Case Studies

How Political Dialogue Between Donors and the Government Was Instrumental in the Implementation of the Principles of the Paris Declaration for Aid Support to Mozambique


The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (signed in 2008 to support the implementation of the first document) are two key documents aiming to provide guidelines for Aid Effectiveness. They set out a practical, action-orientated roadmap to improve the quality of aid and its impact on development. The documents consist in action-focused guidelines organized around five principles (Ownership, Alignment, Harmonisation, Managing for Results, Mutual Accountability), and require both partner countries and donors to mutually assess their commitment to Aid Effectiveness.

Until the discovery in 2015/2016 of illegally contracted debt by the Mozambican government in charge from 2009-2014, Mozambique provided the international community with a good case study to assess the effectiveness of political dialogue on the delivery of international aid. The country evolved from around 90% of foreign aid dependence in 1992 -when a peace agreement was achieved following 16 years of violent armed conflict- into about 25% in 2016. A fragmented context of aid delivery characterised by duplication, competition, creation of parallel structures, stringent conditionality and burdensome reporting in the 1990s was transformed into one of coordination of international cooperation and mutual donor-national partner accountability.

Entry point 

A framework for mutual accountability existed in the country since 2005, establishing the main coordination principles for international cooperation. In 2010 the government adopted an International Cooperation Policy and its Implementation Strategy. Mutual accountability in this case entailed a regular process of bringing together the civil society, the international community, and state bodies in dialogue and consultation. These interactions occurred within a tiered mechanism comprising, first, sector and thematic groups, second, management groups, and third, political-level exchange. The collaboration was based on the follow-up of an agenda of shared interests, aiming to consolidate the behaviour change required to see significant results.

The donors’ and Mozambique’s aid approaches shifted from project-oriented to sector-specific assistance and general budget support. Budget support activities, such as sectoral support and budget overview were instrumental in maintaining continued dialogue between the parties. It contributed to the implementation of a solid dialogue structure, built on the definition of policy goals and a framework for annual monitoring. A Performance Assessment Framework, defined by a Memorandum of Understanding, acted as the main instrument for monitoring and evaluation between the national government and 19 donors (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, Canada, the WB and the AfDB. The US, Japan and the UN were associate members). The overall implementation of the Paris Declaration on aid assistance to Mozambique was monitored through surveys that took place in 2006 (base-line), 2008 (mid-term) and 2011 (final evaluation). 

Lessons identified

Country-level evaluation as an incentive for good practice – Mozambique  and donors agreed to robust, data driven, country level assessment of progress, which was the basis for political level discussions on what had been achieved and what should be done further. The existence of an agreed strategy between both parties, as well as of aid effectiveness targets and assessments undertaken by both sides, were prerequisites for success.  Evaluation reports showed that participants from the state of Mozambique considered the programme as serious and of high value. This positive appreciation represented a major step towards mutual trust.

Political Dialogue is more efficient on a sector-based approach – In sectors where the partner’s priority matches the donor’s agenda, and where dialogue is strong enough to allow a mutually-defined strategy, funding is more likely to flow according to the Paris Declaration principles. In Mozambique this trend was observed by comparing aid to the health sector, which had been informed by strong ownership and a clear vision, to the agriculture sector where the support funds reduced significantly over time.

To be effective Political Dialogue has to be inclusive of all major aid partners - The BRICS provided a considerable share of aid to Mozambique but were not part of the G-19 and the abovementioned arrangements for aid harmonisation. As a result the policy influence of the donors became even further limited as domestic resource revenue increased.   

Sustainability of positive results requires inclusion of the justice and security sectors into the political dialogue and progress in these areas – The joint reviews generated renewed impetus to implementation of legal and judicial reforms. However, appraisal of progress on justice related reforms was contentious between Mozambique’s government and the donors, due to slow progress in increasing efficiency, transparency, and human rights compliance. The security sector was not part of the framework of thematic and sector exchanges, and therefore was absent from the political dialogue, opening-up to vulnerabilities from a governance standpoint.


Political discussion and dialogue enshrined in the Paris Declaration had become an integral component of the interaction between most Western donors and Mozambique’s government.  Thanks to several awareness-raising initiatives, a number of civil society bodies took part in the dialogue process, and participated actively on discussions around the role of civil society in promoting aid effectiveness. Specific support was provided to civil society by the UN and donors, with the government of Mozambique committed to engage with it more closely.  

The fact that donor resources were channelled through pooled accounts and managed through national systems enabled the government to incorporate most sectoral funding into the national budget, allowing it to better design and implement programmes according to own priorities. In addition, it resulted in greater accountability to the citizens and the Parliament, which gained better visibility and control over budget approval and its implementation. 

A well organised dialogue on policies and results achieved through donor harmonisation has been established through the lessons of the Budget Support. Alignment of the government of Mozambique and Budget Support partners was consequently improved. This has given rise to a well-organized and publicly accessible database of international support provided across sectors (ODAMOZ). The annual review on governance and fight against corruption through the Budget Support dialogue generated some progress in those areas. The mutual accountability framework pioneered in Mozambique has been highlighted as an international reference, for having improved relations between donors and partners. However, despite improvements in public finance management, in multi-stakeholder dialogue and harmonisation of aid, these efforts did not resist a break in trust between donors and the Government upon the discovery of the latter’s hidden loans, allegedly to finance the security sector. Improved national capacity to manage the complex dialogue mechanism, better public finance management monitoring, and a stronger culture of good governance are key to sustainability. 

Selected Resources

case study

UNDP Engagement in the Police and Judicial Reform in Mozambique


After becoming independent from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique, led by the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo), witnessed structural transformation from a colonial state into a modern socialist society. Shortly after, the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo) led a 16 year guerrilla war against the government, at the end of which both the armed forces and the insurgents were devastated. In 1990, Mozambique adopted a new constitution that transformed the political system and sowed the seeds of oversight of the security sector. The war ended with the signature of the Rome Peace Agreement in 1992, which went on to be implemented under the supervision of the United Nations Operation for Mozambique (UNOMOZ).

Later on, the Defense and Security Act (17/97) established a basic legal and institutional framework for the military, police, and intelligence services. This was followed by a law on the Defence and Armed Forces (18/97), but for a long time no similar framework was developed to cover the activity of the Police and of the Intelligence. Reforms in internal security took longer to unfold than in the defence sector, and when they did the government took a strong stance in terms of controlling the process. 

Entry Point

At the end of the civil war crime rates increased leading to a negative perception of the Police by the public, which mainly viewed the Polícia da República de Moҫambique  (PRM) as inefficient and corrupt. After the 1994 elections the government signalled the intent to start reforms in the Police, leading a group of international donors into forming the Police Donor Group (PDG) in 1996. The PDG, working through UNDP, proposed a police reform package to the government of Mozambique. UNDP coordinated the project aimed at retraining existing cadres and training a new generation of police officers, including the creation of a new police academy, with a view to transforming the PRM into a more efficient and accountable force. UNDP has also supported the development and implementation of a Strategic Plan for the PRM 2003-2012. Alongside efforts in Police reform UNDP also supported efforts to strengthen the Centre for Legal and Judicial Training (CFJJ), which aimed at training new staff for the judicial sector, as well as broader efforts towards rehabilitation  of court infrastructure and re-organisation of the sector. Importantly, it helped develop an integrated strategic plan for the justice sector, and supported the beginnings of a long process of penal and prison reforms.

Lessons Identified

Neutrality and Impartiality – UNDP acted as an impartial coordinator of the programme, managing reform sensitivities in areas in which the government was opposed to external involvement, and third party actors did not want to engage on a bilateral basis.

Support in the development of security and justice reform tools – the supporting role of UNDP to the government and the international donor community in Mozambique was implemented through the undertaking of needs assessments, facilitation of primary research on the institutions at stake, and generation of analyses and policy recommendations for the reform process. The UNDP approach to police and judicial reform combined the same standards and principles which applied to the rest of the public sector’s unique characteristics, overall ensuring a more sustainable reform process.  This was a first step in addressing a change in these institutions’ cultures.

Provision of common guidance – all judicial institutions which operated under the umbrella of the integrated justice strategic plan stated that even if they were implementing their respective specific institutional plans, overall they still followed general guidance provided by UNDP for the design and the implementation of their annual plans. The common guidance and strengthened interaction around the implementation of the integrated strategic plan generated a more holistic system contributing to an increase of 30% in the resolution of pending cases, according to the 2004 President’s report on the State of Nation.


According to two external evaluations commissioned by UNDP and the Swiss government, after the UNDP project ending police reform in Mozambique still faced problems. The Swiss report highlighted improvements in the police’ protection of human rights, but huge challenges persisted in the ability to tackle corruption, the absence of long-term planning capacity, and the lack of adequate training programmes. In addition, legislative gaps, including the need for legal frameworks regarding police involvement in natural disaster management, and a required change of attitude with respect to domestic violence and HIV-AIDS interventions were identified.

The evaluations on judicial reform also revealed mixed results. In 2005 the President of the Supreme Court stated that in the previous year the courts performed more efficiently and effectively, but that the practice of each institution adopting a strategic plan without coordinating closely with the others created difficulties in the management of the reform process.

Despite external evaluations stressing the need for further reform, the involvement of UNDP stands out as a case of building local trust and political engagement thanks to its neutral stance during the reform process. As a mediator between Mozambique’s government and donors, UNDP was able to provide guidance for police and judicial institutions that otherwise would have been lacking.


case study

Policy and Research Papers

The Security Sector in Southern Africa

The Security Sector Governance (SSG) Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conducted baseline studies of the security sector in six Southern African countries, namely Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (SADC Organ). The results of this research are reflected in this monograph.


Summary of lessons learned from Mozambique. Justice support

This reflection seeks to address Mozambique’s public sector reform in the post-conflict period and in particular activities in the specific component "Legality, Justice and Public Order". It starts with the political context of the peace process in Mozambique, presenting a brief diagnosis of the post-conflict public sector and the government’s programme immediately after the conflict. It covers generically the global strategy for public sector reform and then describes aspects of the "Legality, Justice and Public Order" component of the reform.


Traditional Justice and Reconciliation after Violent Conflict Learning from African Experiences

The report is intended to serve both as a general knowledge resource and as a practitioner’s guide for national bodies seeking to employ traditional justice mechanisms as well as external agencies aiming to support such processes. It suggests that in some circumstances traditional mechanisms can effectively complement conventional judicial systems and represent a real potential for promoting justice, reconciliation and a culture of democracy.
In addition, even in situations where communities are more inclined to demand straightforward retribution against the perpetrators, traditional justice mechanisms may
still offer a way both of restoring a sense of accountability and of linking justice to democratic development.


La résurgence du conflit au Mozambique. Fantômes du passé et entraves à une démocratie pacifiée.

Cette note évalue les chances de succès des pourparlers de paix et interroge les causes de la récurrence d’un conflit qui implique les mêmes acteurs que lors de la guerre civile. Il apparait ainsi que des signes d'instabilité demeuraient très présents dans le modèle mozambicain de consolidation de la paix.

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Planning for Peace: Lessons from Mozambique's Peacebuilding Process

In the more than two decades since Mozambique’s civil war ended and its first multiparty elections were held, the country still faces persistent social, political, economical and developmental challenges. What have been some of the main drivers and threats to Mozambique’s peace? This paper examines the plans and processes that have been developed in the pursuit of national stability. It also highlights current and future challenges for continued consolidation of peace. By exploring key plans to address demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration, economic and social development, decentralisation, justice, and natural resource investment, this paper puts forward seven key findings with implications for peacebuilding in Mozambique and for the field as a whole.

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The Resurgence of Conflict in Mozambique. Ghosts from the Past and Brakes to Peaceful Democracy

2016 proved to be a most challenging year for Mozambique. Small-scale conflict, which started reappearing between the government and the opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), in 2013, intensified over the course of the year, whilst peace negotiations stalled. In December 2016, the leader of Renamo, declared a week-long ceasefire, which was extended for two months on 3 January 2017. Since then, the opposition party and the government have agreed on a new format for peace talks, forgoing the use of international mediators, as had been done all throughout 2016, instead picking Mozambican representatives and engaging in direct communication. In determining the chances of success of such talks, it is important to revisit the causes of this recent resurgence of conflict, trying to understand why after two decades of peace, Mozambique was once again a country marked by conflict between the same parties of its past civil war. A closer look reveals that signs of instability were very much present in the peacebuilding model, which Mozambique had come to be known as.

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Emerging Challenges to Long-Term Peace and Security in Mozambique

Mozambique's transition from civil war to peace is often considered among the most successful implementations of a peace agreement in the post-Cold War era. Following the signing of the 1992 Rome General Peace Accords (GPA), the country has not experienced any large-scale recurrence of war. Instead, Mozambique has made impressive progress in economic growth, poverty reduction, improved security, regional cooperation and post-war democratisation. Mozambique has also made significant strides in the provision of primary healthcare, and steady progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Notwithstanding these stellar achievements, Mozambique still faces a large number of political, social and economic problems: poverty, unemployment, natural resource boom, increasing political exclusion, dependence on foreign aid, and low access to social and economic services and facilities. This paper unpacks these challenges and the implications for Mozambique's long-term peace and security. 

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'I Didn't Struggle to be Poor': The Interwovenness of Party, State and Business in Mozambique

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Country Review Report (CRR) for Mozambique, published in July 2010, indicates that the interwovenness of party, government, state and business (hereafter referred to as interwovenness) is a serious issue in the country. An increasingly common phenomenon in Africa, the interwovenness and overlapping of political party officials, government officials and the business sector needs to be addressed. Although Mozambique – like many African countries – is saturated with anti-corruption initiatives, these are often poorly implemented and enforced. In order for the country to address the negative effects of interwovenness, additional measures need to be taken by civil society, the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons and the government.

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Transitioning Mine Action Programmes to National Ownership: Mozambique

n response to the limited guidance on the topic of transition to national ownership, the GICHD commissioned nine country case studies in 2011 to highlight different contexts, processes, challenges, good practices and lessons learnt from the process of transition to national ownership. Based on lessons learnt and the good practices highlighted in the case studies, the GICHD, in collaboration with UNMAS, produced a Guide on Transitioning Mine Action Programmes to National Ownership.

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Democratic Governance and Security Sector Reform: Realities from Post-War Mozambique

Democratic governance has been increasingly acknowledged as one of the prerequisites of long-term peace, stability and development in Africa. However, the idealism inherent in this equation is impeded by the reality of a continent characterized by both progress and reversal of ongoing democratization processes, which when coupled with post-conflict emerging environments often lays the ground for security sector reform. In light of this background, this article examines the security sector reforms that were undertaken in Mozambique following the end of the civil war. In order to accomplish this, the polity component is assessed through the analysis of legislation and its correspondence in practice. Policy elements such as strategic planning, policy-making, decision-making and respective implementation are also reviewed focusing on the reforms carried-out in the areas of Defence and Police. In addition, the politics of oversight is discussed against the background of the desirable progress to be achieved through democratic governance. Finally, a summary of the status of governance in the Mozambican security sector is presented, highlighting achievements and underlying challenges.

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Militarização da Formação Policial É Preocupante

Com um efectivo de 20.000 membros – considerando ainda verídicos os dados de 2003 – a Polícia da República de Moçambique (PRM) tem aproximadamente 1 agente para cada 1.250 cidadãos. Um número pequeno para prevenir e combater a criminalidade de um país de mais de 25 milhões de pessoas. Mas se o baixo efectivo é uma grande fragilidade, a dimensão militarizada da acção policial é que é motivo de grande preocupação, na medida em que, em muitas ocasiões, limita o exercício de cidadania. ‘Reprimir’ tem sido a palavra mais pronunciada pelos porta-vozes da PRM a nível nacional.

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Assessment of crime and violence in Mozambique

This report is an assessment of crime and violence in Mozambique undertaken between August 2011 and March 2012. The report was commissioned by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundations Crime and Violence Prevention Initiative (OSF CVPI), which are currently supporting violence prevention programs in Kenya, Namibia and Mozambique.

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Justice and Security Provision in Post-War Mozambique

This article explores the complex empirical landscape of justice and security provision in post-war Mozambique, and its political dynamics. It scrutinises the formal policy framework, which today recognises legal pluralism. The current legislation not only fails to fully recognise the de facto role played by non-state providers, but also to acknowledge the various layers of informal interaction and competition that in practice occur between these and official state institutions. There are political reasons for this. Justice and security provision constitute a minefield of power interests and overlapping claims to authority, which have deep historical roots. State officials and the national government fear losing power if non-state actors are given clear rights and mandates. Unclear legislation also eases political instrumentalisation by politicians and power-holders. The risk is that justice and security provision becomes more about politics than about problem solving and access to justice.

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Transitioning Toward Gender Justice: A Trend Analysis of 13 African cases

Gender justice sees equal power relations, privilege, dignity, and freedom for people of different genders as a necessary component for any “just” society and a prerequisite for development. Gender justice includes gender equality, meaning substantive freedom for all genders to have genuine choices about their lives. Mirroring a global pattern in peace and security practice and policy-making, transitional justice (TJ) practice has tended to reduce gender justice concerns to violence against women (VAW). This policy brief advocates for policy-makers to adopt a broader and more meaningful understanding of gender justice, and to incorporate it into their TJ policymaking. To demonstrate the need for a broader understanding of gender justice within TJ processes, this policy brief draws upon a study conducted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) on the drivers and impacts of TJ in Africa. The study examined gender trends emerging from 13 African countries that had State-led TJ processes between 1990 and 2011, and their impacts up until 2016. Based on the academic literature and available data for the 13 cases, four key factors were used as basic indicators of gender justice: women’s political rights and representation; women’s economic equity; women’s participation in civil society; and State measures against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

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Les nombreux facteurs qui favorisent l’extrémisme violent dans le nord du Mozambique

Le mouvement islamiste armé dans la province de Cabo Delgado, dans l’extrême-nord du Mozambique est responsable de plus  de 100 morts, de destructions de biens et du déplacement de milliers de personnes. Le groupe exploite les vulnérabilités sociétales sous-jacentes d’iniquité, d’insécurité des droits fonciers et de méfiance envers les autorités.

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Budgeting for the Military Sector in Africa

In this comprehensive study, 12 experts describe and analyse the military budgetary processes and degree of oversight and control in eight African countries-Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa-spanning the continent's sub-regions. Each country study addresses a wide range of questions, such as the roles of the finance and defence ministries, budget offices, audit departments and external actors in the military budgetary processes; the extent ofcompliance with standard public expenditure management procedures; and how well official military expenditure figures reflect the true economic resources devoted to military activities in these countries. The framework for the country studies is provided by a detailed model for good practice in budgeting for the military sector. The individual studies are tied together by a synthesis chapter, which provides a comparative analysis of the studies, classifies the eight countries according to theiradherence to the principles of public expenditure management and explains why individual countries find themselves with a certain classification. The book draws on the results of the country studies and their analysis by making concrete recommendations to the governments of African countries and the international community. While the military sector in many African states is believed to be favoured in terms of resource allocation and degree of political autonomy, it is not subject to the samerules and procedures as other sectors. Because of the unique role of the armed forces as the guarantor of national security, and their demand for a high degree of confidentiality in certain activities, the military sector receives a significant proportion of state resources and is not subject to public scrutiny. The book argues that while the military sector requires some confidentiality it should be subject to the same standard procedures and rules followed by other state sectors.

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Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies

The major peacekeeping and stability operations of the last ten years have mostly taken place in countries that have pervasive customary justice systems, which pose significant challenges and opportunities for efforts to reestablish the rule of law. These systems are the primary, if not sole, means of dispute resolution for the majority of the population, but post-conflict practitioners and policymakers often focus primarily on constructing formal justice institutions in the Western image, as opposed to engaging existing traditional mechanisms. This book offers insight into how the rule of law community might make the leap beyond rhetorical recognition of customary justice toward a practical approach that incorporates the realities of its role in justice strategies."Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies" presents seven in-depth case studies that take a broad interdisciplinary approach to the study of the justice system. Moving beyond the narrow lens of legal analysis, the cases Mozambique, Guatemala, East Timor, Afghanistan, Liberia, Iraq, Sudan examine the larger historical, political, and social factors that shape the character and role of customary justice systems and their place in the overall justice sector. Written by resident experts, the case studies provide advice to rule of law practitioners on how to engage with customary law and suggest concrete ways policymakers can bridge the divide between formal and customary systems in both the short and long terms. Instead of focusing exclusively on ideal legal forms of regulation and integration, this study suggests a holistic and flexible palette of reform options that offers realistic improvements in light of social realities and capacity limitations. The volume highlights how customary justice systems contribute to, or detract from, stability in the immediate post-conflict period and offers an analytical framework for assessing customary justice systems that can be applied in any country.


Peacebuilding and police reform

Reforms of local police forces in conflict or post-conflict areas need to be dealt with in order to create a certain level of security for the local people. This volume presents the discussions of professionals in the field of peacekeeping, civilian police activities and police reform, both academics and practitionaers, on the issue of internationally assisted police reform in transitions from war to peace. Contributions include theoretical insights and informed case studies from El Salvador and Guatamala, the Balkans, West Bank and Gaza, and Mozambique and South Africa.