Tanzania’s big results now initiative
As part of its effort to transition the country from a low to a middle-income economy, starting with the 2013/2014 Financial Year, Tanzania, with support from Development Partners, is adopting a Big Results Now initiative, based on a model of development that has proven successful in Malaysia.
This comprehensive system of development implementation, described as a “fast-track people-centered growth ‘marathon’” focuses on six priority areas articulated in the Tanzania National development Vision 2025: energy and natural gas, agriculture, water, education, transport and mobilization of resources. The strategy has also been adopted by Rwanda and Nigeria.
Big Results Now was unveiled by President Kikwete in February, 2013. An 8-week coaching session led by Malaysian policy experts drew on the experience of Malaysia’s Performance Management & Delivery Unit experience to design and implement a model suited to Tanzania.
For President Kikwete the initiative will eliminate the “culture of business as usual” and needless confidentiality amongst official and officers serving the public that has hobbled efforts to move Tanzania forward. If the country is to achieve a middle-income economy by 2025, it is essential that development planning no longer be a secret process for executives and that the public become actively engaged to learn about development plans and provide input that will be taken into account. Transparency and efficiency are guiding concepts and the reduction of corruption will be of paramount importance.
Although Vision 2025 was originally conceived in 1999, implementation towards achieving it floundered as annual budgetary submissions from the different ministries were often randomly presented with little or no coherence with the Vision 2025. Under the Big Results Now initiative each Ministry will be expected to align its budget to the high-level initiatives of the government as defined within each Five Year Development Plan, which in turn are targeted at moving the country towards achieving Vision 2025.
Oversight of the implementation of Big Results Now will be the responsibility of the Presidents Delivery Bureau (under the President’s Office). This body will bring together experts and key stakeholders who will choose and agree on priorities and refine them so they will be implementable. For too long, systemic weaknesses have resulted in Tanzania’s priorities being ignored; Big Results Now is intended to ensure there is a break from this past, through the creation of mechanisms that will make sure top government officials address the priorities in concrete ways and deliver results and meet targets set.