Chapter 5
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How are plans made?

bulletHow was this plan made?
bulletHow will future plans be made?

Since Independence in 1961 the Government has tried to conquer the problems of ignorance, disease and poverty. There was considerable progress using centrally planned approaches until the 1970s when various external shocks and internal weaknesses caused setbacks. Despite a series of economic and political reforms since the mid 1980s a half of all Tanzanians are now thought to be basically poor and about a third live in extreme poverty.
It is difficult for local people to respond with enthusiasm to a call for development work which may be to their benefit, but which has been decided upon and planned by an authority hundreds of miles away. 
[Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere]

But the tide may be turning. In the late 1990s the government produced its Vision 2025 setting out economic and social goals in the long term. This was quickly followed by the National Poverty Eradication Strategy (NPER) setting out objectives for poverty eradication till 2010. The international community then joined the government in producing the Tanzania Assistance Strategy (TAS) that outlined a more coordinated approach to foreign aid. Since then a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and a Public Expenditure Review (PER) have been produced and a list of Poverty and Welfare Monitoring Indicators (PMI) has been drawn up.

Now we have the Tanzania Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). This provides a medium-term strategy to reduce poverty and is part of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. This strategy means that the Government has to cut back on spending but it allows for various poverty-focussed extra-budgetary activities and promotes a range of non-financial measures that should make an impact on poverty.

 
Many local people were involved in developing the PRSP and many more will be involved in making it work. The plan tries to list the reasons for people being poor and suggest ways to overcome them. Some of the solutions involve the government and donor agencies and others involve ordinary people. 
If ten thousand people shoot at the same target at the same time no target will not be hit. 
[Chinese Proverb]

People cannot be developed; they can only develop themselves. [Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere]

The PRSP is different from earlier plans because it sets very clear targets and asks ordinary people to be involved. They were involved in designing the plan and they will be involved in making it happen. And what is even more important, they will be involved in making sure that the targets that are set in the plan are being met.

How was this plan made?

In October 1999 a Committee of twelve Ministers and the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania was formed to develop the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. This committee was supported by a technical committee (coordinated by the Vice President's Office) made up of officials from the Prime Minister's Office, Planning Commission, the main Ministries and the Bank of Tanzania. 

A background document (the interim PRSP) was produced in draft in early January 2000. This was discussed at a consultative meeting that included Government representatives and people from the donor community and civil society. The document was reviewed and approved by the cabinet in early February 2000 and submitted to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Boards in Washington by March 2000. This allowed Tanzania to move ahead and produce the full Poverty Reduction Strategy.

In March 2000 the technical working group prepared a draft outline for the full PRSP. This was discussed at seven Zonal workshops during 11-12 May 2000. These were attended by 804 participants and included 426 villagers, 215 Councillors, 110 District Executive Directors and 53 people from NGOs. Just under a quarter of the participants were women. The report on each zonal workshop was presented to the Technical Committee on 16 May 2000.

Following a Consultative Group meeting between government and donors on 22 May 2000, a team of experts drew up an initial draft of the PRSP using information from pre-existing studies and policy documents and the results of the Zonal Workshops. On 30 June the draft was presented to a meeting with the donor community that was attended by a joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund team. On 1 July 2000 parliamentarians were briefed on progress to date and their views were sought. 

On 3-4 August 2000 a national workshop with 25 participants was called to seek further reactions to the targets, priorities and actions that were outlined in the draft. Those present included Permanent Secretaries, Regional Commissioners, representatives of the donor community, the multilateral institutions, private sector organisations, NGOs, the public media and informal sector representatives.

Also on 3-4 August 2000 the draft was presented to a gathering of Regional Administrative Secretaries at Lobo in the Serengeti.

A revised draft was approved by Cabinet on 31 August 2000. Further revisions were made by the government and the IMF/World Bank and the final document was approved by the IMF and World Bank Boards in October 2000.

How will future plans be made?

Several studies are underway to get better statistics to help make future plans. These include:
bulleta new Household Budget Survey covering over 24,000 households
bulleta pilot labour force survey to establish the baseline for the labour market
bulleta population and housing census in 2002
bulleta demographic and health survey in 2003 

The IMF/World Bank is also suggesting an updating of the Social Accounting Matrix to measure whether the income and policy activities are having an impact on poverty.

There is an urgent need to build the capacity of a wide range of people to monitor the activities that have begun with the PRSP. People also need help to analyse the information that is gathered and to figure out what it means for policy.

It is likely that a set of forums will be established to co-ordinate and integrate the many different activities at different levels and to find ways to draw out the policy implications in as participatory a manner as possible.

As it says in the PRSP, "The Government intends to continue to seek fuller representation of the poor and other stakeholders in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the poverty reduction strategy, and in subsequent revisions of the PRSP."

 

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