Category Archives: WaterAid

Does the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) apply to Tanzanian NGOs?

IATI cartoon

Twaweza published its first set of IATI data last week. By doing so, Twaweza joined 276 other organisations sharing data on their work in a common standard. And since doing so, I’ve been asked several times why we have done this: isn’t IATI something for official aid agencies like DFID and USAID, and for the bigger international NGOs? Continue reading

“Undertaking” Tanzania’s Water Sector Development Programme?

I spent two days last week at the annual Joint Water Sector Review meeting – the so-called “highlight” of the annual calendar of “dialogue”. This was the sixth such meeting to be held – and I have the “distinction” of having attended all of them. But as you can probably guess from the profusion of “inverted commas” in this paragraph, I’m having serious doubts about the whole exercise. Before I come to that, though, let me give you some background.

Around 250 people from the Ministry of Water, other related government ministries and agencies, the “development partners” and civil society all attended, in the workshop factory that is Ubungo Plaza. All the main stakeholders were there. Apart from water consumers that is, who are only represented in the sense that everyone consumes water. And those consumers (or perhaps I should call them citizens) weren’t represented by their official representatives either – no MPs or local councillors attend, with the exception of the Ministers officiating at the formal opening and closing sessions. We civil society folks had to take on that role. Continue reading

Water and sanitation in Tanzania’s Poverty and Human Development Reports

I prepared the chapters on water and sanitation for the 2007 and 2009 Poverty and Human Development Reports for Tanzania.

The 2007 report did not really cover any new ground, but the 2009 report included an analysis of household wealth, access to clean and safe water, and the percentage of household income that is spent on water supply: Continue reading

Out of sight and out of mind? Are marginalised communities overlooked in decision making

Out of sight and out of mind? was Tanzania’s second annual water sector equity report, published in September 2009. I wrote most of the report, with the exception of the section on water resource management.

This time, the most interesting analysis was qualitative, looking to explain why district’s were targeting most of their water sector funding at relatively well-served communities. (This had been a major finding of the previous year’s report.) In particular, we looked at two wards in Nzega district, Mwakashanhala and Itobo, asking why Itobo, which already had reasonably good access to clean and safe water, continued to benefit from new funding, while Mwakashanhala, which had no improved waterpoints, didn’t get any funding.  Continue reading

Comprehensive review of performance monitoring in Tanzania’s water sector

I wrote this report on performance monitoring in Tanzania’s water sector for WaterAid, following a request from the Ministry of Water. It was intended to review the existing monitoring frameworks and systems, and to propose how these could be improved.

It’s a very detailed and technical analysis of performance monitoring systems, interesting only to those with a deep interest in the field.

Management for sustainability

Management for sustainability: practical lessons from three studies on the management of rural water supply schemes was the rather unwieldy title for a paper summarising three studies on the same topic for WaterAid Tanzania. It was published in June 2009, alongside a rather more accessible and catchy briefing paper: Addressing the Sustainability Crisis. Continue reading

Public opinion in the water sector

A rapid analysis of water-related questions from Afrobarometer public opinion surveys 2001-2008

 Ben Taylor, WaterAid Tanzania, April 2009


Since 2001, the Afrobarometer ( series of public opinion surveys has been one of the most detailed and reliable sources of data on public opinion in Africa. While the majority of questions in the surveys have focussed on democracy and civic engagement, there are also some water-related questions. The results from these questions can provide a rare and valuable window on citizens’ perspectives in the sector – how does water supply rank among citizens’ priority issue for government to address, how do citizens’ rate government performance in the sector, how widespread is petty corruption in the sector, etc?

This short paper presents some of the key findings of the surveys conducted in Tanzania during 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008, including comparing results from different years. It also includes some comparisons with other Africa countries.  Continue reading