Community empowerment: its impact on the implementation of SEDPI in Tanzania: a case of Iringa Municipality

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University of Dar es salaam
The study sought to examine the elements of community empowerment on the implementation of SEDP I, find different strategies used to empower the community to support SEDP I implementation and to explore the challenges encountered in community empowerment during implementation of SEDP I. The study utilized the qualitative approach. The area of the study was Iringa Municipality covering four community secondary schools from four different wards. Data were collected through interviews, focus group discussions and documentary review. The qualitative data were subjected to content analysis whereby information was arranged according to the research objectives and questions. Sixty one respondents were involved.The research revealed that little had been done to make community members aware of SEDP I. But, on several occasion community members were being called upon to contribute either financially, materially or manually. There emerged the view that SEDP I was a politically initiated programme. The study disclosed that more women than men participated in the programme’s implementation. Furthermore, the findings disclosed that at first there were no mechanisms for empowering community members to support SEDP I implementation. Subsequently, however communities were allowed to punish irresponsible community members. Those who did not participate in SEDP I activities were denied agriculture incentives, public health services and social assistance from local authorities. In addition, it was established that the community had not been given awareness education as one of the important prerequisites for effective SEDP I implementation. On the other hand the results showed that some mechanisms to empower community members were there but not participative in nature. For instance, ward development meetings as a means of empowering community members. Financial constraints were identified as one of the major factors affecting the participation of parents during SEDP I implementation. Time was also a challenge whereby community members were often at the crossroads sometimes in deciding whether to attend school activities or go to their workplaces. The issue of gender came up as a major challenge to effective participation. It was realized that women do their level best but men try to shout them down at meetings when women try to be vocal. Other major challenges to effective participation identified were illiteracy or lack of formal education, and willingness or individual selfishness. The concern was raised that parents were in a dilemma, confused and discouraged by the government/politicians, both at central and local levels. Several times, the government itself through the media announced that all school contributions had been abolished and parents were not supposed to contribute. The study recommended that the government should establish sustainable policies on mechanisms for empowering community members, including access to information, inclusion, participation and accountability. Marginalized groups like women, the poor and illiterate need special consideration so that they can be involved throughout the implementation of the education programmes. There should be a tendency of presenting reports to community members regarding their contributions, government support and other educational stakeholders’ contributions.
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Community empowerment, its impact on the implementation of SEDPI in Tanzania, Iringa Municipality
George, C (2012), Community empowerment: its impact on the implementation of SEDPI in Tanzania: a case of Iringa Municipality, master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ()