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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender perspectives on decentralisation and service users' participation in rural Tanzania
Authors:Masanyiwa, Zacharia S.ISNI
Niehof, AnkeISNI
Termeer, Catrien J.A.M.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Geographic term:Tanzania
community participation
public services
gender relations
rural areas
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43302098
Abstract:Increasing participation in decision-making processes by service users is one of the objectives of decentralization reforms in Tanzania. The argument is that decentralization enhances participation by all sections of the community, and by women in particular, and results in decisions that better reflect local needs. This article examines the impact of decentralization reforms on service users' participation for delivery of water and health services in rural Tanzania, using a gender perspective and principal-agent theory. It shows that decentralization reforms have created spaces for service users' participation at the local level. Participation in these spaces, however, differs between men and women, and is influenced by the socio-cultural norms within the household and community. Men have gained more leverage than women to exercise their agency as principals. Women's participation is contributing to addressing practical gender needs, but strategic gender needs have been less adequately addressed because gendered power relations have been largely untouched by the reforms. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]