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Supporting Domestic Accountability in Developing Countries: Taking Stock of the Approaches and Experiences of German Development Cooperation in Mozambique

Discussion Paper 114

May 2011

Fanetti, E. and C. Loquai. 2011. Supporting domestic accountability in developing countries. Taking stock of the approaches and experiences of German development cooperation in Mozambique (ECDPM Discussion Paper 114).

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Background

Domestic accountability has received increasing attention in international development cooperation. This also holds true for development cooperation in Mozambique, a country where more than a quarter of the national income comes from external assistance.

In the last few years, concerns have been voiced that the Government of Mozambique is more accountable to donor countries than to domestic institutions and that there are tradeoffs between domestic and external accountability. Donors have since started to pay more attention to strengthening drivers of domestic accountability and interactions between these actors.

Key Purpose of ECDPM Study

This discussion paper provides a closer look at perceptions regarding domestic accountability in Mozambique. It explores how German development cooperation and some other donors (BMZ, the German embassies, development agencies, NGOs and German political foundations) aim to strengthen domestic accountability systems in the context of programme-based approaches and budget support. This study forms part of a larger study on German support for strengthening domestic accountability in six developing countries: Bangladesh, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru and Tanzania.

Key Findings of ECDPM

  • Domestic systems of horizontal accountability are weak, mainly due to the fact that there is one dominant party in the Mozambican multi-party democracy.
  • Vertical accountability is weak as well, however, the Mozambican civil society is on its way to become a stronger player in controlling the conduct of the political leadership. The presence of a growing and partly free media system has made it possible to improve the visibility of ongoing political discussion to the citizens.
  • It is not clear what impact the low level of transparency of the financial assistance of emerging players in Mozambique have on the internal systems of accountability.
  • Several German development cooperation actors play a role in supporting the drivers of domestic accountability, which is deemed crucial. German support to the decentralisation process has been important but further steps towards harmonisation and coordination are necessary, in order to make sure that this process is owned by the local and national actors and therefore becomes sustainable.
  • There are several relevant initiatives of German development cooperation that may have an impact on domestic accountability. A clear overarching strategy for domestic accountability in the strategy papers and programme documents, however, would help in mainstreaming the issue throughout all the interventions undertaken by German development cooperation in the country.

Read Discussion Paper 114

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Economic Transformation and TradeBudget supportDomestic accountabilityAfricaGermanyMozambique

External authors

Elena Fanetti

Christiane Loquai