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This study focuses on the preparation of long-term rural water supply plans in Tanzania and their subsequent implementation.

TitleWatering white elephants? : lessons from donor funded planning and implementation of rural water supplies in Tanzania
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsTherkildsen, O
Secondary TitleCentre for Development Research publications
Volumeno. 7
Pagination224 p.: fig., tab.
Date Published1988-01-01
PublisherScandinavian Institute of African Studies
Place PublishedUppsala, Sweden
ISBN Number9171062688
Keywordscase studies, community participation, denmark, finland, funding agencies, maintenance, monitoring, netherlands, planning, policies, projects, rural areas, safe water supply, sweden, tanzania

This study focuses on the preparation of long-term rural water supply plans in Tanzania and their subsequent implementation. It is written for planners, policy makers, administrators, and researchers dealing with donor involvement in rural water supply activities in particular and rural development in general. The study covers the period from the mid-1970s to 1985 and is based on case studies of the involvement of five donors: the Finns in Mtwara-Lindi, the Dutch in Morogoro, the Swedes in the Lake regions, the World Bank in Mwanza, and the Danes in Iringa, Mbeya and Ruvuma. The donor approaches have been characterized by extensive data collection; detailed pre-implementation planning; little or no participation of beneficiaries; emphasis on fast implementation of new schemes; and bypassing of Tanzanian organizations. Their approach has significantly contributed to the non-use of their plans and non-sustainability of the schemes. A more adaptive approach to planning and implementation is therefore proposed. This implies that projects should be regarded as policy experiments with less emphasis on detailed long-term plans; that a management information system should be used for continuous monitoring and evaluation; that community participation in planning, implementation, and maintenance should be a part of donor activities; and that technical assistance should be aimed at the institutional development of local organizations rather than only constructing new schemes.


Bibliography: p. 210-221

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