Our Services

Urban Government Strengthening

Urban governance consists of a set of institutions, guidelines, regulatory and management mechanisms in which local governments are key components. Our cities and their surroundings require a new urban governance based on open decision-making, with the active participation of local stakeholders and with the aim of defining the best policies for the common good.

Under this area, our work is focused on city development strategies, land use, infrastructure, local economy (industry and commerce), social service (e.g. housing) and socio-economic surveys that inform spatial, service and local economic development policies, plans and programmes. Our work also involves supporting urban resilience building within an urban governance framework.


Urban governance frameworks and institutions in developing countries generally and Zimbabwe in particular need to evolve to face critical challenges. The urban governance systems require critical reforms to enable sustainable development. These reforms will have to go beyond sectoral policies and consider cooperation between different spheres of government and non-State actors, fostering a balanced distribution of powers, capacities and resources including the revision of legislative, regulatory and fiscal frameworks.


Under this portfolio, the goal of DEGI’s work is promoting/supporting the development of robust urban governance frameworks/systems that enhance the implementation of the New Urban Agenda;


  1. To support the development of “pro-poor urban governance” in Zimbabwe and beyond
  2. To strengthen the contribution that cities and towns make towards economic growth, social development and the alleviation of poverty;
  3. To promote innovative urban governance practices


  1. Democratic and inclusive urban governance;
  2. Integrated urban governance

Examples of projects

Migrants on the Margins and Unknown City Research

  • (October 2016 to October 2018)
  • Client:An RGS, ESRC and AHRC funded research with University of Sussex
  • Synopsis of project

    Understanding the institutional factors behind socio-economic and political immobility and invisibility of residents of marginal/informal areas of Harare (Epworth Ward 7, Hatcliffe Extension and Hopley) using multiple data gathering methods (7 Focus Group Discussion sessions, 49 Q Interviews, 2 Household Surveys over the two years, 16 Key Informant Interviews, 1 Comic Strip characterizing one resident’s lived experiences and 50 Oral History Interviews). The research was part of a four-country comparative study covering sites in Hargeisa (Somaliland), Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Dakar (Bangladesh). It involves the UK Universities (Sussex, Durham and University College London-UCL). A policy seminar in September 2017 presented preliminary findings showing the lived experiences of residents of these localities. The work also involved synthesizing policy recommendations to the two Councils (Harare and Epworth), Government of Zimbabwe (mainly Ministry responsible for local government) and communities.

    Local Government Capacity Assessment, leading to a Report and Capacity Building Programme, 2013

  • Client: Government of Zimbabwe (Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing)
  • Synopsis of the project

    DEGI led the local government capacity assessment, which was intended to examine a number of variables including (i) local government capacity development initiatives and frameworks; (ii) performance and implementation bottlenecks in the local government sector, (iii) efficacy of the management and administrative systems of local authorities, (iv) mechanisms for citizen participation in local authorities.

    Winrock International-USAID BRIDGE Program South Sudan

  • Client: Government of South Sudan
  • Synopsis of the project

    The BRIDGE Governance Program provided government officials at the state and county level (as well as the community level) with the skills, knowledge and tools to govern effectively and efficiently, particularly in the area of service delivery. Under this program, DEGI was contracted to provide strategic planning support to the State Ministry of Local Government as well training of Government Officials on budgeting and public service delivery.