Tanzania Social Action Fund

Project completed
A family in Shinyanga Region
A family in Shinyanga Region © FDFA

Switzerland’s contribution to Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) for the implementation of the Productive Social Safety Net Programme (PSSN) will reach approximately 100’000 poor households in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar through cash transfers, public works and livelihoods support. The focus is on providing technical assistance to the new Livelihoods Enhancement component by bringing in the Swiss expertise and experience in skills development, small enterprise support and professional training with the aim of leaving no one behind.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Agriculture & food security
Social protection
Household food security
Employment creation
Basic nutrition
01.03.2020 - 30.09.2023
CHF  15’800’000

For the past two decades, Tanzania has had an average annual economic growth of 7%. However, this growth has not translated to poverty reduction due to the highly inequitable distribution of benefits of growth and the high population growth. Approximately 21.3 million people live below the national poverty line, and with the Covid19 pandemic the number is foreseen to increase. Overall, the share of poor people declined only slightly between 2012 and 2018 from 28.2% to 26.4%. In rural areas, poverty eased from 33.4% to 31.3% between 2012 and 2018, while urban poverty stagnated at around 16%. Inequalities are increasing and vulnerability is high. Whereas 16% of the population escaped poverty, 12% fell back into it.

To address the high poverty vulnerability, the government of Tanzania established a social protection mechanism with a strong women empowerment effect. The Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) was launched in 2000 by the Government and is currently implemented through the Productive Social Safety Net program (PSSN II, 2019-2023). TASAF makes provision so that “no one is left behind” which is at the core of the 2030 SDG agenda and SDC. A recent Impact Evaluation showed a very strong performance in targeting and supporting vulnerable and marginalized populations. Twelve development partners, including the World Bank, provide US$ 649.6 million towards the US$ 883 million budget.

Currently, TASAF through PSSN is covering poor households in   70% of villages in Tanzania with cash transfers, public works programmes and livelihoods support. PSSN II will expand its coverage to the remaining 30% of villages. It is anticipated that with the fulfilment of the funding gap of USD 250’000, the PSSN II will approximately cover 1.2 million households (approximately 6.7 million people). The recently established livelihood component will enable poor households to graduate out of TASAF through small business development and financial inclusion schemes. Switzerland’s expertise in skills development, small enterprise fostering and professional training will be used to design and implement this new component.

Objectives The overall goal of Switzerland’s support to PSSN II is to contribute to the protection of 100’000 vulnerable and marginalized households (approximately 570’000 people of which 52% are women) from social and economic exclusion and at the same time empower them economically and socially.
Target groups
  • SDC support: aproximately 100‘000 poor and vulnerable households (52% of them are women)
  • Government Ministries (President’s Office State House for mainland), Second Vice President’s Office (VPO) for Zanzibar
  • Union Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP) 
  • Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG)
Medium-term outcomes
  1. Expanded coverage: To reach approximately 100’000 vulnerable and marginalized households with cash transfers, public works and livelihoods support programs.
  2. Skills transfer: To provide Swiss expertise in designing the new livelihood enhancement component of the Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN).
  3. Policy dialogue: To engage Swiss expertise in the social protection policy dialogue to promote a rights based approach through the universal access strategy.

Expected results:  

  • Policy dialogue on the implementation and results of the PSSN II takes place through the Donors Coordination Group.
  • Real time data are used to steer the programme implementation to ensure maximum impact.
  • Synergies between the development partners to the PSSN II in the provision of Techncial Assistance to the livelihood enhancement component is well coordinated.
  • Lessons learnt and best practices are well documented and disseminated within SDC and with the partners. 

Results from previous phases:  

  • Increased households saving by 3.9% and increased non-farm self-employment by 4.3% while decreased casual/seasonal employment by 5.6%.
  • Increased registration under the Community Health Fund/CHF - 32% of enrolled beneficiaires to CHF compared to only 11% of the control group;
  • Increased primary school enrolment (70 to 79 percent) and child labor reduced by 19 hours per week.
  • Empowerment of women within the households: increased by 5% on the women’s say on the use of their own earning, by 6% on children’s health and education decisions and by 5% on major and daily household purchases.
  • A high-performing 3-stage targeting system to identify the poorest is used by the program.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • Sub-National State SouthEast

Coordination with other projects and actors The Health Promotion and System Strengthening (HPSS); P4H (Program Global Health); Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE); Skills and Employment Tanzania (SET)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    15’800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    15’720’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.10.2023 - 30.09.2025   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.03.2020 - 30.09.2023   (Completed)