Established by the Midlands State University in 2020 as a place for research leading to policy and institutional reforms, and capacity development for state officials both technical and political across the three tiers of government as well as other arms of the state, the community, civil society ad private sector institutions. Through the Centre, MSU will combine resources from its nine Faculties as well as strategic resources from other local, regional and international agencies to achieve its purpose.

To be a Centre of excellence for participatory and devolved governance

To conduct ground breaking research and provide capacity building to the 3 tiers of government, other arms of government, civil society organisations, the private sector and the community

Our Values
The Centre adheres to a set of core values, beliefs and principles that guide choices and actions

The Centre prides in asking questions about policies, practices and structures on an ongoing basis to ensure understanding of issues, outcomes and processes

Research that is non-partisan and objective and report findings and recommendations that are based on unbiased empirical inquiry

Providing knowledge that is actionable in contexts of immediate and long-term demands of state policymaking and engaging broadly with government, civic, business, and other entities that are critical to the devolution process

Our Approach
CPPD seeks to provide rigorous, evidence-based, and policy relevant research to inform practical and innovative solutions to the challenges of development in Zimbabwe in particular focusing on local government initiatives and the importance of understanding centre-local relations. Through its work in policy and research, CPPD aims to provide advice to decision makers, to inform public opinion on CPPD’s core agenda, to provide a platform for public debate, and to be a hub for interested researchers and original ideas on devolution and public policy. CPPD aims to provide high-quality capacity building in the fields of devolution and public policy, through short and long introductory and specialized training programs, in partnership with local, regional and global institutions for government, civil society, private sector, communities. Through these programs, the Centre aims to contribute to enhancing national competencies to tackle the challenges of devolved governance in Zimbabwe, in the present and in the future.

  • Purpose
    To help with the designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating of
    devolved and participatory governance;
  • To assist the Government of Zimbabwe frame devolution implementation, build
    the necessary consensus, draw lessons and creatively devise necessary
    institutional reforms;
  •  To provide appropriate technical and policy skills necessary for practical imple
    mentation and evaluation of devolution; and
  • To provide capacity development to individuals and groups from the three tiers
    of government, community, civil society and private sector institutions.


  • Constitutional, legal and legislative framings of devolution
  • Financial and operational models of devolution including procurement
  • Spatial planning and local economic development in a devolved system
  • Intergovernmental or centre-local relations under devolution
  • Citizen engagement under devolution
  • Climate change and environmental management in a devolved system
  • Rural and Urban development
  • Services and infrastructure
  • Sub-national level development plan in the context of a devolved state

Support modes and outcomes
To achieve its purpose, the Centre as a bell-weather institution and Think Tank on
public policy and devolution will cover strategic sectors through the following
strategies and activities:

  • Policy and action oriented research;
  • Short courses in finance, administration, planning, infrastructure provision,
    community participation and others;
  • Lectures and Seminars;
  • Conferences;
  • Consultancy and advisory work;
  • Mentoring/coaching or accompaniment of strategic officials and institutions;
  • Building networks within Zimbabwe and linking these to other strategic
    institutions outside Zimbabwe; and
  • Plan, facilitate and consolidate lessons from local and external study visits.


  • Subnational development planning in the context of a devolved state: Preparation of the Midlands Province Economic Development Plan
  • Redefining national level roles for devolution
  • The effect of Covid-19 on the delivery of social services (health, education, water & sanitation) by local authorities
  • Will Zimbabwe achieve the SDGs?
  • Urbanisation, urban development, planning and management in Zimbabwe
  • Creation of local authority profiles
  • Public policies in a devolved state (mining, agriculture, public health, social services, food and nutrition)

Target beneficiaries and delivery partnership

The primary focus is on officials at sub-national levels (tiers two and three of government). National government officials from all sector ministries, civil society practitioners, academics and policy makers form the next cohort of targeted beneficiaries under the devolution agenda. Communities will also be targeted as the whole process of devolution is meant to improve their livelihood.