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Sweden & Tanzania

Democratic accountability and transparency

Sweden works to contribute to increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration and enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights.


After a slow but steady improvement for the past decade the situation concerning Tanzanian democracy and human rights has gradually weakened in recent years. Despite the government making efforts to increase the respect for women’s equal rights, the rights of people with albinism; old traditions make improvements difficult. Tanzania has for the past years dropped significantly in press freedom index ratings and new media and cybercrime legislations and stricter control of civil society organisations has limited the civic space. Despite the current government taking measures to curb corruption, corruption is still a key problem, standing in the way for Tanzania to achieve widespread social, democratic and economic development.

A successful deepening of Tanzanian democratization needs to be driven by a more significant demand from the great majority of poor women and men living in cities and rural areas. To achieve this, they are in great need of increased knowledge concerning their democratic and human rights and better access to information.

Swedish support

Good democratic governance and human rights are fundamental principles of Sweden’s collaboration with Tanzania, both in its own right and as a mainstreaming issue. Throughout the years Sweden has persistently supported media freedom, the respect for basic human rights, and contributed to ensuring that child rights, sexual and reproductive health rights and gender issues are put on the development agenda. This has been achieved through a wide range of collaborations with strategic civil society partners, the UN and government institutions.

In the Result Strategy adopted in 2013 by the Swedish government two specific results relates to democratic accountability and transparency, and increased awareness of human rights:

  • Increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration.
  • Enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights.

Attention is particularly paid to the target groups of the Swedish strategy: children; youth; and women.

The names of the different contributions are included in the list below.

Under these result areas Sweden cooperates with for example the Tanzanian Ministry of Finance with a support that is channelled through the Economic and Fiscal Governance Contract (EFGC), which other partners such as the EU and Denmark also support. The EFGC is intended to contribute to improved budget credibility as well as transparency of the state budget and its execution. A credible budget is a prerequisite for effective and efficient delivery of public services such as health, education and infrastructure. A credible budget is also part of a functioning democratic system supporting accountability and transparency.  

Within these result areas, Sweden also gives support to projects on good governance, human rights and gender equality, women’s political participation as well as violence against women and children through ear-marked support to the UN-agencies common development plan I Tanzania, UNDAP.

Furthermore, Sweden supports a range of civil society actors particularly for promotion women, youth and children’s rights (including education) and to work with press freedom and human rights more generally on mainland and on Zanzibar.

Our partners:

  • Productive Social Safety Network (PSSN)
  • Economic and Fiscal Governance Contract (EFGC)
  • UN’s Development Assistance Programme (UNDAP)
  • Media Council of Tanzania (MCT)
  • Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC)
  • Save the Children, Mainland and Zanzibar
  • Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF)
  • Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP)
  • Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC)
  • Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC)
  • Femina HIP
  • Restless Development
  • Twaweza
  • HakiElimu


Recent results

Increased capacity and reduced corruption in the Tanzanian public administration

  • Support to PSSN directly addresses resource poverty and poverty in terms of opportunities and choice among the poorest households in Tanzania. 1.1 million households receive the cash transfer. The transfers have enabled the households to improve their food security and health status as well as increase enrolment of children to school. 260 000 households also participated in the public works activities such as road construction and tree planting and other projects which are of use for the village/municipality. This gives the households an additional income during the most difficult parts of the year when the farming does not generate any income.

Projects previously supported by Sweden continue to have an effect:

  • After ten years of Swedish assistance active since 2004, the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) is today a top-performer among Tanzania's government institutions.
  • The Swedish National Audit Office (Riksrevisionen) helped NAOT prepare the Public Audit Act No. 11 (enacted 2008), bringing the independence of NAOT more in line with the standards of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. For the 2010/2011 financial year, NAO completed annual financial audits in accordance with its new INTOSAI-based manual for risk based auditing.
  • Sweden's previous long-term approach to decentralisation support has paid off. Results from the Land Management Programme (LAMP), 1990-2008, in Babati, Simanjiro, Singida and Kiteto contributed to community-based planning processes which are now being applied nationally and the communities are benefiting from direct increase in incomes. Support in order to further endure these results were until 2015 channelled through ALAT.

Enhanced capacity in civil society to demand accountability and increased awareness of human rights

  • Tanzania's leading human rights organisations, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) and Zanzibar Legal Service Centre (ZLSC) have scored success in providing legal aid to the most vulnerable groups, with over 15,000 beneficiaries per annum.
  • LHRC is the driving force behind important advocacy work on human rights issues and democratic challenges, including civic education/awareness on imperative democratic processes like the Constitution review and the Elections.
  • Twaweza has developed the first nationwide mobile opinion poll in Tanzania, called Sauti za Wananchi. The mobile phone surveys have contributed to ongoing discussions and debates in society. Sauti collects data on realities and views of the citizens on current political, social and economic.
  • An evaluation shows that the Save the Children Zanzibar´s project has contributed to the fact that violence against children and child sexual abuse are now on the agenda in the media, among decision makers and even in communities in Zanzibar. The support from Save the Children has also contributed to the establishment of a range of formal institutions responsible for child protection and child participation.
  • The Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC) spearheaded other CSO's in Zanzibar to establish a network of Children Rights CSO's named ZANECRI, also sponsored by Save the Children (SC). Sida has supported both ZLSC and SC for a number of years.
  • The Government, through National Accreditation Council of Technical Education (NACTE), has adopted a standardized curriculum developed by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) that is used by all journalism institutions in Tanzania. It does away with haphazard training that previously was frequent.
  • MCT, through its Coalition on Right to Information, was able to coordinate joint responses from civil society of media freedom and right to information provisions in the draft legislations. The Council keep the Register for Press Freedom Violations in 2016 and 38 incidences were recorded.
  • Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC), an organisation developed through the work by MCT is now a body standing on its own feet. The number of press clubs has reached 28 in just a few years and UTPC is now organising thousands journalists across the country.



Claire Henneville-Wedholm (

Joyce Tesha (

Stephen Chimalo (

True Schedvin (

Last updated 21 Dec 2017, 9.26 AM