Supporting decentralisation in Zambia

Promoting efficient and transparent local governance in Zambia - Decentralisation for Development - D4D IV

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2025

  • Other Stakeholders

    GFA Consulting Group GmbH

  • Products and expertise

    Governance and democracy


Income and economic growth are unevenly distributed in Zambia: more than two thirds of the population live in poverty. At the same time, more and more people are moving to cities, leading to an increase in informal settlements on the outskirts of small and medium-sized towns. Access to functioning municipal services could noticeably improve people’s lives there.

Decentralisation through devolution was therefore enshrined in the Zambian constitution in 2016. This means that some state tasks and resources are transferred to the local administrations, which are given more scope for action as a result. Since then, laws have been modified and an instrument for financing local administrations has been introduced. However, the reform process slowed starting in 2017 and only regained momentum with the change of government in August 2021.

The reforms currently face challenges such as: complicated and unclear legal and administrative framework conditions, insufficient coordination, a lack of technical skills and the high level of complexity.

A study group visits a landfill site. They stand in a large room and listen to a speaker.


Local administrations are in a position to implement the decentralisation reforms.


The project supports the Zambian Government in its efforts to implement the decentralisation reform and optimise knowledge management. It also supports new training content for local government officials to accompany the implementation of decentralisation reforms and improve gender equality.

The project also works with local administrations in the following areas:

  • Developing and implementing integrated development plans (IDPs)
  • Systematically increasing municipal revenue
  • Strengthening citizen involvement in annual budget planning to make municipal services more citizen-friendly

The GFA Consulting Group supported the implementation of the project until autumn 2023.

Several citizens have gathered in a room and are taking part in budget planning.

Last update: November 2023

Additional information