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Tanzania Country Report on Accountability in Local Councils

Africa Local Council Oversight and Social Accountability (ALCOSA) project focuses on good governance and aims at linking good governance strategies to local decision making and service delivery mechanisms. Many public basic services such as education and health are delivered at the local government level and directly affect the poor, thereby directly impacting on a countries performance towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals). Not surprisingly, delivery of public basic services is also affected by the local policy environment shaped by more and more decentralization reforms. Stronger accountability (referring to the mechanisms or sanctions by which society holds government in check) and increased oversight (referring to the mechanisms or sanctions by which councillors hold their executive in check) provides a better institutional framework for effective delivery of such public services aiming at reducing poverty and promoting equitable and broad based growth.

The Africa Local Council Oversight and Social Accountability (ALCOSA) Project, covering four East African countries- Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya - aims at

  1. improving knowledge and increasing awareness about oversight of elected local councillors and citizens on local governments; and
  2. supporting in-country and regional dialogues and building partnerships among the local councils, executive branch of local governments, NGOs, and community based organizations towards building more transparent and accountable local governance mechanisms.

The project focuses on oversight and accountability relationships between:

  1. local elected representatives (councillors) and the local appointed officials
  2. citizens and local elected representatives

The focus on elected councillor oversight complements ongoing in-country activities that center on civic engagement and community based capacity building. It fosters social accountability agenda that is mostly defined in relation to executive decision making processes and service delivery (i.e. budget literacy, citizen report cards).

The project was divided into two stages. These are:
Stage 1: Description of the local government system including local actors and power structures as well as local electoral system and political setting;
Stage 2: Data collection (quantitative and qualitative, including fieldwork) and analysis and reporting (country study and continuous reporting of fieldwork findings).

ORGUT was contracted by the World Bank for the second stage to produce the ‘Tanzania Country Report on Accountability in Local Councils’.

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