Ten tough questions to provoke hard thinking
"Data and the need for better data is now in the limelight. Never
before has the Treasury been demanding so much information from us. Not
since the social dimensions of the adjustment programme has there been so
much interest in the need for timely poverty data and good quality
analysis." [Director, National Bureau of Statistics]
How much time and money should we spend on gathering information?
"The churches ecumenically are trying to work with the government
on how to tackle corruption, including workshops on how to promote
transparency. This is important so that the people and the donors can see
that aid and debt relief are reaching the poor." [Archibishop Donald
How else might issues of corruption which affect poor people be
"A major evaluation of the World Bank's work in Africa
(commissioned by Norway) concluded that the design and implementation of
the liberalisation packages (in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabawe) have at best
had a limited impact on current poverty and at worst contributed to an
increase in poverty." [TGNP]
What assurance do we have that the recommendations for Tanzania will
have a more positive impact?
"Raising taxes is seldom popular and some kinds of tax are harder
on poor people than on rich people."
Should the Government gather more taxes from people to ensure poverty
"The IMF and World Bank have not yet met their commitments to
assess the impact of proposed reforms in their programmes before
undertaking them. Due to this lack of information on impacts, in most
countries, there is still no discussion of realistic policy choices and
trade offs." [OXFAM]
Does the Tanzania PRSP make the best choice of priority sectors and of
items within them?
"A dual system of education and health has emerged in Tanzania.
The rich and their children use high cost private schools and medical
facilities leaving the poor to use the under-financed public social
service system." [TGNP]
How is the PRSP to address this problem of dual systems?
"Crop prices are falling, farm input prices are rising, and many
vital inputs are often not delivered at all, or not on time. The food
security of the nation is now at risk as a result of liberalisation and
its negative impact on food producers. The impact is worse for smallholder
farmers, especially those in the south and west of the country that used
to be the breadbasket of Tanzania. In addition, pastoralist
livestock-keepers have been completely neglected by these policies."
Does the PRSP as it presently stands tackle this food security
"The financial implications indicated in the PRSP shows that
there is a financing gap. Financial requirements and proposed allocation
of other charges and development expenditures for six priority sectors
(education, health, water, judiciary, agriculture and roads) show that
they will only be covered by 54% in 1999/2000, 69% in 2000/2001, 75% in
2001/2002 and 86% in 2002/2003. Therefore there is no 100% financial
coverage for PRSP for the next three years." [TASOET]
How is this financial gap to be covered?
"Discussion by parliament of the PRSP draft took place in a 2
hour session. Given the potential significance of the Paper in reworking
targets and actions set out in the approved NPES, it is questionable
whether this was sufficient to achieve the necessary political consensus
on the way forward." [Evans, Nglawea & Semboja, Nov 2000]
What should we do about building the political consensus?
"An aspect of ownership of the PRSP which needs to come out very
clearly is the activities or areas showing the role of the communities in
the PRSP." [TASOET]
How can we link what the Government can do to what the people can do
as this is very important in fostering the ownership concept?