There has been a tremendous growth in non-governmental organisations in Tanzania over the last decades, and with the many reforms presently taking place, the civil society is expected to play a central role in both service delivery and the development of democracy. This report provides an overview of the complex civic sector in Tanzania and the dynamics within it. The study focuses on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a special emphasis on advocacy organisations and organisations active in social service delivery (district development trusts and religious organisations). While the former are donor depended, the latter are able to mobilise local resources. Both NGO and CBO activities are concentrated in the areas that were privileged already in the colonial times. As the local government reform may increase regional and religious differences, donors are adviced to pay increased attention to these issues when supporting local organisations. The main challenge in further support to civil society in Tanzania is to enhance popular participation and to support processes which mobilises local resources. The report suggests that mass media and popular culture should be used to disseminate both the new sectoral policies and reforms as well as awareness programmes that may engender increased popular participation in the development process.