Tanzanians asked: How can government be more open?

Consultations on what should appear in Tanzania’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) Country Plan were held on February 21 and 23, the first day focusing on policy related issues and the second on media, the private sector and basic service delivery. In attendance were Members of Parliament, government and non-governmental organization officials, trade union representatives, and college and university students. Comments from participants suggested that this initiative, if implemented, could restore trust in the government.

There was consensus that the government should prioritize access to information in three sectors. In education, citizens stressed the importance of being able to trace capitation grants online, to know whether the money reached schools across the country and how much was delivered. In the health sector, there is interest in being able to track the supply of drugs in health centers and pharmacies. Participants called for a water point functionality database with a regularly updated interactive map. A challenge for the Open Government Partnership in Tanzania is that only 2% of the population has access to the internet. Participants urged the government to expedite the laying of fiber optic wires so that more citizens can have access to information and actively monitor service delivery online.

Consultations with the public will continue until mid-March. Twaweza is a founding member of the OGP and is supporting the engagement process in Tanzania. The country is one of six in Africa that qualified to be involved in the OGP, launched in September 2011. Read Tanzania’s draft OGP plan here and find out how to have your say on the Tanzania OGP page.

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