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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 Mtetemela]

How else might issues of corruption which affect poor people be addressed?

"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 reduction?

"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." [TGNP]

Does the PRSP as it presently stands tackle this food security problem? 

"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?


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