Democratic accountability and transparency

  • radio Orkonerei1

    Local radio stations are capacitated, here Radio Orkonerei in Simanjiro. Photo: Anette Widholm Bolme.

  • Picture - Democratic Accountability and Transparency

    Mwitija Water Users Association, Singida. Photo: Anette Widholm Bolme

Sweden works to contribute to increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration and enhanced capacity in civil society to demand  accountability and increased awareness of human rights.


The situation concerning Tanzanian democracy and human rights has gradually – although slowly – improved over the last five to ten years. The government has made efforts to increase the respect for women’s equal rights with men and the right of the child; however old traditions make improvements difficult. Yet, Tanzania has recently dropped significantly in press freedom index ratings and the right to information is still limited. Corruption is another key problem, standing in the way for Tanzania to achieve widespread social, democratic and economic development.

A successful deepening of Tanzanian democratization needs to be driven by a more significant demand from the great majority of poor women and men living in cities and rural areas. To achieve this, they are in great need of increased knowledge concerning their democratic rights and better access to information.

Swedish support

Good democratic governance and human rights are fundamental principles of Sweden’s collaboration with Tanzania, both in its own right and as a mainstreaming issue. Throughout the years Sweden has persistently supported media freedom, the respect for basic human rights, and contributed to ensuring that child rights, sexual and reproductive health rights and gender issues are put on the development agenda. This has been achieved through a wide range of collaborations with strategic civil society partners and government institutions.

In the Result Strategy adopted in 2013 by the Swedish government two specific results relates to democratic accountability and transparency, and increased awareness of human rights:

- Increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration.

- Enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights.

The names of the different contributions are included in the list below.

List of contributions

  • National Audit Office (NAO)
  • Twaweza
  • Association of Local Authorities Tanzania (ALAT)
  • UN’s Development Assistance Programme (UNDAP)
  • Media Council of Tanzania (MCT)
  • Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC)
  • Pingo's Forum
  • Forum Syd
  • Save the Children Zanzibar
  • Save the Children Mainland
  • Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP)
  • Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA).
  • Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC)
  • Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC)
  • Femina HIP
  • Restless Development

Strategic institutions such as the National Audit Office and non-state actors, e g the media and civil society networks will continue to get Swedish funding. Increased attention will be paid to the target groups children, youth and women, but also to ICT and innovative approaches to effectuate social accountability, transparency and change.

Recent results

Increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration

• After ten years of Swedish assistance active since 2004, the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) is today a top-performer among Tanzania's government institutions.

• The Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen) helped NAOT prepare the Public Audit Act No. 11 (enacted 2008), bringing the independence of NAOT more in line with the standards of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. For the 2010/2011 financial year, NAO completed annual financial audits in accordance with its new INTOSAI-based manual for risk based auditing.

• Via budget support Sweden continues to contribute to public investment and public services in general. Swedish budget support 2012/2013 corresponded to 0.72 percent of Tanzania's public expenditure. Last Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) report (2013) notes that Tanzania in recent years has made significant progress in strengthening systems for Public Financial Management (PFM).

• Sweden's long-term approach to decentralisation support is paying off. Results from the Land Management Programme (LAMP), 1990-2008, in Babati, Simanjiro, Singida and Kiteto contributed to community-based planning processes which are now being applied nationally and the communities are benefiting from direct increase in incomes. Support in order to further endure these results is at present being channelled through ALAT.

Enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights

• Tanzania's leading human rights organisation, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), with Sweden as a key donor, has scored important success in providing legal aid to the most vulnerable groups, 15,000 clients (2013) per annum.

•  LHRC and its sister organisation, Zanzibar Legal Service Centre, is also the driving forces behind important advocacy work on human rights issues and democratic challenges,
including civic education/awareness on imperative democratic processes like the Constitution review and the Elections.

• Twaweza has developed the first nationwide mobile phone survey in Tanzania, Sauti za Wananchi. The mobile phone surveys have made timely and data-centred contribution to ongoing discussions. Sauti collected data on realities and views of the citizens on matters like the Form Four examination results, the Draft Constitution, and the mobile phone  simcard tax etc.

• A recent evaluation shows that the Save the Children Zanzibar´s project has contributed to the fact that violence against children and child sexual abuse are now on the agenda in the media, among decision makers and even in communities in Zanzibar. The support from Save the Children has also contributed to the establishment of a range of formal institutions
responsible for child protection and child participation.

• The Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC) spearheaded other CSO's in Zanzibar to establish a network of Children Rights CSO's named ZANECRI, also sponsored by Save the Children (SC). Sida has supported both ZLSC and SC for a number of years.

• Save the Children Mainland has been one of the key players in ensuring that child rights are included in the proposed national constitution. SC’s notable contributions to this result include securing children’s participation; ensuring that children’s voices have been heard; and, lobbying and following up with Members of Parliament throughout the process.

• The Government, through National Accreditation Council of Technical Education (NACTE), has adopted a standardized curriculum developed by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) that is used by all journalism institutions in Tanzania. It does away with haphazard training that took place in the country.

• MCT has through its Coalition on Right to Information been able to influence the inclusion of media freedom and right to information provisions in the draft constitutional bill. The Council continued to maintain the Register for Press Freedom Violations in 2013 and 38 incidences were recorded. Moreover, during 2013, more schools of journalism requested for permission from the MCT for use of the new standardized curricula for National Technical Awards (NTA) levels 4, 5 and 6 accredited by NACTE. Eight schools requested for the curriculum, 6 of those were inspected whereby 4 were allowed to use them. In 2013, for the first time MCT conducted a comprehensive media content analysis which unveiled that there was tremendous improvement in ethical and professional performance in Tanzanian mass media.

• Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC), an organisation developed through the work by MCT is now a body standing on its own feet. The number of press clubs has reached 23 in just a few years and UTPC is now organising 4 500 journalists across the country. Stakeholders visiting the Press Clubs has doubled in only a years’ time and the Clubs have increased the capacity to do domestic fundraising.


Anette Widholm Bolme (
Joyce Tesha (