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close this bookAid and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1993, 165 p.)
close this folderVII AID AND GOVERNMENT AUTOMONY
View the documentTanzania's dependence on aid
View the documentAid and government autonomy
View the documentTwo bureaucracies in a deadlock

Tanzania's dependence on aid

How did the aid administrators view the effect of international aid on government autonomy? To answer this question we first tried to find out how important aid was for the Tanzanian economy. We asked the respondents how economically dependent Tanzania was on aid. Then we turned to the question of aid and government autonomy.

On the question of Tanzania's general dependence on foreign aid (Table 18) there were few who said that Tanzania could make it without aid. 2 of 43 said Tanzania was not dependent on aid. But the rest were divided on whether Tanzania was "heavily dependent" or just "dependent" on aid. With 17 of 43 using the term "dependent" we might be on the track of a substantial group of aid administrators that see aid as economically necessary but who also see alternative strategies for development of an independent and prosperous Tanzania. We would expect that persons who see Tanzania as "heavily dependent" on aid, would be less optimistic about alternative development strategies.

Table 18. Aid and dependency

Heavily dependent

Dependent

Irrelevant

Not dependent

Total

Nos.

24

17

0

2

43

Percent

55,8

39,5

0

4,7

100

Although the alternative answers were formulated somewhat differently on the question of the importance of aid for rural development (Table 19), the data indicate more skepticism to the effects of aid in agriculture, in the peasant economy. The group defining aid here as "irrelevant" or "detrimental" is larger than the irrelevant and not dependent groups in the previous question (6 of 48 against 2 of 43). Those saying aid is "very important" for rural development is smaller than the group saying aid is "important" (12-30), On the previous question the group saying "heavily dependent" was larger (24-17). This difference indicates that our respondents see international aid directed towards the urban sectors and that it is more important there than in the countryside.

Table 19. Aid and rural development


Very important

Important

Irrelevant

Detrimental

Total

Nos.

12

30

4

2

48

Percent

25

62,5

8,3

4,2

100

On the question of Tanzania's dependence on aid all agree that the dependency is there (41 of 43, Table 18). However, when we distinguish between "heavily dependent" and "dependent" there is a significant difference between the Norwegians and the Tanzanians (Table 20).

Table 20. Aid and dependency: Norwegian and Tanzanian views


Heavily dependent

Dependent

In all

Norwegians

15

1

16

Tanzanians

9

16

25

In all

24

17

41

Chi 20,502, significance 0.000 (Total 51, 8 no opinion, 2 "not dependent" excluded)

This difference underscores the Tanzanian dilemma. Most analysts, as we have seen, see the Tanzanian government and its programmes being heavily dependent on foreign aid. Our Tanzanian respondents use the term "dependent". This can mean that they see more Tanzanian freedom, that Tanzania has development potential independent of foreign aid inputs. The interviews speak of Tanzanians with beliefs in development potentials beyond aid, however development dependent on reconstructing a closer, more democratic relationship between state and society, perhaps with a more active state in the development of modern infrastructure.

When asked about the importance of aid for rural development and distinguishing Norwegians and Tanzanians (Table 21), the answers were:

Table 21. Aid and rural development: Norwegian and Tanzanian views


Very Important

Important

Irrelevant

Detrimental Total

Norwegians

2

11

2

1

16

Tanzanians

10

19

2

1

32

Total

12

30

4

2

48

There is no doubt that aid is deemed important for the peasantry in Tanzania (42 of 48). The Tanzanians are here more willing than the Norwegians to use the term "very important". 13% of the Norwegians and 31% of the Tanzanians use it.

Aid and government autonomy

How do the aid agencies and their aid input affect "the political autonomy of the Tanzanian government"? The question distinguished between the effects of financial support and support in the form of personnel.

Table 22. Aid and government autonomy


Increases

No effect

Decreases

Total

NA

Financial aid

11

11

16

38

18

Personnel aid

6

15

16

37

17

As Table 22 demonstrates, a substantial part, 40% of those who answered, said that aid generally reduces autonomy. From the interviews we interpret "reduced autonomy" as limiting the government's freedom in policy-making and reducing the government's responsiveness to popular demands in the country. 1/3 of the respondents said financial aid and 1/6 that personnel aid (technical assistance) increased autonomy. The "no effect" group was larger when asked about personnel aid (15 of 37 against 11 of 38).

How do Tanzanians and Norwegians view the relation between aid and government autonomy? First we studied views on financial aid (Table 23).

Table 23. Financial aid and government autonomy


Increases

No effect

Decreases

No opinion

Total

Norwegians

6

0

6

2

14

Tanzanians

5

11

10

8

34

Total

11

11

16

10

48

Chi 8,903, sign 0.030

There is a significant difference between Norwegians and Tanzanians (note that the number of persons of "no opinion" in Table 23 influences the statistical measure). The Norwegians find financial aid having effect, either positive (6) or negative (6). A large number of Tanzanians feel that financial aid is either irrelevant (11) or decreases autonomy (10). Only 5 of 26 Tanzanian respondents said that financial aid increased government autonomy. Here the Tanzanians are more negative than the Norwegians.

On the effect of personnel aid (Table 24) very few see it increasing government autonomy (6 of 49 in all, of 37 answering the question). But the profiles are more alike (4 Norwegians in the "no effect" group). However, still the "no effect" group is relatively larger among Tanzanians. A much larger part of the Tanzanians do not answer the question. The size of the negative group among Norwegians is larger than among the Tanzanians.

Table 24. Personnel aid and government autonomy


Increases

No effect

Decreases

No opinion

Total

Norwegians

3

4

6

2

15

Tanzanians

3

11

10

10

34

Total

6

15

16

12

49

Chi 2,628, sign 0,545

These data support our dependency thesis. Aid connects government agencies to aid agencies in a non-liberating way. It limits government freedom in policy-making and government responsiveness to popular demands. Considered this way aid limits the government's ability to participate in mobilizing entrepreneurs within existing movements and organizations in the country. (The aid may give bureaucrats more freedom to act because aid augments their budgets. But it seems that only a minority of the respondents would see this as increasing government autonomy.)

Two bureaucracies in a deadlock

The opinions support the idea that aid administrators see aid as necessary in some sense in Tanzania, but few see it as strengthening government autonomy. The respondents support the idea that the aid agencies are control-oriented, controlling the use of their aid inputs, pacifying government authorities and professionals on the Tanzanian side. NORAD appears in their description as a control-oriented organization, with few if any ambitions of participating in building administrative competence on the Tanzanian side. On the Tanzanian side, in the parent institutions, we saw a tightly controlled political leadership, with a group of select, highly educated administrators, but with what appeared as open and frank discussions on policy and administration within the groups. We interpret the leadership in TWICO and Comworks as power- and status controlling rather than a professional, management- oriented leadership. It seemed that the leadership had few if any operational connections to project planning and/or organizing. Their main role was to secure external finances (together with the Finance Ministry) and to recruit and train Tanzanian leaders in the projects.