Tetra Tech is reducing crime and violence 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 United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provides municipal governments with technical assistance to improve urban planning, financial management, and service delivery. Through the UMG project, 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 are including 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 17 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 migration.

For these target municipalities, the UMG project strengthens their capacity to work with communities to plan, invest in, implement, and sustain public services, including programs that prevent crime and violence, particularly against women, girls, and indigenous peoples. To do this, 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. The project also works with and through municipal councils and community-based organizations that represent citizen interests to strengthen 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. By providing satellite images and training municipalities in the use of drones, GIS, and open source programs, Tetra Tech is accelerating the pace of change by increasing municipal revenue and greater 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 final management and participatory planning for the 17 municipalities; establish at least five municipal crime prevention committees; and involve 450 citizens in developing community plans for political reforms. Our team also will work to engage at least 1,500 youth and help them advocate for improved municipal services within their communities and promote and strengthen the civic participation of women.