Saturday, 24 Sep 2016
Public Administration and Leadership Capacity in Local Government PDF Print E-mail





“Strengthening Public Administration and Leadership Capacity in Local Governments for Effective Service Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa”





In the 1960’s and 70’s the need for outstanding institutions of public administration was recognized by most African countries and the international donor community to be a very high priority. This period is often considered the high point of public administration in Africa, attracting international funding through foundations and the development community.


Unfortunately, during the past 30 years public administration in many African countries has lost its prominence. This is due to many factors: the focus in the 80’s and 90’s on privatization; the challenges of good governance in many African countries that have been controlled by authoritarian leaders; and the competition from other disciplines, most recently from the sciences, math and technology.


Project Description


The Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDP-ESA) in partnership with the Centre for International Development (CID) at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the at SUNY Albany has commenced an assessment of the current public administration programs in a selected number of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa focusing upon the demands upon town and city managers to deliver basic public services, especially to the urban poor. This initiative is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


During the months of July and August 2010, a pilot assessment was conducted in Zimbabwe to test the projects methodology and to begin the process for establishing an Africa public administration reform agenda for strengthening local government administrative and leadership capacity to enhance service delivery.


Participants to the Town Clerks Forum Group Meeting, Harare Zimbabwe, 27th July 2010



The preliminary findings will be presented to the forthcoming a Ministerial Workshop on Leadership Capacity Building for Decentralized Governance and Local Level Development in Africa scheduled for 7th October 2010 at Serena Hotel, Kampala, Uganda.


The Zimbabwe pilot can now serve as a “template” for other African countries to conduct similar public administration assessments focused upon city management and service delivery. When completed, this will provide the region with a clear picture and “road map” for the kinds of investments that will be needed to address the public administration needs facing the cities, municipalities and towns of East and Southern Africa.


Establishing a Network


As a result of this initiative, MDP-ESA plans to create and institutionalize the African Local Governance Network for Professional Local Government Management focused upon the following strategies:


  1. Promoting non-partisan professionalism within local authorities
  2. Strengthening participatory and inclusive local governance
  3. Building community based partnerships to “co-deliver” basic public services and alleviate poverty
  4. Building and sustaining Africa networks of professional city managers and public administration institutions.


Within the African Local Governance Network for Professional Local Government Management five Centers will serve as the organizational framework for implementing this initiative. These are:


  1. Center for Local Governance Capacity Building
  2. Center for Public Administration Reform
  3. Center for Public Administration Technology Innovations
  4. Center for Policy Analysis and Advocacy
  5. Center for Knowledge Sharing and Networking




  1. Local Governments committed to improving their public administration systems to enhance service delivery and achieving the MDGs.
  2. National governments who are committed to decentralization and the critical role that local governments must play in service delivery and achieving the MDGS.
  3. Professional local government managers who can become advocates for a reformed public administration agenda focused upon service delivery and the MDGs.
  4. Elected officials who will understand that their success is dependent upon working in partnership with professional local government managers.
  5. Training institutions and universities who desire to strengthen their diagnostic tools and develop relevant curriculum and training programs for both elected council members and their professional management staff.
  6. Donor agencies and development partners who desire insights on improving local governance and management.
  7. Researchers in public sector management who will find the assessments as a useful framework for sharpening their methodologies.


For more information please contact:

George Matovu

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 September 2010 15:57