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In 1984, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania embarked on the policy of decentralization to provide better quality services to its citizens. A Local Governance Reform Program went into implementation in 2000 as one of Government of Tanzania's core reforms.It emphasizes decentralization-by devolution (D-by-D), with the government understanding Local Government Authorities as the main vehicles to deliver quality public services to Tanzanians, especially to the poor, and giving them more powers and responsibilities as well as resources.
Germany is one of several development partners supporting Tanzania's policy on decentralization. The bilateral cooperation assists the Tanzanian reform in mainly through:
- Contributions to the two joint funding mechanisms for the Local Government Reform Program, being the Local Government Development Grant – LGDG Basket and the Local Government Reform Program (Technical Assistance) – LGRP II Basket
- Technical cooperation through the bilateral ‘Support to Local Governance Processes' Program
The Support to Local Governance (SULGO) Programme
The SULGO program's objective is to enhance delivery of public services for Tanzanians, leading to socioeconomic development and poverty reduction. Partners of the SULGO Program are the Prime Minister's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG), which supervises local government authorities and regional administrations, and GIZ, implementing the German contribution on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
SULGO focuses mainly on improving public financial management at sub-national level, as well as on harmonization of the legal framework and strengthening the rule of law. More specifically, SULGO aims at:
- Increasing and utilizing local revenues for better public services.
- Strengthening the legal framework for decentralization, improving the rule of law and greater legal certainty for the population at local level.
Component I: Local Government Finances and Accountability
Main areas of this component are LGA's revenue management as well as their accountability and internal control systems. LGAs are heavily depending on transfers from central government and have only a limited capacity to finance a local development agenda. SULGO supports enhancing own source revenue collection and management capacities in local government authorities as this will increase the financial resources for public service delivery, and make LGAs more accountable to the local taxpayers.
SULGO assists in planning and control mechanisms for the efficient utilization of funds at Local Government level for public services responding to needs of the population. The current focus is to support the:
- Collection and management of property taxes,
- Introduction of Integrated LGA revenue management to improve local revenue administration, increase collection efficiency and reduce losses through inefficient systems.
- Strengthening of internal control mechanisms at LGA level
- Integrated development planning and budgeting
- Access to public information
- Public expenditure tracking
Component II: The Harmonization of the Legal Framework
The Legal Harmonization and Strengthening Rule of Law component primarily supports efforts made by the government of Tanzania to create an effective legal framework at central and local level and improve the conditions for local governance and participatory processes in line with the D-by-D reforms. The component also seeks to foster an improvement of the rule of law by promoting better access to justice for all Tanzanians, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.
SULGO focuses on three main areas, namely:
- The harmonization of the legal framework for the decentralization policy.
- By-law making at the local level.
- Strengthening of Ward tribunals.
A main principle of German development cooperation is to focus on outcomes and impacts, rather than on activities and outputs in order to ensure the sustainability of results.
All operations of SULGO are closely aligned with and complementary to the Tanzanian government's Local Government Reform Program. Strategies, policies and instruments developed in the Program are introduced first in the pilot councils and regions. Under the precondition of being scalable, experiences are systematically processed with the aim of rolling-out best-practices and high-impact approaches to the whole country.
For piloting new initiatives, SULGO teams up with colleagues of local government authorities and regional administrative secretaries, mainly in Tanga and Mtwara regions. Additional collaborating partners are the Association of Local Authorities Tanzania, Tanzania Cities Network, Tanzanian Revenue Authority, and Institute for Tax Administration as well as the Internal Auditor General's Office.
The German government committed technical assistance funds for the period 2007 to 2014 for SULGO's implementation amount to around 19 million EUR (including contributions to the LGRP Basket)
For more information visit www.sulgo.or.tz