A little birdie told me about this, and I just couldn’t resist. The donors in Tanzania have got their own little website, included on which is a page telling us “10 Facts about Aid effectiveness in Tanzania”. They call themselves the Development Partners Group (DPG for short) and this is what they have to say:
- Tanzania’s aid effectiveness initiatives begun even prior to the international call on aid effectiveness. The initiatives follow recommendation of the Independent Commission report by Helleiner (1994) which called for among other things a closer collaboration between the government and development partners.
- DPG supports the coordinated Government-led programmes to strengthen capacity development in core reforms programmes such as the Public Financial Management Reform Programme (PFMRP), Public Sector Reform Programme (PSRP), Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), Legal Sector Reform Programme (LSRP), as well as Poverty Monitoring Master Plan and Business Environment Strengthening Programme for Tanzania. Sector programmes with capacity development components include – but are not limited to – Primary Education Development Programme, the Secondary Education Development Programme, ASDP, as well as the health and HIV/AIDS programmes.
- The Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania (JAST) is the national medium-term framework jointly developed by the government and development partners in order to enhance aid effectiveness at country level. It replaces the Tanzania Assistance Strategy (TAS), which served as medium-term framework for development cooperation between 2002/2003 and 2004/2005.
- JAST is approved by Cabinet and signed by 19 bilateral and multilateral agencies including: African Development Bank, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, UN, USA, and the World Bank.
- MKUKUTA-PER dialogue structure is the main structure for technical dialogue between the Government, Development Partners and domestic stakeholders. It integrates all major national development priorities and sector processes into a single process, whilst retaining government exclusivity on its internal dialogue.
- DPG endeavours to align its own structure of sectoral/thematic and sub-groups to a corresponding government-led dialogue structure, within the cluster structure of the MKUKUTA and MKUZA.
- Three modalities are used to deliver aid assistance to the government of Tanzania: General Budget Support (GBS), Basket Funds and the Direct Project Funds with the GBS being the most preferred mode since it is consistent with government’s legal structure and processes.
- The Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAps) are applied in key sectors including water, health agriculture, education HIV/AIDS and core reform programmes. Under SWAps, line ministries take a leading role in putting in place a comprehensive and operational plan and programme as well as a coordination framework allowing various stakeholders to focus on commonly agreed goals and targets.
- Tanzania’s mutual accountability framework particularly the Independent Monitoring Group mechanism, is one the most established mechanisms worldwide with three evaluation reports produced since 1994.
- Most of the working groups under the DPG are organised around a troika chairing structure, that is, there is an incoming and present and out-going chairing arrangement (act as leaders of the group), with other DPs being either active or delegating members, in accordance with the division of labour outlined in the JAST.
Ummm … so exactly how is any of the above effecting real change that, say, a poor Tanzanian farmer would recognise? Or, to put it another way, exactly how far up their own arses are the so-called Development Partners?