The government responsiveness to the needs of citizens, including the vulnerable and groups and individuals, and the influence of citizens in shaping policies is an important are that warrants more research attention. Research in this area will focus on two aspects:
The first will focus on how resources are shared/ distributed and how public services are delivered. It addresses the political economy of institutions and processes of power on their own account and in relation to ordinary citizens in the context of participation and downward accountability. It examines approaches to strengthening domestic resource mobilization the budget process, expenditure flows in relation to service delivery, and other aspects of economic governance.
This research area builds on REPOA’s long-standing platform on governance charted by the combination of the 2001-2010 Formative Research Process on Local Government Reform, the Tanzania Governance Notice Board and the Afrobarometer surveys, and will revolve around the following:
- Effective Governance and accountability both at the central level (transparency, resource mobilization, the integrity of fiscal policy and the budget process, public financial management, and anti-corruption drive) and at the local government levels (participatory planning, resource allocation processes, decentralization by devolution, and downward accountability)
- Service delivery and inclusion at the central and local government levels (including education, health, water and sanitation, gender parity and diversity, and participation of non-state actors),
- Local government finances and financial management (local revenue base diversification and collection mechanism, and intergovernmental fiscal relations, and public expenditure tracking.
- Local economic development, seeking to identify how local government authorities and private sector at sub-regional and sub-district levels can identify opportunities and create synergies through public-private partnerships to take advantage of the existing and emerging opportunities to foster local economic developments.
The second will focus on social policy, in particular, the dynamic conceptualization of social protection not only in terms of its role in income and consumption smoothing but also in terms of its transformative role to enhance inclusion. The research addresses comprehensive social policy that supports structural change and social cohesion, highlighting the transformative role of social protection to achieve broader economic, social and political goals, such as distribution, protection, production, and reproduction.
While the issues of social policy and social protection are broad, attention will be paid on the four subjects outlined below:
- Protecting income against impoverishment (Income transfers and consumption smoothing): Studies designed under this sub-theme will focus on issues of transfer payments in cash or in kind, social insurance, and pension schemes, saving schemes, and, microcredit for consumption smoothing.
- Preventing capability deprivation (Enhancing human capabilities through social protection): This area brings social provisioning in focus by looking at social protection not only as ways of preventing income deprivation but also capability deprivation. Studies designed under this sub-theme will address issues of equity in access to social services, quality bifurcation in social provisioning as a hindrance to social inclusion, financing of social services and access of quality services.
- Social protection and productive competences: (Labour, productivity and livelihoods across the informal/formal divide): This sub-theme will focus on studies that seek to come to grips with how the prevalence of generalized insecurity limits space for innovation and the development of productive competencies and productivity growth on one hand, and ways of developing novel forms of formalization that enhance skill formation and productive competencies on the other hand.
- Pro-poor growth and social protection (Macro dimensions of generalized insecurity): Studies in this area will place social protection in wider perspective beyond poverty discourses that place social protection within the confines of social policy. The focus will be on studies that will involve exploration of how and in what forms the re-integration of social and economic policy can aid to overcome the residual character of social protection.