Rebuilding local administrative structures in two municipalities

Project description

Title: Rebuilding local administrative structures in San Vicente and Sucre and restoring basic services
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ecuador, Manabí province
Lead executing agency: Asociación de Municipalidades Ecuatorianas (AME)
Overall term: July 2016 to September 2017


On 16 April 2016, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the coastal region of Ecuador. The epicentre lay between the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí, severely affecting a total of 24 cantons. The earthquake claimed 663 lives and left more than 28,000 people homeless. Around 64 per cent of public buildings are damaged, and the files and documents they housed are destroyed. Approximately 68 per cent of businesses have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster, and more than 17,000 jobs no longer exist.

Numerous national and international organisations and individuals have been providing assistance since the earthquake. Coordination of the various activities represents a massive challenge for the local authorities. Administrative processes are no longer functioning properly, data is either lost or unusable, and services to citizens are virtually non-existent. Around 40 per cent of residents have moved out of the canton of Sucre. In San Vicente, the parish of Canoa, which was previously a popular tourist destination, was razed to the ground. Many people have become unemployed as a result.

It is essential that the local administrations become operational again and that basic services are restored. The cantons need to devise medium and long-term plans that are sustainable and take account of natural disasters. They need to be future-proofed so that they are resilient enough to cope better with natural events from now on.

The stakeholders engaged in reconstruction efforts in the affected areas and the municipalities have joined together to form a crisis management alliance and are initiating sustainable development processes.


The project team is setting up and promoting partnerships between towns within Ecuador. Staff in functioning local authorities work with and support their colleagues in the cantons devastated by the earthquake through the exchange of information, thereby helping to restore services and rebuild administrative structures more rapidly. In San Vicente and Sucre, participatory methods are being developed for reconstruction. Together with citizens, the towns are developing models, methods and techniques to enable more effective coordination of all stakeholders. This then means that the municipalities can make better use of their assistance. The Ecuadorian Association of Municipalities (AME) is circulating the positive lessons learned among other local authorities that were affected by the earthquake.

The project team is formulating strategies for sustainable drinking water management in collaboration with water suppliers and public wastewater and refuse disposal utilities in both cantons. The aim is to provide 21,000 residents with safer drinking water. The project team is also organising workshops and training for staff in the participating public bodies and advising them. This is to lead to the establishment of a crisis management alliance, in which the various public bodies and institutions can work closely with one another.

Additional information