Tanzania's PO-RALG works in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to delivery public health services. Independently, the PO-RALG manages district and regional health services, including the regional and district councils.
Mission and Purpose
The Tanzanian Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government oversees regional development management and administration by coordinating rural and urban development management policy and strategies as well as the activity of Regional Secretariats. It helps to builds the administrative capacity of local governments and to strengthen channels of communication between national and sub-national bodies to further devolve power to the local level, ultimately aiming to improve the quality of life for Tanzanians.
Origins and Development
The Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government (MRLAG) was established by Article 8 (1) 145 and 146 in the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania. In 1982, the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania passed the Local Government No 7 (Cap 287) Act and the City Authorities Act No. 8 (Cap 288), giving the Minister dealing with regional and local government authority over the establishment of District, Village, Minor, and Local Authorities. In 1990, the Ministry was renamed "The Local Government Ministry, Social Development, Cooperation and Marketing." In 1998, the work of the Ministry was transferred to the Prime Minister's office, renamed the Ministry for Regional and Local Governance (MRLG), and its work divided amongst two departments, one each for Regional and Local Government. In November 2000, the MRALG's work was transferred to the Presidential Office, becoming the PORALG. Five years later in December 2005, the Ministry was transferred back to the Prime Minister's Office before returning to the Office of the President in 2015.
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
Since 2015, PO-RALG has been headed by a Minister, to whom the Permanent Secretary reports. Its various divisions focus on administration and human resources; government communication; procurement management; policy and planning; and finance and accounts, a unit headed by a chief accountant.  Finally, there is a chief internal auditor responsible for internal affairs. The government body is further subdivided into further divisions and units, which include a regional administration and local government division, and the full chart of these units is available here. As a government body, the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government is publicly funded.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
PO-RALG’s projects heavily feature decentralization to improve the delivery of services; their efforts involve transferring responsibilities and resources from the central government to local authorities to strengthen local institutions. Additionally, they offer training resources for local officials and grassroots leaders.
Major Projects and Events
PO-RALG champions decentralization by devolving to local government authorities, and promotes community development in numerous policy areas, such as health, public transit, and education.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
D.M.S. Mmari, Permanent Secretary of PO-RALG in 2005, argued that “local communities once empowered, have shown themselves capable of managing and accounting for funds disbursed to schools,” which seems to suggest some positive impacts of the organization’s decentralization efforts. As a result of the PO-RALG’s education management initiatives, school fees for primary education were reduced, enrolment rate increased by over 30% from 2000 to 2004, and gender parity increased. However, at the time of writing in 2005, Mwesiga also recognized the remaining work to be done to “sustain the successes.”
Similarly, Suleiman Ngware positively evaluated the Local Government Reform Programme implemented by PO-RALG, highlighting its successes while acknowledging the complexities of its goals of democratization, empowerment, and improved service delivery. Ngware highlighted the impact on neighbouring nations as well, noting that delegations from Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria have sent delegations to view the reform implementation and subsequently borrowed from its programme.
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 Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government (Tanzania). The REDD Desk. Accessed April 20, 2019. Retrieved from https://theredddesk.org/countries/actors/ministry-regional-administration-and-local-government-tanzania. [BROKEN LINK]
 Historia Ya Taasisi. Ofisi ya Rais Tawala za Mikoa na Serikali za Mitaa. Accessed April 20, 2019, http://www.tamisemi.go.tz/historia-ya-taasisi. [Swahili]
 Muundo wa Wizara. (2018). Ofisi ya Rais Tawala za Mikoa na Serikali za Mitaa. Retrieved from https://www.tamisemi.go.tz/muundo-wa-wizara
 Mwesiga, W. (2005). Decentralisation for Service Delivery in Tanzania. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/4888810...
 Decentralisation for Service Delivery in Tanzania, p. 7.
 President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government. (2017). Joint and Aligned Investment in Digital Health Information Systems. Government of Tanzania - Hospital Management Information System (GoT-HoMIS). Retrieved from https://www.tamisemi.go.tz/storage/app/media/uploaded-files/Tanzania_GOT-HOMIS_presentation_12Sept2017.pdf
 Tender No. ME/022/2016/2017/C/22: Urban Development Financing Agreement. (2018). The United Republic of Tanzania President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government. Retrieved from https://www.tenderstream.com/assets/tenders/2018/201810/1538475032_1494_tanzania.pdf
 Republic of Tanzania President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government. (n.d.) Tanzania m360 School Information System. Retrieved from http://188.8.131.52/PoralgSite/
 Decentralisation for Service Delivery in Tanzania, p. 15.
 Decentralisation for Service Delivery in Tanzania, p. 24.
 Ngware, S. (2005). Is the Local Government Reform Programme impacting positively on the lives of Tanzanians? ESRF Policy Dialogue Seminar. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.560.3701&rep=rep1&type=pdf