In order to attain the Tanzanian Development Vision 2025 (TDV 2025), which entails eradicating absolute poverty by 2025, the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (2005-2010) (MKUKUTA I) sees governance as a key ingredient for poverty alleviation. However, many cases have arisen regarding decisions on and implementation of economic and social development activities being inefficient, associated with bribery, not transparent and inequitable. This paper identifies what governance issues really matter for poverty mobility in Tanzania, using data collected through key informant interviews, focus group discussions and individual life histories in Mtwara, Mwanza and Rukwa regions from September to November 2009 as part of a bigger study titled Chronic Poverty and Development Policy in Tanzania. It finds biases in the provision of education, health and water services; bribery in the construction of classrooms and the allocation and transfer of teachers; limited access to justice for women and poorer community members; lack of transparency of expenditure of community money and allocation of materials (including medicines) in the education, health and water sectors in some areas; limited participation in decision making as many community members do not attend meetings at which decisions are made; and late completion of construction works and distribution of agricultural inputs. These problems all exacerbate poverty. As such, it is recommended that MKUKUTA II (2011- 2015) give more weight to governance issues, including those listed above, lest they slow the pace towards attainment of the TDV 2025.
CPRC Working Paper No. 206, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-908536-03-7, 49 pp.