Decentralization and poverty reduction in rural Tanzania: a case of Shinyanga region

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
Like other developing countries, Tanzania has attempted to push for greater decentralization with the aim of enhancing efficiency in the delivery of public and social services that is critical for poverty reduction. Using micro and macro cross-sectional panel data and applying random effects and ordered logit model, this study examines and assesses the efficiency of local government expenditures in poverty reduction and enhancing the wellbeing of the people in Shinyanga region. To measure welfare and poverty Socioeconomic Position (SEP) index was constructed, which measures welfare of the households based on assets owned by the households, housing material conditions and basic needs (ability to get sufficient food). The results using panel data shows that, while the region expenditures on social and public goods positively affect regional GDP growth rate, only the expenditure on road and water services are statistically significant, while that on education and health services though positive are insignificant. The results on standard of living show that improvement on water and sanitation services as well as health and education services are statistically significant in enhancing the standard of living of the households in Shinyanga region. In general, the study found that local government reforms in form of decentralization has positive impacts on poverty reduction in rural Tanzania, at least as Shinyanga region is concerned.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD50.T34T86)
Decentralization, Local governments, Rural poor, Shinyanga region, Tanzania
Tungu, M. (2014) Decentralization and poverty reduction in rural Tanzania: a case of Shinyanga region, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam