The Local Governance Community Capacity Building and Development Trust (LGCCBDT) carried out a Local Governance Service Delivery Performance Assessment(LGSDPA) of the City of Harare from the 20th of November to the 12th of December 2018. The assessment pursued three interrelated objectives: (i) making an assessment of the local authority’s performance and achievements in key local authority municipal functions; (ii) developing a consensus on the current performance of the local authority core functions and areas of improvement; and (iii) collectively identifying priority areas and actions for service delivery improvement. The Assessment was carried out in 3 types of workshop, namely: (i) the Local Authority (LA) Self-Assessment Workshop, (ii) the Stakeholders Local Authority Assessment Workshop, and (iii) Local Authority & Stakeholders’ Dialogue Workshop. As Harare is divided into 8 zones, 8 stakeholder local authority assessment workshops were conducted, one in each zone. Rating of the LA services was conducted through group work and plenary discussions, followed by consensus-building on the final local authority and stakeholder scores.
The City of Harare attained an overall score of 50.6%. Strategic Planning scored 53.3%, Governance and Citizen Participation 60.9%, Community Mobilisation for Development 42.8%, Institutional Development 61.1%, Financial Management 48.6%, Land Assets and Natural Resources Management 44.2%, Infrastructural and Social Services Provision 41.7% and External Relations 52.2%. The score of 61.1% on institutional development reflects on a relatively strong institution, partly explained by the robustness ordinarily associated with large organisations. The sheer size of the organization with around 8,600 employees is indicative of high capacity to employ and attract qualified staff. A score of 60.9% for Governance and Citizen Participation suggests active citizen participation albeit not linked to Community Mobilisation for Development at 42.8%. The high score for citizen participation is linked more to indicators on elections than council’s mobilisation for development. It would appear therefore that participation is driven more by political party structures than development structures, which undermines the development agenda, as political polarisation generally inhibits development. Infrastructural and social services provision has the lowest score of 41.7%, explained by the lack of resources to finance capital projects as evident in the relatively low financial management score of 48.6%. The low score is linked to a general lack of public confidence, poor revenue collection, and poor budget performance. Land assets and natural resources governance is rated at 44.2% reflective of a chaotic and inefficient stand allocation system characterised in the recent past by authority and control distortionsby politically connected land barons. Despite the city’s shortcomings, it seems to have a respectable strategic plan and human development planning score of 53.3%, but council lacks resources to implement the plan, the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing context, and the implementation strategies that excite public support. External relations at 52.2% shows the need for council to improve relations particularly with central government. The overall score of 50.6% reflects on much room for service delivery improvement.
The key recommendation to council is that council must develop and implement an effective service delivery performance improvement strategy. The strategy must clearly allocate tasks and responsibilities to relevant public managers to systematically address gaps exposed by the assessment.Council should also consider adopting the LGSDM methodology to conduct annual performance assessments and take advantage of the transformative power of constructive citizen engagement and the results focus in the LGSDM methodology to leapfrog the achievement of a world class city by 2025.
Source: Local Governance Community Capacity Building and Development Trust (LGCCBDT)