by Hugh Wenban-Smith

Since starting this column a few years ago, there has been a noticeable increase in research interest in Tanzania. This compilation of articles, culled from journals in the LSE library, covers July to December 2015. The abstracts are based on those published by the author(s), although sometimes shortened a bit.

“A refugee in my own country: Evictions and property rights in the informal economy” Brown A, C Msoka & I Dankoco. Urban Studies Vol 52(12).
Normative approaches to urban governance and planning and idealised versions of city space too often result in relocation or forced eviction of street traders and other informal economy workers from public space as a policy of choice. Often a response to a short term political imperative, clearances take place with little understanding of the interconnected nature of the urban informal economy or widespread poverty impacts that result. Drawing on a property rights perspective and the ‘legal empowerment’ paradigm, this paper compares the major clearances of street traders that took place in Dar es Salaam in 2006-2007 and Dakar in 2007, with very different outcomes for traders. It explores the political initiatives behind the clearances, the dual property rights regimes in both countries and the different roles of social movements, resulting in emerging political power in one city and passive marginalisation in another. Finally, it argues that the conceptualisation of public space as a hybrid ‘public good’ would allow for a more appropriate property rights regime for the urban informal economy.

“How economic empowerment reduces women’s reproductive health vulnerability in Tanzania” Westeneng J & B d’Estelle. Journal of Development Studies Vol 51(11).
This article uses data from Northern Tanzania to analyse how economic empowerment helps women reduce their reproductive health vulnerability. It analyses the effect of women’s employment and economic contribution to their household on healthcare use at three phases of the reproductive cycle: before pregnancy, during pregnancy and at childbirth, which remains robust after controlling for bargaining power and selection bias. This indicates that any policy that increases women’s economic empowerment can have a direct positive impact on women’s reproductive health.

“Agricultural production and the nutritional status of family members in Tanzania” Slavchevska V. Journal of Development Studies Vol 51(8).
The paper studies the effect of crop output value and livestock ownership on the nutrition of children, adolescents and adults in agricultural households. Using anthropometric data to measure nutritional status, this paper finds that both crop values and large livestock ownership have positive and significant effects on the nutrition of children under age 10. The effect persists after controlling for household socio-economic status. Higher crop values and ownership of livestock are linked to better long term indicators of nutrition (height-for-age) among the youngest children and better short term indicators (BMI-for-age and weight-for-age) among older children. The effects also vary between boys and girls.

“Economy wide impact of maize export bans on agricultural growth and household welfare in Tanzania: a dynamic CGE model analysis” Diao X and A Kennedy. Development Policy Review Vol 33(4).
Export bans have been frequently used by developing countries in recent years in an attempt to ensure domestic food supplies and to insulate domestic market prices from international price hikes. This article uses Tanzania to examine the impact of export bans using a CGE model. We find that banning cross-border maize exports has very little effect on the national food price index and that the benefits from lower maize prices are captured primarily by urban households, while maize producer prices decrease significantly. The export ban further decreases the wage rate for low skilled labour and the returns to land, while returns to non-agricultural capital and wage rates for skilled labour increase, further hurting poor rural households and thus increasing poverty for the country as a whole.

“A less gendered access to land? The impact of Tanzania’s new wave of land reform” Pedersen RH. Development Policy Review Vol 33(4)
Contemporary land reforms in SSA tend to be evaluated based on the state-centric reforms of the past, which disadvantaged women. However, this article argues that the new wave of land reforms and their decentralised administrative institutions and anti-discriminatory legal frameworks may be different. Based on field research on the implementation of Tanzania’s 1999 Land Acts, it identifies an institutional reconfiguration in which the formal institutions are gradually strengthened and the customary institutions slowly changed. This does not in itself pose a threat to women’s access to land and some women, who are otherwise perceived to be weak, are left better off. Nevertheless, access to land becomes socially more uneven.

“Reworking the relation between sanitation and the city in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania” Pastore, MC. Environment and Urbanization Vol 27(2).
Africa is at present one of the most dynamic continents. It will play a key role in the next decades in relation to the growth of cities, and environmental conditions will be of primary importance. The structural lack of water and sanitation infrastructure affects the environment of growing African cities. This paper analyses the status of the sanitation and drainage systems of Dar es Salaam, a city with structural lack and general deterioration of the existing infrastructure, and with high annual growth, which has contributed to increasing water demand and strained the water and sanitation system. In particular, the paper describes the water and sanitation condition of the city, and examines three areas in the city that highlights the relation among the evolution of the city’s growth, sanitation system, and the type of settlement. Secondly, both on-site (boreholes, wells, on-site latrines, etc) and off-site (pipes) systems should be considered for the provision and safe discharge of water. Finally, local governments need to take a major step in the water and sanitation sectors in relation to the city.

“Fifteen years after decentralisation by devolution: Political-administrative relations in Tanzanian local government” Hulst R, W Mafuru & D Mpenzi. Public Administration and Development Vol 35(5).
One of the professed goals of the 1998 Tanzanian Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), entailing substantial decentralisation, was to provide for a democratic administrative set-up in local government. Elected local councils were invested with responsibilities for a wide range of policy sectors and services; the local administrative staff, formerly recruited and instructed by central government, would be appointed by and accountable to the local councils. A well-functioning politico-administrative system was considered paramount to improve service delivery and to ensure control of decision-making by the local community. This article reports on research into the relations between councillors and administrators in two Tanzanian municipalities (Kinondoni MC and Mvomero DC). Overall, these relations were found to be tense and full of discordance, caused by clashing role perceptions and mutual distrust. The research suggests that the main factor underlying the behaviour and attitudes of councillors and administrators is the very system of public administration, which – despite the ambitions expressed in the LGRP – remain very centralistic in character.

“Going back home: Internal return migration in rural Tanzania” Hirvonen K & HB Lilleor. World Development Vol 70.
While reasons for out-migration are relatively well understood, little is known about why people return to their rural origins. We contribute to filling this gap in the literature by using 19-year tracking data from rural Tanzania to estimate the patterns and determinants of return migration, and we find that return is largely associated with unsuccessful migration. For men, return is linked to poor job-market outcomes at the migration destination, and for women, to the ending of marriages. Female migrants who exchange transfers with relatives at home, and men who are financially supported by their families, are more likely to return.

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