Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance
The overall aim of this four year research programme was to document processes of change and impacts of the Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), and to provide key stakeholders with operationally relevant data and analyses of lessons learned during implementation. The essence of the LGRP is to transfer duties and financial resources from the central to the local government levels. The extent to which this results in improved services, such as in health, education, water supply, transport infrastructure etc., depends on the quality of local governance as well as financial management. Hence, the research programme concentrated on the following three broad dimensions of the local government reform: (1) Governance: local autonomy and citizen participation. (2) Finances and financial management: accountability, efficiency and local resource mobilisation. (3) Service delivery and poverty alleviation: criteria of success and operational constraints. The research programme was designed in close consultation with the Local Government Reform Team, main donors, and other key stakeholders. Although the researchers have collaborated with the established monitoring and evaluation set-up of LGRP, this programme was organised independently. It was also intended that the programme should contribute to building institutional capacity for local government related research in Tanzania, and ensure that there is adequate professional competence in Norway on local governance in Tanzania. The programme was managed by the Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), and involved researchers from Tanzania (REPOA and UDSM) and Norway (CMI and the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research). A second phase of this project commenced in 2006.