Date added: November 13, 2017

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The Making All Voices Count programme is working towards a world in which open, effective and participatory governance is the norm and not the exception. It makes grants to support innovations and technologies that have the potential to transform governance, and undertakes research about what works in accountable governance, and why.

This Programme Learning Report presents a country-specific synthesis based on the learning from the interventions supported by grants from Making All Voices Count, and research commissioned by the programme in Tanzania.

From the day Tanzania’s current President J.P. Magufuli was elected, he has set out to change how politics is done in the country, and his actions have shaped a new context, including campaigns against corruption and wasteful spending. However, not all of his interventions have been met with equal praise and there have been accusations of anti-democratic actions. The Making All Voices Count interventions in Tanzania had a late start, which meant that all of them started around the beginning of Magufuli’s presidency.

The author argues that it is hard to identify the right entry points for Civil Society Organisation engagement that can strengthen good governance in Tanzania. However, this paper shows that some of the challenges related to the question ‘when does the state listen?’ existed long before the current change of government.

As the Making All Voices Count programme overview and the case studies in this report suggest, the grantees that implemented Tech4T&A interventions in Tanzania used technology relatively sparingly. The majority of grantees took the funding opportunity from Making All Voices Count to ‘add some tech’ to their already established governance approaches. Including a strong offline component is important for Tech4T&A initiatives in Tanzania, since tech is relatively new in the country and the uptake of tech is uneven.

The necessity to respond differently in the current climate may pave the way for new approaches – some may enhance ICTs, others may work with a whole new range of stakeholders. The synergies between CSOs’ good governance goals and those of the president should not be overlooked. Making All Voices Count grantees in Tanzania have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve small governance gains – these lessons should be taken to heart.

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