Search for improved public service delivery in Tanzania: Is the policy-implementation dichotomy an elixir?
Mateng’e, Frank J.
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New Public Management (NPM) presupposes that if public service delivery were to be improved, policy-making should be separated from policy implementation. Although attempts to distinguish policy-making from implementation can be traced back to the classical writings of Woodrow Wilson and Frank J. Goodnow, among others, advocacy for the distinction appears to have rejuvenated as one of the deﬁning elements of contemporary public management reforms under the aegis of the NPM discourse. Using the agenciﬁcation and public-private partnership (PPP) models, embedded in the NPM, as well as the policy-making process based on the Tanzanian experience, we explore the feasibility of the policy-implementation dichotomy and its implications on service delivery in Tanzania. We argue that such a dichotomy is more pronounced in theory than in practice. While the policy-implementation dichotomy is desirable for the sake of enhancing efﬁciency, effectiveness and accountability at the practical level, it nevertheless remains more of a wishful thinking. Drawing on the Tanzanian policymaking experience, we ﬁnd policy-making to be a highly interactive process such that the demarcation between the precise role of bureaucrats and politicians is blurred.