Assessment of local government's social accountability for poverty reduction in Tanzania

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Social Accountability is an aspect of governance that links and interlinks other aspects of development and governance, In Tanzania, various forms of social accountability monitoring in have been implemented by CSOs, these include; the holistic st)~al accountability monitoring (SAM) and Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys, PETS, Others are Community Score Cards, Budget Analysis, Citizen Jury, Local needs analysis and Social Auditing. These initiatives fulfill a number of functions, as they enable individuals and user groups at community level to provide feedback and exercise their voice vis-a-vis central, local government and service providers. The main objective of this study has to establish the relationship between social accountability and poverty alleviation in a few selected Tanzanian local councils. Specifically, the study aimed at; describing the forms of social accountability in the selected local government authorities (LGAs), to determine the status of social accountability among the selected LGAs, to empirically link social accountability with identified poverty indicator and to examine the public's perception on social accountability and improvement of people's livelihoods. The study employed a cross-sectional research design whereby data were collected at one point and time. A total of320 respondents were randomly selected from the selected wards and villages using a multi-stage sampling technique from Mwanza City Council (MCC), Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC), Kibaha Town Council (KTC) and Handeni District Council (HDC). In addition, forty and ten other individuals were involved in focus group discussion (FGDs) and key informant interviews respectively. The study used both primary and secondary data; the former was collected through the use of interview schedules and checklists. Specifically, the study employed Social accountability monitoring tools which included; the Social Accountability Cycle and the Question-Information-Analysis (QIA) tools. Data collected using the QIA were analyzed by the help of participant stakeholders; the CSOs, Businesses, LGA officials, a handful of policymakers and other participants. Generally, the study shows that SAM positively empowers local people not only to engage their governments but, does also influence decisions and the confidence of public officials in service provision. However, there are setbacks in enhancing social accountability in local governments in Tanzania. One such challenge is access to Government information which is inconsistent and preferential. This can further be deduced as showing a strong potential for linking poverty reduction initiatives with social accountability in local government.



Local Government's, Poverty Reduction in Tanzania, Social Accountability, Social accountability monitoring