Transparency and Accountability in Local Governance in Tanzania

When citizens perceive their government to be transparent and accountable to them - democracy will only grow and thrive. Citizens will support and complement government efforts if the government informs them of how decisions that affect them are taken. Citizens mostly like to be informed of how much taxes are collected and how the taxes they pay are spent. Such a government can be trusted, and a government has to be trusted if it is to remain legitimate in the eyes of its citizens. Accountability is the management of relationships between state officials and citizens by disclosing vital and valuable information about government actions to the citizens. Government officials must feel obliged to give and receive feedback regarding any action that is likely to cause change in the welfare of society. Hence, without transparency, accountability will not be achievable. Government officials can inform citizens through the media (public notice boards, public meetings, newspapers, radio, television, the internet etc.). The extent to which local governments in Tanzania are transparent and accountable to their citizens is a policy concern. The question then is, to what extent are citizens in their localities informed by their local authorities about how public services are financed?