Gender Responsive Budgeting in Local Authorities: Lessons from Tanzania

Dr. Consolata Sulley

Researchers have produced a substantial knowledge on local governance and administration in Tanzania. They have largely examined such issues as central local relations, aspects of decentralisation, local financial management and local service delivery among others. There is also a good number of analyses on fiscal decentralisation in Tanzania establishing that the central government still exercises substantial control over local authorities particularly on finance and budgeting. Despite this fact, local authorities do make budgets of their own. However, there is little knowledge on whether local budgets are gender responsive. This paper, therefore, proposes to examine whether or not local government budgeting and planning in Tanzania is gender responsive. A central question to be examined is whether or not local government budgets ensure gender equality commitments and goals. Particularly, we shall examine how local government budgets respond to the different needs of women and men. Although a gender responsive budgeting can take different forms including looking at how different groups take part in the process of planning, budgeting and implementation, in this paper we shall pay particular attention to local authority programs and activities examining how they respond to gender equality commitments. This would also involve an analysis of fiscal policies and local budgetary decisions to unpack their effect on gender equality objectives. Methodologically, we shall use a qualitative approach aiming to get a deeper understanding of local authority budgeting from a gender perspective. Two techniques of data collection are relevant namely, desk review of documents and semi structured interviews with stakeholders in the local government sector, civil society organisations and academics.