The Government has put in place a number of policies and strategies on poverty reduction. These include the National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction which was finalized in 2000. The Strategy has enabled the government to make many achievement including increasing the coverage of education and health services, investing in infrastructure and supporting agricultural development.
However, one-third of the population of Tanzania lives below the basic needs poverty line. People living in poverty struggle to provide their families with the things they need. They can’t invest in improved seeds or fertilizer and therefore increase the amount of food their families have to eat, and there is very little access to local employment opportunities which might help them to earn enough money to purchase food, buy other necessities and find it difficult to afford basic health care and haven’t adopted a routine of taking children regularly to clinics.
This situation highlights the need for interventions focused specifically on poverty reduction and an effective and robust safety net which will protect the poor from the immediate effects of poverty, helping them to meet consumption needs and prevent further irreversible losses in assets; and also enable poverty-stricken households to invest in their futures and improve their livelihoods in the long-term.
The objective of TASAF III is “to enable poor households to increase incomes and opportunities while improving consumption”. TASAF III targets people living under the basic needs poverty line (currently 33.6% of the population).
(i) Productive Social Safety Net
The Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) incorporates transfers linked to participation in public works and adherence to conditionalities. A combination of three transfers protects vulnerable populations from the severest consequences of poverty by enabling households to purchase food, pay for medical care (including making contributions to the Community Health Fund), and reducing the need to pull children out of school in the event of a shock. All households targeted for the programme receive a basic unconditional transfer ensuring a basic level of support. Targeted households with children or pregnant women are also eligible for a variable conditional transfer if they comply with key conditionalities focused on use of education and health services. Households with labour also have the opportunity through Public Works Projects to earn additional transfers to help meet basic needs during the seasonal hungry period.
(ii) Enhancement of livelihoods and increasing incomes
This component provides support to community driven interventions which enhance livelihoods and increase incomes (through community savings and investments as well as specific livelihood enhancing grants). It aims to enable TASAF III beneficiaries to save money to invest in livelihood enhancing activities, by supporting these investments with business development skills and technical training. Additionally, this component provides grants to existing functioning Community Savings and Investment Promotion Groups (or savings groups) to enable the groups to consolidate and further build upon the efforts they have already made to improve livelihoods and progress out of poverty.
(iii) Targeted infrastructure development
This component supports development of infrastructures that belong to the sectors of education, health and water with a view to enabling service poor communities to realize the objectives of the safety net. It focuses on the construction of primary school buildings, health facilities and potable water supplies in villages without these services and without such services being available in nearby areas or where available services are inadequate. Activities under the Targeted Infrastructure Development Component are as follows:
i) Construction/rehabilitation of Primary and Secondary Schools’ classrooms, teachers’ houses, toilets, water points, teachers’ offices, libraries, laboratories and dormitories.
ii) Construction/rehabilitation of Health Facilities (including outpatient dispensaries, maternal child health centres, staff houses, toilets, incinerators and water points.
iii) Development of potable water supplies.
(iv) Capacity Building
The Capacity Building Component aims to ensure adequate programme implementation by communities, Local Government Authorities, Regions and National level players (including the TMU and sector ministries) and Zanzibar. This component underpins the functioning of all other components of the programme. It is concerned with ensuring that there is appropriate understanding and capacity for targeting, implementation of the safety net programme (including conditional transfers and public works) and the realization of the livelihood enhancement and targeted infrastructure components.
The following principles guide TASAF operations:
i) Autonomous but operating in harmony with other on-going initiatives within the Local Government Reform Programme;
ii) Demand-driven and follows a bottom up planning and decision-making approach;
iii) Finances beneficiaries and community-initiated projects directly;
iv) Conforms to sectoral norms and standards and ensuring adequate and timely technical support;
v) Non-partisan and apolitical;
vi) Clear modalities and delivery structure that ensures predictable and timely transfers;
vii) Transparency, demonstration of full public accountability and cost-effective operations
viii) Strengthening community empowerment focusing on graduation from poverty
TASAF III operates nationally covering all local government authorities on the Mainland as well as Unguja and Pemba islands in Zanzibar. However, the programme is rolling-out gradually to enable the development of systems and required capacities.
The target group constitutes the 13.5 million people currently living below the basic needs poverty line. Nevertheless, during the period 2012-2017 the programme is expected to reach 7.5 million direct beneficiaries from 1.2 million targeted households through the PSSN and livelihood support. The Programme focuses on the poor and vulnerable households. Targeted households are eligible for different programme components on the basis of their differing needs and capabilities. The targeted households receive safety net support as well as the opportunity to participate in livelihood enhancing activities.
Eligibility for different programme components is as follows:
Productive Social Safety Net
i) All households identified as being poor and vulnerable and targeted by the common targeting system are eligible for a basic unconditional transfer. They will receive this basic transfer alongside any other support for which they are eligible.
ii) Poor and vulnerable households with children, and a pregnant woman, targeted by the common targeting system, are also eligible for the variable conditional transfer. They will receive the full variable conditional transfer as long as all eligible household members meet the key human capital enhancing conditions.
iii) Poor and vulnerable households with members capable of physical activity, targeted by the common targeting system, (i.e. households with labour) are also eligible to participate in the public works. They will receive payment for each day they provide labour to the public works component.
iv) In the event of a shock such as droughts, flood or high food prices, and should additional resources become available, other households in areas severely affected by the shock will also be provided with an opportunity to participate in a scaled-up public works programme.
i) Households participating in the PSSN and interested in forming savings groups can be supported by the savings sub component. Existing savings groups (established by TASAF II) may continue to be provided with capacity building (such as financial stationary and training in financial literacy) to enable them to consolidate and further build on the efforts they have already made to improve livelihoods and progress out of poverty
ii) Savings groups, who have completed a full cycle of savings and have embarked on a second cycle, will be eligible to compete for Livelihood Enhancing Grants.
Targeted Infrastructure Development
Villages identified as lacking basic services according to a supply side assessment are eligible to submit applications for the Targeted Infrastructure Development Component.
Communities are expected to implement sub projects that are small in size and in specific sites chosen by them; and these sub projects will have been selected because of their expected positive benefits. Although small in scale and with anticipated positive impact, it is important that unintended negative consequences don’t result from oversights in planning or implementation. Therefore, implementation of TASAF requires compliance with the Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF), Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) and Indigenous People Policy Framework (IPPF) that have been approved by the Government and IDA for this Project. Involuntary resettlement, relocation issues, and other matters arising from adherence to these should be resolved before a sub project is approved.