Improving public service delivery at local level – solutions for participatory and accountable management

Connective Cities Dialogue Event in Harare, Zimbabwe


Connective Cities brought together urban practitioners from Sub-Sahara Africa and Germany to meet at the dialogue event “Improving public service delivery at local level – solutions for participatory and accountable management” in Harare, Zimbabwe from 20th to 22nd of August 2019.

Especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, dynamic urbanization and significant environmental and demographic changes are stating new challenges with regard to basic service delivery. Therefore, the focus was on developing approaches to improve public service delivery through public participation in order to achieve social accountability in the sectors of water, sanitation, waste management and transport.

Twenty-one representatives from Zimbabwean municipalities as well as a number of municipal practitioners from South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Kenya and municipal experts from Germany exchanged their experiences based on examples of Good Practices on public service delivery and defined possible solutions for the improvement of public service management.

The dialogue event was organized in cooperation with the GIZ project in Zimbabwe, “Strengthening the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) to promote inter-regional and municipal knowledge transfer and capacity development”.


At the beginning of the workshop, an overall overview of the current situation of public service delivery was given based on the pitch of Good Practice examples of each represented municipality. Subsequent, the participants were divided into working groups according to their thematic focus – within these groups the participants proceeded with the exchange of Good Practices and its deeper analysis focusing on the used strategy, on lessons learnt and its transfer potential.

In the following peer-to-peer advisory sessions, specific challenges were identified and possible options to address these challenges formulated. In order to emphasize the importance of Good Practices and complement the picture of experiences already gained, a field trip to a local Recyclables Collection Facility (operated by Harare City in cooperation with local communities) was included in the workshop.

On the third day of the workshop, the participants suggested ideas for future projects in their municipalities and analysed the cause/effect relation between the problems in public service delivery, reviewed the composition of stakeholders for each local context and defined strategies to improve public services resulting in action plans for implementing the project ideas.



Good Practices

Working Group 1: Water & Sanitation

Community Engagement for Sustainable Service Delivery - Harare Water Department
H. Chisango
Harare City

Best Practices to achieve continuous water supply in a city,
L. Mkandhla & J. Mhike
Kwekwe City

Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Project powered by Earthworms
L. Ramakgapola & N. Muleya
Beitbridge Municipality

Applying Multi-approaches to Promote Public Participation in Water and Sanitation Services
S. Kamau

Involvement of the Community in Katanda Water Reticulation System Upgrade
M. Kaitano & A. Gotora
Chinhoyi Municipality

GIS-based Cadastral and Infrastructure Mapping
J. Maligwa & M. Kerith
Mutare City

Working Group 2: Waste Management

Community engagement in Solid Waste Management for Sustainable Service Delivery
Clerk Eng. Hosiah Abraham Chisango
Harare City

Participation in Integrated Solid Waste Management System
G. Schock

Solid Waste Management in Nairobi
D. Makori
Nairobi Municipality

Waste Management Programmes within Maseru District Council
T. Sekike
Maseru District

Waste Management Project Thaba Tseka Urban Council
T. Tlali
Thaba-Tseka District

Refuse Collection by Community Vehicles
C. Dube & S. Dube
Bulawayo City

Ward Community Health Clubs
V. Shonhai & T. Gozo
Masvingo City

Kariba Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan/Project
M. Tawedzera
Kariba Town

Community Participation in Governance and Youth Empowerment in Choma District
George Mulenga 
Choma Municipal Council

Working Group 3: Urban Transport

Bus acceleration programme in the City of Hamburg
Dr. T. Becker

Public Service Delivery Innovation at Municipal level - Find&Fix App
B. Peters-Scheepers
Johannesburg Road Agenvy, City of Johannesburg

Working Group 4: Other Topics

Thematic Committees Based Budgeting Method
H. Mutanga & O. Masimba
Gweru City

Urbanization in the context of public service delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa
R. Dube & K. Mangena
Victoria Falls Municipality


These action plans ranged from projects focusing on:

  • the development of a functional information management system by the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ)
  • the increase of revenue collection by 80 per cent through the reduction of non-revenue water
  • an Integrated Solid Waste Management Project including waste separation facilities and the elimination of illegal waste incineration
  • the reduction of sewage discharged into water bodies by fifty per cent within the next five years
  • and an Improved Solid Waste Collection through the creation of transfer stations and purchase of refuse collector trucks


Also within the framework of the dialogue event, consultation sessions between the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) and the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) took place, which were supported by the German Association of Cities.

In these peer-to-peer consultations, questions concerning the constitution of the respective organization were discussed and differences in the working structures with its advantages and disadvantages identified. One significant difference between the two organizations concerns its management. While LGAZ is managed by a CEO, who has the mandate to make relatively far-reaching decisions independently, UCAZ has a secretary general, who is much more dependent on the mayors and town clerks. The meeting also discussed LGAZ's experience in integrating a municipal expert - this shared experience was enrichment for UCAZ, which is now also targeting a cooperation with a municipal expert.

All three parties, UCAZ, LGAZ and the German Association of Cities, agreed on the benefit of a follow-up meeting, which will take place during the UCLG world congress in Durban/ South Africa, facilitated by Connective Cities. During this workshop, the constitutions will be closely examined in order to formulate reform proposals for UCAZ.


A detailed documentation of the event is expected to be available for download at the end of October/beginning of November.


Categories:Connective CitiesDocumentationMunicipal servicesSolid waste management and recyclingPower supplyWater supply / sewage


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