This report provides a political economy analysis of the civil society sector in Tanzania with a particular focus on civil society organisations (CSOs) operating at the local government level. It explores both the political economy of CSOs in terms of their structures, resources, personnel and ways of operating, and the political economy for CSOs in terms of the attitude of government and donors towards the CSO sector. The report considers both the formal institutional arrangements that are in place and the informal practices that operate alongside these formal arrangements. The study was commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to inform its analysis of the role civil society plays in service delivery at the local government level in Tanzania.
The report is based on a literature review followed by 30 interviews conducted in Dar es Salaam and two districts – one rural and one urban. Given the political economy focus, questions concentrated on stakeholders’ perceptions of the relationships between civil society and local government, what shapes these relationships, and how the nature of the relationships impacts upon service delivery.