SUB-NATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF CIVIC PARTICIPATION IN POLICY MAKING AND BUDGETARY PROCESSES – A CASE STUDY OF ILALA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA
By: John M. Lubuva
Municipal Director: Ilala Municipal Council, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
With contributions by Renatus M. Kihongo
Economist: Ilala Municipal Council, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The UN Economic and Social Council resolved in 1929 (section vii) that participation requires voluntary and democratic involvement of people in contributing to development efforts, sharing equitably in the benefits derived there from and in decision-making in respect of setting and implementing the economic and social development agenda. A research project carried out by the Commonwealth Foundation in 47 of the 55 Commonwealth countries from 1997 to 1999 that indeed “citizens perceive the need for association in community life and participation in public arenas” (Valderrama, C. and Hamilton, K. 1999). Convention has, however, favored participatory processes among rural societies, doubting its applicability to the diverse urban communities. The purpose in this case study is to gain insight into the experiences of urban civic participation in Ilala Municipal Council (IMC) that has set the ground for a new type of relationship between the citizens and their governing authorities based on mutual trust and to evaluate the extent could be met through participatory budgeting,
a. The Context for Increased Civic Participation
i. Role of national context and framework conditions in civic participation
Ilala Municipality was established in 2000 following reforms that led to decentralization of the Dar es Salaam city administration into three autonomous municipalities for Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke districts. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and de-facto capital of Tanzania with a population of about 3 million. Tanzania began to encourage civic participation by creating new structures to support sub-national community initiatives in the 1960s, followed by the transfer of key functions for development planning, coordination and management to regional and district levels, and the establishment of Village Councils to strengthen grass-root participation in 1975. The focus then was largely rural, but most adult residents in Ilala Municipality are first generation urban immigrants with strong rural ties and with some experience from past participatory attempts, and this assured acceptability of the more recent initiatives of IMC, considerably saving on time and cost of public education and awareness creation. The IMC participatory budgeting program operates within a national framework on good governance that creates focus on people's participation in decision-making, and elaborates the priority areas of attention of the key players in the governance system, including LGAs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The IMC initiative benefited immensely from awareness created through the national program.
With a population of 33.6 million in 2002, Tanzania has 21 administrative regions and 114 districts and Local Government Authorities (LGAs). The government structure penetrates deep into the grassroots, which facilitates engagement of civil society at various levels. Central government comprises national, regional; district and divisional levels of administration and LGAs are subdivided into wards, sub-wards, village governing councils and rural hamlets. The LGA structure however presents some challenges. (Clifford and Meijer (2001) for example, observed difficulties in characterising community in Dar es Salaam, arguing that it was not clear which of the sub-entity levels constituted a ‘community’. They contended that the division of wards by and large defined communities in practice, but their population size, up to 40,000 in some cases, made it difficult to have the views of all groups reflected adequately at that level. In its participatory budgeting initiatives IMC defines communities around the sub-wards and villages, where the law grants citizens the right to attend public meetings for decision-making.
Tanzania prepared a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in the late 1990s and embarked on a multi-faceted set of budget and public administration reforms including decentralisation of service delivery responsibilities to LGAs and the introduction of performance budgeting, and a performance management system for the public services (Roberts, J. 2003). Local government capacity has been built through an ongoing Local Government Reform Program (LGRP) and the regulatory frameworks on central-local administrative and fiscal relations were reviewed to increase autonomy and decision-making authority of the LGAs, to foster good governance and to improve access and quality of public services delivery (URT 1998). The constitution and legislation both compel LGAs to involve citizens in policy and budgetary decision-making. Tanzania operates a cash budgeting system, in which the budgets are derived from annually updated Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEFs) with expenditures on priority poverty-reduction sectors protected from in-year cuts. Government has issued framework guidelines on sector, regional and district medium term development plans for implementation of Vision 2025 (URT 2003).
IMC generates about 30% of revenue from own sources but most of the other LGAs depend by more than 80% on central government for their revenue, which is allocated as conditional grants, based on statements of their objectives, strategies and targets, and on feed back reports showing progress on performance-indicators (Roberts, J. ibid). A new formula based system of conditional block grants allocation that has been adopted for the pro-poor sectors in education and health, which make up 88% of all transfers. Alongside the ring fencing of expenditure on these sectors against annual budget cuts and with the forward looking MTEFs in place, formula based allocations will add certainty, predictability and equity in the grants system. However, IMC has a relatively robust own source revenue base that enables it to exercise sufficient financial autonomy to sustain participatory budgeting despite the risks that are inherent in the central government transfers.
ii. Economic situation, condition of tenure and civic participation
Tanzania is a poor country with mean per capita income of Tsh. 265,300 (USD $ 265.3) in 2002 (URT2003). The government defines poverty as “a state of deprivation, prohibitive of a decent human life” URT, 1999). Poverty in Tanzania is measured in two parameters comprising the food line, which is the price of a minimum food basket to provide 2,200 calories per day and a higher basic needs poverty line to allow for non-food consumption. Accordingly, the Household Budget Survey report 2000/01 indicates that 19% of Tanzanians live below the food poverty line while 36% live below the basic needs poverty line (URT 2003). The main source of livelihood in Ilala municipality is self-employment, predominantly in the informal sector that accounts for 40% of adult employment. The Household Budget Survey (HBS) 2000/01 recorded mean per capita monthly income of Tsh 40,767 with wide income disparities across gender and education levels. The most educated for example earn 10 times more than the least educated, while the average income of men is nearly twice that of women. Compared to the national averages of 18.7% the incidence and depth of poverty is low at 7.5% living below the food poverty line of Tsh 6,719 pm, and 17.6% below the basic needs poverty line of Tsh 9,203 pm compared to 35.7% nationally. Absolute poverty, which breeds frustration, despair and apathy on citizens preoccupied with their next meal on a daily basis does not impend participation in the municipality.
Housing and tenure systems present both opportunities and constraints to civic participation in the municipality. That only 31.2% of houses are owner occupied means a large proportion of the population who rent accommodation, are transient in the communities, with no vested interest and little incentive to participate in local issues. 60-70% of houses are built in unplanned, un-surveyed and under-serviced settlements with regular titles to land. Tanzania’s land law, however, recognizes such tenure as rights of occupancy of the land, except for obviously hazardous land or public property such as road and utility reserves. Property owners in planned and surveyed land have regular title to the land. This broad based security of tenure facilitated participatory budgeting initiatives of IMC since security of tenure stimulates the community spirit that bonds urban dwellers around issues of common interests of welfare or concerns over their environment.
Previous development initiatives in Dar es Salaam, including Ilala municipality demonstrated that communities are willing and able to contribute resources to improve services. However, inclusion of the most disadvantaged of society in such schemes remains a key challenge. Mobilization in those initiatives also required substantial skill and support of community development workers and depended to a large extent on unsustainable donor funding, and the way and extent to which the very poor, those with impaired abilities, the elderly, and other minority groups are participating in decision-making is not very clear in some cases (Clifford & Meijer, ibid.)
iii. Impact of level of and access to basic social services and infrastructure on participation
The level of access to basic services is higher in the municipality than the national averages. The mean distance to a primary school is only 0.8 km as compared to the national average of 1.8 km. The mean distance to a dispensary or health centre is 0.7 km in the municipality and 98% of households live within 6 km of one such facility as against national averages of 3.9km and 75% of households respectively. 59% of households are connected to the electricity grid and 85.7% have access to piped water as compared to national averages of 10% and 39% respectively (HBS 2000/2001). The quality of services, however, leaves much to be desired with declines noted in some cases, due to rapid population growth. The ratio of households with access to piped water for example declined from 93% in 1991/92 to 85.7% in 2000/01 while the primary school net enrolment ratio of 71% compares unfavourably with the highest 81% ratio for Kilimanjaro Region (HBS 2000/01). Primary school facilities are overcrowded from shortage of as much as 21 schools and 1,132 classrooms. The desire to improve service delivery and quality motivates civic participation in the municipality.
iv. Political will and political party platforms
The multiparty democracy existing in Tanzania creates an environment that is conducive for establishment of civil organizations, which are key organs in budgetary and policy decision–making processes. The ruling party ‘Chama Cha Mapinduzi’ (CCM) won the 1995 and 2000 elections on the platform of good governance, and when the President entered office in November 1995 he declared good governance as the priority of his presidency. There is therefore a strong and steadfast political will to governance issues including civic participation that facilitated participatory budgeting in Ilala municipality. All ministries with various sector reform responsibilities including in local government, civil service management (public sector reforms), planning and privatization (economic sector reforms), and a new ministry of state for good governance are placed in the President’s office, while the office of the Prime Minister coordinates government activities in respect to the election manifesto. It has for example put in place a strict reporting system that is rigorously enforced.
v. Level of education
The HBS 2000/1 indicates that 92.4% of all adults aged 15 and above in Ilala Municipality have at least a primary 1-4 level or adult education but the proportion of women without any education is more than twice as high at 10.6% as that of men, which stands at 4.5%. Similarly 94.3% of all adult men are literate and able to read and write in at least one language, compared to 88.3%, of adult women. The gender education gap has serious implications considering that there is a strong relationship between poverty and education levels.
vi. Peace or absence of armed conflict
‘Freedom and Unity’ was the rallying call of the main pre-independence political movement Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) that fostered peace and the post-independence government took deliberate steps to eliminate all potential causes of conflict, including the abolition of tribal based traditional leadership and making a secular institution of the state. Tanzania has since stood out as a peaceful, stable society living in peace with a stable government. The absence of tribal, religious, political or other forms of armed conflict enables communities to live harmoniously with mutual respect for, and in trust of each other and of government, which strengthens the government citizen relations that is imperative to civic participation (OECD 2001). Despite a diverse culture, residents of the municipality were able to interact constructively with each other and with IMC in the participatory planning and budgetary processes.
vii. Population size
The population census of 2002 revealed a population of 634,924 in Ilala Municipality. With own source revenue of Tsh. 15,936,099,674.00 (USD 15,936,100) for 2002, expenditure on all municipal functions inclusive of staff salaries was a paltry Tsh. 29,776 per capita for that fiscal year. There is therefore a stiff competition for scarce public resources among communities, which along with the poor quality of services, that spurred citizens interest on how resources are allocated or shared, motivating them to participate in the municipal budgetary decision-making process, when the opportunity was presented them. Awareness of the gap in financial resources of IMC against needs provided further incentive for citizens to contribute resources and to ensure value for money.
i. Cultural diversity and social capital
The urban character of Ilala municipality means communities are culturally diverse and the traditional systems of social capital that normally develop along clan and the tribal lines in rural Africa, are absent. Cultural diversity presents both advantage and disadvantages to community participation. It offers a richer mix of ideas and experiences creating possibilities for a wider range of choices on the possible courses of action to solve local community problems. Though they vary among community members, levels of income are generally higher in the urban, than in the rural areas enabling greater financial contributions of the members to community projects. Those who cannot afford the cash payments can contribute in kind, such as through voluntary labor. Different lifestyles often make it difficult to bring community members together in the urban context. Salaried workers and others who commute to earn a living away from their places of residence find it difficult to make time for local community meetings. They either send representatives to attend meetings on their behalf or else they have to conform to the decisions that are reached without theirrepresentations. Most of the urban residents are first generation rural–urban migrants who maintain strong links with their ancestral villages to which they are often required to contribute for several social and economic courses. This divided loyalty diverts potential resources that could be directed towards community projects. Social capital formation largely revolves around CBOs that develop group-based capacity to solve problems or address government systems especially in the underserved spontaneous urban settlements.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic, issues of urban insecurity, widespread unemployment of women and the youth, coupled with low wages among the employed, and the predominance of the informal sector economy have inspired a wide range of social capital formations including advocacy groups, community policing initiatives, cooperative societies including credit associations, petty trading associations and women income generation groups and organizations, leading to material benefits from community initiatives in infrastructure and social services development or self employment activities that positively affect livelihoods. The rich variety of social capital formations provided channels for IMC to reach some but not all, of the disadvantaged groups in its participatory budgeting processes.
ii. Origination of civic participation activities: The role of the grass roots, external actors to the country, partisan processes and legal processes
The constitution and local government Acts No. 7 and 8 compel LGAs to consult citizens in annual budget and planning processes, and the guidelines for the LGRP instruct LGAs to hold stakeholder consultations at least in the diagnostics stage and in developing the strategic plan (URT2000a). IMC decided to implement a participatory planning and budgeting program both to conform to government policy directive and legislation, and also in response to citizens’ concerns. When they came into office after the October 2000 elections, councilors expressed popular concerns and complaints against the top-down, technocratic budgets and plans failed to address community priorities.
History of government/civil society relationships
Government relationship with CSOs and the overall strength of democracy play a significant role in the quality of participatory processes (Christian Aid, 2002). Tanzania cultivated good relations with citizens from the ‘Ujamaa’ (African Socialism)erain the late 1960s and government has since maintained a liberal attitude towards participation, allowing a fairly open society even under the previous one-party rule. Political liberalizationhas increased the parameters for democracy and created an environment that is more conducive to establishment of CSOs and a strong partnership has developed between government and CSOs for advocacy, public education and program implementation in poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, gender mainstreaming, in the fight against corruption, and in local government, legislative and other sector reforms.
iii. The presence of women elected representatives at the sub-national level, their political influence and link to women’s participation in budgeting processes
The constitution recognizes women‘s right to participate in politics, social and economic life of the country and the rights to vote and to stand for election are provided equally for men and women. Government realizes that women’s advancement and achievement of gender equality are a condition to social justice and economic development and the promotion of women participation in politics and decision-making is among critical areas of its concern. The Government has taken affirmative action to include women in decision-making, assuring them of 33% of seats in the LGAs and 20% in Parliament, with plans to increase parliamentary representation of women to 30% by 2005. Cabinet Decision No. 23 of 1996 endorsed for implementation, the increase of women in all decision-making positions. Government has created a database on women and their qualifications for use by appointing authorities to mainstream gender in the civil service. It is taking firm action to increase women access to education at all levels and has restructured carricula to focus on employment creation, especially for women. Lack of organizational and advocacy capacity, however, undermines the impact of women representation in bringing gender issues up for discussion in the LGAs.
The existence of specific government agencies within different levels of government to support gender equality
The Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children is responsible for policy on women empowerment and a new Gender Affairs Department has been created in the President’s Office, Public Service Management Unit to support women appointments to top management positions in public policy and budgetary decision-making. Directorates of women affairs and women units have been formed respectively in key ministries and in the regional and district administrative structure. Women wings have also been formed in all political parties that are registered in the country, which provide a forum to women to address social, economic and political issues.
The level of agreement on the concept of gender equality in the context of civic engagement in budgetary processes amongst key government organizations and NGO’s
Tanzania has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Convention, upholds all other international human rights instruments calling for gender equality, and in collaboration with CSOs, is working to remove provisions in existing laws that do not grant the rights and freedom of women. The government promotes publicity by using the media and SCOs to in sensitise and create public awareness on the legal system.
Degree and forms of gender analysis expertise within government agencies involved in budgetary processes and NGO’s
In effort towards gender mainstreaming in the civil service, government has created a central database on women and their qualifications for use by appointing authorities and developed women’s database in key ministries and in the regions and districts. The national poverty monitoring system has established an elaborate institutional structure comprising a steering committee and four Technical Working Groups for surveys and census, research and analysis, routine data systems and, dissemination, all of which have adequate capacity for gender analysis (URT 2001). At sub-national level, NGOs appear to have greater gender analytical capacity than government agencies and several of them have an explicit focus on gender research and analysis.
iv. Processes to collect and analyze sex-disaggregated data; to identify key gender issues for translation into budgetary priorities and mechanisms to share information with government agencies and NGO groups; to develop consensus
Tanzania’s poverty monitoring master plan emphasises sex-disaggregated data analysis and diffusion of information in popular versions of for example the Annual Poverty and Human Development Report on progress of PSRP indicators and targets. The master plan also creates focus on empowering CSOs including special groups of the marginalized and vulnerable to interpret and articulate budget allocations and expenditures process, and to collect information that reflects their field experience and evidence about poverty, to back up official quantitative data. Similarly, Household Budget Survey (HBS) reports for 1991/92 and 2000/01 disaggregated data by sex, revealing for example that generally women have lower incomes than men (HBS 2000/01). The Tanzania Poverty Monitoring Socio-Economic Database (TANSED) is yet another instrument that contains time series and multiple estimates from various sources. The Database is disaggregated also, to district level by sex and urban/rural strata (URT 2001).
The Government employs Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs), as a routine part of its Poverty Monitoring System, in which data analysis about the conditions faced by poor people is originated from reflections and explanations of the poor people on their everyday experiences. The 1st PPA cycle that covered 30 districts, focused on “vulnerability” due to its immense impact on people’s well being and its capacity to rapidly erode progress on the PRSP (URT 2002). Mtambani sub-ward in was covered in Ilala municipality, providing invaluable qualitative information to the IMC participatory budgeting process. Additional disaggregated qualitative information, including resource mapping, which is a powerful tool for visual representation of various resources within the municipality was obtained form an ILO study on Child Labour (C. Kadonya, M. Madihi S. Mtwana, 2002).
The LGRP required LGAs to conduct surveys of satisfaction with service delivery. IMC conducted the baseline surveys in year 2000 and their results have significantly influenced the council strategic plan, facilitated consensus on the vision, mission and key responsibilities of IMC with stakeholders, and generally informed the entire reform process at IMC. With the assistance of consultants, the survey data were analysed and comprehensively disaggregated by type of service, gender, age and by wards, enabling a clear expression of the state of public service delivery and of level of access to them by citizens and various social groups, which empowered communities to articulate problems and prioritise in a constructive manner that led to realistic budgets.
Social, cultural and economic factors that influence women’s ability to participate in budgetary processes; links to political will
Traditional norms and culture, which is hard to change, remain a major constraint to effective participation of women in the IMC budgeting process. Tradition places women in low position compared to men and they were not expected to influence the decision-making processes from domestic level to the national level. Existing attitudes influence the election and appointment of women to high profile positions and hence limit women’s voices from impacting decision-making in policy and in the planning and budgeting processes, and they favor and promote boys’ education and pay less interest in the education of girls. Due to their lower levels of education, women lack confidence to engage in discussions equally with men, which limits their impact in participatory policy decision-making and budgeting processes even when opportunities are given them.
The socialization process on the division of labor, which stereotypes different roles kinds of work for men and women, view ‘reproduction’ and the care for a family at home as a woman’s primary commitment, and assume that women depend on a male providers for cash needs, contribute to most women being allocated low paying, unskilled or lesser skilled work in both the formal and the informal economic sectors. Available data also “reveals significant income disparities between men and women working in the same occupation” (URT, 1993). A survey of incomes done across nine employment sectors for example, revealed average monthly incomes of Tsh 5,120 and Tsh 4,300 for men and women respectively (Mjema and Shitundu 1996). Low education and productive skills among women as compared to men, lack of child care facilities and of health and industrial safety provisions tailored to the realisation of women’s practical gender needs exacebate the situation. As shown in the Section iii above, the government has demonstrated high level political will in ratifying and actively implementing all international human rights instruments calling for gender equality.
b. Organization of the participatory policy making and budgeting processes
Having seen the need for participatory budgeting as an obligation to government policy and legislative requirements to involve people in decision-making and also as a way to achieve sustainable development in the municipality, IMC embarked on sensitization of sub-ward leaders and on awareness creation for the participatory budgeting and planning process in 2001. The first attempt to produce a participatory budget and plan for fiscal year 2002, however, failed and was abandoned because expectations were unrealistically high - up to Tsh 40,000,000,000/= (US$ 40m) in requests for development expenditure, against Tsh. 5,100,000,000/= (US$ 5.1m) revenue on own sources, and the community priorities were not clearly articulated.
During fiscal year 2003 the participatory planning and budgeting process commenced early in July 2002 to allow for training of key players. IMC developed a tailored training program on urban participatory planning and budgeting in collaboration with the Institute of Regional Development Planning (IRDP). Residential and field training sessions were conducted to council extension staff, Ward executive Officer and representatives of NGOs and CBOs from each ward on the participatory planning process using the PRA/PPA and the Opportunities and Obstacles to Development (O & OD) techniques. The Council management team was exposed to three days and the 22 ward councilors to one day of training. Training focus was laid on planning, budgeting and advocacy skills and on role assignment to all groups of stakeholders.
Following the initial round of training, the participatory budget for 2003 was more realistic and the priorities were much more clearly set. The participatory planning and budgeting process begins with the council management team providing revenue projections and indicative figures of the amounts available for participatory decision-making. Communities use the Obstacles and Opportunities to Development (O&OD) tool, which is a simplified model for environmental scanning akin to a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. Communities first identify opportunities for development, exploring how the opportunities could be exploited to foster local development. Obstacles that could impede productive use of available resources are discussed, and strategies are drawn to overcome the obstacles. Both men and women, and people from marginalized groups are encouraged to participate equally in this exercise. Community members identify their social and economic problems and possible solutions, rank and prioritize development projects with the support of CLP team members. Project proposals are then submitted for discussion and approval of the Ward Development Committee, which are subsequently forwarded to the Municipal Council, where the Council Management Team compile the ranked priorities into sector plans that are submitted to the Council Standing Committees for consolidation into the municipal annual budget and development plan that is approved at the budget meeting of the full council.
60% of the projects implemented in the year 2003 originated from the community, while the balance of 40% of the projects were implemented to address crosscutting issues and to meet specific national PSRP targets. IMC planning and budgeting follows the three-year cycle of national MTEFs. The value of all project budget requests from communities ranked in priority 1 – 5 amounted to Tsh. 12,115,944,671/= projected over 3 years. During the first year, IMC was able financed implementation of projects worth 3,004,829,100/= (US$ 3.0m) equivalent to 25% of all projects proposed mainly from own source revenues of Tsh, 6,200,000,000/= (US$ 6.2m). With projected increase in own source revenue that grew at about 15% per annum from 2000 to 20003, higher levels of resource contributions of communities and other stakeholders expected from improved relations with IMC, and with access to unconditional grants, IMC is certain to finance the remaining projects over the next two years.
i. Capacity building for effective community participation in planning and budgeting
In 2003 IMC decided to establish 22 community level planning and budgeting support teams (CLP-Teams), one in each ward with 10 members to empower communities with participatory planning and budgeting skills. Effort was made to ensure the teams were apolitical, gender balanced with more or less equal number of women to men, and inclusive of vulnerable groups. CLP team members were trained on participatory mechanisms and on technical planning and budgeting skills, which, considerably improved quality of grassroots plans and budget proposals. In the interim January – June 2004 budget pending transition to the central government fiscal year (July 2004 to June 2005) for example, IMC executing 41 new projects of which, 26 or 63.4% were proposed by communities, in the participatory processes. Participatory budgeting is in progress for fiscal year 2004/05 and a decision has been reached to allocate a minimum of Tsh 50m (USD 50,000) for each ward to ensure all communities benefit from the process. IMC also sets aside a fund of USD 60,000 - USD 100 in each year’s budget to support Community Driven Development (CDD) projects as a way to encourage citizens take a more active role in tackling their own problems by collectively initiating, financing, managing and controlling projects. In fiscal year 2005/2006 IMC set aside USD 125,000, while in 2006/2007 the contribution was raised to USD 300,000 for the same purpose.
The role of the different actors
The media was instrumental in public information dissemination to creating awareness, educate and sensitize citizens on participation, particularly at the national level. Territory based CSOs, mainly CBOs, helped to identify and prioritize locality based social, economic, infrastructure and environmental concern of communities, and mobilized community resources for service delivery and other projects. Theme and sector based CSOs contributed supplementary evidence based, quantitative and qualitative information from field experiences, mobilization, organization and advocacy skills, and they mobilized additional resources for community projects through their national or international associates.
Labor-based CSOs are not very active in the sub-national levels but they participate at annual consultations with CSOs on the national budget priorities. Faith based CIO’s are very active in the local scene where they provide a wide range of affordable, non-profit oriented social services, especially in health and education, supplementing the service delivery efforts of IMC. Their main other contributions are in advocacy against HIV/ AIDS, crime and other social ills and in building opinion and consensus across religious lines. Women’s organizations including women’s political party wings provided a gender perspective to various issues, both at the municipal level of consultations and in lower entities, creating particular focus on health and other social services, on self employment income generation for women, and on safety and security.
Political parties are encouraged to, and they participate in policy and budgetary consultations at the national and council level, helping build opinions and consensus on key public issues across political lines. Experience has shown, however that political differences can be divisive at the grassroots level where partisan interests normally tend to distort and divert community focus away from common objectives towards narrow political party interests and rivalries to the extent that good intentions that are normally associated with the ruling party are deliberately misinterpreted and negatively portrayed by opposing parties. Community water schemes in two wards in Ilala Municipality have for example, collapsed for lack of maintenance because the opposition party that won ‘Mitaa’ elections ousted the popularly elected water committees and took over the schemes but they diverted revenue that they collected through cost recovery sales of water towards their political party. Partisan roles are therefore discouraged at the grassroots where political differences are potentially divisive, by ensuring for example that the selection CLP-teams are apolitical and continuously educating communities on the non partisan role of government in service delivery. Private sector organizations provide financial and managerial support to various community initiatives, though often form a spontaneous philanthropic standpoint lacking in the more structured and constructive engagement commensurate with the sustainable corporate social responsibility approach. Business organizations have also influenced municipal tax policy in favor of fair, broad based taxes that encourage compliance, and in determining costs of services that IMC has outsourced to them, as in solid waste management.
The direct involvement of citizens in grassroots meetings to discuss and prioritize community problems, and propose projects for budgetary resource allocation by IMC underpins and gives legitimacy to the IMC participatory annual planning and budgeting process. They contribute resources in kind and materially to the realization of service delivery and other projects, and by dint of their presence on the ground, they monitor and evaluate on-going programs and projects through physical inspection. Monitoring is done during the implementation process by stakeholders continuously comparing resource inputs deployed into a project with the level of output at a particular time and stage of implementation period. Additionally communities have been equipped with the capacity to apply Accountability tools for monitoring and evaluation purposes namely the Community Score Card which brings together the beneficiaries, leaders and service providers to evaluate the performance of service delivery organs. Another monitoring tool is the requirement for monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Monitoring and evaluation is also done through performance review meetings that are held regular between committee members and the technical staff responsible for service delivery. People have also played an important role in generating local information; especially the evidence based experiential information through the PPA, to supplement official government and IMC data.
Many institutions played important roles in the participatory budgeting initiative of IMC, the roles of which were in creating space and providing the forum for civic participation, creating public awareness, mobilizing citizens, participatory and technical skills development training in planning and budgeting, sensitizing council staff and decision-makers on bottom-up decision-making approaches and providing administrative and financial support to the process; generation and analysis of data from surveys, official records and reports, diffusion of information, and allocating funds from its budget to execute decisions reached in the participatory process. Central government created a conducive institutional and regulatory environment for the entire process by expanding decision-making and budgetary mandates of IMC and through providing technical and managerial capacity development training of staff and councilors technical and managerial capacity development training of staff and councilors technical and managerial capacity development training of staff and councilors, and provision of financial support to IMC for the surveys and consultation meetings the LGRP. In its first Medium Term Plan (MTP) government for example, aims at “empowering local governments and communities as well as promoting broad-based grass-root participation … to stimulating development initiatives” (URT 2003).
The regional and district administrations assisted IMC in interpreting government policy and legislation on good governance, with monitoring and evaluation feedback on the participatory initiative, and with resolving religious or political conflicts when they arose. Parliament revision of laws created an enabling environment for LGAs to involve people in policy and budgetary decision-making, and in creating focus on inclusion of women in the decision-making processes. Several presidential commissions on important issues of national interest including corruption, land laws, political party organization and legal reforms collected public opinion to reach national consensus on them, in a manner that created public awareness on the civic role in government affair. International agencies including the Breton Woods Institutions encouraged and pressed for integration of good governance and civic participation in poverty reduction initiatives of poor countries making it for example a condition to access foreign aid and qualify for debt relief, which led developing countries governments open up to civic society, unleashing immense opportunities for sub-national participatory decision-making budgeting processes. Many international agencies provide technical and financial support to the IMC participatory budgeting process and for project execution.
Participatory procedures for long-term decision-making
The long-term Strategic Urban Development Plan (SUDP) for Dares Salaam was developed in 1992 through a citywide consultation process of the Sustainable Dar es Salaam Program (SDP) of the post-Rio Sustainable Cities Initiatives on Environmental Planning and Management (EPM). Basing on a City Environmental profile, consensus was reached on nine priority objectives around which nine working groups of key stakeholder representatives were formed to develop strategic plans for implementation. The SDP process that guides city development to date turned the city around by popularizing participatory planning procedures to improve the living conditions.
Participatory procedures for medium-term decision-making
Medium term decisions in the municipality were developed from two stakeholder consultations held to make a diagnosis of the state of service delivery by IMC basing on the survey of levels of citizens’ satisfaction with municipal services, define the municipal vision and the mission of the IMC, and draw a three year medium term strategic plan that provides the framework for the annual planning and budgeting processes. The participants to the consultations were carefully selected from among CSOs, political parties, religious organization, business and professional associations; central and local government agencies, private sector service providers including utility companies, financial institutions and across social groups such as women, the youth, the elderly and the disabled to reflect the urban complexity and cultural diversity of society in the municipality.
The Logical Framework Analysis technique with graphic tools of analysis using the problem tree and objective tree that describe and analyze a core problem, the hierarchy of causal factors and of proposals to solve the problem was used to facilitate discussion. Use of the visual analytic devices helped organize ideas about the needs of citizens into a hierarchy of cause-and-effect relationships that were systematically translated into a logical framework of project objectives and to select strategic components of the medium term plan that respond to the citizens’ needs.
Participatory procedures for short-term decision-making
The annual participatory planning and budgeting process involves direct participation of citizens in grassroots meetings at sub-ward (Mitaa) government committees. Communities rank and prioritize their problems in public meetings that all community members are encouraged to attend at the Mtaa level. The trained CPL teams attend to facilitate discussions, analysis and prioritization of issues, problems and possible projects and submit project proposals for discussion and approval of the Ward Development Committee (WDC). Decisions of the WDCs are then forwarded to the municipal council, where they are consolidated into the municipal annual budget and development plan. Resource allocation for the projects proposed at community level is made from in four areas: Government Grants, own source revenue, community contributions and donor funds, when available.
Various environmental scanning techniques are used to facilitate discussions and decision-making at the grassroots public meetings including the O & OD tool that has been explained in an earlier section and various PRA/PPA tools (See URT 2002). The process involves identifying available opportunities for development and exploring how the opportunities could be exploited to foster local development. Obstacles are then identified that could impend productive use of available opportunities and resources and strategies are drawn to resolve the obstacles. Both men and women are encouraged to participate equally in the process and the exercise involves various groups of the communities including vulnerable groups. After various practical exercises community members then discuss and prioritize proposed development projects with the support of CLP-team members.
Cost of the planning and budgeting process
The cost of planning and budgeting process including training was only Tsh. 18,732,460 (USD 18,7320) in 2002 equivalent to USD 0.029 per capita expenditure, representing 0.62% of the resulting projects worth Tsh. 3,004,829,100 (USD 3m) implemented in the 2003 fiscal year. Nevertheless the gains in satisfaction with the services from community participation outweigh the cost by far. Combined costs of training and budgeting processes for the January-June 2004 period and for the 2004/05 fiscal year were Tsh. 22,496,500 (USD 22,496.5). The costs are expected to decline considerably in future with reduction in training needs.
Participatory procedures in social services delivery
Civic participation in the delivery of social services is achieved through service management boards and committees for health education and water supply that are mandatory in all LGAs in Tanzania. The service boards and committees constitute members who are elected from among community members. Health boards and committees advise management at facility level and the decision-making organs at council level on health delivery plans and on the allocation of financial and other resource for delivery of health services and they monitor and evaluate the quality of health services delivered by the council. This is done through periodic reports that are submitted to the health boards and committees, feedback of the beneficiary community members and in discussions during face to face meetings between the Board members and the staff at facility level or the sector experts at council level. Annual reviews are made in the process of annual budget preparation at the facility and council levels. Water users elect a committee from among themselves to manage community water supply schemes including revenue collection on user charges and expenditures for operation, maintenance and investment to expand or improve services. Under the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP), each school operates a bank account to which funds are transferred from central and local government authorities, contributions by communities or donors. The school committees manage the funds for capitation and for construction and maintenance of school facilities and also manage procurement and contracts as a delegated function in accordance with the procurement procedures set out in the PEDP and Local Government Authority Procurement Regulations, during the implementation of program activities. Members of the school committee are elected from among residents of the community that is served by the school and the Head Teacher is the secretary to the committee. School pupils also elect their representatives to the committee, one male and one female.
Participatory procedures in Physical infrastructure programs
Participation in physical infrastructure programs takes place around CBOs in the form of CDD initiatives, where communities, operating through democratically leadership decide, plan, design and execute their own projects, with or without assistance of IMC, central government or donors. Even when assistance is sought from any of the above institutions, communities retain control of the projects and take responsibility for project management including procurement and contracts, for monitoring and evaluation, and for operation and maintenance.
Participatory procedures for economic development
Participatory modalities for economic development revolve around cooperative societies and various self-employment associations of women, youth, the elderly and the disabled. Credit societies are by far the most common associations in Ilala municipality and most of them are work place based.
Participatory procedures in cultural affairs
The cultural scene, now a thriving beehive of activities in sports, dance and traditional music, fashion design, handicraft, fine and theatre arts within Dar es Salaam and nationwide is largely driven by individual efforts, civic entertainment groups and associations with private sector corporate sponsorship and promotion. Government has passed legislation on intellectual property copyrights to protect markets in this sector, and it has established a cultural development fund that provides funding for some cultural programs designed by individuals or preferably by groups. The size of the fund is, however, too small and few individuals or groups have so far benefited from it. Government is not otherwise involved in managing cultural activities in a routine manner, except in respect of historic and cultural conservation. IMC and other LGAs are yet to mainstream cultural affairs in their operational systems.
Consequences of increased civic participation (Outcomes)
Civic participation had many positive consequences on the effectiveness and structure of the IMC budget and development plans, including the following benefits to communities and to IMC:
1. Positive attitude of taxpayers resulting in increased revenue from taxes, service user charges and cost recovery, Although it might not be the only reason, accountability to the community that emerges from participatory planning and budgeting has contributed to the increase of revenue on own sources that are largely tax based from T. 4,334,680,000 in 2002 to Tsh. 6,999,139,000 in fiscal year 2005/2006 with an increase of 61.5% over a period of three years and Tsh. 7,970,000,000 in fiscal year 2006/2007, an increase of 14% in one year.
2. Increased number of projects implemented jointly by IMC with communities,
3. Sustainability of the development projects implemented at local level for example water wells projects. Construction of water projects in Vingunguti and Ilala Wards where communities fully participated in planning and implementation, with decisions on water pricing, basing on affordable user fees were agreed for Operation & Maintenance have all contributed towards project sustainability. Other concrete examples include the designed by the community in Mchafukoge Ward for rehabilitation of a room within the Ward Executive Office which is used for training in computer skills to the people from around the neighbourhood who agreed to pay very fees that are affordable to the community and yet sufficient to motivate the private facility operators. Construction of Public Toilet in Tabata Ward where user fees that were agreed by the community are paid to meet Operation and Maintenance cost in order to sustain the project.
4. Increased transparency and equity in allocating scarce public resources across communities, especially between previously neglected inner city areas and the periphery has resulted in improved effectiveness of budgets and development plans in addressing relevant issues of community concerns,
5. Employment creation in solid waste management and higher levels of solid waste removal by CSOs and local SMEs. The knowledge and skills of citizens in analyzing and prioritizing problems and issues, and their capacity to design and execute community projects has increased along with increased level of community involvement in monitoring and evaluation of projects during implementation and service provision. This has enabled IMC to record good performance in the implementation of many government programs including the Primary Education Development Program (PEDP) which has guaranteed uninterrupted flow of central government grants to IMC. LGAs are assessed annually and those that do not meet minimum qualifying criteria are denied allocation of the Capital Development Grant for the year.
6. Official recognition of the private and civic sector contributions to community projects that are now incorporated into the council budget and development plan encourages more contributions of non-public resources and gives hope to citizens concerns over poor services. This has in turn caused improvements in the relations between IMC and Civil Society with a new spirit of cooperation in all municipal programs and projects and helped to improved accountability of CSOs which have their projects incorporated into the IMC annual budgets and development plans,
7. Increased participation of women and youth in decision-making and council resource allocation, creating focus on social services and employment needs of these groups,
8. Increased interest of citizens in council affairs and greater participation in grassroots democratic processes
Factors of success
An enduring political will and steadfast support to civic involvement both at central and local levels of government, along with an institutional and regulatory environment that allows for autonomy of LGAs and for direct participation of citizens in grassroots levels of administration were the key factors of success in the IMC participatory budgeting processes. A clear definition of communities along the boundaries of grassroots administrative structures, and careful identification of key stakeholders to ensure broad based representation of all sections of society including the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, also facilitated implementation of the participatory process. Other key factors of success include extensive and continuous awareness creation and public education, and sensitization of staff, councilors and local community leaders on the bottom-up processes, training of IMC councilors, management and extension staff, and of representatives of CSOs on participatory mechanisms and in planning and budgeting tools and techniques. Deliberate action on community empowerment through establishment and training of CLP Teams to build their capacity for community organization and to equip them with technical tools and skills for analysis, planning and budgeting was also a major factor in ensuring quality of participatory plans and budgets. The main practical lesson from the IMC experience is for management staff and the elected decision-makers to be flexible and innovative in adapting in responding to citizens demands and have the will to make changes on the procedures so as to ensure effectiveness and sustainability of the process.
Constraints and problems encountered
IMC encountered several problems and faced many constraints in executing the participatory budgeting processes. Key among them is the constraint that is posed by the character of urban setting. Although many people may want to participate, the degree of participation is low due to most of the people being away from their places of residence at work or attending to business during the day when meetings are held at the grassroots. IMC is addressing this problem by encouraging communities to hold grassroots planning and budgeting discussions and meetings after working hours or during weekends at a time that would be agreed as convenient to many of the community members. Where this approach has worked, it has had the added advantage of encouraging participation of skilled members of communities can advise on technically complicated infrastructure issues, saving on costs of hiring consultants.
Inadequate funds from the IMC and the Central government to finance most of the community driven projects affects the consistency of the community initiatives. IMC has sensitize and trained its staffs on improving efficiency and value for money cost effectiveness in project implementation so as to earn more mileage on the limited financial resources of IMC and to forge partnership with private sector organizations for them to contribute resources to support community initiated projects.CLP team members who are not permanent residents may shift from one ward or district to another and IMC had to frequently incur cost for training of replacements. IMC ensures that CLP-teams are largely constituted of permanent residents of the localities and the membership of CLP teams is review regularly to fill any vacancies before commencement of the annual planning and budgeting season.
Urban social and economic infrastructures are costly and technically complicated, making it difficult for local communities with low level of skills and resources to initiate and design project, hence increasing dependence on government. In some cases political differences and conflicts arose within communities that created a loss of solidarity and cohesiveness of communities, affecting the level of participation in planning and budgeting or stalled the process in the affected areas. His problem was common in those areas where the Ward councilor who chairs the Ward Development Committee and the committee members come from opposing political parties. Continued civic education and pressure from community members have helped to resolve the conflicts.
As revealed from the PPA in Mtambani sub-ward, the youth feel excluded from decision-making processes and systems at different levels from community to national level and their interests are not taken care of, and the elderly and people with disabilities who can work feel excluded from access to credits and training for different skills that are made available to other social groups in the community. IMC continues to seek for ways and means to reaching the vulnerable and excluded sections of society.
Key conclusions and lessons learned
While certain framework conditions including political will, peace and harmony and gender-supportive policies are necessary at the national level to facilitate public participation, these alone cannot make participatory budgeting take place at the local level. Strong political will of local leaders and commitment of technical staff is crucial for effective public participation in planning and budgeting. The main lessons that IMC has learned are: that given the necessary technical support with tools for decision-making communities are better placed to make correct choices on how resources could be allocated to address priority problems in the most efficient manner. The experience at IMC confirms also that participatory planning and budgeting can just as well work in an urban setting as in a rural situation where participatory mechanisms have had a long history of practice.
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