Participatory approach and development planning process in Maswa district, Shinyanga - Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Sokoine University of Agriculture


A study on participatory approach and development planning process was conducted at Maswa District in Shinyanga Region. Overall objective of the study was to assess participatory planning process for development; specifically the study assessed the extent to which development stakeholders are informed about participatory planning approach concept. Secondly, the study assessed the extent at which stakeholders participate in the process and thirdly it assessed constraints that are being faced in the course of using the approach. Cross-sectional research design was used. Study findings show that 48% of respondents were not aware of the approach and the concept. Knowledge on the approach and concept was lower (34%) for females compared to males (54%). Findings revealed that majority of community members (71%) do not attend village development planning meetings. CBOs and NGOs are involved at implementation stage instead of being involved from plan preparation stage. Majority of community members participate in plan implementation; however, some CBOs fail to provide their contributions. Delay in releasing financial support by development supporters has resulted to poor implementation of planned activities. Findings in the study areas show that village assemblies are not regularly convened, physical progress and financial reports are also not regularly communicated to people. Generally, findings in the study areas showed that participatory planning approach is a useful means for attaining sustainable development. Constraints to the approach are; inadequate funds for facilitating the process, poor accountability and transparency of some leaders. The study recommends; sensitisation of people on the process, timely disbursement of funds, creation of active and empowered ward facilitation team, regular follow ups and monitoring of district and ward facilitation teams at village levels. Regular retraining of village and ward leaders on participatory planning, formation of informal savings and credits to enhance CBOs’ ability to contribute for development activities is also recommended.



Participatory Approach, Development Planning, Maswa District, Shinyanga, Tanzania


Mabula,B.J. (2007). Participatory approach and development planning process In Maswa district, Shinyanga – Tanzania. Morogoro : Sokoine University of Agriculture.