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Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA)

Local Governance in Tanzania: Observations from six councils 2002-2003

Special Paper 07.22

Amon Chaligha, Florida Henjewele, Ambrose Kessy and Geoffrey Mwambe

Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA)


SARPN acknowledges REPOA as a source of this document:
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The Formative Research Project has made efforts to produce a baseline for the research linked to indicators for the following three broad dimensions of local government reform:

  1. Governance:
    • Local autonomy and citizen participation;

  2. Finances and financial management:
    • Accountability, efficiency and local resource mobilization, and

  3. Service delivery and poverty alleviation:
    • Criteria of success and operational constraints.
This report analyses data from governance in six councils: Bagamoyo District Council (DC), Ilala Municipal Council (MC), Iringa DC, Kilosa DC, Moshi DC and Mwanza City Council (CC). These councils were selected for in-depth studies for the Formative Process Research Project on Local Government Reform in Tanzania. These councils were selected on the basis of variations in resource bases, rural - urban variations, degree of inclusion in the Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), degree of donor presence or support, and composition of political parties.

Political and administrative governance is the main focus of this report. Seven dimensions of governance are discussed: local government autonomy, bottom-up planning, improved trust relations, improved citizen’s rights, reduced corruption, gender mainstreaming in local government reform and participation in local elections.

This report provides a baseline for various dimensions of governance in the six case councils, 2000-2003. Data collection is closely linked to indicators of change induced by the LGR (see Appendix 1). Three methods of data collection have been used:

  • Secondary data from local contact persons in the six councils;
  • Primary data through in-depth semi-structured interviews in 2002 and 2003, and
  • Citizens’ Survey (1,260 respondents, randomly selected – 210 from each council) conducted in October 2003.
The in-depth interviews involved key informants (actors in central and local government, civil organisations, etc).

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