Guatemala—Nexos Locales

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2014-2022

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Country: Guatemala

Solutions: Economic Growth Governance Fragile States

Nexos Locales is working with 44 Feed the Future municipalities in Guatemala’s Western Highlands to foster more responsive, inclusive, and effective socio-economic development while reducing local vulnerabilities such as food insecurity and natural disasters. To achieve this goal, the project works at the intersection—or nexos—of good governance.

Nexos Locales aims to increase the capacity of municipal governments to raise revenue; respond to citizen concerns about violence and security, food insecurity, and global climate change; and improve public financial management. The team will work with the municipalities to improve basic services delivery and security plans, as well as increase civil society participation in decision-making.

Nexos Locales will also increase the capacity of the National Association of Municipalities and the Guatemalan Association of Indigenous Mayors and Authorities to support municipal development and replicate successful models nationwide, including municipal crime prevention plans.

Sample Activities

  • Improve municipal provision of potable water in municipalities.
  • Develop sound public financial systems to promote transparency and permit participation by citizens in decision-making.
  • Strengthen civil society participation in social accountability processes.
  • Establish and implement local development plans to improve food security and economic development.

Select Results

  • Supported the municipality of Chiantla, Huehuetenango, with the development, launch, and end-user evaluation of a smartphone transparency app called #SomosChiantla to provide citizens with a user-friendly interface for finding information about local government public expenditures.
  • Assisted with the design and launch of two Citizen Charters, a social accountability tool that formalizes the mutual responsibilities between citizens and the municipality in providing public services. This tool first debuted in the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos, which organized the public water system and increased the collection of water fees by more than 100 percent.
  • Improved water quality and service provision in the Western Highlands through the creation and establishment of 17 Municipal Water and Sanitation Offices.
  • Worked with Municipal Administrative Financial Directorates to pass along valuable know-how on increasing own-source revenue. By the end of 2017, 76 percent of the project’s municipalities increased their average monthly own-source revenue by 19 percent.
  • Founded the Youth Managers of Change Network, a group of young leaders from 27 municipalities in the Western Highlands who are mobilizing resources for youth advocacy.


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