Tetra Tech is reducing drivers of crime, violence, and illegal migration in urban communities through enhanced municipal governance and increased citizen participation in Guatemala.

Through the Guatemala Urban Municipal Governance (UMG) project, Tetra Tech is working to reduce levels of violence in municipalities most at risk of crime and violence through enhanced municipal governance, increased coverage and quality of municipal services, and improved citizen engagement. The five-year project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provides municipal governments with technical assistance to improve urban planning, financial management, and service delivery through transparent and participatory processes. Tetra Tech also provides technical assistance, capacity building, and direct resources for improvements to community-based organizations.

To improve municipal decision-making and management, Tetra Tech is helping municipalities improve the quality and utility of information related to municipal performance, including planning, financial administration, and revenue generation. We also include access to information as an area for improvement and capacity building, to help improve the ability of municipalities to share public information with citizens.

The UMG project works with 18 urban municipal governments across Guatemala to improve their understanding of and responsiveness to the most pressing service-related needs of citizens living in communities vulnerable to high rates of violence, including gender-based violence; crime; and illegal migration.

Tetra Tech helps municipal officials understand their role in violence prevention, prioritize violence prevention projects, increase revenue sources through improved tax registration and collection, and identify public private partnerships for improved infrastructure.  This strengthens the target municipalities’ capacity to plan, invest in, implement, and sustain public services in their communities, including programs that prevent crime and violence—particularly against women, girls, and indigenous peoples.

Working with, and through, municipal councils and community-based organizations that represent citizen interests, the UMG project strengthens their access to information about municipal performance and their ability to hold the municipalities accountable. Improving municipal performance and transparency surrounding the basic services provided by the municipalities and strengthening the relationship between citizens and the municipal government will improve the overall resilience and well-being of the community. This, in turn, will contribute to the reduction of violence and migration in these municipalities.

The UMG project encourages the use of innovation in developing and improving municipal land registries, so municipalities understand how to use their land and plan accordingly for urban expansion and revenue generation. By providing aerial images and training municipalities to use GIS and open source programs, Tetra Tech is accelerating the pace of change by increasing municipal revenue and creating efficiencies in providing construction licenses, increasing the tax base, and benefiting more people with improved public services.

By the end of the project, Tetra Tech aims to improve the institutional capacity of public financial management and participatory planning for the 18 municipalities; achieve a two percent increase in own source municipal revenue from the previous year; support the implementation of 26 public accountability and transparency mechanisms; and support 50 strategies or activities to prevent crime, violence, and/or illegal migration. Our team also will promote and strengthen the civic participation of women.