This profile reports on an assessment by IFPRI and CARE of a number of impoverished neighbourhoods in Dar es Salaam towards the ultimate goal of targeting assistance to the poor more efficiently. The 12 surveyed sites represented the range of settings in which poverty is typically prevalent in this city and included squatter and planned settlements as well as areas of differing population density and varying concentrations of migrants.
The survey of Dar es Salaam clearly illustrates that the exact nature of needs varies a great deal even within the city. For example, although the poor may suffer equally from malnutrition or inadequate water supply, the causes of these outcomes, the resources available and thus the solutions will often differ neighbourhood by neighbourhood or even house by house.
Designing interventions to tackle poverty in the urban context is complex given the diversity of predicaments. Geographic targeting of programs can capture problems that span a neighbourhood, such as problems with services (water, sanitation, garbage collection) but are not so useful for dealing with individual, or household-level problems like malnutrition or job loss.
In an urban setting such as Dar es Salaam, development programming must adapt itself to a more step-by-step approach targeting specific areas and groups rather than attempting to apply a one-size-fits-all remedy.