Decentralisation is a policy feature common to many African countries. Local governance is therefore gaining in relevance, though not yet in clarity. Based on the experience of a development project in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the article examines the case of local governance in practice, grounding this in a historical analysis and focusing on the relationship between local government and civil society. Through a phased process from experimentation through piloting to lobbying, the PAMOJA project develops interface mechanisms to structure local government-civil society relations at the district level. Three actors are identified for the success of the project: the external agent as process facilitator, local champions as change agents, and strategic partners for the lobby component. A successful outcome would ultimately strengthen decentralisation processes.
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