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Dispatch

AD50: The public agenda: Health care, education, and water top the list of Tanzanians’ priorities

Rose Aiko and Stephen Mwombela 17 Oct 2015 Tanzania
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On 25 October 2015, Tanzanians will go to the polls to choose the government that will lead the country for the next five years. Once elected, the new administration will have its party’s election manifesto as the blueprint for delivering results, in addition to existing government policy documents, most prominently Vision 2025 (dating back to 1995), the National Strategy
for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (known by its Swahili acronym MKUKUTA), rolling five year development plans, and the recent Big Results Now (BRN)1 initiative.
However, in order to meet public demands, it is imperative for a government to be aware of its citizens’ priorities. Using Afrobarometer survey data, this dispatch highlights the most important problems that Tanzanians want their government to address, areas where citizens suggest additional public investment should be channelled, and issues on which government performance is perceived to be in need of refinement. Our analysis shows that health care is most frequently cited as the most important problem as well as the top priority for greater public investment. Notably, health care does not feature among the six priority impact areas of the current government’s BRN initiative.
Popular assessments of government performance have improved significantly since 2012. Issues on which the government receives the lowest levels of public approval are bridging the gap between rich and poor and improving living conditions of the poor.

Key findings
  • Health care tops the list of the most important problems that Tanzanians want their government to address, followed by education, supply of clean and safe water, agricultural development, and infrastructure development.
  • Health care also tops the list of priority areas where Tanzanians want additional public investment to be channelled. This is followed by education and agricultural development.
  • Tanzanians express the lowest level of satisfaction with government performance in narrowing the gap between rich and poor, improving standards of living for the poor, job creation, keeping prices low and stable, and fighting corruption.

On 25 October 2015, Tanzanians will go to the polls to choose the government that will lead the country for the next five years. Once elected, the new administration will have its party’s election manifesto as the blueprint for delivering results, in addition to existing government policy documents, most prominently Vision 2025 (dating back to 1995), the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (known by its Swahili acronym MKUKUTA), rolling five-year development plans, and the recent Big Results Now (BRN)1 initiative.

However, in order to meet public demands, it is imperative for a government to be aware of its citizens’ priorities. Using Afrobarometer survey data, this dispatch highlights the most important problems that Tanzanians want their government to address, areas where citizens suggest additional public investment should be channelled, and issues on which government performance is perceived to be in need of refinement.

Our analysis shows that health care is most frequently cited as the most important problem as well as the top priority for greater public investment. Notably, health care does not feature among the six priority impact areas of the current government’s BRN initiative.

Popular assessments of government performance have improved significantly since 2012. Issues on which the government receives the lowest levels of public approval are bridging the gap between rich and poor and improving living conditions of the poor.

Graph: Most important problems the government should address | Tanzania | 2014

Rose Aiko

Rose Aiko is a researcher for REPOA in Tanzania.

Stephen Mwombela

Stephen Mwombela is the co-national investigator for Tanzania