The objective of the study, which this report summarises, was to identify best practices in, and enhance capacity for, participatory planning, management and sustainable development at local government levels (districts, wards and villages) in Tanzania. Generalised shortcomings of the district planning process were to be highlighted along the way. A case study approach was taken, based on the experiences of the donor agencies at district level, complemented by a document review and discussions with stakeholders. The report is constructed as follows: general approaches to planning (top-down and participatory); approaches to participation in rural planning adopted in other African countries; the experiences of district planning in Tanzania; district planning in the context of local government reform; scenarios of participatory planning processes in rural development programmes in Tanzania; best practices in participatory planning; and conclusions and ways forward.
This paper draws on experience from Uganda. Uganda is committed to decentralisation. This commitment is transforming the way services are planned and financed, and new associations between local government, NGOs and private sector agencies are being created. Much attention has been focussed on the adoption of various techniques - such as participatory rural appraisal - through which direct and intensive forms of participation can be encouraged in decentralised planning. This trend is critically examined and potential unintended consequences are highlighted. A broader concept of accountability is outlined to illustrate a more inclusive approach to planning and allocation for more equity and sustainability in rural services.
This paper describes experiences from East Africa and elsewhere where coalitions of different agriculture-related organisations at different levels have been using a learning process for collective planning and innovation. The learning process follows five phases:
À Defining future agroecosystems
À Matching farmer demands with the services needed to create those agrosystems
À Negotiating new partnerships
À Taking action and assessing the actions taken
À Assessing the performance of the new partnerships
These are all part of a continuous cycle, with all stakeholders constantly monitoring agroecosystem and partnership performance, identifying weaknesses and taking new action to improve performance further. The emphasis of the approach is on joint learning, since no single organisation can come up with all the solutions required and everyone stands to gain from improved co-ordination. After an introduction the paper asks what is the learning process, then goes on to describe how to develop one, and lastly looks at initiating and sustaining such an approach. Finally, the paper presents the conclusions.