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.


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.

Achievements, mesures and investments

  • LoCAL-Mozambique, in a first round of investments, implemented three infrastructure projects which consisted of the drilling of a borehole to provide Chibutane villagers have access to clean water. A pumping infrastructure, which connects the borehole to the village school attended by 122 pupils and to irrigated fields, was also built.
  • The second investment cycle is ongoing and covers eight adaptation measures. These measures include irrigation and dam systems to improve the availability of water for agricultural purposes year round, rehabilitation and climate-proofing of a local research centre and the launch of a fish production system in Massinger.
  • In 2018, 25 LoCAL projects were prioritized by communities in Gaza Province; of these, 8 are completed, 9 are planned and 8 are ongoing.
  • Overall, the investments are expected to benefit more than 25,000 people, improving their resilience to climate change and their food security.

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.
  • Through a dialogue among district technical teams and central government staff, the procurement process was highlighted as an element in the local development process which should receive special attention. The majority of capacity development interventions in the coming months should be aimed at supporting local governments in implementing and complying with the 2016 National Decree on Procurement of Goods and Services. LoCAL will increase its technical support in procurement through the National Directorate of Planning and Budgeting’s human resource structure.
  • LoCAL trainings in public financial management should build district technical staff capacities in matters related to budgetary programming, execution and accountability. LoCAL directly supports the state-district budget transfer system, channelling climate finance through e-SISTAFE. PBCRGs should be accompanied with continuous support and capacity development trainings of the relevant ministries to ensure a suitable tracking system at all levels.

Way forward

  • LoCAL is preparing for expansion (Phase II) in Gaza, Inhambane, Nampula and Zambezia for the 2019–2023 period, with support from the Belgian Development Cooperation, the Swedish Embassy and the European Union Delegation. Programmatic implementation will take advantage of PASA development experiences as well as of existing government-based human resources, processes and local government systems.
  • In the short term, LoCAL will provide financial and technical support to quickly finalize and implement prioritized socioeconomic infrastructure projects in each of the six Phase I districts. This work will include facilitating an adviser for planning and public infrastructure to be based at the Provincial Directorate of Public Works and Housing in Gaza Province with the aim of further strengthening local human capital.
  • Following the third annual performance assessment covering eight districts – including Chigubo, Massangena, Chibuto and Chókwe, all of which are new to the LoCAL programme – target districts will be informed of their allocations for the next financial cycle based on performance as well as on compliance with minimum conditions.
  • LoCAL will continue to fine-tune performance measures within the PBCRG system in the selected districts to pave the way for expansion to new areas.
  • Priority will be placed on improving the monitoring system to ensure adequate service delivery by both LoCAL and complementary programmes, such as the Food Security and Nutrition Programme led by UNCDF and the Belgian Fund for Food Security.


Government of Mozambique

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)