Local Governance in Transition: Zimbabwe's Local Authorities During the Inclusive Government
This report is an extensive study of the state of local government and the intergovernmental system in Zimbabwe at a critical juncture in the country's history. From May to June 2009—slightly more than one year after the “harmonized” elections of 2008 and just a few months after the establishment of the Inclusive Government—RTI International and the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (IDAZIM) conducted a wide-ranging survey of leading local officials in 15 local authorities across the country.
With the belief that local governance matters in transitional settings, we sought to examine the operation of Zimbabwe's local system at a time when national and international attention was focused on the progress of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), the power-sharing accord that gave rise to the new government and that intends to lead the country out of political and economic crisis. Through surveys of more than 250 local officials, among other actors, we investigated local politics and intergovernmental linkages, participatory governance, the local financial system, and public service delivery.
This report provides the results of our research effort. In the conclusion, we offer a series of suggestions for reform.