Theory and practise of decentralization by devolution: Lessons from a research programme in Tanzania (2002-13)
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Original versionin Donald Mmari and Samuel Wangwe : Research and policy nexus: Perspectives from twenty years of policy research in Tanzania. . Dar es Salaam: Mkukui na Nyota Publishers Ltd. pp. 34-56
What impact did Tanzania’s decentralization reform have on local governance, finances and service delivery? To what extent are the central-local government relationships changed with respect to resource allocation and responsibilities between different levels of government, and how do these changes affect local governance? Have local governments achieved larger fiscal autonomy over time? Have there been any changes over time in the provision of basic services to the public? These are some of the questions addressed by the Formative Process Research Programme on local government reform, which started in 2002 and ran over ten years. This chapter highlights key findings of the research and their policy relevance. It focuses on lessons from three broad dimensions of the decentralization reform: governance, finances, and service delivery. Constructive dialogue and interaction between the involved researchers and policy makers, practitioners and opinion makers facilitated and promoted informed policy discussion and public debate around the implementation of local government reform.