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The nature of the Mozambique ’emergencies and its institutional context pose a significant challenge to NGO aid strategies, as these organisations seek to reconcile objectives of short-term effectiveness and accountability with goals of long-term capacity-building and sustainability. The increasing emphasis on the former within the Zambezia Province Emergency Programme may be prejudicing the government’s capacity to stimulate economic and social rehabilitation once the Emergency Programme aid declines. Many NGOs working within the Province have shifted from a strategy of executing relief and rehabilitation programmes through existing institutional channels to one which relies heavily on the development of their own parallel structures. The shift has been motivated by the perceived weak executional capacity of the government institutions; however, it is unclear whether the modest gains in aid effectiveness and efficiency offset the lost opportunities for institutional change and learning necessary for programme sustainability and for the longer-term rehabilitation of the economic and social infrastructure in the province.

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