Poor service delivery highlighted by SIVIO Institute local governance tracker

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
Sivio Institute tracker

A couple of years ago SIVIO Institute launched ZimCitizensWatch which is a tool that tracks the how well the government is doing in relation to the election promises they made. SIVIO Institute has today added to that tool with the launch of the Local Governance Tracker.

The Local Governance Tracker is inline with SIVIO Institute’s aim of trying to create a more inclusive Zimbabwe. One of the key aspects of creating a more inclusive society is to look at service delivery across the country.

To get a better picture of what’s going on in Zimbabwe at the local government level, SIVIO held a survey over the last three months. The cities that were the subject of the study were Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare and Mutare.

The questionnaire focused on four areas:

  • Water Services
  • Waste or Refuse collection
  • Primary Health Delivery
  • Local Authority Income and Expenditure

SIVIO was able to get responses from 1 200 households each month for the length of the survey. The households were in medium to high-density suburbs as they rely heavily on local service delivery than low-density communities.

SIVIO Institute local governance tracker

Each category that was covered gives detailed information on each of the areas associated with that utility. Let’s take Water for example, the findings covered:

  • Water provision/delivery
  • Water Service Communication
  • Billing
  • Maintatnce and reporting.

In each of the sections, you can select which month you want to look at over the three months when the survey was being held. The figures, however, vary depending on the month. This is mostly due to the varying number of responses they were able to get each month. For example in July 2020 on the question of Water Provision, 99% of respondents in Bulawayo said they have a connection to municipal water. But in August that number fell to 89%.

Even though the number may be high for water municipal water connections. The tracker then adds context to one metric by comparing it to another. The next question that the respondents were asked how often do they have municipal water in a week. For August 2020 the responses were:

  • 35.5% in Bulawayo received municipality water two days per week
  • 29.4% in Gweru received municipality water four days per week
  • 21.6% in Harare received municipality water (3) three days a week
  • 65.1% in Mutare always had municipal water (7 days a week)

Going even further the survey asked the communities where they source their water: (August 2020)

  • 29% in Harare (household borehole).
  • 60% in Gweru and 38.9% in Bulawayo (community boreholes).
  • Respondents in Mutare (n=3) indicated that they used the neighbours’ borehole.

As you can see there is a clear disparity across the cities. This is one of the reasons why this tracker is there, to show us where the work needs to be done.


I found the information in SIVIO’s local governance tracker eyeopening. This is not only for Water but areas Primary Health Delivery and the Income & Expenditure Analysis of local authorities.

The information they collected is going to be a valuable resource for the public to understand where their local governments are falling short. This is only just the beginning, with more information SIVIO Institute will build an even bigger picture of what’s happening at the local government level in Zimbabwe.

I encourage you all to go over the findings. The link for the local governance tracker is below:

SIVIO Institute – Local Governance Tracker

P.S. You should also check out SIVIO Institute’s ZimCitizensWatch to see how far the government is getting on with the promises they made:


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