Action research in procurement management; evidence from selected lower local government authorities in Tanzania

Abstract on behalf of Geraldine A Rasheli

The aim of the paper was to show how opportunities provided by Action Research models could solve problems related to procurement management in three selected lower local government authorities in Tanzania. It builds on Marja Liisa Swantz’s participant research. Three phases of Action Research were adapted from Lewin’s spiral framework. Purposive technique was used to select members of Action Research groups for the lower local government authority. It was revealed that problems were mainly in planning, managing records, bid evaluation, knowledge on legal framework and contract management for works. Attitudes on transparency and accountability among actors were also not in line with principles of public procurement. Action plans developed were implemented and evaluated. Three components, i.e. research, actions and training were combined to improve procurement planning, records and contract management. There were remarkable improvements in planning, record keeping and contract management. Positive attitudes towards equality, transparency and accountability were also reported for villages which participated in Action Research. A need for integrating Action Research with lower local government authorities’ procurement activities is recommended. However, there are challenges such as building culture of self assessment, frequent transfer of personnel to other government departments and the temporary nature of village project committees.

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