'Rigoreus stopzetten hulp Nederland aan Tanzania kost 4000 levens per jaar!'

[3 oktober 2016]
De kabinetten Rutte I en II besloten budgetten voor ontwikkelingssamenwerking scherp te korten en de focus te verleggen naar het bevorderen van het handelsverkeer. Een motie van de Tweede Kamer verzocht de minister om de effecten van de bezuinigingen onder Rutte-I te onderzoeken. De IOB-evaluatie The gaps left behind is daarvan het resultaat. IOB heeft zes landenstudies uitgevoerd waarin de effecten van het stopzetten van de Nederlandse hulp zijn onderzocht: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania en Zambia.
IOB komt tot de conclusie, dat door het veel te rigoreus stopzetten van de ondersteuning nu jaarlijks rond de 4000 mensen in Tanzania komen te overlijden.

Een motie van de Tweede Kamer verzocht de minister om de effecten van de bezuinigingen onder Rutte-I te onderzoeken. De IOB-evaluatie The gaps left behind is daarvan het resultaat. IOB heeft zes landenstudies uitgevoerd waarin de effecten van het stopzetten van de Nederlandse hulp zijn onderzocht: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania en Zambia.

De evaluatie concludeert onder andere dat het verminderen van het aantal partnerlanden vooral een gevolg was van de bezuinigingen op ontwikkelingssamenwerking. Efficiency- en effectiviteitsoverwegingen speelden in de praktijk nauwelijks een rol. Een andere conclusie uit het rapport is dat, ondanks alle afspraken over een betere arbeidsdeling en grotere coördinatie, Nederland de partnerlandenkeuze niet vooraf heeft overlegd met andere donoren. Het ministerie slaagde er zelden in om andere donoren te interesseren voor de Nederlandse programma’s.

Deze conclusies en conclusies over de effecten van de bezuinigingen trekt IOB in het rapport 'The gaps left behind: An evaluation of the impact of ending aid. Het rapport is hier te downloaden. Lees de afzonderlijke landenstudie betreffende Tanzania!
De IOB Evaluatie Nieuwsbrief is hier te vinden, en de beleidsreactie kan hier worden gedownload.

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Summary & Conclusions report Tanzania

The joint exit evaluation of 2008 specified a number of recommendations for donors who intended to end their aid relationship in a specific country. The Netherlands wanted to observe these recommendations when it decided in 2011 to phase out the delegated bilateral aid relationship with Tanzania. However, the desire to exit quickly, and the limited and late character of consultations undermined the possibility to comply with the spirit of the recommendations. There was not much consultation with the GoT to discuss an exit strategy or how to phase out the exit, nor with other development partners on how to take over Dutch programmes. Although most obligations have been respected officially, and there was some budget flexibility, the strategy did not sufficiently take into account the interests and institutional capacity of the recipients (government and NGOs). The idea that other stakeholders would take over Dutch programmes was too optimistic. The position of the embassy was weakened, because it had to negotiate with other stakeholders even though the decisions were already final and the embassy therefore had nothing to offer.  The exit was not based on an assessment of its consequences. Therefore, the prevention of the loss of capital was not assured.

In spite of considerable economic growth in the country, the Dutch exit has a significant impact. Tanzania will face a serious challenge in coming years to find employment for its fast-growing population. This may have an adverse effect on efforts to reduce poverty and may undermine the effectiveness of pro-poor policies. Major investments are needed. The Tanzanian government has been forced to curtail its budget, including poverty related expenditures, due to a combination of disappointing tax revenues and changes in the composition of aid.33 Cuts in transfers to local governments have impacted teacher recruitment and the delivery of social services. If the Netherlands had decided to provide general budget support again in 2011, then this would initially have slightly reduced the deficit. In the long run, it would have enabled GoT to increase expenditure, especially in the social sectors. The decision not to provide GBS again has had an impact particularly on the education and health sectors. Rigorous impact evaluations show that this has an impact on enrolment and learning achievements.

One way that the Netherlands has tried to improve service delivery is through its support to the decentralisation programme. For more than 10 years, it has been a key donor supporting local government reform in Tanzania. It played an important role setting up the Local Government Development Grant (LGDG) system in 2005, and in the following years it was the largest donor. The Netherlands also helped to design, fund and implement the Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), and for many years was co-chair of the Development Partners Group for Local Government. Nevertheless, the Dutch contribution to local government does not mean that the exit had a large impact. When the Netherlands decided to phase out its bilateral cooperation programme, the LGRP faced serious implementation problems and was all but dysfunctional. The collaboration between PMO-RALG and the development partners was difficult. Moreover, it was already agreed upon much earlier that the government would take over the funding of the LGDG.

The Dutch exit in the health sector was a major loss, on the other hand, as a result of the severe shortages in the sector, the central Dutch role in the policy dialogue and the withdrawal of other development partners. As a major donor to the health basket, to SRHR programmes and programmes to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria, the Netherlands had made a substantial contribution to improved service delivery (increase in health facility attendance, attended births, vaccination coverage and malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment) and the reduction of infant and child mortality. The Netherlands largely observed its financial commitments, but did not devote much attention to the consequences of its country’s exit, despite repeated warnings by the Dutch health sector specialist at the embassy in Dar es Salaam. The Dutch withdrawal has had a negative impact on service delivery and the further improvement of the sector. As a result of the Dutch, Norwegian and German exits, as well as reduced contributions by Canada and Denmark, the health basket has gone down from USD 90 million to USD 50 million. Earmarked support, such as from the Global Fund, is decreasing as well. In spite of significant increases in government funding, the health sector faces a major deficit. The new Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP IV) for 2015-2020 envisages a funding gap of about USD 250-1,250 million. Public health facilities continue to experience a severe lack of medicine and medical supplies. There is a dramatic drop in the non-salary budget. Performance is going down, leading to significant risks. Local facilities in particular are feeling the impact of a reduction of the HBF. This is having a particularly harsh impact on maternal, newborn and child health care. NGOs, previously supported by the Netherlands, were not able to attract other donors and had to scale down their activities on HIV/AIDS, malaria and SRHR. Therefore, an overall estimate would suggest that the continuation of Dutch support to the health sector, on average about USD 34 million (including USD 6 million GBS), could have saved about 4,000 lives (annually), in addition to improving the health of a much larger group of people via better access to essential drugs at the local level and better functioning health posts.

The Dutch exit also had a strong negative impact on several other supported NGOs, mainly because other development partners were not willing to take over Dutch core funding. These organisations include the institute Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) and the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS). REPOA has not been able to find other donors to replace the Netherlands, and as a result it has a major deficit in its research budget and is now depending more on commissioned research. The latter is having a negative impact on the quality of independent scientific socio-economic and poverty oriented research in the country. FCS has lost three major donors (the Netherlands, Norway and Canada) within two years. This is having important consequences for FCS’s budget and scope of activities.

The Netherlands has closed its embassies in other partner countries, such as Zambia, Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Guatemala. This was not the case in Tanzania. Therefore, in Tanzania it would have been much easier to achieve a more gradual shift from aid to trade by means of a more strategic phasing-out process. A mechanical focus on a maximum of 15 partner countries, rather than on budgetary constraints and the impact of the exit decision, rendered this option impossible.

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