Local government reforms in Tanzania: Bridging the gap between theory and practice

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dc.contributor.author Kessy, Ambrose T.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-03-20T08:14:08Z
dc.date.available 2020-03-20T08:14:08Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Kessy, A. T. (2011). Local government reforms in Tanzania: Bridging the gap between theory and practice. Democratic Transition in East Africa: Governance and Development at the Grassroots( pp. 21-48). Dar es Salaam: TUKI Publishers. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 978 9987 609 43 7
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12661/2252
dc.description Book Chapter. Also available at: http://www.academia.edu/download/48436573/Local_Government_Reforms_in_Tanzania_Bridging_the_Gap_between_Theory_and_Practice-Kessy_A_T_2011.pdf en_US
dc.description.abstract For the last four decades, Tanzania has been involved in a number of comprehensive public sector reforms focusing on decentralization as a major tool for improving social services delivery. Assessing how and what has changed in each phase of the local government reforms may be a difficult task to resolve. There are two major problems: first, it may not be easy to construct some reliable variables 'before' and 'after' a reform; and second, reform is associated with issues of change and given the complexity of local governments' interactions with various sectoral policies, to single out a particular issue as an outcome of a reform is difficult (Stoker,1999). However, taking these challenges together, one may still find some ways of assessing the impact of local government reforms in Tanzania by focusing on establishment, purpose, composition, source of revenue and responsibilities. These five key issues are investigated through the prism of central-local relations (local autonomy). One principal argument about the success of any decentralization measure is whether it is able to facilitate more citizens' participation, local autonomy, accountability, transparency and effective service delivery (Visser, 2009; Crook and Manor, 1998; Cheema and Rondinelli~1983; Olowu and Wunsch, 2004). This chapter argues that this common rhetoric among academics, development partners, government leaders and local politicians needs to be reconsidered. The image is always of an inexorable movement from central to local. While this may sound good, the real challenge is about what is being said on the policy documents and what is being done the ground. As it is discussed later in this chapter, the experience of decentralization in Tanzania for the last four decades shows some mixed results with regard to mooting the stated goals. This chapter seeks to clarify some of these challenges and tries to suggest how the gap between the rhetoric and reality of decentralization and local governance could be managed. The chapter is organized as follows: the first part provides a schematic model of the life cycle of decentralization which show an idealized process of decentralization and the actual process from the field. The second part draw some experiences of central-local relations from both developed and developing countries by focusing on the legal status of local movements in the national constitutions. The third part provides a broad overview of the development of the local government system in Tanzania before and after independence, by attempting to assess the impact of various reform initiatives so far implemented on the status, functions and re ponsibil.iti.es of local governments. The fourth part discusses the challenges of local government reform~ in Tanzania by trying to find out why decentralization in Tanzania has only been partial. The fifth part outlines some recommendations for the current LGRP II followed by a conclusion. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher TUKI Publishers en_US
dc.subject Decentralisation en_US
dc.subject Local government reforms en_US
dc.subject Local g vemments en_US
dc.subject Central-local relations en_US
dc.subject Local government system en_US
dc.subject Tanzania en_US
dc.subject Local governance en_US
dc.subject Local autonomy en_US
dc.title Local government reforms in Tanzania: Bridging the gap between theory and practice en_US
dc.type Book chapter en_US

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