Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Impact of Changing Aid Modality on Local Development Policy Implementation in Primary Education in Tanzania

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posted on 2022-07-27, 22:37 authored by Manyelezi, Amani Isaya

Changing aid modality has affected various stakeholders in development policy-making and implementation especially at the national level where donors, the government and other institutions engage. There are many processes, engagements and, subsequently, aid-influenced policies. The way these international and national processes translate into local policy implementation is unclear and has for many years led to plans that cannot be implemented.

This study was conducted in Tanzania and involved stakeholders at the national level and in two districts: Arusha and Kongwa. The field work involved interviews with 33 individuals working on aid, policy-making, advocacy and service delivery in primary education. A qualitative approach of inquiry was employed using mainly key informant interviews and observation. Documentary evidence supplemented information gaps in the process.

Key findings of this study are grouped into two major categories: actors and processes. The changing aid modality from project support to budget support has affected actors differently. The new aid modality has empowered the central government in leadership of development policy-making processes. However other important actors such as civil society organisations and the local government have been weakened in the process. Following the Paris Declaration principles, promoting government leadership has been successful but country ownership, in a broader sense, has not. Strong central government leadership has resulted into government ownership instead of wider country ownership. The central government does not necessarily take on board policy inputs from other actors which have resulted in feelings of tokenism especially on the side of civil society organisations. The local government has become dependent on central government in terms of financial and institutional resources. The idea of local governance autonomy has not been realised because of the strong presence of central government in frameworks, procedures and personnel. There is virtually no space opened up for civil society dialogue at district level where policy-implementation happens.

Processes and subsequent outcomes were also affected by the changing aid modality. There are still many processes going on at the same time often with the same people. New procedures have led to fatigue and decreased quality of dialogue which the new aidmodality was established to correct. The outcomes of these processes have been increased government ownership, and improved systems and procedures to deliver aid and to implement policies. However unintended effects have been poor implementation of policies, for example underfunding of primary education capitation grants due to a lack of coherence amongst different government agencies. At the community or school committee level the rigid centralised financial guidelines have left little or no room for creativity. Community voluntary participation is quickly fading away.

Changing aid modality has had effects on local policy-making and implementation. The central government, donors and to some extent civil society are effectively involved. However, it is the central government that has captured policy-making process and implementation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Development Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Development Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Overton, John