Local Participation in Electrification: A qualitative study of local participation in two small-scale hydropower projects in Tanzania
The aim of this study is to investigate how different types and levels of participation affect the outcomes of two small-scale hydropower projects in Tanzania. It does not cover all possible aspects of participation and its relation to project outcomes, but focuses on outcomes in terms of the local actors’ perceptions of the significance of electricity, their expectations and satisfaction with the project, and their problem solving capacity for the future operation of the hydro plant.
The research design is qualitative using a multiple-case study approach by conducting field studies at two sites and using data triangulation; semi-structured interviews, observations and secondary sources.
The two projects in this study use both different and similar types and levels of participation in the planning, implementation and operation phases. The differences, however, are greater than the similarities. When the users’ perception of the significance of electricity and the satisfaction with the project differ, it depends mainly on the expectations created in the planning phase, the capacity of the hydropower system and the amount of users covered in the projects. Participation affects what people expect of the project and in turn also how satisfied they will become. However, participation needs to be put in relation to the financial and technical aspects in order to be effective.