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Tanzania

With around half of the population living below the poverty line, Tanzania is one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Therefore, in an effort to promote productivity and attract foreign investment, the government has been pursuing a policy of liberalisation and non-intervention for the last twenty years.

The free market competition generated by this policy has enabled many rural communities to install Small Terminal Satellite Communications (VSATs)at a fraction of the price paid by their African neighbours. Combined with Tanzania’s high literacy rate (nearly 70%), this free market environment has provided an enabling environment for the Tanzania Country Programme by making it easier for our partners to bring the benefits of ICT-enabled development to the general public through their ICT programmes and activities. Therefore, in Tanzania, the future looks promising.

Launched in 1998, the Tanzania Country Programme has already helped over 50,000 people with a wide range of ICT applications, from small farmers, teachers, and secondary school students, to local government and health officials. All the ICT activities have been developed by and for local people, with support and guidance from IICD and its enabling partners.

 

Where are we now?

Serious interruptions in the electricity supply remain a major problem in Tanzania. This has halted the progress on the installation of the health management information systems in the Mwanza area. This not only jeopardises the strong motivation in that project, but also weakens the involvement of the decision-makers – including councillors.

More positively, the projects and programmes in Tanzania are maturing, and this country programme is expected to move into the independent, shared dialogue phase in the near future. Opportunities relating to collaboration between strong development partners and local partners, interested in investing in up-scaling existing projects to the national level are currently being investigated.

In Tanzania the recently launched health sector programme will be examined to assess how far it can be up-scaled and mainstreamed with the support of Cordaid and other development partners active in Tanzania’s health sector. IICD also hopes to support the replication of the Kinondoni experience in other districts.

 

Impact & lessons learned

As the M&E system has been in place for some years now, the results of projects and trainings over the years can be compared. The data showed a general improvement in gender balance and increased satisfaction rates of end users for all projects.

For most projects, more than 80% of respondents claim to have reached their personal goals, comments include:

“Instead of travelling all the way to Mwanza, I managed to communicate with people on the internet” (end user of a livelihoods project);

“I can now prepare teaching materials and keep my student records using the computer” (end user of an education project).

Impact has been diminishing somewhat in the livelihoods sector since 2003 (awareness dropped from 89% in 2003 to 69% in 2005), which may have something to do with the maturity of the projects. In new projects, end users awareness can take big leaps, but as people grow more accustomed to the project, the initial excitement and awareness drops.

 

IICD in Tanzania

The Tanzania Country Programme started in mid 1998 with a national ICT Roundtable, but it was not until early in 2000 that the programme really started to take off.

Today, the Tanzania Country Programme has a wide range of projects, and regular activities include capacity building, knowledge sharing, and monitoring and evaluation. The programme is currently active in four sectors: governance, education, livelihoods (agriculture), and health.

Addressing Tanzania’s ICT needs

Governance and Education

The public administration sector in Tanzania needs to address policy guidelines, legal administration, peace, security, stability and human rights. This involves stakeholders from central ministries, departments and agencies, and local government authorities.

The number of projects being implemented in the e-Governance and Education sectors has grown, and preparations are currently underway for a shift in focus towards participating in ICT policy processes.

Livelihoods

ICT is one of the major issues being addressed in Tanzania in relation to development of the economy. The country needs investment and more joint ventures, but also regulatory frameworks and infrastructure. Stakeholders include central ministries, departments and agencies, local government authorities, the private sector and the community at large.

We are currently strengthening our projects in the livelihoods sector, and integrating them into local organisations and institutions. Possible future actions include joining in a rural telecentre network that would reduce costs, increase the services offered, and stimulate knowledge and skills sharing.

Health

The people of Tanzania need better access to quality services, delivered in an equitable manner. In the areas of health and water & sanitation, stakeholders come from central and local government, the private sector, and civil society including faith based groups. We are currently implementing projects in the Health sector, and have begun to attract the attention of stakeholders in this sector.

ICT in projects

Governance

The Kinondoni project has produced positive results including using ICT to speed up local government information services to the general public, especially in the area of health, education, births, deaths, and marriages. Making them more accessible has radically improved local government services, millions of citizens have already started to benefit.

Education

Ensuring timely, accurate and reliable information about education services throughout Tanzania is an important step in the education sector. Today, the Tanzania Education Website is up and running, and exam results are now published online. For many people, this is a first incentive to go to an internet café, as it saves them a trip to the nearest town where the exam results are published.

The Tanedu project received its first contract from SIDA, marking the first step towards sustainability of the project. The team spirit in Tanedu is high, and for many young people it has had a strong impact.

Developing Capacity

The Tanzania Country Programme is moving towards the independent, shared dialogue phase, and so capacity development activities are aimed at ensuring the sustainability of Tanzania’s programmes in the sectors education, governance, livelihoods and health.

IICD’s National Training Partners (NTPs) in Tanzania are instrumental in providing institutional management and technical skills training, tailored to the needs of the Tanzanian project partners. The NTPs in Tanzania are LearnIT, Dar-es-Salaam Institute of technology and the University Computing Centre (UCC).

Efforts to share knowledge on the applications of ICTs to development in Tanzania have been boosted with the establishment of a national information network called “Sharing With Other People Network”, in short SWOPNet.

Establishing networks

The national ICT for Development network in Tanzania is SWOPNet. Activities undertaken by SWOPNet embrace both Dar es Salaam and the Mwanza region with ICT for Development as their core theme. They focus on exchanging experiences, thus learning from partners and counterparts in other countries, supported by the motto: “Knowledge is power, but only if shared!”

Participating in policy process

IICD and the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Training have taken important step towards integrating ICT in the education sector. IICD-supported activities and projects have enabled the formulation of an ICT strategy for the education sector. This has in turn been taken up by the Ministry of Education to develop an official ICT for Education Strategy. Encouragingly, IICD received public credit for input and pioneering work in this area. The Ministry is taking positive steps towards ensuring the success of the ICT strategy, and is interested in receiving further IICD support, in the form of staff training in ICT.

Tanzania partners

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Projects in Tanzania