Strengthening Local Governance

DevWorks builds civil society organizations’ capacity to effectively advocate for the interests of their constituencies and promote transparent and accountable local government. We also help regional and local governments to improve service delivery by strengthening their organizational capacities and access to resources, and to build and use mechanisms to ensure participatory, citizen-centered governance.

Strength for Society

Strengthening civil society actors

DevWorks improves organizational, management, and financial skills of various local citizens’ groups across all technical sectors. These include traditional community structures, women and youth organizations, producers and farmer groups, village savings groups, fishermen associations, forest and watershed management groups, and water user committees. We promote dialogue among community members, civil society, and local governance bodies, amplifying the voices of traditionally marginalized groups and increasing local ownership of problems and solutions. We work with governments and donors to ensure that local economic and social development and planning for and provision public of services incorporates substantive input from civil society organizations. By working with and through local groups, we increase civic participation in local government, promote joint problem solving, help improve accountability of authorities, and ensure that citizens can contribute to and influence strategic debates and policy-making processes and can access services they need. We support strategies and advocacy initiatives of local NGOs to improve policies on food and nutrition security, access to water and sanitation, sustainable resource management at national, regional, and local levels.

Local Services

Developing local service delivery

Governments are increasingly decentralizing delivery of public services, but local governments are challenged by limited availability of resources and lack of capacity to design and deliver quality services. DevWorks works with local government entities to improve their performance and to efficiently and sustainably provide basic services such as water, power, sanitation, and agricultural extension by addressing human resource, material or logistical, institutional and other constraints.

We assess policy and service delivery effectiveness, then help governments find locally appropriate solutions through consultation, joint planning, and capacity building. We encourage governments to engage with multi-stakeholder platforms such as private sector partners and local citizens groups for improved, responsive problem solving. We promote public-private partnership models and improved legal frameworks. We train local governments in various tools and methods to address acute social, environmental and economic challenges as they provide urban and rural sanitation, water resource management, forestry and environmental management, and rural energy. We give local authorities the skills to provide basic services and maximize private sector participation.

Governance Projects

Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding Project

USAID | Ghana, Mali, Kenya | 2011–2016

The Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding Project was implemented in 50 districts of Ghana, Mali, and Kenya. The project improved the efficiency and transparency of school feeding programs in 50 districts across Ghana, Kenya, and Mali and supported smallholder farmers to access these markets. The project connected smallholder farmers to school feeding through pilots that:

  • Made the procurement processes more inclusive, efficient and transparent;
  • Enhanced supply chain governance to include smallholder farmers in a competitive way;
  • Involved all local and national stakeholders in accountability and improvement; and
  • Monitored, documented, and disseminated project experiences and lessons learned.

DevWorks piloted interventions in procurement governance, supply chain strengthening, and social accountability to improve smallholder farmer access to government-funded school feeding markets. DevWorks also built the capacity of smallholder farmers, with an emphasis on women, to supply school feeding programs and other formal markets.

Ghana Local Governance and Decentralization Program (LOGODEP)

USAID | Ghana | 2010–2015

The Local Governance Decentralization Program (LOGODEP) was a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented in a consortium led by MSI in Ghana’s Western Region. LOGODEP was established to support USAID/Ghana’s Strategic Objective 5: “Strengthened Democratic and Decentralized Governance through Civic Involvement.” It sought to increase the capacity of local government institutions to plan for development, increase internally generated funds, and increase the participation of citizens to effectively engage their local officials. The project had three intermediate results (or components): (1) Public participation in local government expanded; (2) Integrated development planning to increase Internally Generated Funds (IGF) achieved; (3) Linkages to Local Governance initiatives at the national level strengthened.

What We Do


Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene


Environment & Natural Resources


Cross Cutting Themes

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