Our Services

Local Government Strengthening

Urban and Rural local authorities have the mandate to deliver services, as well as promote general development in their areas. In the context of decentralisation, local authorities bring communities close to the decision making process, on local development initiatives. Under this portfolio, our work is largely focused on policy research or analysis and development with an emphasis on decentralization, local government and service delivery reforms. Recent work has been on local government law reform and capacity assessments, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).


Local Governments (both urban and rural) in Zimbabwe continue to face critical challenges that threaten the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These challenges range from shrinking revenue base, limited technical and administrative capacity to ineffective policy implementation.


The Goal of DEGI’s work on local government strengthening is to support the development of an effective, responsive and accountable local government ecosystem in Zimbabwe and abroad,


  1. To facilitate national policy dialogues on decentralisation and service delivery reforms;
  2. To support both urban and rural councils in developing better and more democratic local governance;
  3. To enhance local government capacity


  1. Robust local government policy frameworks that support socio-economic development at all levels;
  2. A strong local democratic system, that enhances people’s participation in policy-making processes;
  3. Effective local governments with adequate capacity to deliver their mandate;

Examples of projects

Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy

  • (January-December 2018)
  • Client: Government of Zimbabwe (Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing)
  • Synopsis of project

    The project involved national consultations and research leading to a National Human Settlements Policy. Zimbabwe has experienced rapid growth in rural and urban settlements, which has not always been properly managed in terms of planning, actual development and management (service delivery and local governance). These gaps have threatened settlement sustainability. At the same time existing policy instruments have been insufficient to resolve some of the shortcomings in settlement planning and governance.

    The policy is meant to guide rural and urban settlement development and management for social and economic transformation. The methodology was participatory and involved i) stakeholder (state, civil society, private sector and different categories of citizens/residents and settlement types) engagement, ii) review of policy, law, academic and development literature, and iii) policy write up, validation and finalisation.

    Local Authority Capacity Enhancement Project (LACEP)

  • Client: VNGi (Netherlands) and Municipal Development Partnership (MDP)
  • Synopsis of the project

    Under the EU-funded LACEP, DEGI was contracted to provide a wide range of strategic services which include (i) advisory services on participatory policy-making in local authorities, (ii) local authority coaching and (iii) editing a handbook on the constitutionalization of local government in Zimbabwe. DEGI’s strategic support under this project contributed to immense institutional capacity building in the target local authorities.

    Documentation of good local authority practices in citizen engagement

  • November-December 2015
  • Client: Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF, Zimbabwe Programme)
  • Synopsis of the project

    Under the CLGF, DEGI was engaged to develop a compendium of best practices on citizen engagement in local policy processes. The handbook is being used to share experience, innovation and good practice on citizen participation.