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Establishment of Local Integrity Systems in
Eastern & Southern Africa Through Service Delivery Surveys

Background | Objective | Schedule of activities and timing | Publications

Background

The Municipal Development Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa has, since 1998, supported the Establishment of Local Integrity Systems in local governments through Service delivery Surveys. This effort is an offshoot of a Training of Trainers seminar for Establishing Local Integrity Systems in East and Southern Africa held in Victoria Falls in August 1997. The tangible output of the seminar was a “Charter for Building Integrity in Local Government Administration in East and Southern Africa”. The Charter was explicit about actions that can be taken regarding development of local integrity systems. This prompted the Mayors of the two towns of Marondera and Kwekwe present at the seminar to volunteer in undertaking a pilot program to explore and document further issues related to the development of integrity systems at municipal level.

Accordingly, pilot Service Delivery Surveys were carried out in the two municipalities in 1998-199. Both surveys focused on housing delivery. The findings were disseminated to the communities, a national workshop was held to share the findings at national level, and in November 1999, the findings were shared at a regional workshop.

Following the regional workshop, other municipalities in the region expressed interest to test the idea and accordingly, 5 municipalities in Zimbabwe (Chegutu, Kadoma, Masvingo, Chinhoyi and Gweru) and two in Zambia (Livingstone and Mufulira) have since undertaken the Service delivery Surveys focusing on various service delivery areas of billing, housing, and waste management.

MDP is grateful to all the partners who have supported this initiative, particularly to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities who have provided the bulk of the funding.

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Objective

A Service Delivery Survey (SDS) is a management tool that can be used to support delivery of services in a transparent, accountable and efficient manner and to guard against corrupt tendencies.  The SDS can assist municipalities to establish a baseline for service delivery and also to investigate public opinion regarding their performance. Through the SDS, municipalities can be able to establish reference points of measurement and to develop targets for future performance as well as action plans to deal with shortcomings within, but not limited to, the areas of focus.

Specifically, the objectives of the SDS are:

1)       to carry out an opinion survey to determine what the residents think of the services provided by the Municipality.

2)       to introduce a service delivery system as a management tool intended to improve efficiency in service delivery;

3)       to introduce local integrity system so as to enhance accountability, transparency and guard against corruption; and

4)       to provide MDP with more evidence on the usefulness and benefits of SDS in improving service delivery in local government.

The long-term objectives of this initiative are:

(a)     to strengthen accountability of the five municipalities and their officials,

(b)     to orient service provision towards residents’ concerns and priorities and

(c)     to provide a medium and platform for community-council dialogue.

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Schedule of activities and timing

The SDS normally goes through he following stages, each of which has detailed and time bound activities:

  1. Reviewing and Analysis of questionnaires
  2. Training of research assistants
  3. Data collection
  4. Data analysis and report writing
  5. Presentation of Results
  6. Internal consultations
  7. Dissemination workshops with communities
  8. National workshop to share experiences at national level
  9. Regional workshop to share experiences at regional level

The ultimate result of the above process is a detailed Action Plan which municipalities discuss and implement with stakeholders at all levels.