Civil Society Voluntarism in Tanzania

Tanzania has a long tradition of voluntarism, but the increased number of civil society organisations has formed a new arena for voluntary work. Has the voluntarism changed overtime and why? In what kind of voluntary activies do Tanzanians participate these days?

This working paper is based on interviews with various Tanzanian civil society actors and contemporary documents on the country's civil society. It aims to increase understanding and knowledge concerning civil society. Such themes as the history of voluntarism in Tanzania and the characteristics of current civil society voluntarism, as well as discourses the Tanzanian NGOs use on voluntarism are reviewed .

The focus of the working paper is on service-providing civil society organisations because of the volume of their voluntary activities. Local volunteers' contribution to South-North civil society co-operation is also touched on.