Accountability in Tanzania (AcT) 


KPMG is programme manager of DFID’s £31 million Accountability in Tanzania (AcT) programme, which works with civil society organisations (CSOs) to empower citizens to hold government accountable for delivery of quality services and responsible management of public resources. The AcT Programme’s unique approach is to provide sustained quality support to CSO partners, as well as grant-making in support of CSOs’ strategic plans rather than specific projects. The AcT Programme Team works with organisations which are medium-sized, autonomous, and which may already be achieving good results or have strong potential to do so. AcT’s support and close partnership approach enables the team to focus in on key areas of partners’ organisational development that support them to become, not only results-oriented and strategic, but also resilient to challenges and sustainable over time.


Programme Highlights:


  • Tanzania is seeing a growing national movement of citizens demanding better quality education for their children, catalysed by one NGO’s assessment of numeracy and literacy.
  • Village women are regaining access to land that had been allocated to outside developers as a result of a CSO-sponsored campaign to empower women to contest and change the decisions of people in power.
  • AcT has pioneered use of the ODI-developed Outcome Mapping tool, which helps CSOs track key areas of their organisational development, and in doing so become more effective and resilient agents of change.




  • Outcomes reported by AcT partners represent material changes in citizens’ lives, such as access to water, pension rights, redress for misuse of public money, and community benefits from forestry and land.
  • The 2012 AcT Annual Report notes at purpose level 203 instances of decisions on policies, practices, or budgets taken by elected representatives or appointed officials at local or national levels as a result of citizen engagement.


Client feedback:


  • “AcT is a high-performing, unique and innovative governance and accountability programme.” - MTR, Dec 2012
  • An External Independent Review of Act carried out in April 2012 noted that, “The AcT management model is probably unique in DFID’s global support to Civil Society Organizations. It breaks new ground in approach and methods. … The programme … adds value to the quality of partners’ work [and] partners have demonstrable achievements to their name in the area of accountability. The programme management model … offers important learning opportunities.”
  • MTR CSO Feedback: “AcT is creative and brave and provides room for experimenting. They don‟t mind raising political issues. AcT makes it clear to you what they want, but they don‟t interfere in operational matters, i.e. what you can do, where you can work, who you should be working with, like other funders do. They encourage you to think about strategic approaches. Conversations with AcT are fun, realistic, honest about what can be achieved, which you don‟t get with other donors.”
  • MTR CSO Feedback: “AcT has definitely added value. Although it has been a pain, quite frankly, it is helping, it keeps you on your toes, it challenges us to think and be alert. Our M&E framework is now very outcome-focused, stakeholder mapping we had before, but not these very defined, specific stakeholders and behaviour changes for each of them, and understanding how to move all the stakeholders together within an agenda to achieve change - we didn't know this before.”


Useful links



Oxfam: Where are the examples of good donorship in complex systems?
Everyone loves a good scapegoat. When faced with trying something exciting, risky or new, the temptation is to say ‘they’ won’t let us...Read more


Anti Logging Advocacy & the Mama Misitu Campaign Case Study: This campaign represented a collective effort by a number of CSOs to improve the accountability mechanisms and processes and change the behavior of different actors in the accountability chain in relation to forestry and logging activities in Tanzania...Read Full Report


Supporting Demand Side Accountability in Tanzania: In March 2011, ODI was engaged by AcT to research whether or not AcT is helping CSO partners to become more effective in achieving change. The research was conducted in Tanzania and four of the AcT partners were involved...Read full report