About Maputo

Maputo, with a population of over 1.1 million people, is not only Mozambique’s capital city and largest city; it is also the gateway to the country for investors, tourists and immigrants. Maputo contributes over 30 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and has an estimated GDP per capita of US$1,457 compared to a national GDP per capita of US$332. However, it is also a city of growing inequality with approximately 70% of Maputo’s residents living in informal settlements and 54% living below the poverty line.
Based on Municipal Report Card research conducted by CMM between 2005 and 2012, the major problems identified in the city include substantially degraded urban infrastructure and service delivery, weak planning and regulatory capacity, and limited opportunities for citizens to be directly engage in local government action. The principle causes of the problems identified by the RC include the following:
• The low level of investment in urban areas of the city over many years has reduced the quality and quantity of service delivery, especially in the maintenance of existing infrastructure.
• The low level of institutional capacity, which limits the CMM’s ability to collect revenues and to implement public policies.
• Maputo’s municipal administration has historically been highly centralized and its bureaucratic organizational structure has led to fragmented and cumbersome planning and management functions. This has produced an inefficient administrative body that has great difficulties achieving the public policy goals of the CMM.
• At the neighborhood (bairro) level, there is a limited presence of state-run infrastructure and/or development projects. The majority of the city’s roads are unpaved and flood control is limited, which means that the annual rains have a disruptive effect on people’s everyday lives. Cholera and malaria are endemic, which has a high toll on the well-being of ordinary citizens.
• Historically there have been few formal venues in which municipal officials engage with citizens. Citizens have limited spaces to provide feedback on the performance of local authorities.
• The overall structure of political participation has also been limited mainly to formal elections in which citizens’ vote for elected officials in a highly centralized and constrained party system.
In sum, the weak organizational and financial capacity of the CMM combined with centralization of municipal decision-making and administration pose serious constraints for the planning and management of infrastructure and service delivery at the neighborhood level.
To complement conventional good governance initiatives such as efforts to reduce red tape, increase transparency, and combat corruption, ProMaputo emphasizes participatory urban governance pursued through the strengthening the role of local, e.g. sub municipal, institutions in planning, service delivery, and community development in low income neighborhoods; and the relationship between citizens and sub municipal structures. Historically the municipal districts were mainly political and bureaucratic units with minimal service provision or developmental functions. Their principle role was to maintain order at community level and to mobilize the bairro populations for ‘popular campaigns’, often related to health and sanitation.
With support from ProMaputo, CMM initiated a process of gradual deconcentration of selected municipal responsibilities to municipal districts, linked to a program of organizational reform and capacity building for district administrations. These reforms were begun during Phase I. The CMM’s deconcentration strategy includes not only the strengthening of administrative and technical capacities but also the improvement of sub municipal governance by strengthening the role of citizens and civil society groups in decision making, service co-production, and oversight, especially at bairro level.
Most interaction between citizens and municipal structures take place, or at least are initiated, at the bairro level. The quality of domestic and family life for most households depends on the physical environment and access to adequate public services in their bairro. Thus leadership and the quality of governance at bairro level represent critical elements in CMM’s strategy to improve municipal development and services so that the majority of Maputo’s citizens can see and feel the results. Participatory budgeting has been identified by CMM as its flagship initiative to address this accountability gap at the bairro level between the municipality and its citizens.

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