PCI has worked in Tanzania since 2008, increasing access to clean water, improving food and nutrition security among vulnerable children and families, and promoting the economic and social empowerment of women.


PCI has worked in Tanzania since 2008, increasing access to clean water, improving food and nutrition security among vulnerable children and families, and promoting the economic and social empowerment of women.

  • Children washing hands
  • Tanzania man
  • Tanzania women and children

The Need

The United Republic of Tanzania is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies – making it the tenth largest economy in Africa. The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, providing 85% of exports and accounting for half of the employed workforce. Economic advances have disproportionately benefitted urban centers, however, leaving the 70% of the population living in rural areas unaffected. Specifically, in rural areas, 81% of children experience multi-dimensional poverty and 34% of children under five are chronically malnourished (stunted). Tanzania’s wealth in natural resources and agricultural diversity present opportunities for livelihood improvement and sustainability for future generations.


Since 2008, PCI has consistently expanded its program portfolio which currently includes integrated school feeding programs, women’s empowerment groups, early child development and utilizing technology innovations in development. PCI’s community-focused programming approaches include partnership and coordination with national ministries, regional administrations, district councils, wards, and communities. PCI collaborates closely with other technical implementors as well as private sector partners to enable communities to empower themselves.

REGIONAL FOCUS: Musoma, Arusha and Dar es Salaam

Improving Education and Health Outcomes in Mara

Since 2010, PCI has been partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program to increase attendance, improve literacy outcomes, and enhance health and dietary practices for over 190,000 students within 247 primary schools. This student-focused integrated school feeding program enhances primary school learning outcomes and creates sustainable community engagement in the following activities:

  • Promotion of reading through libraries, reading clubs and talking walls
  • Daily provision of nutritious school meals
  • Climate-smart agriculture in school gardens and farms #Health, hygiene and nutrition campaigns
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions

As a complementary project, PCI is partnering with USDA to strengthen local procurement of foods through implementation of a Local Regional Procurement project titled Chakula Chetu (which means “Our Food” in Swahili). This project is building the capacity of 16 additional schools in Mara Region’s Butiama District to procure locally purchased foods for school meals and is fostering a network of stakeholders (government leadership, market actors, schools, parents, farmers, and communities) to build sustainable capacity for a complete transition to locally-led school feeding.

PCI’s Food for Education program has connected 100 farmer groups with local schools. Donations from these farmer groups and other community members have provided over 322 metric tons of food for school meals.

Women’s Empowerment through Innovation

PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) groups accelerate the social and economic empowerment of women through village savings, loan activities and skills acquisition to resolve social issues affecting women and girls. Over 600 WE groups have been formed in Mara region and Arusha, consisting of 1,3740 community members which have accumulated over $658,000 USD in the past five years. PCI provides an integrated package of services for WE group mobile banking services; basic business skills, and Gap, Inc.’s “Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement” life skills curriculum.

Engaging Men in Nurturing Care for Young Children

In Tanzania’s Mara region, undernutrition and inadequate stimulation are significant risk factors for poor early child growth and development outcomes. To address these needs, PCI and research partners – Harvard University, Purdue University, and the Africa Academy of Public Health – developed an integrated nutrition and parenting implementation research study called Engaging Fathers for Effective Child Nutrition and Development in Tanzania (EFFECTS) to measure the effectiveness on child nutrition and development outcomes of bundled behavior change messages and activities that strengthen the capacity of mothers and fathers in providing optimal care for young children, including nutrition, responsive care, stimulation, and clean and safe home environments. This study, funded by the Eleanor Crook Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, includes comprehensive and innovative metrics to track processes and document pathways from inputs to outcomes to understand best practices and key ingredients for effective male engagement and integration of nutrition and parenting interventions.

Technology Innovations

AFRIFARM is a mobile phone application that improves the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of monitoring services to protect against the devastating agricultural pest Fall Armyworm (FAW). It builds the capacity of extension officers and small holder farmers to manage FAW in their fields. Designed by PCI and Dimagi, AfriFARM was recognized as runner-up in the 2018 USAID-funded Fall Armyworm Tech Prize.

AFRISCOUT is revolutionizing the way pastoralists in Tanzania locate pasture and water for their animals using the power of satellite and mobile technology. PCI’s AfriScout mobile application provides current water and vegetation conditions on localized grazing maps, enabling pastoralists to make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions, improve pasture management, reduce the risk of herd loss, and ultimately transform their families’ lives.

Past Program Highlights

Building on the Food for Education program, PCI and Kansas State University implemented a rigorous, field-based nutritional efficacy study to assess changes in nutritional status among children under-five through the provision of novel, fortified sorghum-based food aid products.

In partnership with Tanzania Marketing and Communication (TMARC), PCI strengthened local capacity and reduced risky sexual behavior and HIV infection among adolescents across Tanzania through the Families Matter Project funded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With funding from Starbucks, PCI implemented a three-year water and sanitation project which provided access to clean water reaching 33,000 people living in the rural Manyara Region by constructing and rehabilitating 129 water points, forming community-led water user groups, and improving water and sanitation practices.

Spotlight: McGovern-Dole School Feeding Program

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