspired by the activities of   MTA.   Criteria for membership is solely based on commitment to MTA’s ideals as envisioned in its bylaws, as an expression of an individual’s devotion for the survival of Oromo cultural heritage and national identity.

The Board OF MTA shall recognize MTA’s independence on all matters of discourse as a precondition for any cooperation with any organization.  As an independent not-for-profit organization, therefore, MTA, welcomes members from all political, religious, commercial and social groups, who promote its goals.  However, the MTA Board has established a policy of remaining unaffiliated at an organizational level with any political, religious or civil society organization.

To clarify and maintain the status and the practice of independence, MTA follows the following Guidelines.

  1. Individuals of all political and civil society organizations who contribute to the mission of the association are welcome to join MTA and share in the benefits and obligations of its membership.
  2. MTA as an organization may choose to cooperate with any civic, political, scholarly, business, international or other organization in ways that clearly promote MTA’s objectives as stated in its bylaws, without compromising its independent status.
  3. MTA, greatly value the mingling of ideas and the generation of knowledge and understanding, supports a healthy debate among Oromo and non-Oromo organizations on a wide range of issues.
  4. When the prospect arises of MTA organizationally responding to an invitation or participating in an initiative of another organization, the following steps shall be taken, and criteria shall be applied in determining the response:
    1. All invitation that come to Board members should be directed to the Board Chair.
    2. The MTA Chair shall notify the Board of the invitation or the initiative that is proposed, providing information about the inviting organization, the event or the program to be considered, financial cost of participating in the event to MTA, the dates and place of the event, and any other relevant details.
    3. MTA Board will make a careful review of the invitation or proposal received, without prejudice to participate in Oromo and non-Oromo civic organizations’ activities that promote MTA’s mission to the extent of its capacity. This may take the form of sending a representative(s) to observe or creating a temporary alliance which is put into writing.
    4. MTA Board will decide participation or alliance in such an event after careful deliberations, considering the following issues:
      1. Is the inviting agency or organization promoting an agenda that is in line with the mission stated in MTA bylaws?
      2. Would MTA’s attendance or participation give the impression that MTA is taking a political stand in favor of or against any organization? [This can be assessed by checking, for example, if MTA’s participation is used by the inviting organization as an advertisement, to promote the event, or as a validation of any political platform that MTA has not formally accepted.]
      3. Does the inviting agency or organization accept that an official MTA presence will be as an “observer” unless otherwise agreed upon formally?
      4. Is the inviting agency or organization registered as not-for-profit? If not, would incomes from the event, if any, benefit a commercial organization or individuals?
      5. Is the organizer or co-organizer of the event a MTA Board member or an affiliate with a formal capacity to represent MTA? [MTA recognizes the right of any MTA Board Member or official representative to participate in political and civic activities, including their rights to play important roles in organizing events.   However, MTA members and officials organizing or co-organizing such events should disclaim any implication that they represent MTA.  For such non-MTA public events and appearances, the Board recommends that measures be taken to ensure that an individual MTA official is operating as an individual rather than official capacity on behalf of MTA.]
  5.  On Making changes to the guidelines.
    1. Any change to be made to the guidelines will require 2/3rdof MTA Board members’ approval.
    2. Any participation or creation of a temporary alliance with any group will require a simple majority vote of MTA Board members approval.
    3. The MTA Chair shall implement all aspects of the arrangements approved by the Board.

Ratified by MTA Board on this day of June 3, 2018.

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