National Planning and the Quest for Transforming Rural Livelihood in Tanzania

Edwin Babeiya*, Frank J Mateng’e†, John Kihamba‡


This paper adopts a historical approach to assess the efficacy of public planning in transforming rural livelihood in Tanzania, one of the engagements of Sam Maghimbi. Based on documentary reviews we examine the various national plans specifically aimed at transforming rural livelihood since 1961 to the present with a view of interrogating the impact they have had in transforming the lives of majority Tanzanians who live in rural areas. The paper argues that although there are notable achievements in such aspects as social services provision stemming from the
execution of these plans, the national planning has notsignificantly transformed the lives of the rural population in Tanzania largely due to, among others, external resource dependency, short-termism orientation, top-down approach, contradiction between policy intentions and practice, over ambitiousness in the planning process and inadequate sectoral inter-linkages. Basing on these weaknesses, this paper calls
for a new thinking of the planning processes towards a more transformative and results oriented approach.


rural livelihoods, planning, Tanzania

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