Factsheet #10

Multi-level governance contract

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities
Water quality issues due to nutrient pollution
Water quality issues: Other reasons

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#10: Multi-level governance contract


A flexible multi-level contract (e.g. between federal and state levels, which can take the form of a "Pact" between these parties), is a voluntary-based co-operation agreement. It is put down in a contract, addressing topics such as regional development, natural resources, infrastructure. 


Its aim is to strengthen coordination and policy coherence. Such a contract can help to set convergent objectives, build consensus, strengthen capacities, make commitments clear and transparent, provide common frames of reference, exchange information and trigger actions and decisions that better articulate priorities at all levels of government. As such, these negotiated agreements are essential to manage interdependencies and to commit political leaders beyond electoral mandates to depoliticize strategies while ensuring a certain continuity of public action. The other advantage of treaties is that they leave scope for adapting strategies to territorial specificities. Contracts are often used as an empowerment instrument to delegate functions, to control and co-finance projects and to manage complex issues.

Example: The contractual consolidation program for the Brazilian National Pact for Water management “Progestão”

The consolidation program for the Brazilian National Pact for “Progestão” provided 100 million BRL (ca. 40 million USD) to the States that met the targets previously agreed with the federal government, following the principle of “paying for results”. The first incentive available to States was payed by the federal government in the very moment of the conclusion of the contract which established the participation to the framework and the relative policy targets. Following the commitment to adhere to the rules included in the agreed framework, the National Water Agency works alongside the State to delineate the current condition of development and identify key challenges and a suitable management strategy. At the end of each year, the State Water Resources Council communicates whether or not the ANA federal targets have been achieved, a condition for the transfer of financial resources to the State. The ratio of this program is to foster mediation and empower States in the management of water resources. States who join the program benefit from an increased political commitment and a greater visibility of their own water sector.


OECD (2015). Water Resources Governance in Brazil. OECD Studies on Water (p. 107ff.) https://www.oecd.org/gov/water-resources-governance-in-brazil-9789264238121-en.htm Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

National Water Agency (2018). Programs and Projects https://www.ana.gov.br/eng/featured/programs-and-projects-1/copy_of_programs-and-projects Retrieved on 22 September 2020.

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