This paper brings to the fore an assessment of institutional determinants for effective community participation in development programs for the case of Tanzania. It is highly acknowledged in various scholarly literature that there is a strong link between community participation and development programs. In fact, literature shows that community-based development programs that have allowed community members to be fully involved in various programs have been successful when compared to those where community members are seen as spectators.
However, in order for community members to take part in the programs, there are several determining factors, ranging from socio-economic, socio-cultural to institutional based factors.
This study therefore sought to assess institutional determinants with the aim of identifying the major institutional determinants capable of influencing effective community participation in development programs. The study used four programs that were categorized as Locally Funded, Government Funded, Donor Funded and Joint Funded development programs. A combined sample size of 316 participants from all the four programs was employed. Collected data were analyzed through the within-case analysis and the comparative analysis approaches.
Results of the study revealed that program benefits, objectives and leadership were the major institutional determinants for promoting effective community participation in development programs. when compared to methods used in the other three examined programs. Hence, the study concluded by emphasizing on the need to ensure these institutional based factors (program benefits, objectives and leadership) should always be given due attention in any development program.