by Hugh Wenban-Smith:

This is a further 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 2012. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Abstract (sometimes abbreviated but other­wise as published).

Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol 30(4) – Special issue on mining and urbanisation in Africa – Bryceson DF, Jonsson JB, Kinabo C & Shand M “Unearthing treasure and trouble: Mining as an impetus to urbanisation in Tanzania”.
Despite an abundance of mineral wealth and an ancient history of gold trading, Tanzania is a relative latecomer to the experience of being a mineral dominated economy. Both the British colonial state and Nyerere’s post-colonial state avoided encouraging, and only reluctantly provided support to, large- and small-scale mining. Farming constituted the livelihood for the vast majority of the population and peasant agricultural exports provided the main source of foreign exchange for the country. Now, however, Tanzania has become one of Africa’s main gold producers and the number one destination for non-oil for­eign direct investment after South Africa. This article traces the development of gold mining and urban growth in Tanzania with the aim of identifying if, when and where these two processes interact with one another. It explores the triggers, mechanisms and durability of their fusion and synergies over time.

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Channing A, Farmer W, Strzepec K & Thurlow J “Climate change, agriculture and food security in Tanzania”.
Due to their reliance on rain-fed agriculture, both as a source of income and consumption, many low-income countries are considered to be the most vul­nerable to climate change. Here, we estimate the impact of climate change on food security in Tanzania. Representative climate projections are used to cali­brate crop models to predict crop yield changes for 110 districts in Tanzania. These results are in turn imposed on a highly disaggregated, recursive dynamic economy-wide model of Tanzania. We find that, relative to a no-climate-change baseline, and considering domestic agricultural production as the channel of impact, food security in Tanzania appears likely to deteriorate as a consequence of climate change. The analysis points to a high degree of diversity of outcomes (including some favourable outcomes), across climate scenarios, sectors and regions. Noteworthy differences in impacts across households are also present, both by regions and by income category.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(9) – Asfaw S, Kassie M, Simtowe F & Lipper L “Poverty reduction effects of agricultural technology adoption: Micro-evidence from Tanzania”.
This article evaluates the impact of adoption of improved pigeon pea technolo­gies on consumption expenditure and poverty status using cross-sectional data of 613 households from rural Tanzania. Using multiple econometric tech­niques, we found that adopting improved pigeon pea significantly increases consumption expenditure and reduces poverty. This confirms the potential role of technology adoption in improving household welfare as higher incomes translate into lower poverty. This study supports broader investment in agricul­tural research to address vital development challenges. Reaching the poor with better technologies however requires policy support for improving extension efforts, access to seeds and market outlets that stimulate adoption.

Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 50(4) – Hillborn E “Market institu­tions benefitting smallholders in Meru, Tanzania”.
Smallholders in developing countries can potentially benefit from access to local, regional, national and international markets as they intermediate between rural and urban demand for agricultural products and smallholder supply. This study investigates how smallholders in Meru make use of the various marketing channels that are available to them, and argues that the variety of potential mar­keting channels and easily accessible market information enables smallholders to weigh advantages and disadvantages with varying market opportunities and form rational decisions.

World Development, Vol 40(12) – D’Exelle B, Lecoutere E & van Campenhout B “Equity-efficiency trade-offs in irrigation water sharing: Evidence from a field lab in Tanzania”.
This article studies how users of scarce common water resources deal with equity-efficiency trade-offs. For this purpose, we conduct a field lab experi­ment in Tanzania that simulates the distribution of irrigation water between upstream and downstream users. We find a strong preference for equal sharing even if this comes with larger foregone efficiency gains. However, we also find indications that efficiency considerations are taken into account. (Selfish) deviations from equal sharing are more likely implemented when they are efficiency-enhancing. Finally we detect a tendency to alternate between altru­istic and selfish sharing, which reconciles equity and efficiency considerations.


by Hugh Wenban-Smith

This is a further summary report of development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. It covers the period January to June 2012. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Short abstract (in square brackets, sometimes abbreviated but otherwise as published).

Environment and Urbanization, Vol 24(1) – Hooper M & Ortolano L
“Motivation for slum dweller social movement participation in urban Africa: A study of mobilization in Kurasini, Dar es Salaam”. This paper examines what motivates the participation of African slum dwell­ers in urban social movement.. This issue is analyzed through a case study of grassroots mobilization around evictions in Kurasini ward, Dar es Salaam. The paper uses an analytic narrative approach to account for patterns in participatory behaviour, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data gathered through interviews with 81 slum dwellers. The study shows that, contrary to the expectation of movement leaders, property owners were significantly more likely than renters to participate in a risky and time-consuming mobilization effort. The study identifies three factors that favoured owner participation: the nature of expected pay-offs from participation; greater belief in the efficacy of action; and greater connection to place.

Journal of Development Economics, Vol 98(1) – Beegle K, de Weerdt J, Friedman J & Gibson J “Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania”. A field experiment in Tanzania tests eight alternative methods of measuring household consumption, finding significant differences between consumption reported by the benchmark personal diary and other diary and recall formats.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(2) – Pederson R H “Decoupled implementation of New Wave land reforms: Decentralisation and local governance of land in Tanzania”. Decentralisation is a key element in the new wave of land reforms that have been introduced in sub-Saharan Africa. However, not much research has been carried out into their implementation at the local level. Consequently, reforms are described in old-fashioned terms. Through comparative case studies in Tanzania, this article examines implementation as a process consisting of multiple administrative layers and potential actors. It concludes that implementation is slow and uneven due to the decoupling of layers within the formal land administration. Greater attention should be directed towards the local level as a part of the land administrative structure.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(3) – Hermes N, Kihanga E, Lensink R & Lutz C “The impact of trade credit on customer switching behaviour: Evidence from the Tanzanian rice market”. Primary survey data is used to analyze the relationship between trade credit and customer switching in the context of trade transactions between wholesalers and retailers in the Tanzanian rice market. Results reveal a negative relation of trade credit and customer switching, that is, trade credit acts as a switching barrier; retailers are reluctant to move to another supplier if they depend on trade as a source of external finance.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(4) – D’Exelle B, van Campenhout B & Lecoutere E “Modernisation and time preferences in Tanzania: Evidence from a large-scale elicitation exercise”. Assumptions about individual time preferences are important for explanations of poverty and development. Data from a large-scale elicitation exercise in Tanzania show significantly higher levels of impatience in urban areas than rural areas. This result remains robust to adding controls for socio-economic differences between rural and urban areas, which possibly correlate with time preferences due to differences in modernization between urban and rural areas, leading to increased impatience. This is corroborated by the observed positive correlation between impatience and education; the latter being an important vehicle of modernization for traditional societies in Tanzania.

Journal of International Development, Vol 24(2) – Robbins G &Perkins D “Mining FDI and infrastructure development on Africa’s East Coast: Examining the recent experience of Tanzania and Mozambique”. Since the turn of the century, Tanzania and Mozambique have emerged as leading performers in Africa’s foreign direct investment stakes. In both countries, the demands placed on infrastructure to enable these investments have presented some significant challenges. Caught amid high debt, low state revenue and weak capacity, the performance of infrastructure has been widely reported as a constraint to growth. Lessons learned from how these countries have responded to these challenges provide some insight as to the degree to which potential synergies can be crafted around inflows of mining-related foreign direct investment and enhancements to the infrastructure networks.

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Arndt C, Farmer W, Strzepek K & Thurlow J “Climate change, agriculture and food security in Tanzania”. Due to their reliance on rain-fed agriculture, both as a source of income and consumption, many low income countries are considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. Here we estimate the impact of climate change on food security in Tanzania. These results are in turn imposed on a highly disaggregated recursive dynamic economy-wide model of Tanzania. Relative to a no-climate-change baseline, and considering domestic agricultural production as the channel of impact, food security in Tanzania appears likely to deteriorate as a consequence of climate change. The analysis points to a high degree of diversity of outcomes (including some favourable outcomes).

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Ahmed SA, Diffenbaugh NS, Hertel TW & Martin WJ “Agriculture and trade opportunities for Tanzania: Past volatility and future climate change”. Given global heterogeneity in climate-induced agricultural variability, Tanzania has the potential to substantially increase its maize exports to other countries. If global maize production is lower than usual owing to supply shocks in major exporting regions, Tanzania may be able to export more maize at higher prices, even if it experiences below trend productivity. Diverse destinations for exports can allow for enhanced trading opportunities when negative supply shocks affect usual import sources. Future climate predictions suggest that some of Tanzania’s trading partners will experience severe dry conditions that may reduce agricultural production in years when Tanzania is only mildly affected. Tanzania could thus export grain as climate change increases the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in other countries while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in Tanzania. Trade restrictions, like export bans, prevent Tanzania from taking advantage of these opportunities, foregoing significant economic benefits.

World Development, Vol 40(6) – Nielsen MR & Treue T “Hunting for the benefits of Joint Forest Management in the Eastern Afromontane biodi­versity hotspot: Effects on bushmeat hunters and wildlife in the Udzungwa Mountans”. Based on a seven year temporal comparison, the effect of joint forest manage­ment (JFM) in the new Dabaga Ulangambi Forest Reserve in the Udzungwa Mountains is evaluated. Using bushmeat hunting as an indicator, conservation outcomes, livelihood effects, and changes in governance are analyzed. Results show that JFM effectively reduced bushmeat hunting, thus facilitating wildlife recovery; but with negative consequences for hunters’ livelihoods. Problematic governance outcomes stemming from poor design and implementation of JFM furthermore undermined hunters’ willingness to comply with wildlife manage­ment rules. In combination, results suggest that JFM can work as intended if fundamental governance problems are adequately addressed.

World Development, Vol 40(8) – Pan L & Christiaensen L “Who is vouching for the Input Voucher: Decentralized targeting and elite capture in Tanzania”. Through decentralized targeting of input vouchers, new agricultural input subsidy programs aim to more effectively reach their objectives and target population, but lingering fears of elite capture remain. These are borne out in the 2009 input voucher program in Kilimanjaro. Sixty percent of the voucher beneficiaries were households with village officials. This significantly reduced the targeting performance of the program, especially in unequal and remote communities. When targeting the poor, greater coverage and concentration in higher trust settings mitigates these concerns.

Readers of this column more interested in politics than economics may also like to check out a group of four short articles in the Review of African Political Economy Vol 39(131): Cliffe L – “Theme: Tanzania at 50: Kicking off a debate on Tanzania’s 50 years of Independence”; Shivji IG – “Nationalism and pan-Africanism: Decisive moments in Nyerere’s intellectual and political thought”; Saul JS – “Tanzania 50 years on (1961-2011): Rethinking ujamaa, Nyerere and socialism”; and Cliffe L – “Fifty years of making sense of independence politics”.

In his opening piece, Cliffe says: “The hope is that [these articles] will raise enough issues and unanswered questions to spark off a continued debate in these columns on the lessons and legacy of the Tanzanian experience. Some articles and debate pieces by Tanzanians as well as outside observers, and on the more recent periods, are provisionally lined up for later issues, but here is an open call for others to consider engaging in this dialogue.” Over to you, dear readers!


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.]


Compiled by Hugh Wenban-Smith

This is a second summary report of development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. It covers the period January to June 2011. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Short abstract (in square brackets – shortened version of published abstract).

African Affairs, Vol 110(439) – Lange, S “Gold and governance: Legal injustices and lost opportunities in Tanzania”. [A number of African countries have opened up opportunities for large-scale mining by foreign investors over the last decade and a half. Tanzania, one of the new mining countries, is now among the largest gold producers in Africa, but investor-friendly contracts have resulted in extremely low government revenues from mining, totaling less than 5% of what the country receives in development aid. In response to widespread discontent, the Government amended the 1998 Mining Act in 2010. However improved legal provisions may have limited effect if the present governance challenges are not resolved.]

African Studies Review, Vol 54(1) – Weinstein, L “The politics of government expenditures in Tanzania, 1999-2007”. [What allocation strategy do hegemonic party regimes pursue in order to increase their level of electoral support …? This article examines the patterns by which expenditures were distributed by the Tanzanian ruling party, CCM, across the country’s 114 mainland districts from 1999 through 2007. Overall the study finds that CCM targeted expenditures towards those districts that elected the party with the highest margin of victory.]

African Studies Review, Vol 54(1) – Hillbom, E “Farm intensification and milk market expansion in Meru, Tanzania”. [In Meru, Tanzania, technological and institutional change has turned milk into one of the most reliable and important sources of income for smallholder households. Decades of increased population density have caused land scarcity, leading smallholders to intensify their farming methods and land use, including introducing stall-fed exotic breeds of dairy cows. Meanwhile a growing urban and rural demand has resulted in significant market expansion for milk and increasing cash incomes for smallholders … These factors make the livestock sector in Meru an interesting example of broad-based agricultural development.]

Development Policy Review, Vol 29(1) Supp – Cooksey, B “Marketing reform? The rise and fall of agricultural liberalization in Tanzania”. [This article argues that the liberalization of Tanzanian export agriculture from the early 1990s to the present has failed to take place to the extent claimed by the Tanzanian Government and donor agencies. While internal food markets have largely been liberalized (e.g. maize), donor-inspired attempts to liberalise export crop markets (e.g. coffee, tobacco) have been seriously undermined by the political-bureaucratic class. As in other countries undergoing adjustment under World Bank/IMF programs, a combination of local vested interests and concern with the ‘rigged rules and double standards’ of global commodity markets has led to a systematic but under-reported backlash against liberalization.]

Journal of Development Economics, Vol 94(2) – Cull, R & Spreng, C P “Pursuing efficiency while maintaining outreach: Bank privatization in Tanzania”. [Profitability improvements after the privatization of a large state-owned bank might come at the expense of reduced access to financial services for some groups, especially the rural poor. The privatization of Tanzania’s National Bank of Commerce provides a unique episode for studying this issue. The bank was split into the ‘new’ National Bank of Commerce, a commercial bank that assumed most of the original bank’s assets and liabilities, and the National Microfinance Bank, which assumed most of the branch network and the mandate to foster access to financial services. The new NBC’s profitability and portfolio quality improved although credit growth was slow … Finding a buyer for the Microfinance Bank proved very difficult, although after years under contract management … Rabobank of the Netherlands emerged as a purchaser. Profitability has since improved and lending has slowly grown, while the share of non-performing loans remains low.]

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 47(2)
– van den Broeck, K & Dercon, S “Information flows and social externalities in a Tanzanian banana growing village”. [This article analyses the role of social networks as facilitators of information flows and banana output increase. Based on a village census, full information is available on the socio-economic characteristics and banana production of farmers’ kinship group members, neighbours and informal insurance group members … For the survey village of Nyakatoke in Tanzania the results suggest that information flows exist within all types of groups analysed but output externalities are limited to kinship groups.]

Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 49(02) – Makulilo, A B “Watching the watcher: An evaluation of local election observers in Tanzania”. [This article evaluates three reports by the leading election observer in Tanzania, the Tanzania Election Monitoring Committee (TEMCO) for the 1995, 2000 and 2005 general elections. It notes that despite the prevalence of the same factors that TEMCO considered as irregularities in the 1995 and 2000 general elections when it certified those elections as “free but not fair”, it issued a “clean, free and fair” verdict on the 2005 general election. This conclusion, at variance with the data, reveals problems in assuring observer neutrality.]


Compiled by Hugh Wenban-Smith

That Tanzania might provide a rich field for development research will come as no surprise to readers of Tanzanian Affairs. However, the fruits of this research do not often make the headlines; rather, they tend to appear in academic journals not readily accessible outside university libraries.

This article is the first in what will hopefully become a regular report on development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. Reflecting this (and the author’s own interests), the journals covered are mainly economic ones, such as World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Urban Studies, etc but I have included some more general ones, such as African Studies Review and Journal of Modern African Studies (both incidentally prolific reviewers of books about Africa).

In this report, articles published in 2010 are listed. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Short abstract.

African Studies Review,Vol. 52(2) – Dill, B “Community-based organisations and norms of participation in Tanzania”. [Discusses the contradictions involved with inducing popular participation in the development process.]

African Studies Review,Vol. 52(3) – Sanga, I “Post-colonial cosmopolitan music in Dar es Salaam”. [This article concerns the late Dr Remmy Ongala, a Tanzanian-Congolese musician.]

Development and Change, Vol 46(6) – Beckmann, N & Bujra, J “The politics of the queue”. [This article analyses the political significance of HIV-positive people’s collective action in Tanzania.]

Journal of Development Economics, Vol 92(1) – Bengtsson, N “How responsive is body weight to transitory income changes?”. [We use time-series of rainfall to estimate the response of body weight to transitory changes in household income in rural Tanzania.]

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 46(1) – De Weerdt, J “Moving out of poverty in Tanzania”. [This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data to explore the growth trajectories of matched households in the Kagera region of Tanzania, finding that agriculture and trade provide the main routes out of poverty.]

Journal of International Development, Vol 22(5) – Dill, B “Public-public partnerships in urban water provision: The case of Dar es Salaam”. [This paper draws on original research and secondary data to analyse the strengths and limitations of public-public partnerships (i.e. government-community organisations) with respect to water provision in contemporary Dar es Salaam.]

Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 48(3) – Bryceson, DF, Jonsson, JB & Sherrington, R “Miners’ magic: Artisanal mining, the albino fetish and murder in Tanzania”. [The murders are connected to gold and diamond miners’ efforts to secure lucky charms for finding minerals and protection against danger while mining.]

Urban Studies, Vol 47(5) – Lyons, M & Msoka, CT “The World Bank and the street”. [The well-documented weaknesses of structural adjustment policies have led to a reconceptualisation of the World Bank’s approach to neo-liberal reforms … It is argued (based on research in Dar es Salaam) that the exclusion of micro-traders from the reforms contributes to their marginalisation in political and policy arenas, increasing their vulnerability.]

World Development, Vol 38(3) – Bryceson, DF & Jonsson, JB “Gold digging careers in rural East Africa”. [Based on a recent survey of small scale mining in Tanzania, this article documents the higher risks, greater potential earnings, more elaborate division of labour and career trajectories of miners.]

Dr Hugh Wenban-Smith was born in Chunya and went to Mbeya School. His career
was as a government economist (mainly in Britain, but with periods in Zambia and
India). He is now an independent researcher, with particular interests in infrastructure,
urbanisation and transport.