Briefing Paper

Planning in Local Government Authorities in Tanzania : Bottom Up Meets Top Down

“This brief examines the experience of four councils in Tanzania in implementing
Opportunities and Obstacles to Development (O&OD), a bottom-up participatory planning
methodology for local development. The study found little evidence to date that the approach has increased local autonomy in prioritising, planning and budgeting of development activities. Interactions and consultations between local communities and council management teams were limited, bottom-up community plans were typically viewed as wish lists by council officials, and local priorities were largely set by the central government. However, given the current low level of development in Tanzania and the general lack of basic economic and social services, a strong role for central government in local planning may still be required to achieve adequate provision of services to all communities.”