Responses to climate change and food security are most effective when designed in accordance with locally prioritized needs. To this end, the Mozambique Ministry of Economy and Finance is—with UNCDF technical support and financing from the Belgian Government—working to strengthen decentralized local governance and local development finance, focusing first on the Gaza Province in southern Mozambique.


Mozambique’s geographical location in the Intertropical Convergence Zone makes it particularly susceptible to extreme climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña, which bring droughts, floods and cyclones on a regular basis. Available data and climatic models indicate a steady increase in the severity and frequency of these events over the last 30 years with a similar forecast for the future. Data from the Institute for Disaster Relief show that, between 1985 and 2008, over 16 million people were affected by droughts and over 100,000 people died as a result. The adverse effects of climate change in Mozambique undermine government efforts to reduce poverty, improve food and nutritional security, expand infrastructure and services and reach the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals.

The decentralization process in Mozambique has been a combination of decentralization and de-concentration with a gradual transfer of responsibilities, powers, staff and funding to the municipal tier as well as to the more de-concentrated levels of provincial and district governments. The Government of Mozambique initiated the process of de-concentration as part of its public sector reform in 2003, culminating in the approval of a new institutional framework for sub-national state organs under Law 8/2003, which establishes new principles and norms of organization, competencies and functioning for provinces, districts, administrative posts and localities.

In addition to general executive and administrative functions, the law assigns detailed competencies to the district level in a large number of functional areas — notably, emergency services; preservation of the environment; commerce and industry; water supply; education; health; natural resource management; energy resources; transportation and public transit, participatory local development; public services; public works; and recreation, culture and tourism. Many of these sectors figure prominently in climate change adaptation.
Objectives, results and activities:

The overall outcome of LoCAL-Mozambique is to improve the resilience of districts to climate change as a result of increased access to climate change adaptation financing through performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs).

Five specific outputs contribute to the achievement of this overall outcome:

  • An effective PBCRG system (finance mechanism) established in Mozambique and operational for additional funding
  • Inclusive, effective and accountable climate change planning and budgeting processes at the district level
  • Climate change adaptation activities managed efficiently, effectively and transparently and implemented by participating districts through the PBCRG system
  • A monitoring and evaluation system and lessons learned to inform national policies about experiences from the LoCAL launch and integration of climate change in all steps of public financial management processes and improvement of public financial management
  • Completed roll-out plans and capacity-building support for new districts in new province(s) established by the end of the programme


  • Established codes for LoCAL in the public financial management system (e-SISTAFE) and developed agreements on the decentralized flow of funds with the Ministry of Economy and Finances and the Gaza Provincial Directorate of Economy and Finances.
  • Transferred to national treasury, e-SISTAFE, USD 500.000 for climate resilient infrastructure to be managed by Gaza local government authorities.
  • Finalised drafting variables associated with the PBCRG system in collaboration with decentralized governance structures.
  • Reinforced district government capacities to mainstream climate change adaptation decentralized planning and budgeting strategies, programmes, plans, budgets and investment cycles.
  • Climate change–resilient investment services and infrastructure managed efficiently and effectively and implemented transparently by the participating districts through the PBCRG system under MITADER and MEF decentralized technical teams supervision and guidance.

Lessons learned

  • The potential for technical partnerships during LoCAL Phases I and II should be considered from the outset to ensure adequate synergies and improve the chances of success. In Mozambique, LoCAL is being piloted in four districts where the Food Security and Nutritional Programme funded by the Belgian Fund for Food Security is being implemented. These districts also receive support from the Environmental Sector Programme Support Project funded by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and the EU Global Climate Change Alliance, UNDP and the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative, which makes for greater synergies.
  • LoCAL is an effective way to support implementation of national-level climate change and decentralization strategies. LoCAL-Mozambique is fully addressing the development variables associated with the Five Year Government Plan 2015–2019; it also supports the National Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Strategy (2013–2025) which aims to increase local resilience, combat poverty and identify opportunities for low-carbon development at the community level and include these in district planning.
  • Full use of and alignment with country procedures and systems are essential to foster sustainability and set the appropriate conditions in place for a future LoCAL national roll-out. In Mozambique, the transfer of LoCAL funds to the districts has taken place through the public financial management system (e-SISTAFE).

Way forward

  • Provide training to district technical staff on identifying, planning, budgeting and managing climate change–resilient investments, including mainstreaming in locally led and managed procurement processes.
  • Raise awareness of eligible capital investments for socio-economic public climate change–resilient infrastructure in the selected district in Gaza Province, under MITADER and MEF decentralized governance structure guidance.
  • Support the operationalization of funds transfers to the provincial and district levels, including with the revenue and expenditure codes to be used in e-SISTAFE.
  • Reinforce decentralized government entities in operationalizing the decentralization policy and its associated implementation strategy for climate change–resilient locally driven development.


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Facts and Figures

25,8 M



Number of Districts

$3 M

Phase I budget (2015-2018)

$3.1 M

Phase II budget (2019-onwards)

Stories from the Field

Our Team

Maputo, Mozambique

Ms. Carlota Malate
Project Associate

Mr. Ramon Cervera
Programme Specialist

Ms. Sophie De Coninck
LoCAL Programme Manager (Africa)