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Decentralization by Devolution in Tanzania: Reflections on Water Service Delivery in the Selected Wards of Ilala Municipality, Dar es Salaam

Abstract

 Adam Matiko Charles

Decentralization by devolution (D by D) is a driving force for service delivery, so if all elements of D by D complement each other the delivery of water service can be realized. This study examined decentralization by devolution in Tanzania: Reflections on water service delivery in selected wards of Ilala municipality.   The objective of the study was to examine the influence of D by D on water service delivery. The focus of the study was the variations between urban and peri-urban areas of Ilala Municipality. Existence of few empirical studies on the impact of D by D on water service delivery is the motivation for this study. The study adopted a descriptive comparative cross-sectional survey design that involved the use of questionnaires and interviews in collecting data from a sample of 384 respondents selected from a population of 64,579. The study also involved 9 key informants purposively selected from among the household and 5 purposively selected from local government officials and 3 purposively selected from central government officials so that to provide qualitative data to supplement the quantitative data obtained from questionnaires. Data was analyzed using frequencies, means, and standard deviation. The study revealed that the one aspect of D by D (fiscal aspect) has no influence on water service delivery and also coefficients revealed that by comparison, out of the three elements of decentralization by devolution, political decentralization explains a higher variance in water service delivery, followed by administrative decentralization. The study recommends that since D by D among other things aims at bringing services closer to the people, local officials should involve citizens in deciding matters affecting their livelihoods including planning and setting their priorities especially in water service delivery and there is need for water policy to state clearly how D by D works especially on water service delivery.

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