Implementation of climate finance / Transparency

Climate finance for community well-being: What role can Germany play in influencing accountability and transparency in Tanzania?

After a 5 day state visit, German President Joachim Gauck concluded that: For Germany, Tanzania is a stable and trustworthy partner. And what’s more, it now offers bright economic perspectives.
Photo: alliance/dpa/w.kumm

The adverse impacts of climate change has continued to weaken efforts for achieving sustainable development in most developing countries. In Tanzania, compounded by many other factors such as lack of transparency, meagre civil society involvement, corruption and limited accountability, climate change is increasing social and environmental vulnerabilities, particularly in the economic sectors of agriculture, forestry, energy, wildlife, water, health, tourism and fisheries. To ensure a safe and sustainable future, Tanzania has ratified various multi-lateral environmental agreements and has also continued to receive financial support from donor agencies and development partners on environmental and climate change impacts. However, there is a broad consensus that climate finance should be adequate, predictable and planned with a long-term perspective if ever increasing demand in the country is to be met. In addition at national level, stakeholders have continued to raise joint voices on the Tanzanian government to ensure that, once climate funds are received, they are used in such a way that accountability, efficiency, transparency and effective to rescue vulnerable target communities can be achieved.

German bilateral cooperation with Tanzania

For about five decades now, Germany has been engaged in international cooperation with Tanzania. The Embassy’s website in Dar es Salaam shows clearly that, German’s bilateral financial cooperation with Tanzania has amounted to 2.03 billion EUR over the same period. The  websites of the Embassy and GIZ in Dar es Salaam further indicate that in recent years Germany has even increased its budget and priorities including health, water, education, energy, natural resources/conservation, tourism, governance and environmental protection. These are among the growing sectors that serve as the mainstay of the majority of Tanzanians but are threatened by challenges posed by climate change. Available literature shows that the German government has continued to contribute to the Tanzanian general budget and promotion of public finance management for years. Furthermore, budget support intends to contribute to a pro-poor development, poverty reduction and building communities’ climate resilience. For instance, for the years 2012 to 2015 alone, Germany has committed 18 million Euro to general budget support. Apart from bilateral financial support to Tanzania, Germany has also committed its resources for development cooperation through the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other multilateral institutions, also benefiting Tanzania. The ever growing and strengthening relationship between Berlin and Dar es Salaam indicates that opportunities for bilateral investments, business and interaction will increase. It is also expected that Germany will scale up climate finance for expansion of renewable energies and building community resilience. It is therefore very important if Germany is to take a lead to counterweight countries preparing to invest in fossil fuels.

While Germany is considered central by civil society organisations in Tanzania in taking a lead in promoting climate finance and public finance management, its  approach to channel most of financial resources including climate finance through government agencies has not yet managed to build up strong direct public benefits. To date, climate finance in Tanzania is still characterized by discrepancies in transparency, accountability, integrity, centralisation, misdirection away from target communities and institutional interference (Yanda et al 2013). In addition, climate finance is characterized by a lack of civil society involvement as well as a top –down oriented approach, as opposed to community orientation and access to information as everything is treated as confidential. When these deficits are mixed up with donors’ and development partners’ approaches for financial flows, they deny civil society organisations an opportunity to demand more actions on the ground, monitor and hold the government accountable for the benefit of vulnerable target communities (beneficiaries).

Role of civil society organisations in tracking climate finance in Tanzania

Various studies (Belgium Cooperation, 2009; Reid et al. 2012; Lange et al. 2000; Thornton, D. N. and G. Norrington, 2011) and experiences in Tanzania indicate that civil society organisations (CSOs) can play a significant role in tracking finance and ensuring efficiency, accountability and transparency in the use of public resources. This can be done through advocacy, awareness creation and monitoring of finance from its source to the end users (targeted beneficiaries). Studies (Lukwago, 2015; Yanda et al. 2013) further show that the effectiveness of both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and climate finance can only deliver if approaches taken are based on demand-oriented, bottom-up and inclusive approaches in designing and planning; execution, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the invested funds in promoting sustainable development and enhancement of climate resilient communities across scale and levels. Moreover, effective governance and good use of climate finance in Tanzania requires the involvenment of civil society organisations in tracking and ensuring that funds received are utilised effectively, equitably and directed to the most vulnerable local communities. This includes funds set aside for sustainable developments that are increasingly being set up by potential development partners like Germany.

To leverage the situation, Germany needs to reconsider a special concern of engaging and even strengthening CSOs so that they can play critical roles of monitoring the government spending especially on climate finance; creating public demand for transparency and accountability. However, in achieving this envisaged endeavor, CSOs in Tanzania ought to be facilitated to advocate and perform the ‘watch-dog’ function as opposed to the current practice of CSOs being treated as “report readers”. Nevertheless, upon being given such functions, CSOs should also be subject to accountability, transparency and responsive to communities’ demands from a donor/ development partner perspective. It is through this mutual arrangement and practice that climate finance in Tanzania and the rest of Less Developed Countires will realise its intended objective and ensure vulnerable communities become sustainable and climate resilient.

Sixbert S. Mwanga, CAN Tanzania


Lukwago, D. (2015) The Adaptation Finance And Accountability Initiative: Delivery of Adaptation Finance in Uganda: Assessing Institutions at Local Government Levels, Final Study Report, Kampala Uganda