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Demand and supply of technical assistance and lessons for the health sector: Tanzania

Research report

Written by Helen Tilley

Research report

The Tanzanian public sector faces a sustained capacity gap, despite public service reforms. Most technical assistance (TA) that is proposed by donors is accepted, however, the government has insufficient capacity to strategically plan and manage it. Expenditure on TA represents a large proportion of development expenditure on health. There are consequently increasing concerns that this investment is less effective than its potential. 

This note presents an overview of TA in the case of Tanzania. It then discusses the environment for TA at large, considering aspects such as attitudes towards TA and government coordination. The analysis then explores examples of what TA worked in Tanzania, as well as challenges.

Reflections are made upon particular features of demand and supply of TA, and how they interact. The final section draws out lessons that are relevant for Tanzania's health sector, within this demand and supply framework. The provision and use of TA in Tanzania can be said to reflect the wider aid context and the challenges faced more broadly in the donor-government relationship.

Helen Tilley