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Sustaining poverty escapes in Tanzania

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Andrew Shepherd

This brief draws on results of mixed methods research in Tanzania, to offer policy and programming implications for sustained poverty reduction.

The Government of Tanzania has focused on poverty reduction as a core objective of policy since 2000. There was growth throughout this period, and significant poverty reduction from 2007 to 2014, but also impoverishing effects. This research investigated the extent and drivers of transitory and sustained escapes from poverty to better understand the sources of resilience that enable people to sustainably escape poverty given the complex risk environments in which they live.

The data sources that the research in Tanzania draws on are: (i) analysis of the Tanzania National Panel Survey (NPS); (ii) key informant interviews in 2017 with a range of policy-makers, researchers, development partners and program implementers; and (iii) 24 gender-disaggregated focus group discussions and qualitative interviews with 80 households across Iringa, Dodoma and Morogoro in 2017/2018 to investigate the pathways of sustainable poverty escapes.

This brief responds to the question: how can programs be designed and implemented to support sustained escapes from poverty and tackle chronic poverty?

Out of the long list of topics outlined in the research summary below, these areas emerged as particularly salient issues out of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of resilience and sustainable poverty escapes:

  • Supporting growth from below through the rural and urban non-farm economy, balanced with support for smallholder agriculture;
  • Developing a health insurance system with wide coverage; and
  • Reducing the impoverishment impacts of land conflicts

Note: this policy implication brief is accompanied by the Understanding and supporting sustained pathways out of extreme poverty and deprivation: Tanzania National Report, which investigates the resources (land, livestock, and assets), attributes (household composition and education level) and activities (including jobs and engagement in non-farm activities) of households that enable them to escape poverty sustainably and minimise the likelihood of returning to living in poverty again.

Andrew Shepherd