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The Municipal Development Partnership (MDP) was launched in May 1991 to improve the capacity of local governments and support the process of decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Programme has two regional offices: the Western and Central African office in Cotonou, Benin and the Eastern and Southern African office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Both units collaborate closely but maintain separate regional offices in order to increase administrative flexibility and respond to different local government modalities in Western and Eastern and Southern Africa. Each unit has a Board of Directors composed of Mayors, Town Clerks and local government practitioners and representatives of donor agencies.

The Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa is an active and hands-on capacity building facility with the aim of enabling effective self-governance at local level in Sub-Saharan Africa. It promotes alternative development approaches to problems and issues that affect local authorities by placing emphasis on ownership and direct participation of key stakeholders.



VNG International and MDP-ESA Partner in EU Funded Project for Zimbabwean Local Authorities

The European Union is funding a Project on Strengthening the institutional and operational capacity of Local Authorities and the Associations of Local Authorities in Zimbabwe.  The project titled "Local Authorities Capacity Enhancement Project" LACEP will run from January 2015 - June 2017 and focuses on 5 Key Result Areas, which are:

Result 1: Policy and legislative framework for local governance developed and institutionalized

Result 2: Increased capacity of Local Authorities for improved services delivery.

Result 3: Strengthen the institutional capacity of ZILGA

Result 4: Citizen participation in policy making processes and service delivery

Result 5: Multi stakeholder dialogues on critical thematic issues

Read LACEP Factsheet Visit project page here


The MDP-ESA Virtual Campus is aimed at bringing together local government practitioners and their stakeholders from all over Africa to learn and share knowledge through various courses with an objective of improving local governance in Africa. E-learning has proved to be effective in our modern day capacity building needs as it allows a great deal of flexible. Depending on which programme you would have enrolled in, some do provide a blended learning approach whereby participants will have an opportunity to attend both face to face seminars and e-learning classrooms. Each on-line course provided on this platform will include various interactive activities such as on-line chats, discussions, emails, pin board notices, audio and video presentations, to name but a few. Click Here to visit the virtual campus. To access the courses, you need to be registered



Main ARIAL site | ARIAL News | Africa Region | Calender of Activities

(These Links will open pages on the main ARIAL Programme website)


ARIAL Regional Training for Local Government Associations in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region

Participants at the ARIAL Regional Training on Local Government Associations Lobby, Advocacy and Communication Strategy for East Africa

The Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa recently coordinated the organization of two regional training's under the ARIAL Programme. MDP-ESA organized the training's in close collaboration with the Regional Local Government Associations in the eastern and southern Africa region, namely UCLGA Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO) and the East African Local Government Association (EALGA).

The training aimed at strengthening Local Government Association advocacy and lobby roles. With the title “Developing Local Government Association Lobby, Advocacy, and Communication Strategies”.  The objectives of the training were:

  1. To build on the first regional training's held in Arusha and Johannesburg in November 2011, which focused on increasing the knowledge of the LGAs on the development possibilities with national institutions and (regional) and development partners (esp. the EU)
  2. To enhance the capacity of participants in developing the lobby/ advocacy and communication strategies of their own LGA
  3. To get acquainted to tools used in advocacy and lobbying, e.g. position papers, policy briefs
  4. To share some institutional experiences with advocacy and lobbying
  5. To draft respective lobby, advocacy and communication strategies






Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 March 2016 14:11