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Inclusion and equity


An innovative initiative that promotes local budget allocation for the most vulnerable groups was co-created between social and local government leaders in Morogoro, Tanzania.

The Municipality of Morogoro, Tanzania, faces a critical challenge: the lack of planning and budgets to support the most disadvantaged groups in essential areas such as health, education and empowerment. The 2020 Morogoro Municipality Support to Vulnerable Groups Assessment Report 2020 revealed a worrying reality: “9 out of 10 identified and verified vulnerable groups do not receive assistance from the local government authority in Morogoro Municipality.” Faced with this situation and in search of a solution that would put an end to this problem, the social leader Dr. Said Simon and the municipal leader Upendo Elias joined the Local Innovators Program 2021 (PIL 2021).

After 6 months of collaborative work on the PIL, the team created the initiative: “Strategy to improve citizen participation in budget development.”

The initiative proposes a transformative approach: strengthening the system and structure of local authorities to improve public budget planning and allocation. The solution is based on providing training in political advocacy to street leaders so that vulnerable groups have participation in community meetings. In addition, it seeks to train political leaders to influence local government authorities. 

During the Local Innovators Program 2021 (PIL 2021), leaders Dr. Said Simon and Upendo Elias, and as part of their territorial validation strategy, managed to train a group of 300 volunteers in conducting surveys. 

“The survey findings revealed a worrying lack of planning and budget allocation by authorities to support these groups, along with a general lack of awareness and knowledge about this issue both among vulnerable groups and in the communities themselves. A lack of participation of these groups in local decision-making processes was also identified,” said Dr Said.

The team also coordinated the Change Network, an instance proposed by the Program where various actors in the city are convened to analyze the problem and co-create possible solutions. With this collaborative view, community development officials, religious leaders, leaders of social organizations, among other actors, met for the first time in 2021 to study the reality of the most vulnerable groups. 

Currently, the Change Network is still in force and the actors are generating impact in Morogoro through various actions: ten meetings were held to raise awareness among authorities about the participation of vulnerable groups in budget planning where twenty-five local officials were trained . Additionally, four specific planning documents have been created to support vulnerable groups. 

“The Change Network has had a significant impact on the community. The local government authority has allocated budgets to support the 50% of vulnerable groups, benefiting 300 of these groups,” commented Dr. Said.

According to Said, this initiative has also strengthened the structures and systems of local authorities to support these groups and has increased community awareness of the importance of pressuring authorities to allocate resources to vulnerable groups. The ten training sessions carried out have contributed to increasing the awareness of the authorities and strengthening their capacities, which has led to greater appropriation of the initiative by local officials.

Not only is change expected in planning and allocation; The initiative seeks to foster relationships between local authorities and social entrepreneurs such as MOSAPORG (Morogoro Saving the Poor Organization), an organization in which Dr Said works.

The project not only solves an urgent problem in the city of Morogoro, but also demonstrates how collaboration and joint work transform realities. 

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