RECENT DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH

Compiled by Hugh Wenban-Smith

This is the summary report of development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. It covers the period July to December 2011. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Short abstract (in square brackets, sometimes abbreviated but otherwise as published).

Transport workers in Dar es Salaam

Development and Change, Vol 42(5) – Rizzo, M ‘Life is war’: Informal transport workers and neoliberalism in Tanzania 1998-2009”. [This article analyses how informal labourers fare under flexible labour markets and economic liberalization, through a case study of transport workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It highlights the mainstream conceptualization of urban informality as self-employment and its influence on policy. The article stresses the importance of class differentiation in the Dar es Salaam transport sector and the predominance of informal wage employment, the uneven degree of power commanded by bus owners vis-à-vis informal unskilled wage workers and the pernicious consequences of the lack of regulation of the employment relationship on the workforce itself and on society. It then interrogates the criminalization of the workforce and shows how labour over-supply, the fragmentation and geographical dispersion explain workers lack of response to their plight. The longitudinal study of the rise and fall (1998-2005) of a labour association within the sector further highlights the tension among the workforce and the forms and limits of solidarity. The conclusion of this study suggest some policy implications.]

Poverty assessments
Development Policy Review, Vol 30(1): Shaffer, P “Demand-side challenges to monitoring and assessment systems: Illustrations from
Tanzania”. [Over the past decade, considerable attention and resources have been directed at Poverty Monitoring and Assessments Systems (PMASs), a core problem being the limited demand for, and use of, the data they generate. The article discusses the sources of these demand-side problems and explains the difficulties in trying to address them via PMAS-related processes, arguing that both institutional factors and design features have contributed to the disappointing performance of these systems … Tanzania’s PMAS experience is used to illustrate the argument.]

Revenue allocation
Journal of Development Studies, Vol 47(12): Allers, M A & Ishemoi, L J “Do formulas reduce political influence on intergovernmental grants? Evidence from Tanzania”. [Sub-national governments usually depend on the central government for a large share of their revenues. Therefore, a fair allocation of inter-government grants is essential for financing vital local services like education and healthcare. In Tanzania, and many other countries, regions that are better represented in the national parliament receive significantly more funds than others. Recently, Tanzania replaced the previously existing discretionary method of grant allocation by allocation formulas. We study whether this has reduced the effect of malapportionment on grant allocation. Surprisingly, we find that formula allocation does not significantly change this effect. This has important policy implications.]

Access to urban land for farming
Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 49(4): McLees, L “Access to land for urban farming in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Histories, benefits and insecure tenure”. [People in sub-Saharan Africa rely on a variety of informal mechanisms to gain access to land for urban farming. However, the literature on land tenure focuses on gaining access to land for housing, whereas farming, which is highly visible in the urban landscape of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, requires farmers to negotiate their access in ways distinct from housing. A close examination of four open-space farms in Dar es Salaam reveals that there are different methods of gaining access to land for farming as opposed to housing. Additionally, theorizing this access reveals that the landowners who allow farmers on their land for food production also derive benefits. This can provide a framework for current efforts to integrate urban agriculture into city zoning plans.]

Labour market statistics
World Bank Economic Review, Vol 25(3): Bardesi E, Beegle K, Dillon A & Serneels P “Do labour statistics depend on how and to whom the questions are asked? Results from a survey experiment in Tanzania”. [Labour market statistics are critical for assessing and understanding economic development. However widespread variation exists in how labour statistics are collected in household surveys. This paper analyses the effects of alternative survey design on employment statistics by implementing a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania. Two features of the survey design are assessed – the level of detail of the employment questions and the type of respondent. It turns out that both features have relevant and statistically significant effects on employment statistics.]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.