The World Bank interventions and their impact on policy: The case of Tanzania's agricultural sector management project (ASMP

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University of Dar es Salaam
For quite some time now, three decades now Tanzania has been relying on external injection of capital for its development and investment activities. While some of the external capital inflows have been conceived as a gift, some have been received as either conventional loan or soft loan. Indeed a part of these funds have been issued on agreement with the government that there will be both institutional and financial supplement from local sources. The purpose of this study was to shed light on one of these transactions and make an attempt to unveil the policy circumstances surrounding conception and implementation for such joint venture endeavour. Using the case of the Agricultural Sector Management Project (ASMP), the study analysed various terms and operations surrounding the policy-sector reforms co-supported by the World Bank (WB) and the government of Tanzania (BOT). We observed that, first, there was no demarcation between the two actors in the project preparation. The bank staff as were the government bureaucrafts, had fully participated in identifying, preparing and appraising the ASMP. In other words, the project appraisal was not separated from the preparation of the proposal. That tendency attests the WB quest to control the whole process using its superior possession of technical and financial sources at its disposal. Second, there was a serious deviation by the GOT from the project co-financing agreement. The government commitment was at disproportionate scale dropping from 48% of the original total project budget to a revised contribution of 10% and eventually to only 2%. On average the GOT had managed to disburse its counterpart funds not exceeding 2% of the project budget. With such indefinable financial laxity, much of the decisions including those on budget review (which definitely had an immediate effect on project implementation) were deliberated on by the WB offices in Washington and Dar es Salaam. Third, there was no relation between non-payment of government's counterpart funds with the number of expatriates employed due to the fact that the number of expatriates employed under the ASMP was small and it was being progressively reduced during project implementation. However, there was a relation between non-payments of initial costs during project inception with the involvement of Bank's expatriates at this stage. The government dependence has gone far aboard to the extent of relying on Bank's financial support during this project embryonic stage. As such, bringing in the Bank expatriates during this initial phase of project circle was conceived a fair dealing. To this end, this study make some recommendations to smoothen the ASMP and other-related co-financed projects between the WB and GOT on the one hand, and the GOT and donor community on the other. First, because the project policy process was largely dominated by the WB-GOT bureaucrats, both the GOT and WB should strive to ensure that the venture undertakings such as ASMP involve the people. Involvement of many groups among the stakeholders was indispensable for sustainability of project output. Second, in relation to the above, the WB should give more power to its resident office so as to be more participatory and democratic with its clients. Third, the government should strive to ensure that the competent local human resources found in private research organisations and universities are fully utilised instead of continuing with the current legacy where donor-supported public consultancy and service are offered to expatriates. Fourth, the use of technical assistance should be strictly limited to areas of expertise not available in Tanzania after proper assessment. And fifth, the donor agencies including the WB should mutually and honestly co-operate with Tanzania to ensure that the bigger portion of donor funds allocated to the project benefit the stakeholders. That presupposes liquidation or a review of the donor-terms of aid administration particularly on procurement of material and human resources services.
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World Bank, Tanzania, Economic assistance, Agricultural policy, Agriculture and state
Kirama, M. M. (2000) The World Bank interventions and their impact on policy: the case of Tanzania's agricultural sector management project (ASMP), Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (