Social Policy in the Context of Economic Transformation: A Concept Note for Tanzania Human Development Report 2017.

    The basic design of the new THDR series was that each successive report should always feature a first chapter on ‘The State and Progress of Human Development in Tanzania’, while the remaining chapters of each report would deal with a specific theme, followed by a Statistical Annex that updates the data from report to report. THDR 2014, the first report in this series, dealt with the theme of Economic Transformation for Human Development.

    In developing THDR 2014, the following principles were adopted to underscore the choice of the theme and the mode of its development:

    • The theme of the report should address a policy issue that is topical within the context of ongoing policy discourses in Tanzania.
    • The theme should furthermore be developed from the explicit perspective of human development;
    • The development of the theme should provide an innovative viewpoint on the policy issue in question, rooted in sound theoretical reflections on and concrete empirical analysis of the Tanzanian context (as reflected in the background papers), taking into account (where appropriate) a comparative perspective with respect to other country experiences.
    • Finally, the report itself, while analytical in it its content, should be written in an accessible language to render it relevant to the broader public of stakeholders in development policies and practices.

    In developing THDR 2017 we further propose to adopt the following additional principle to guide the choice of its theme and the mode of its development:

    • The new theme should provide for both continuity and change in focus with respect to the earlier theme, thus creating cumulative synergy between both successive reports.

    The basic idea behind this principle is that THDR 2017 should build upon what has been achieved with THDR 2014 by adopting a theme that is distinctive in its focus, but nevertheless interconnected with the ideas put forward in THDR 2014. In other words, it should take THDR 2014 as its point of departure, not by repeating its arguments, but by developing them further in ways that provide a novel but mutually reinforcing perspective. More specifically, we propose that the theme of THDR 2017 should focus on the space for social policy – and, more specifically, for social provisioning – in the context of the ongoing challenge of economic transformation and development.

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ESRFs activities are supported by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF),Think Tank Initiative of IDRC and The Foundation for Civil Society.