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Tanzania: New World Bank Financing to Increase Access to Justice for all Zanzibaris

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2024—The World Bank today approved new financing to improve access to justice, efficiency, and transparency of judicial services for the citizens of Zanzibar.

This support builds on the government of Zanzibar’s reforms over several years which recognize the importance of accountable and effective justice institutions and efficient procedures that foster an enabling environment for increased private sector investment. It will also contribute to unlocking the full economic potential of citizens and businesses,” said Nathan Belete, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The $30 million Zanzibar Judicial Modernization Project (Zi-JUMP) will strengthen access to justice by expanding the geographic coverage of court services through the construction of five smart courts, boost alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and support the development of a gender justice strategy.

The project will also enhance court efficiency by investing in training for court staff, streamlining procedures, automating case management systems, and institutionalizing a performance management system. It will promote collaboration between different institutions, raise public awareness of judicial services, and establish robust citizen feedback mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability.

Since 2016, the World Bank has been supporting mainland Tanzania’s judiciary through the Citizen Centric Judicial Modernization and Justice Service Delivery (CCJMP) whose objective is improving the efficiency and transparency of, and access to citizen-centric justice services. Among other things, the CCJMP has supported the innovative use of mobile court services (a.k.a. ‘justice-on-wheels’) for rural and hard-to-reach areas, providing easier and faster access to justice services for vulnerable groups such as women and the poor. The case clearance rates through the mobile courts have dropped to only 30 days, compared to 120 days in a regular court, while the time spent in a court has come down to four hours from 96 hours. 

Under the CCJMP, access to court services has also increased through the construction of six Integrated Justice Centers (IJCs), including the first ever IJC in Africa dedicated to matrimonial, probate and family justice services. Eighteen subordinate courts have been built across mainland, serving over 13 million citizens. Citizens’ access to high court services has increased from 55 percent to 77 percent, while transparency has improved through increased online publication of high court and court of appeal decisions from below five percent to 85 percent. In addition, the backlog in cases has reduced by 50 percent. The project has also yielded a 27 percent increase in citizen confidence in justice services.

Apart from the construction or renovation of courthouses and other justice facilities, Zi-JUMP will promote innovations like those utilized by CCJMP, such as the staff training and knowledge exchange programs, and a staff performance management system. The development and roll-out of a Judicial Information Management System (JIMS) will enable interface with other stakeholders’ systems for seamless data exchange and support sector-wide digitalization efforts. As with CCJMP, this move toward electronic systems will not only lead to a reduced use of paper but also lessen the need for the transportation of paper documentation and people as some tasks will no longer require a physical presence.

Directly benefitting all court users including citizens, businesses, legal professionals, and law enforcement personnel, while also positively impacting the wider Isles community, Zi-JUMP will also support the regular roll-out of Isle-wide court user satisfaction surveys. These surveys will gather data on perceptions and experience in access, efficiency, transparency, and quality in order to guide decision making.

Building on the successes of the CCJMP, Zi-JUMP prioritizes early engagement with key stakeholders to identify critical gaps in judicial services and tailor interventions to address them directly,” said Benjamin Mtesigwa, World Bank Senior Governance Specialist and Task Team Leader. “The citizen-centric approach supports the establishment of effective public and stakeholder feedback mechanisms to inform decision-making and monitor performance, while strong data collection systems and analytics will provide crucial insights into service delivery bottlenecks, allowing for targeted improvements."


Daniella Van Leggelo Padilla
Dar es Salaam
Loy Nabeta


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