In recent decades, decentralization has been upheld by governments, donors and policy makers in many developing countries as a means of improving people’s participation and public services delivery. This study examines the impact of decentralization reforms on service delivery in rural Tanzania using a gender perspective.
The study addresses the question of how decentralization affects the user-provider interactions and gender-sensitivity of rural water and primary health care services in the rural villages. It focuses on the institutional characteristics for decentralized service delivery, the impact of the reforms on service users’ participation in decision-making processes, on access to gender-sensitive water and health services, and on cooperation and trust at the village level.
The study argues that decentralization reforms in Tanzania present both opportunities and challenges for increasing service users’ participation in decision-making processes, cooperation and trust, addressing gender equality issues and, for improving service delivery.