SNV celebrates 50 years in Tanzania

In October 2021, we celebrate 50 years of SNV in Tanzania. Since its establishment in 1971 as a volunteer organisation, SNV continues to be dedicated to making a lasting difference to people living in poverty.

The 50-year milestone was marked by a function held on 7 October, co-hosted by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands and SNV. The event was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from government, donor, and partner organisations.

SNV was established in the early 1970s by the Dutch government to link Dutch volunteers to large infrastructure projects following Tanzania’s independence.  In the 1990s SNV moved away from volunteerism to focus on areas of local governance, ecological tourism and education. To learn more about SNV’s history in Tanzania, watch the following short video.

Now, in the present day in Tanzania, we focus on 3 sectors, Agriculture, Energy, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). We continue to be dedicated to a society where all people are free to pursue their own sustainable development and no one is left behind. This commitment to equity directs us to focus on gender and youth.

Below you will find a few highlights from our work in Tanzania across the decades.

Sustainable energy markets

SNV in Tanzania has pioneered a results-based financing (RBF) model to increase household access to solar power. Our RBF model introduced an arrangement of risk-sharing, which enabled firms already selling quality-assured solar products to reach more rural and remote areas. The 'win-win' arrangement was successful in shifting a higher percentage of overall nationwide solar sales from less vulnerable to more vulnerable regions of the country.


With smallholder farmers especially vulnerable to climate change effects, our Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project brokers private and public sector partner collaboration to create an enabling environment for widescale adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices. CRAFT is part of a wider initiative working at scale across three countries in East Africa. In Tanzania, the CRAFT project is increasing the resilience of over 100,000 smallholder farmers across a range of market systems that are particularly vulnerable to changing climate.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Tanzania participated in SNV's largest WASH results-based financing initiative, the WASH Results Programme. Between 2017 and 2019, in Tanzania, open defecation rates in the areas where we implemented our Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) approach fell to 7%, from a baseline of 34%.

Gender and youth

Under our Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) programme we have built the skills of out-of-school youth and acted as matchmakers between the labour market and skilled youth to stimulate and scale up entrepreneurial activity for young people. Since 2013, working through local service providers, at least 18,000 young people have been trained on life skills and technical and business management with over 14,000 (42% of which were women) having gained new employment

SNV@50 in Tanzania

For more information about our work in Tanzania, please contact Duncan Rhind, Country Director - Tanzania.