From 1978 to 1996 a close link existed between one of Tanzania’s least developed regions and Norway. Norway provided aid to the tune of 400 million kroner, or about 70 million dollar, with the broad goal of improving the material wellbeing of the people. By reviewing the development situation of the region today, more than 10 years after the decision by Norad to terminate the Rukwa Integrated Rural Development Programme (RUDEP) this study looks at the impact of this aid. Rukwa still ranks among the poorest regions in Tanzania. Yet, there is evidence of enhanced living standard during RUDEP in areas where transport improved and villages were provided clean water and primary health care services. This is also an account of development ideas no longer in vogue – "integrated" and "participatory" rural development – and the encounter with the realities at the time of a country in economic crisis undergoing frequent policy shifts. What worked, what didn’t and what lessons for future aid?

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