As the HDIF programme enters the final phase of its work, we want to tell a story that includes others working at the heart of the Tanzanian innovation ecosystem – a story about the lessons we and others have learned to inform the design of future programmes in Tanzania and other countries. In October 2019, the authors interviewed representatives of a number of donor programmes (either currently active or recently so) and ecosystem actors. We also sought insights from entrepreneurs and social innovators and spoke to people at a number of hubs that have either received support from, or otherwise worked with several different programmes. We asked them similar questions: What worked for what purpose? What could benefit from improvement? What would their recommendations be for others attempting to design something similar? And what might be missing from the ecosystem in terms of support? We were delighted with their responses, which were honest and thought provoking in equal measure.

This report is divided into four chapters that share insights and put forward ideas based on our collective experiences. Chapter 1 helps situate the report by examining the state of the innovation ecosystem in Tanzania as well as the different actors supporting it. Chapter 2 looks at how best to resource different social innovations by examining the innovation pipeline. Chapter 3 reports on our discussions with other ecosystem players around the themes of programme models and management, financing innovation, capacity building, collaboration and partnerships, and strengthening the innovation ecosystem. Chapter 4 puts forward a series of practical ‘things to try’ or best practice approaches for funders and investors to explore and apply in their work to support social innovation.

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