Disseminating the Findings of the Study “Natural Gas Projects and Community Development in East Africa”

 


Vinay Kamat held a workshop on Natural Gas Projects and Local Community Development in East Africa. This was the second of the two workshops organized in Tanzania as part of the research project with the same title – both funded by CIRDI.


 

The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), University of British Columbia (UBC) and University of Dar es Salaam assembled a workshop in Mtwara on September 15, 2017 to disseminate the findings of the study, “Natural Gas Projects and Community Development in East Africa.” Following last year’s successful stakeholder workshop under this project, organized in Dar es Salaam on August 30, 2016, the workshop organizers, facilitators and participants felt very strongly that a similar workshop should be organized in Mtwara. The goal of this one-day workshop was to bring the results of the baseline household survey and other data that was collected from a sample of villages in rural Mtwara, in August and September 2016, to the attention of the “village communities” through their representatives. The specific objective of this workshop was to disseminate and discuss the research findings in a forum comprising local representatives and concerned Tanzanian stakeholders, with a view to articulate the path forward on issues emanating from the study. The ultimate goal of this workshop was to think through the ways in which Tanzania’s natural gas development project can be made more relevant to community development and poverty alleviation. The workshop resulted in a report on the proceedings with a statement on the path forward on the workshop’s main theme. As with the August 2016 workshop, the University of Dar es Salaam organized this workshop, in collaboration with UBC and CIRDI.



The workshop was held in Mtwara on September 15, 2017. A total of 30 invitees participated. Of these, seven participants came from Dar es Salaam (from academia and civil society – NGOs), and two representatives from each of the 10 sample villages in rural Mtwara were also invited. Additionally, five to seven local government officials (Mtwara District Council) and representatives from the gas development project, stationed in Mtwara, were also invited to the workshop. Findings from the three main components of the Mtwara study were presented at the workshop: 1) Baseline survey of a sample of households in ten villages; 2) In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with a sample of local residents in the study villages; 3) In-depth interviews with a sample of key stakeholders concerned with the gas project.