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Decentralized Governance for Development in The Arab States

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									Decentralized Governance for Development in The Arab States:
A Background Paper on Decentralization and Local Governance Policies, Legal Frameworks, Programmes, Lessons Learned and Good Practices El

Elissar Sarrouh Governance Advisor UNDP Sub-Regional Facility for Arab States (SURF-AS) Beirut, Lebanon

Local Governance Forum in the Arab Region Sana’a, Yemen
December 6-9, 2003


Abbreviations and Acronyms List Of Boxes

1. Purpose and Approach 2. UNDP Policy on Decentralized Governance for Development and Strategic Areas of Support 3. Local Governance Laws and Legal Frameworks in Arab States 4. UNDP Support to Decentralized Governance in the Arab Region 5. UNDP Experience in DGD: Key results and Lessons Learned Annexes

Annex I. Annex II.

Trends in Local Governance and Decentralization Reform in the Arab Region Internet Resources on Local Governance and Decentralization

AMFED CCA CCF CIS CO CPA CPRR CSOs DDR DGD DGP DGTTF DLGUD DTAH/A EU FDPD FRUD GDP HIV/AIDS IDDP IDF IDP IFAD IULA JITCC KDP LCPS LDCs LDF LDP LGUs LRDP LIFE MDGs MLG MMAA MOU MPW MYFF NDP NEAP NHDR NGOs NRM PA PC PDHL PPPUE Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development Common Country Assessment Country Cooperation Framework Commonwealth of Independent States Country Office Coalition Provisional Authority Country Programme Review Reports Civil Society Organizations Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration Decentralized Governance for Development Decentralized Governance Programme Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund Decentralization, Local Governance and Urban/Rural Development Decentralized Transformative Approach to HIV/AIDS European Union Forum for Dialogue and Partnership for Development Front pour la Restauration de L‘Unite et de la Democracie Gross Domestic Product Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Integrated Drylands Development Programme Israeli Defense Forces Internally displaced persons International Fund for Agricultural Development International Union of Local Authorities Jordan Information Technology Community Centers Kurdistan Democratic Party Lebanon Center for Policy Studies Least developed Countries Local Development Fund Local Development Programme Local Government Units Local Rural Development Fund Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment Millennium Development Goals Ministry of Local Government Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture Memorandum of Understanding Ministry of Public Work Multi-Year Funding Framework National Democratic Party National Environmental Action Plan National Human Development Report Non-Governmental Organizations Natural Resource Management Palestinian Authority Provincial Council Programme for Human Development at the Local Level Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Environment


Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Regional Bureau for Arab States Results-oriented Annual Report Sustainable Human Development Sexually transmitted diseases Sudan People‘s Liberation Army Resource Facility for Arab States Transnational National Government Transitional People‘s Assembly Urban Management Programme United Nation Capital Development Fund UN Center for Human Settlements United Nations Development Assistance Framework UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs UN Development Fund For Women

2.1 2.2 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 5.1 5.2 5.3 Types Of Decentralization Comparative Strengths of UNDP Algeria - Pilot Project ―Promotion of Decentralization and Local Governance‖ Jordan - Governorates‘ Development Programme (GDP) Lebanon – UNDP Programmes Palestine - The Micro-Region Planning Committees (MRPCs) Somalia - Pilot Centres for Legal Counseling Regional Programme - UNDP Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) Regional Programme - Urban Management Programme (UMP) Regional Programme - AGENDA 21 Regional Programme - GOLD Challenges to Decentralization Summary of Key Lessons Learned Key Success Factors and Good Practices

Chapter One. 1.1. Introduction

Purpose and Approach

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been at the forefront of the growing international consensus that good governance and sustainable human development are indivisible, and that developing the capacity for good governance can and should be the primary means to eliminate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Decentralization and local governance have become strategic areas of UNDP support because it is directly linked to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Indeed, the realization of national development targets ultimately takes place (and should take place) in local communities. For UNDP, this link has three aspects: a) participatory planning, monitoring and oversight will help address the question of how globally – or even nationally – development indicators can be made relevant to local realities; b) the capacities of local bodies (including both elected representatives and public services) often need strengthening to ensure that resources are used in accordance with intended development outcomes; and c) local elections, more democratic party structures and civil society involvement are necessary to improve the responsiveness of local governance for the public good.
Decentralized Governance for Development and the MDGs
DGD seeks to contribute to the attainment of four specific MDGs, i.e., MDG1 – eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, MDG3 – gender equality and women’s empowerment, MDG6 – combating HIV/AIDS, and MDG7 – environmental sustainability. These MDGs also constitute the goals under UNDP’s Strategic Results Framework for 20042007, along with crisis prevention and recovery as well as governance.

Over the past decade, UNDP support to Decentralized Governance increased more than six-fold. Currently in this area, UNDP supports programmes in 95 countries, a number of strategic regional programmes in all regions, and five global programmes. UNDP also supports at least 300 urbantargeted initiatives at the global, national and city levels at a total cost of over $400 million.

In the Arab states, UNDP supports sustainable human development and poverty reduction directly through its 17 country offices, the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) and the Sub-Regional Resource Facility for Arab States (SURF-AS). UNDP allocates a major share of its programme resources to help countries build sound institutions of governance and create effective relationships among the state, the private sector and civil society. To that effect, the Regional Country Framework for Arab States aims at reducing poverty through support for good governance-- identified as one of its strategic areas of UNDP support. Efficiency, effectiveness as well as transparency and accountability—key principles of good governance- come to the forefront as benchmarks for measuring the necessary change for equitable and sustainable human development. In response to country demands and initiatives to decentralize governance --evident in institutionalizing local elections, revising and ratifying new election laws or investing in building

human resources capacities at municipal levels-- decentralisation and local governance reform is becoming an important area of intervention for UNDP, in pursuant of achieving human development and poverty reduction in Arab States. Entry points range from legislative reform to introducing ICT and engaging local communities in municipal affairs. However, decentralization efforts and initiatives in Arab states have been slow to achieve the desired results as they encounter enormous challenges resulting, mainly, from uneven commitment to decentralization reforms. In this context, the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS), took the initiative to organize a regional forum with the aim of providing a platform for dialogue amongst all stakeholders, in the region, and offering a space for sharing knowledge, lessons learned and good practices, in an effort to contribute to decentralizing governance for human development, as well as develop an agenda for decentralization taking into consideration the challenges, needs and priorities prevailing in the Arab region.
Three Conditions Decentralization to Reduce Poverty Through

An empirical study of decentralization processes in 60 countries concluded that decentralization may lead to poverty reduction only if three conditions are met:i i) adequate funds for elected bodies at lower levels; ii) adequate powers for the same bodies; and iii) reliable mechanisms for accountability of elected representatives to citizens and for accountability of bureaucrats at lower levels to elected representatives.


Paper Organization and Methodology

This document serves as a background paper, prepared for the regional Local Governance Forum to be held in Sana‘a, Yemen in December 2003. It outlines UNDP DGD policies, service lines as well as programmes implemented, in the Arab region, in support of decentralizing local governance. It also includes a chapter on local government laws and legal frameworks-- outlining legal provisions for political and administrative decentralization in Arab states. Further, the paper offers insights into lessons learned and good practices based on UNDP experience and achieved results in the region. The information and data provided in this paper are derived from the e-discussion report, conducted by RBAS in preparation for the Forum, UNDP Country Cooperation Frameworks (CCFs), Common Country Assessments (CCA), Country Programme Review Reports (CPRR), the Multi-Year Funding Framework (MYFF), United Nations Development Frameworks (UNDAF) and the Regional Cooperation Frameworks for Arab States. Information is also derived from UNDP Decentralized Governance for Development policy note, evaluation reports, the GOLD-Maghreb Initiative and various UNDP documents on decentralization. In addition, project documents and mission reports, completed by the UNDP/SURF-AS/GEF/DDC teams, and other publications were also consulted and largely inform the content of this paper. Information on local governance laws and legal frameworks were obtained through Internet research and various legal data-bases (POGAR) and Internet sources.

Chapter Two UNDP Policy on DGD and Strategic Areas of Support 2.1 Definitions

UNDP defines Governance as the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country‘s affairs at all levels. Governance comprises the complex mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, mediate their differences and exercise their legal rights and obligations. Good governance has many attributes. It is participatory, transparent and accountable. It is effective in making the best use of resources and is equitable. And it promotes the rule of law‖ . Good or democratic governance is both a means and an end. It is a means to achieve the goals of human development, the main elements of which are articulated through the set of MDGs. It is an end in itself – as values, policies and institutions that are governed by human rights principles, i.e., equality and nondiscrimination, participation and inclusiveness, accountability and the rule of law. Decentralizing democratic governance to sub-national levels can accelerate and deepen improvements in access to basic services by the poor and in their capacities to make choices and contribute to decision-making processes directly affecting their lives. Decentralized governance for development (DGD) is a term that encompasses decentralization, local governance, and urban/rural development – three areas that may have distinct delineations and yet share attributes that call for greater conceptual and operational synergy. For development and governance to be fully responsive and representational, people and institutions must be empowered at every level of society – national, provincial, district, city,

town and village. From UNDP‘s perspective, DGD comprises empowering of sub-national levels of society to ensure that local people participate in, and benefit from, their own governance institutions and development services. Institutions of decentralization, local governance and urban/rural development must bring policy formulation, service delivery and resource management within the purview of the people. These institutions should enable people, especially the poor and the marginalized, to exercise their choices for human development. Decentralization refers to the restructuring of authority so that there is a system of coresponsibility between institutions of governance at the central, regional and local levels according to the principle of subsidiarity. Based on such principle, functions (or tasks) are transferred to the lowest institutional or social level that is capable (or potentially capable) of completing them. Decentralization relates to the role of, and the relationship between central and subnational institutions, whether they are public, private or civic. ii There are four main types of decentralization, outlined in the Box above. Local governance comprises a set of institutions, mechanisms and processes, through which citizens and their groups can articulate their interests and needs, mediate their differences and exercise their rights and obligations at the local level. The building blocks of good local governance are many: citizen participation, partnerships among key actors at the local level, capacity of local actors across all sectors, multiple flows of information, institutions of accountability, and a pro-poor orientation. Urban and rural development covers the broad range of specific issues affecting dwellers in cities, towns and villages such as shelter, jobs and income, water, and HIV/AIDS at the local level. Rural-urban relations promote a spatial integration of these

concerns through policy-making and policy implementation for the flows of people, goods and capital between urban and rural areas.
Box 2.1 Types of Decentralization Political decentralization transfers political power and authority to sub-national levels such as elected village councils and state level bodies. Where such transfer is made to a local level of public authority that is autonomous and fully independent from the devolving authority, devolution takes place. Under fiscal decentralization, some level of resource reallocation is made to allow local government to function properly, with arrangements for resource allocation usually negotiated between local and central authorities. Administrative decentralization involves the transfer of decision making authority, resources and responsibilities for the delivery of selected public services from the central government to other lower levels of government, agencies, and field offices of central government line agencies. There are two basic types. Deconcentration is the transfer of authority and responsibility from one level of the central government to another with the local unit accountable to the central government ministry or agency which has been decentralized. Delegation, on the other hand, is the redistribution of authority and responsibility to local units of government or agencies that are not always necessarily, branches or local offices of the delegating authority, with the bulk of accountability still vertical and to the delegating central unit. Finally, divestment or market decentralization transfers public functions from government to voluntary, private, or non-governmental institutions through contracting out partial service provision or administration functions, deregulation or full privatization.
Source: Work, Robertson/UNDP/BDP. The Role of Participation and Partnerships in Decentralized Governance: A Brief Synthesis of Policy Lessons and Recommendations of Nine Case Studies on Service Delivery for the Poor, 2002, pp. 3-4. oncepts/Work%20Role%20of%20Participation.pdf



UNDP and through its global programme -the Decentralized Governance Program (DGP), under the Democratic Governance Group of the Bureau for Development Policy, has been supporting country level decentralization initiatives. The main goal of DGP is to contribute to the learning process of UNDP, governments and other donors on how the capacities for good governance of the various actors -public, private, and civic- at the appropriate levels-national, provincial, district, municipal, or community- can be strengthened in the areas of policy formulation, resource management, and service delivery/access in order to achieve poverty eradication and other Sustainable Human Development (SHD) goals. UNDP‘s continuing commitment to decentralization and the strengthening of local governance and urban/rural development is reflected in the following objectives, reiterated in the recently approved MYFF for 2004-2007.  Improve individual, institutional and societal capacities of, and partnerships among, government, civil society and the private sector at sub-national and national levels to enable them to participate more productively in, and ultimately benefit from, the development process;  Enhance national ownership to improve prospects for sustainability of initiatives, thus, build and/or accelerate momentum towards decentralizing the MDGs and related national development targets;  Create an enabling environment through legal and institutional processes both at the central and sub-national levels to effect a holistic approach to DGD within the context of human development;

 Enhance the voice and participation of women, the poor and vulnerable groups for greater equity in decisions affecting them and ultimately empower them as members of society; and  Increase access to services, especially for the poor, women and vulnerable; 2.3 Service Line, Areas of Support and Strategy

 Finding suitable entry points and partners for policy dialogue;  Responding quickly to national needs while keeping a long-term view;  Creating opportunities for government, the private sector and civil society to interact to achieve policy and programme consensus;  Implementing programmes in ways that are nationally led, sustainable and that develop strategic capacities; and  Coordinating resources. development and UN

The MYFF for 2004-2007 outlines the basic scope of the service line, Decentralization, Local Governance and Urban/Rural Development, within the larger goal of fostering Democratic Governance, encompassing three important areas of support:  Review and reform of decentralization and local governance legislation and policies, including resource allocation to sub-national levels;  Capacity development, especially for planning and fiscal management at the local level; and  Inclusive systems of consultation with, and participation of, communities involving women and ethnic minorities. To strengthen its role and capacity in promoting DGD, UNDP strives to develop a strong community of practice among its staff in country offices across all regions and in the various Bureaus at headquarters, by addressing important issues relating to different aspects of the practice architecture, e.g., agenda setting, policy development and advocacy, knowledge management, partnership building, and resource mobilization. The underlying principles of implementation strategy are: UNDP’s

Decentralized Governance for Development offers opportunities for achieving costeffectiveness in service delivery, economic efficiency, national unity, poverty reduction and the other goals of human development. However, DGD is not a panacea. In fact, initiatives that are poorly designed and implemented may create unnecessary risks and more serious problems, given particularly the highly political nature of DGD. DGD involves changes in the existing allocation of powers and resources. Some may lose (e.g., central governments) while others are expected to gain (e.g., local governments and the communities themselves) from the process. Nonetheless, win-win solutions are also possible as power is increased throughout the societal system. Without appropriate accountability mechanisms, abuse of power, corruption, and capture by elites are likely to happen. Conflicts may also arise when DGD reforms fail to address issues of social inclusion and respect for local customs and traditions. The challenges facing DGD supporters are real: poor capacities, poor

culture of participation, and lack of economic viability to secure mobilization of resources, among others. UNDP offers many services at the country; regional and global levels to help countries build capacities in local governance and overcome anticipated challenges: First, UNDP exercise a systemic institutional analysis and generation of decentralization policy in order to promote reforms for devolution of authority, responsibility, human and financial resources to local level. Second, UNDP plays a major role in strengthening the capacity of local authorities to mobilize resource and coordinate local sustainable human development by supporting national decentralization strategies and improving coordination between key national ministries. UNDP promote legal and institutional environment at the local level that enables participation of marginalized and vulnerable groups in order to establish democratic local governance that is participatory, transparent and accountable. Third, UNDP gives direct support to civil society organizations concerned with local governance issues. Basically, UNDP aims at empowering people and their organizations such as NGO‘s in order to lay a foundation of democracy at the grassroots level and to enable their active participation in planning and service delivery. Fourth, UNDP set the ground for the implementation of local pilot projects and evaluate, document and disseminate decentralization experiences and contribute in knowledge codification and management at regional and global level. Fifth, UNDP help improve urban government and administration in ways that not only ensure coordination among agencies but also promote partnerships among local

communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and urban governments to respond to the problems facing urban populations. Finally, UNDP assist local needs-based planning and participatory gender-sensitive budgeting. 1.3 Comparative Advantages of UNDP

In some countries, UNDP may be seen as a small player in terms of the magnitude of financial resources that it contributes to the total funds provided by all donors in a given country. However, governments continue to rely on UNDP for support in recognition of its comparative strengths.
Box 2.2 Comparative Strengths of UNDP

UNDP takes a holistic view to help build national ownership, national capacities and an enabling policy environment for effective decentralization, local governance and urban/rural development. The comparative strength of UNDP builds on: o A strong donor coordination role in countries where local governance attracts considerable attention from the international community o A strong community of practitioners o Activities in 90 countries with considerable potential for South-South learning and co-operation o Flexibility in its support, with close attention to local needs o Close co-operation with UNCDF in least-developed countries (currently totaling 22), presenting a strong foundation for l inking poverty reduction with democratic governance and natural resources management.

UNDP is considered as an impartial partner. In such a highly political area as DGD, this neutrality carries a lot of weight. UNDP assumes the role of facilitator, supporting dialogue at national and local levels as a crucial step towards policy formulation. This facilitative role is reinforced by UNDP‘s institutional expertise, supported by its

communities of practice and knowledge networks, its continuing search for cuttingedge approaches and methods, and its ability to broker knowledge from other sources. These factors enable UNDP to play its role as a topnotch adviser to governments in developing policy options based on good practices and innovative thinking. UNDP can also play an important role in assisting a country in donor coordination so that advice from different donors is complementary. 1.2 UNDP Partnerships and Resource Mobilization In search for institutional capacity and international/regional expertise, UNDP has been broadening its circle of regional partners to include a broad range of UN agencies,
UNCDF, a close partner of UNDP in promoting
DGD, has a portfolio of 20 LDPs in 17 LDCs, affecting 23.8 million people. Initiatives have led to progress in the establishment of the critical enabling environment for DGD, enhancement of local planning and fiscal management, improvement of local access to services, and social mobilization, community empowerment and capacity development. UNCDF is working with UNDP Yemen and Jordan providing technical expertise and resources in support of DGD efforts in the region.

multilateral, international and regional organizations including regional and international civil society organizations. UNDP partners in DGD include UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Capacity 2015, Public-Private Partnership for the Urban Environment, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), UN Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT), the World Bank Institute, GOLD-Maghreb, the International Union of local Authorities (IULA) and several regional and local NGOs such as the Lebanese Centre for Policy Studies (LCPS) in Lebanon, the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Urban Forum based in Morocco, and the Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development in (AMFED) in Egypt.

Chapter Three.

Local Governance Laws and Legal Frameworks in Arab States

In this chapter, we review decentralization and local government laws and systems in Arab states, with the aim of providing necessary information on existing constitutional provisions, legal frameworks and political structures under which decentralized governance is enacted or pursued in the Arab region. In doing so, we grouped states in three main federal political systems according to their orders of government and political arrangement: Unions , Constitutionally Decentralized Unions and Federations . Unions One can describe the following Arab states as ―Unions‖ – identified as one form of federal political systems: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Djibouti, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria ALGERIA The historical development of the Algerian political system has created a centralized government with little local autonomy. Socialist-inspired centralized planning and the reliance on an official state political party for popular participation in the 1960s and 1970s led to concentration of power at the top of the political structure. In recent years, the Algerian government has sought to decentralize power to local political institutions, but these reforms have remained limited.
Local Governance Law: Algeria4 The Constitution was adopted on Nov 19, 1976 and came into effect on Nov 22, 1976. Further revisions took place on Nov 3, 1988, Feb 23, 1989, and Nov 26, 1996. Article 14 of the constitution, states that ―The State is based on the principles of democratic organization and of social justice‖. And ―The elected Assembly is the framework in which is expressed the people's will and the control of the public authorities is exercised‖ Article 15 defines the legal framework of the communes where it states that: (1) The territorial collectivities of the State are the "Commune" and the "Wilaya". (2) The "Commune" is the basic collectivity. Article 16 stipulates that ―The elected assembly represents the basis of decentralization and a place of Polities compounded in such a way that the constituent units preserve their respective integrities primarily or exclusively through the common organs of the general government rather than through dual government structures. Unitary in form in the sense that ultimate authority rests with the central government but incorporate constitutionally protected sub-national units of government, which have functional autonomy. Compound polities, combining strong constituent units and a strong general government, each possessing powers delegated to it by the people through a constitution, and each empowered to deal directly with the citizens in the exercise of its legislative, administrative and taxing powers, and each directly elected by the citizens. (Source: Watts, Ronald. 1999. Comparing Federal Systems. (Second Edition). Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. Queen’s University. Kingston. Canada) . International Constitutional Law. See:

the citizens' participation in the management of public affairs‖

Local Governance System: Algeria Algeria is divided into 48 provincial territories and each governed by a provincial governor appointed by the president Governors act as representatives of the president in provincial affairs and report to the Ministry of Interior. An elected executive council acts as the legislative body for the provinces. Provincial governments (since) are responsible for the distribution of state services, the regulation of small and medium businesses, administration of agriculture, tourism, roads, and education. Urban areas of provinces are divided into municipal authorities (1552 Municipalities), Municipal governments are subordinate to the provincial administration and are headed by an elected mayor. An elected municipal assembly represents each town. Rural areas are governed by the People‘s Communal Assemblies. The People‘s Communal Assemblies have little autonomy from the central government and act largely as local administration for the central government.


Most local government institutions in Algeria administer and distribute public services delegated by the central government. The extensive national administrative system limits local autonomy and initiative. Algeria did experience some developments that affected the functioning of its legal framework. In 2000, the city of Algiers lost its unique cabinet-level political status and was reduced to a provincial government. And since 1989, the most effective political decentralization has occurred at the provincial level where more responsibilities were delegated to the provincial governments. 5 Algeria's last local elections occurred on October 10, 2002. Seventeen million voters went to the polls to elect their representatives in 48 provinces and 1541 municipalities. 24 political parties participated in these elections. The turnout was 50% of eligible voters. TUNISIA Since independence, Tunisia has always been a centralized country, where all levels of the administration depend on the central government for their powers and existence. Although there is only the central government, there are, however, powers that have been deconcentrated to the local levels of the administration. The deconcentration of the administrative system in Tunisia takes two forms: 1) Deconcentration within the context of the central ministries; and 2) Delegation and deconcentration in the context of

. POGAR/ Algeria/ Decentralization

territorial administration through the creation of regional councils, municipal councils and rural councils.
Local Governance Law: Tunisia6 Chapter VIII The Local Collectivities Article 71 [Local Councils] The municipal and regional Councils conduct the local affairs under the conditions determined by law. What does the law say

Local Governance System: Tunisia7 Tunisian sub-governments are formed and supported at the discretion of the central government. - There are 23 regions in the country composed of mixed urban and rural territories. - Governors appointed by the central government lead the regional governments. - The regional legislative assembly includes both elected and appointed members, as well as the mayors of local councils. - Municipal governments, 257 in all, only exist in cities. - Elected municipal councils control these governments that provide roads, streetlights, garbage, public markets, and some forms of public assistance. In rural areas, there are no independent local government structures.

Similar to the regional councils, the municipal councils are strictly the creation of the state and can be dissolved by the state. They are charged with particular key functions mainly in the area of service delivery, especially at the municipal level. They also levy and collect a variety of taxes at the local level. The councils, which vary in size according to population, are elected for five-year terms on the basis of a [majority] system. The mayor (president of the council) is selected by members of the council from among themselves. Decision making in the municipal councils is relatively open. Committee hearings and council meetings are open to public. To potential for access for the NGOs and association groups is relatively high. The neighborhood associations are especially important in this regard. The rural councils, the membership of which appointed by the governor, can be regarded as "premunicipalities". They are often small towns with appropriate population growth (minimum size of 5000), will eventually obtain the status of municipalities. They are represented by their president on the regional council.

. International Constitutional Law. See: . POGAR / Tunisia / Decentralization

To support deconcentration, the Tunisian government has established regional development programs to build infrastructure in rural areas. Additionally, it has created regional coordinating offices to decentralize management of development and anti-poverty programs. The central government retains substantial control over local fiscal policy and administration. Local revenues from central government fund transfers have decreased in recent years to 35-40 percent of total budgets. Taxes and fees are dictated by the national government, but are collected by both local and national entities. Each year‘s national budget determines municipal funding. Tunisia held municipal elections in May 2000. The government Democratic Constitutional Rally party won 3885 out of the 4128 seats and retained a majority on all municipal councils. Candidates from opposition parties competed in less that 100 municipalities and captured a total of 243 seats. The Movement for Social Democrats fared best, winning 78 seats. The municipal elections, modeled on the Swedish system, guarantee minority representation on councils; twenty percent of seats are reserved for opposition candidates. Local council members serve terms of five years. The central government retains substantial control over local fiscal policy and administration. Local revenues from central government fund transfers have decreased in recent years to 35-40 percent of total budgets. Taxes and fees are dictated by the national government, but are collected by both local and national entities. These taxes and fees account for 63 percent of local revenues. The central government contributes 25 percent of the total funds through major taxes, while 38 percent comes from local taxes. The remaining 37 percent of local revenue comes from subsidies set by the national government. Each year‘s national budget determines municipal funding. This central tabulation has tended to amplify inequalities between municipalities by relying on property tax values to calculate allocations. Many municipalities have been frustrated by a lack of funds. The lack of a uniform or standardized municipal structure in Tunisia has allowed some local governments to push ahead, while others trail behind. The central government also retains staffing discretion over local governments, as the Ministry of Interior oversees the civil service. 8 A relatively new element added to the decentralization process in Tunisia is the "quartier" associations. These associations have begun to play a very important role in the life of many municipalities. The quartier committees function as local non-governmental groups that are capable of mobilizing the population in support of variety of issues including combating environmental degradation to proving health care services. A typical quartier is structured around a ten-member bureau, which has a diverse but highly motivated and potentially very powerful set of members. The leaders are relatively mature in age and are drawn from the upper economic class of the society. Their function is similar to local interest groups that build and create alliances with other groups such as the local masque, political party cells, local officials, and environment groups. Members also use their connections at the central level to gain some advantages. In some cases quartiers mobilize modest amount of resources to support local projects, and engage in neighborhood clean up and self-help programmes. The quartiers mainly concentrate on environmental and community issues, and their status as local and community-based organization is key for attracting popular support and participation. If these groups prove to be

. POGAR / Tunisia / Decentralization

successful, it is likely that they will expand their impact on the areas of their concern at the municipal, regional, and even at the central level. 9 EGYPT The historical development of Egypt‘s government institutions points to consistent centralization of powers and authority. The bureaucracy was shaped in its formative years, during President Nasser‘s era of centralized planning and state-led development policies. However, in recent years, considerable efforts have been made to streamline and localize public administration. But Egypt remains a highly centralized political system.
Local Governance Laws: Egypt Since 1960, eight laws of local system have been issued, one replacing the other. The main laws are: law 57 of 1971, law 52 of 1975 and the (current) law 43 of 1979. Furthermore, the last law has been amended several times by law 50 of 1981, law 186 of 1981, law 26 of 1982, law 106 of 1987, law 145 of 1988 and law 9 of 1989. Despite later amendments, the law 43/1979 is the current legal basis of the local administration system in Egypt: All local councils were exclusively elected; while appointed members formed "executive committees" (later turned into "executive councils"). This was the beginning of the "dual, or double chambered- system" in local administration. This law has also changed the names of local councils and executive committees into local popular councils and local executive councils respectively. According to the law 43/1979, local communities are enrolled in a five tier- system of local administration as follows: 1.) The (twenty-six) Governorates are either fully urban (these are four Governorates: Cairo, Suez and Port Said) or combined from urban & rural communities. This distinction is reflected in the lower levels, i.e. fully urban Governorates have no Markaz, since the Markaz is a sort of conglomeration of villages. Moreover, Governorates may be composed of one city, like in the two cases of Cairo and Alexandria. Hence, these onecity-Governorates are solely divided into Districts (i.e. urban neighborhoods). Cairo consists of twenty-three Districts; Alexandria consists of six Districts. 2.) The Markaz includes a capital city of the Markaz, other existing cities and a group of villages. Before 1975, the Markaz was essentially an area of division for functionally proper management of state activities (e.g. security purposes and registration for military service). Now, each of the 166 Markazes has an autonomous legal status as a local unit, supervising the lower villages. 3.) The City exists in all Governorates: as a one-city-Governorate, as the capital of a Governorate, the capital of a Markaz, and constituent city in a Markaz. Moreover, a City may be recognized with a special status enacted by a special law, i.e. the City of Luxor, by the law No.9/1989. Cities are divided into Districts if functionally necessary. There are over 200 Cities. 4.) The District is the smallest local unit in urban communities. However, Districts differ from one Governorate to another in terms of size, population and political and economic circumstances. Districts in Cairo and Alexandria come on the higher-ranking Districts in Egypt, i.e. the two are the political and economic capitals respectively. There are 55 Districts according to the 1988 election statistics. In addition to this, Districts used to be further divided into sub-District neighborhoods called Sheyakha, which served as a smaller area division adequate for efficient service delivery, e.g. vaccination campaigns, public facilities, etc. 5.) The Village is the smallest local unit in rural communities. However, Villages differ from each other in terms of the legal status. There are approximately 4358 villages of which only 920 are village local units; the rest villages are satellite villages. Any village that is not integrated into a Village Local Unit should be included in the jurisdiction of the closer Markaz. Moreover, these satellite villages are further divided into sub-village . Ben Salem, Hatem & Vengroff, Richard. UNDP, Assessing the impact of decentralization on governance: a comparative methodological approach and application to Tunisia, by, Public Administration and Development, Vol. 12, 473-492, 1992. MAGNET-Tunisia- Local Participation, 1992: An analysis drawn for the UNDP's monograph.

neighborhoods, called Hessa (portions), e.g. Kafr, Ezba, Nagei.etc. In every satellite or sub-village, where there is no police station, there should be an Omda. The Minister of Interior since late 1994 appoints mayors. They are mainly responsible for keeping security and resolving social and land conflicts, irrigation matters and the like.

Local Governance System: Egypt10 Egypt is divided into 26 governorates under the Ministry of Interior. Governorates are headed by a governor and an executive council appointed by the president. At the next level, there are 126 districts for administrative purposes. There are elected people‘s councils at both the governorate and district levels Municipalities (4496 village municipalities and 199 town municipalities) are controlled by an executive council appointed by the central government. They are responsible for health care, education, infrastructure development, and the provision of public services. Municipal elections occur every four years for people‘s councils. The elected councils have relatively little power.


The legal framework shows some limitation of delegated power. Two examples might be given. First, the elected people‘s councils at both the governorate and district levels have very limited power in relation to the executive councils. Second, the vast majority of members of the elected council (95%) are from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). MOROCCO Decentralization is not a new experience in Morocco. Since the 1960s the country has been trying to respond to growing social pressure for assigning certain decision-making powers and management functions to the local level. In this regard, regions and municipalities were given the legal status of sub-national entities. In 1973, a new decentralization law was voted and two constitutional reforms were introduced in 1986 and 1992. 12
Local Governance Law: Morocco13 The Moroccan Constitution set the structure of the states in its Articles 94, 95, and 96 which are in accordance to local governance. Article 94 [Local Units]: The local units of the Kingdom are the regions, prefectures, provinces, and communes.

. POGAR / Egypt / Decentralization ibid. . Case Studies- Kingdom of Morocco, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, p.3. See: . International Constitutional Law. See:

Any other local unit is established by law. Article 95 [Local Assemblies]: The elect assemblies entrusted with managing democratically their affairs under the conditions determined by law. Article 96 [Local Governors]: Within the prefectures and the provinces, the governors coordinate the action of the administrations and watch over the application of the law. They also carry out the decisions of the prefectoral and provincial Assemblies.

Local Governance System: Morocco The structure of local government in Morocco consists of three-tiers of sub-national governments: municipalities, provinces and regions. Both the Provinces and municipalities are structures reflected in the constitution, whereas the region is a recent creation dating to a 1992 constitutional amendment. Provinces and prefectures - are now 71, - are headed by an appointed governor, and a local assembly elected by members of municipal councils (allowing for indirect representation). This level of local government principally carries out rural investment, the oversight of the activities of municipalities (particularly for rural municipalities), but does not deliver local services. While provinces are classified as a local government, they are in fact deconcentrated administrative entities of the State, reporting to the Ministry of Interior. Municipalities, - Municipalities were created in 1960. - The communes are governed by elected municipal councils, and the mayor is elected from among the members of the council. - Municipalities have the right to form associations or other structures of intermunicipal cooperation; there are at present 88 such associations. \ - There are currently 249 urban municipalities, 14 communautés urbaines (which bring together 76 urban municipalities) and 1,298 rural municipalities. - oversee the operation of roads, garbage collection, urban transit, water, sewage, and streetlights. In recent years, the central government has sought to increase local autonomy by providing more resources and power to municipal governments. Regions - were given the status of a local government in a 1992 constitutional amendment, their functions were further elaborated in 1996 and 1997, although their financing has only recently been established. - The regional assembly includes voting (municipal councilors, socioeconomic institutions) and nonvoting members (MP‘s, provincial presidents). - The regional governor is appointed rather than elected. - The law pertaining to the regions affords them considerable responsibilities in the areas of economic development, regional planning, promotion of investments through the development of industrial and economic development zones, environmental protection, water resources management, and social


assistance. In addition the law foresees the possibility of a transfer of functions in the fields of health and education notably the construction and maintenance of secondary schools, hospitals and universities. 14

Three tiers of sub-national governments may appear high given the physical size of Morocco and its population. Too many tiers and units within each tier can affect performance, by increasing administrative costs, and through losses in economies of scale. Yet, there is no hard and fast rule about the appropriate number of tiers and units within each tier. Concerns about fragmentation and the loss of efficiency in service delivery at the municipal level can be addressed through association of municipalities for specific services or for a range of services, or by appropriate delegation of certain functions to an intermediate level of government. 15 Municipal elections takes place every four years and political parties in Morocco are active at the local/municipal level. In1997 municipal elections, no political party gained a majority of seats in the local councils. The opposition Nationalist Istiqlal Party won the largest representation, controlling 4151 out of 24,253 seats. 16 While in the 2003 municipal elections, the Istiqlal party won the most seats in local elections, ahead of its ally in the governing coalition-the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFEP). Istiqlal won 3,890 and the USEF 3,373 of the 23,689 local council seats. Performance at the sub-national level is influenced by actors such as the Ministry of Interior and Finance, which play determining oversight roles of critical aspects of sub-sovereign governments‘ finance and administration. At the same time, sectoral ministries play a direct role in the provision of certain services (education, health), or are responsible for a number of agencies and parastatals that provide local services (housing, upgrading, water and sanitation) without a clear definition of the accountabilities between these agencies and the municipalities. 17 The formation of the 16 regions are expected to lead to a further decentralization of functions in Morocco with, for the first time, possible delegation of responsibilities for social sector investments, as well as regional-level infrastructure. However, it is still unclear how overlapping responsibilities will be shared with the municipalities, in the area of economic development, or what instruments would be available to the regions to promote economic development zones, their spatial location, and distribution of the benefits. Nor is it clear how responsibilities for roads, education and health will be shared with central sectoral entities. More significantly, there is no revenue autonomy at the Regional level.18 This range of legislative and administrative measures broadened the powers of the decentralized entities to exercise consultation, decision-making, implementation, and financial control functions at both provincial and municipal levels. However, decentralized entities did not receive sufficient resources to properly carry out their new functions. Further, their degree of autonomy, in the

. UNDP, Morocco- Municipal management and decentralization (draft), June 27, 2001.p. 4 . Ibid. . POGAR / Morocco / Decentralization UNDP, Morocco- Municipal management and decentralization (draft), June 27, 2001, p.6. . Ibid, p.7.

allocation of resources, remained limited as they continue to be under the authority of the Ministry of Interior.19 The decentralization of the major agricultural support services seems to have led to a real sharing of tasks, with the exception of training, policy formulation; financing and service provision are the exclusive responsibility of the national level and public sector respectively. In service extensio n, the three levels of government (national, intermediary and local) coordinate policies and financing is the responsibility of the two upper levels and service provision shared between the public sector and producer organizations. The same model is followed in the area of research except for policy formulation, which is the exclusive domain of the national level. Finally, policy determination for agricultural credit is shared by the national and intermediary levels whereas financing is the exclusive responsibility of the national level and service provision is by both the public sector and rural NGOs. 20 LEBANON Historically, Lebanon had a strong tradition of local governments and a commitment to decentralization reaffirmed by the Parliament's establishment on July 1, 2003 of two new provinces, Baalbeck-Hermel in East Lebanon and Akkar in North Lebanon, bringing the total to eight. 21
Local Government Law: Lebanon22


1963 Law revised in 1977: Allows the central sate full authority over local institutions, including the right of their dissolution. Decree Law 118 of 1977 stipulates that ―every work having a public character or utility within the area of a municipality falls under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Council‖

Local Government System: Lebanon23

Municipalities are responsible for implementation of any law and decree promulgated by the Ministry in charge. This legal act is channeled to them through the Governorates (Mohafazats). However, it is worth mentioning that few municipalities are establishing now their own database through extensive surveys and studies pertaining to their own city/village. Lebanon‘s local governmental institutions fall under two main structures: one structure designed by ―deconcentration‖, where appointed agents represent the central administration at the local level; and a decentralized structure embodied by municipalities. The current law on decentralization was enacted in 1959, and divided the country into Mohafazat and Qada’. These are headed by civil servants appointed by the central government and benefit from large prerogatives but without a legal
. Case Studies- Kingdom of Morocco, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, p.3. See: p. 4. . Ibid.

personality. Decentralized bodies are currently limited to municipalities, the only elected bodies at the local level, which have their own budgets and some financial and administrative autonomy. The Directorate of Municipalities of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities provides municipalities with financial and technical support and ensures the applications of laws and regulations concerning local efforts. -

Until the beginning of the civil war in 1975, the role of municipalities was perceived by state authorities as an essential mechanism for fostering modernization and regional development, as well as to facilitate local reconciliation after civil strife or reduce inequalities through representation. As of 1960s, a systematic policy of instituting municipalities was put in place by president Chehab and culminated with the creation of an office for reinforcing the role of the municipalities, under the rule of the Ministry of Planning in the early 1970s and the institution of a total of 708 municipalities in the country for some 1800 human settlements. These decisions however did not prevent the country from adopting a long tradition of centralization, and throughout that phase, central state regulations controlled tightly local institutions. For example, the 1963 Law, revised in 1977, allowed the central state full authority over local institutions, including the right of their dissolution. 24 During the civil war, municipal governments lost much of their power and independence as decision-making became centralized and many public services were eliminated or privatized. The 1998 municipal elections in Lebanon were the first in 35 years and offered the potential for a revitalization of local government. But most municipalities face substantial difficulties in reasserting their role due to a lack of resources and institutional capacity. 25 The Taif Agreement signed in 1989 places decentralization as a high priority for the Lebanese government. In that respect, the state took in the early 1990s a number of steps toward reinvigorating municipal authorities, including the institution of a Ministry of Municipal and Rural affairs and the creation of over 80 new municipalities in new agglomerations. Pressed by the mobilization of civic associations, this move culminated with national municipal elections that were held in 1998 for most of the country, and in 2001 for some of the villages in South Lebanon, after their liberation from the Israeli occupation (1978-2000). These municipal elections were the first in 35 years and constituted an important phase in the political life of Lebanon as they reaffirm the role of municipalities in influencing local development and maintaining good governance at the local level. However, the excessive control and interferences from the central government, the shortage in local financial resources, the weak administrative capacities, the lack of transparency and the absence of a well established database in the majority of municipalities are among the major factors that have been plaguing the performance of municipalities and their potential contribution in effective municipal and urban management. 26 Part of the difficulty is that municipalities are governed by a uniform system of regulations and laws that do not allow for flexibility based on capacity and capability. Most municipal governments are

. ESCWA, Sustainable Urban Development: A regional perspective on good urban governance. . POGAR / Lebanon/ Decentralization. . ESCWA, Sustainable Urban Development: A regional perspective on good urban governance.

not functional due to the lack of clear delineation with the central government, excessive contro l and oversight by ministries and public agencies, and weak fiscal and managerial capabilities. 27 In 1997, Law 118 was passed to increase municipal financial autonomy. It stipulates that any work having a public character or utility within the area of the municipality falls under the jurisdiction of the municipal council. Some of the expenditure assignments listed in the law include the provision of health services, town planning, infrastructure development, etc. But in effect, the services provided by Lebanese municipalities are confined to marginal activities such as street cleaning, road asphalting, street lighting, setting up road signs, rehabilitating and extending the sewage and water drainage systems, etc. There is, thus, a wide gap between what the municipalities are allowed to do by law, and what they are actually able to do, given their resources. Most projects of a developmental nature are being undertaken not by the municipality, but by ministry of interior (and previously by the ministry of municipal and rural affairs) or CDR using funds from the Independent Municipal Fund or other grants and loans that have been secured by central government agencies or ministries. In addition, many projects within the jurisdiction of the municipality are managed by other line ministries most notably the health, education, public works, social affairs, energy and water resources, agriculture, environment. In such cases, the ministry generally coordinates with the municipality on specific projects, but remains responsible for their implementation.28 This law has the potential to increase local revenues. Currently, municipalities receive funds from over 35 different sources, making local budgeting and finances difficult. Most of this funding come from fees and tariffs collected by the municipalities; taxes collected by the central government for municipalities, fees collected by private institutions that are transferred to municipalities, and tariffs and fees collected by the central government and then transferred to local institutions. Political support within the central government for decentralization is uncertain. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs supports reform, but no cabinet or parliamentary consensus has developed yet. In principle, political leaders support decentralization to streamline the central government and improve both efficiency and accountability. But implementation remains uncertain given the political climate in Lebanon. 29 SYRIA The political development of Syria since the 1960s has strongly favored centralized planning and administration. Recently, some Syrian leaders have supported decentralization, but this has translated into few concrete policies. The government institutional structure remains dependent on the leadership and management of a small group of political decision-makers in the central government. Although formal local government administration does exist at the provincial and municipal level, these agencies tend to be extensions of central ministries and the national political apparatus.

. Attlah, Sami. How Well is Lebanon Fiscally Decentralized. MDF4 Workshop: Empowering Local Government Institutions in the MENA Region Workshop. Session: The sat of Fiscal Decentralization in the MENA Region: The Limitation of Local government, p.2. . Ibid, p. 6-8. . POGAR / Lebanon / Decentralization

Local Governance Law: Syria30 Part 3 The Local People's Councils Article 129 [Councils] (1) The Local People's Councils are bodies, which exercise their powers within the administrative units in accordance with the law. (2) The administrative units are defined in accordance with the provisions of the law. Article 130 [Powers] The law defines the powers of The Local People's Councils, the method of electing and forming them, the rights and duties of their members, and all relevant regulations.

The Local Administration Act, Legislative Act No.15 of 1971: Article 13-48. Cities are defined as any human settlement of over 20,000 resident.

Local Governance System: Syria 31 The Syrian government includes four levels of sub-government authority below the national level. Provinces: There are 14 provinces, including the autonomous city of Damascus, that are headed by governors appointed by the Ministry of Interior. These governors report directly to the president. The governors control provincial government offices as well as the local offices of ministries and stateowned enterprises.

Below the provinces, there are, in descending order of authority, districts, counties, and villages. Locally elected administrative councils administer these governments, though in practice they remain highly dependent on central leadership. All government expenditures are included in one national budget produced by the Ministry of Finance. Local governments receive all operating funds from the central government and any excess revenues collected are returned to the national treasury. They report intermittently to the governor and are administered by the governorate‘s technical services administration.


Syria‘s last local elections were held in April 1999. Voters elected candidates to 14 governorate councils, 95 city councils, 231 town councils, and 181 village councils. The electoral system divides
. International Constitutional Law. See:

. POGAR/ Syria / Decentralization

elections into two categories: reserved seats for peasants, workers, and craftsman, and a residual category for all other peoples. Sixty percent of seats at the governorate and city levels are reserved, while at the town and village level a full seventy percent of seats are set aside. In the election, the government‘s National Progressive Front (al-Jabha al-Wataniyah at-Taqadumiyah) won 5497 seats, with the remaining 2262 seats going to independent candidates. Voter turnout for the election was 66 percent. Syria‘s extensive civil service contributes to the centralization of government decision-making. Most local and low-level staff has little expertise or training in administration, leading to very low efficiency. High-ranking officials tend to take control of administration, frequently through personal connections and affiliations. Thus, most governmental operations tend to be very top-down in their approach. This problem is compounded by the Syrian leadership‘s suspicion of decentralization. Many of these officials began service during the 1960s and 1970s (the height of centralized planning in Syria) and question the value of dividing power within government. Syria has initiated some local development programs in the past few years. The Badia Rangelands Development Project, implemented in coordination with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), utilizes community management of commonly held rangelands to improve production and protect the rural environment. The local government of Damascus has implemented a green spaces program to reclaim 240 hectares of land from urbanization and desertification. High population growth has put pressures on Syria‘s public infrastructure. The government has responded with a variety of programs, but this will continue to pose a challenge in the future. Nevertheless, Syria is moving toward enhancing local governance through a two fold approach: (1) administrative reform to enhance decentralization and local institutions; and (2) legal and institutional reform initiatives to empower elected local councils. JORDAN Decentralized structures in Jordan are a combination of the following types of decentralization:
Local Government Law: Jordan Constitutional law No. 29 (qanun al-baladiyat) defines the role of municipalities in Jordan. Article 3, defines the municipality as a financially and administratively independent civil organization. Article 4 establishes the four categories of the municipalities. Article 41 details each of the 39 services that the municipality has to provide to citizen. The functions of the Municipality are defined by legislation and it is the responsibility of the acting council to carry out those functions.


Local Governance System: Jordan32 The Jordanian government includes three levels of sub-national government under the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Environment (MMRAE). 1. 2. 3. The central level: comprised of the ministries and central departments The regional level: comprised of governorates, districts and sub-districts The local level: comprised of municipalities and common service councils

Governorate: There are 12 Governorates that act as regional planning agencies. Governors are appointed by the Cabinet and assisted by two councils: the Executive Council and the Advisory Council. Governors are responsible for controlling service delivery in close cooperation with concerned line ministries. Under the governors are 214 municipalities and 382 village councils.

Municipalities: An elected council heads each municipality consisting of rais al-baladiyah (the mayor), and between 6 to 11 members. The Cabinet of ministers decides the size of the Greater Amman Municipal council. Half the council is elected, and represents the various areas of Greater Amman. The other half, including the mayor, is appointed by the Cabinet. The municipal council holds office for 4 years, but can be dissolved by the Cabinet at any time on the recommendation of the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the Environment. For Legislative purposes, municipalities are divided into 4 categories: 1. A municipality that functions as the center of the governorate. Since Jordan is divided into 12 governorates, there are 11 municipalities, in addition to the Municipality of Greater Amman. 2. A municipality that functions as the center of a district (population exceeds 15000) 3. A municipality that functions as the center of a sub district or nahia (population 5000-15000). 4. All other municipalities The functions of the municipality include building public facilities; monitor and control building and all commercial activities in the city; town planning and transportation engineering; promulgation of new legislation; determination of fees and taxes, consultative duties and the management of municipal resources and employees. The law also gives the municipalities responsibilities for services that are in fact provided by other agencies. These include the provision of water, gas and electricity, aid for the victims of disasters and disaster prevention measures. Village councils are appointed by the MMRAE, as are the staffs of both municipalities and village councils.



Deconcentration: in this perspective, Jordan runs a dual system. First, there is the Governor, the heads of the districts and sub-districts and their staff who are employees of the Ministry of Interior. Other ministries (education, health) also have branches in the governorates. The governorates are headed by a governor who is appointed by the Cabinet and he/she represents the King and government at the regional level. There is also the Executive Council, composed of local
. ESCWA, Decentralization and the emerging role of municipalities in the ESWA region. Decentralization, p. 2429.

representatives of the different ministries. Responsibilities include implementation of decisions of the ministries on the regional level, as well as, budget proposing. The Executive Council is chaired by the Governor. Second, there is the Advisory Council, chaired by the governor and composed on parliament members at the regional level, mayors of municipalities, NGOs and trade unions. The council only makes propositions, but it provides democratic participation in the common issues of the concerned locality. Devolution: decentralization can be realized through the three levels of local administration: the Village Councils, the Municipalities and the Common Service Councils. Village Councils Members are chosen by the Governor, appoints the head of the council and control all the Council‘s activities. The Mayor is also appointed by the people. The Common Service Councils is a form of local administration that can be considered a horizontal relationship among local councils. Delegation: Semi-autonomous units where the central government has transferred its decisionmaking and administrative authority and responsibility to state owned enterprises. There are (41) public enterprises that are managed according to such form. Those enterprises are granted financial and administrative autonomy under indirect control of the central government. There is no systematic framework of local governance to be followed by all local governments in Jordan. Deconcentrated units vary in the authority and responsibility delegated to them by the governmental hierarchy. 33 KUWAIT The state of Kuwait stands out among the Gulf States for its elected municipal authorities that control the administration of a number of public services. Fiscally, the government remains highly centralized with somewhat an inefficient bureaucracy. Kuwait also has five governorates, but they exist largely as administrative units for the central government.
Local Governance System: Kuwait Kuwait‘s Municipal Council was established in 1932. Over the past seventy years, the national government has assumed some functions previously controlled by Kuwait‘s municipality, but the Council still retains several important responsibilities. The local government provides a wide variety of public services including roads, urban planning, sanitation, garbage, food inspection, and licensing. The Municipal Council has recently focused on housing, environmental issues, streamlining and coordinating its bureaucracy, and simplifying licensing procedures. The Council is composed of sixteen members: ten who are elected and six who are appointed by the Emir. The Council includes five subcommittees that divide up administrative responsibilities.

. UNDP, Decentralized Governance: A Global Matrix of Experiences. Management Development and Governance Division. Bureau for Development Policies, July 2000, p. 54-55.

November 2003, the Council of Ministers passed amendments to the Municipality Law allowing Kuwaiti women, for the first time in Kuwait's history, to practice the right to vote and run for the Municipal Council and to be appointed in office. While Kuwait's 1962 constitution gives men and women equal rights, under current election law only men aged 21 or over can vote and women have been fighting for suffrage for decades. The draft law on Kuwait Municipality is meant to introduce core amendments to the Municipality Law No 15/1972 to meet the developments in the municipality work. The draft law also takes into consideration the economic and social development, the construction expansion and setting of bases for a new structure in the municipal affairs management. The law separates between the Municipal Council and the Municipality executive body. The Municipal Council, under the law, only follows up the work of the executive body and adopts the regulations governing the municipal affairs. The law also aims at increasing the popular representation in the Municipal Council while maintaining the main entity of the Municipality with branches in different provinces. Further, the law includes three sections: the first, comprises the articles related to the Municipal Council; the second, includes the articles related to the municipality's executive body; and the third, comprises the general and interim provisions. The bill was recently discussed by the Cabinet and awaiting approval from parliament. BAHRAIN The island Kingdom of Bahrain is largely urbanized and has very high population density. The central government controls urban management and development projects with very little decentralized decision-making.
Local Governance Law: Bahrain34

According to Article 87 of the constitution, (a) The law shall regulate general and municipal self-government bodies in such a way as to ensure their independence under the direction and supervision of the State. (b) The State shall direct bodies of public interest in such a way that they conform to the general policy of the State and the benefit of the citizens. The constitution also regulates the financial powers of the municipalities in its Articles 89 and 95. In article 89, ―Local bodies such as municipalities or public bodies may grant, borrow or guarantee loans in accordance with their own regulations‖. Article 95 states that ― The law shall prescribe the provisions of both the independent and the supplementary general budgets and the final accounts thereof to which the provisions regarding the budget of the State and the final account thereof shall be applied. The law shall also prescribe the provisions of the budget and the final accounts thereof of the municipalities and the public bodies‖

. International Constitutional Law. See:

Local Governance System: Bahrain A nominal municipal system has been in place for several decades, however, until 2001 these twelve administrative bodies enjoyed little autonomy. Efforts to develop local governance in the governorates were implemented through the Municipal Elections Law, approved on February 13, 2002. The law gives the vote to every Bahraini man and woman 21 years or older and also to citizens of other states of the Gulf Cooperation Council who own property in Bahrain. The five new municipal council districts correspond to Bahrain‘s governorates rather than to its traditional municipalities. Each council is to be managed by a director general under the supervision of the elected members. Elections for the fifty members were conducted on May 9, 2002.


During the 1970s, the Municipal "Central" Authority under the Ministry of Interior administered municipalities. Presently, the Ministry of Housing, Municipalities, and the Environment hold municipal authority. OMAN Decentralization can be difficult in a country as small as Oman. Given the size of the population and the geographical area, the central government itself can frequently achieve the goals of decentralization: efficiency, participation, and access. Formal decentralization of government exists with the division of the nation into municipalities, but in practice these sub-units have limited autonomy.

Local Governance System: Oman Oman is divided into Municipalities Oman has 43 municipalities, 14 municipal sections, and 23 rural cleaning units. The municipalities are overseen by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment (MRME), which funds and manages the municipalities. The municipality of Muscat, Oman‘s capital provides a number of public services, such as parking regulations and wastewater treatment and recycling, to a population of over 500,000. Muscat‘s urban infrastructure includes highways, public transportation, water, and electricity.

The MRME has implemented a number of projects to improve the urban infrastructure in several municipalities including the towns of Nizwa, al-Buraimi, Sur and al-Rostaq. The ministry has also constructed wastewater treatment plants in eight regional municipalities. The government is currently seeking bids from companies to privatize local public services such as parks, wastewater, and pest control. Provision of these services is the responsibility of the central government.

Recently, the Muscat municipality initiated a project to build commercial agriculture through the development of the al-Mawaleh central fruit and vegetable market. Located near the Muscat national airport, this market offers produce from throughout the region. QATAR The small state of Qatar has relatively little need for decentralization. With a domestic population of fewer than 200,000 citizens, national government institutions can achieve transparency, accountability, and participation through proper administration.
Local Governance System: Qatar The first democratic municipal elections in Qatar‘s history were held in March 1999 to elect the Central Municipal Council. The Central Municipal Council is responsible for ―supervising implementation of laws and resolutions concerning the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture (MMAA). Although exercising no formal authority over policy, the Council provides consultation and advice to the ministry. The minister of municipal affairs and agriculture can dissolve the council at his discretion.


The March 1999 elections were held for a single, nationwide municipal body: the Central Municipal Council. There are no political parties in Qatar. The conservative nature of society and a lack of experience with democratic processes contributed to lower political participation. The MMAA is part of the cabinet, with the minister appointed by the Emir. The ministry oversees administration of planning, development, road maintenance, agriculture, food safety, public services, and the environment. An assistant secretary of municipal affairs coordinates the seven administrative districts of Qatar. Due to Qatar‘s heavy reliance on petroleum profits for government revenues, local development projects are dependent on oil prices and the national balance of payments. Falling oil prices and high domestic debt have drastically reduced development funding in the past few years. SAUDI ARABIA The current structure of governance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is centralized at national level, with deconcentration functions at provincial level, most policymaking and financial decisions are made at the national level, with the absence of clear rules for consultation with local authorities.
Local Government Law: Saudi Arabia Articles 1 to 41 set the laws of the Regional Government in Saudi Arabia: The primary objective of the Governor and his staff is to administer the region in line with the public policy of the State and the regulations of the system. The maintenance of public security, order and stability, and the guaranteeing of individual rights and freedoms within the framework of the Shari‘ah and the governmental regulations are given a high priority, alongside a commitment to the social and economic development of the region. The Royal Decree dealing with regional government listed the 13 regions and the cities in which the headquarters of each region are to be located: Each of the regions has a Regional Governor with the rank of

Minister who is responsible to the Minister of the Interior.

Local Government System: Saudi Arabia 35


The Kingdom's regions and the headquarters of the administrative body "Imarah" of each shall be organized by a Royal Order upon the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior. In respect to administration, each region shall be made up of a number of governorates (Class A and Class B) and centers (Class A and Class B). This division shall take into consideration the population, geography, security, environment and means of transportation. The governorates shall report to the Governor of the region and shall be organized by a Royal Order upon the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior. Centers meanwhile, shall be set up and their accountability specified by a resolution from the Minister of the Interior on the basis of a proposal by the Governor of the region. Each region shall have a Governor with the rank of "Minister" and shall have a Vice-Governor at the "excellent grade", who shall assist the Governor in the discharge of his duties and substitute for him during his absence. Governors and their Vice-Governors shall be appointed and relieved by a Royal decree upon the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior. The Governor of the region shall answer to the Minister of the Interior. Each Governor shall administer his region according to the State's general policy, the provisions of this law and other laws and regulations. He shall be required in particular to: 1. Preserve law and order and stability and take the necessary measures in this connection according to laws and regulations. 2. (b) Implement the judicial rules after their final endorsement. 3. (c) Protect the rights of individuals and their freedoms, and desist from any act that may compromise these rights and freedoms except within limits prescribed by the law. 4. (d) Work for the development of the region in social, economic and urban terms. 5. (e) Work for the development of the public services in the region and enhancement of their efficiency. 6. (f) Manage the governorates and centers and supervise the governor of governorates and directors of centers, to ascertain their competence to perform their duties. 7. (g) Preserve the State's assets and property and prevent encroachment. 8. (h) Supervise government departments and their personnel in the region to ascertain their performance of their duties properly, honestly and with diligence. Employees of different ministries and government departments, who work in the region, shall be answerable to their own ministries and departments. Each region shall have a region council with its offices installed at the headquarters of the region's governorate. The "regional council" shall consist of: (a) The Governor as Chairman (b) The deputy Governor as Vice-Chairman. (c) Governorate "wakil". (d) Heads of the region's official bodies which shall be specified in a resolution






. Saudi Arabia – Laws of the Region - Saudi Arabian Information Resource. See:

to be passed by the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the Governor and approval by the Minister of the Interior. (e) A number of locals (not less than 10) judged as eligible in terms of learning, experience and specialization and appointed by order of the Prime Minister upon the Governor's recommendation and the approval of the Minister of the Interior with a renewable four-year membership term. The regional council shall have the competence to discuss all that is conducive to improving service standards in the region, and shall be entitled in particular to:

(a) Determine the needs of the region and propose their inclusion into the State's development plan. (b) Determine what projects are useful, arrange them in order of priority and propose their adoption as part of the annual State budget. (c) Study the region's urban and rural organizational layouts and follow up their implementation after being adopted. (d) Follow up the implementation and co-ordination of those parts of the development and budget plans related to the region.

Provincial councils (PCs), in the Kingdom, have been established by the passing of the 1992 ACT on Provinces and Districts by the Council of Ministers, following the 1991 ACT on the Rules of Governance, the ACT only gives the PCs the role of assessing development needs and priorities of their respective province, although the absence of competent technical bodies to support them makes it difficult to develop or advocate policy. The PCs have no policy development or financial management or planning mandate The PCs have a weak relationship with local communities, particularly since council representatives from the community are appointed by national government, limiting representation and participation. Rapid urbanization, meanwhile, has increased the pressure on local institutions to be more responsive. Furthermore, given that there is no clear distinction between local, provincial and national economic issues, very limited data is disaggregated and analyzed to allow policy development at the local level. Under these circumstances, there is a clear need to empower local institutions, delegate responsibilities, and improve representation. 36 ( YEMEN Yemen is characterized with highly centralized administrative structures. Decision-making powers in resources allocation, planning and implementation of development projects were marked by strict Government control.

. Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003, p.16.

Local Governance law: Yemen37 The concept of decentralization or local governance are included to some degree in the constitution, through its article 142 and 144, which stipulates respectively that: i) administrative units enjoy juridical personality, provided that they have freely elected councils at governorate and directorate levels; and ii) administrative units and local councils as part of the state‘s authority. Local Authority law number 4 for year 2000 divided the country into administrative units, each within its own local authority. The law calls for municipal elections, held for the first time in February 2001. It restructures the distribution of budgetary resources between the local and central government. The law consolidates local authority for planning, development, and administration into one elected body: the municipal council. It also provides for a yearly national conference to be convened by the prime minister to review the status of national decentralization.


Local Governance System: Yemen38 Following the adoption of this Law, the Republic was divided into administrative units that include the Capital City Council, the Governorates and the Districts. Each administrative unit has its own local authority, which consists of the administrative head of the unit (appointed), the elected local council in the two tiers, and the executive organs (branches and offices of the ministries and other government agencies). Both the local council and the executive organs in the administrative unit are headed either by a governor at governorate level or by a director at the district level. The Ministry of Local Administration is the government entity entrusted with the implementation of the decentralization process. The LCs are the principal means for implementing the decentralization process at the governorate and district levels; the local authority law outlines the LCs planning and development functions, and establishes revenue sources for local development activities. The LCs are strategically placed to promote poverty alleviation initiatives and environmental conservation at the local level.

On February 10, 2000, the Local Authority Law (no.4/2000) was approved by Parliament. The Law provides a clear and comprehensive legislative framework for decentralization based on the following principles: (a) broadened popular participation through elected local councils: (b) financial decentralization; (c) administrative decentralization; and (d) decentralization of service functions. This is seen as a major step towards further democratization and improvement of local public service delivery. Subsequently, a number of important developments have taken place since the Law was passed three years ago: a) local elections were successfully held in April 2001 in 332 districts and 20 Governorates; b) the government--in collaboration with the National Institute for Administrative Sciences (NIAS) and a number of local and international NGOs--, has launched a major awareness raising campaign and training program which resulted in training of over 4000 councilors and local administration staff; a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure and
37 38

. Ibid. . Case study-Yemen, Decentralization and local development support programme.

personnel needs at the district level has been completed and submitted to the Cabinet; c) accounting units have been established to serve a few local councils; e) and budgets have been transferred to all Governorates and a few districts . The municipal elections held in February 2001 included 26,832 candidates for 6,614 district municipal council seats and over 2,500 candidates for 418 provincial municipal council seats. These officials will serve a two-year transitional term as the first elected municipal representatives in Yemen‘s history. Further, important steps toward decentralization in the country have included: (i) the enactment, following extensive national debate, of the Local Authority Law of 2000, which divided the country into administrative units, each with its own local authority; (ii) the enactment of administrative and financial by-laws and restructuring of the Ministry of Local Administration, governorates and district local offices; and (iii) the organization of the first annual conference on local councils in May 2002 to review and assess the one-year old process of decentralization on the ground. Overall, fiscal aspects are taking considerable precedence in overall decentralization reform process. The law on Local Authority specifies in detail where financial resources will be obtained, and the criteria under which central support and joint general revenues will be allocated to local councils. These criteria include a provision to allow continuous and dynamic improvement and evolution of the intergovernmental fiscal system. 40 DJIBOUTI The civil war in Djibouti has undermined efforts at decentralization and public administration in general. The military conflict led to a severe centralization of national revenues in the defense budget. In October 1995, the government initiated a program of fiscal decentralization to increase development and public services.
Local Governance Laws: Djibouti According to the constitutional law number / ٌ ‫ق اَ ى‬ ‫ذ س ت ىر ي ان‬ ‫ى ان‬ ‫200-77 ر. ل / رق‬ ‫ً اد ة‬ ٍ ‫ب ُ ا ء أج م ي‬ ‫س ا ء ان‬ ‫ت ذرٌ ج ً واإلر‬ ‫ذٌ ً ق راط ً ان ً ُ ت ظ ى ن ه س ٍ ر ان ض رورٌ ت‬ ‫ه ىرٌ ت رئ ٍس ٌ ق ذ و , ان س ه ط اث ون ت ُ ظ ٍ ى‬ ٍٍ َ‫ذا ف ان ً ب اد ئ إط ا ر ف ً ت ُ ظ ٍ ً ٍ ت ق ىا‬ ‫2 ان‬

‫ن ه ً ؤ س س اث ان‬ ‫ن ه ج ً ه ىرٌ ت وان‬ ً ‫ي ش ارٌ غ ان ج‬ ‫ت ان ٍ ت واأله‬ ‫: ان‬

ٍ ‫ة ت ؤي‬ ‫ت ُ ً ٍ ت ف ً ان ج ً ه ىرٌ ت س ه ط اث ت س اه ى ب ح ٍث ان ً ح ه ٍ ت اإلدار‬ ‫ان‬ ‫اث ف ً ان خ ه م ي ٍ ان ح ذ وف ً ان ً ُ س ق ت ان ج ه ىٌ ت‬ َ‫ت ىاز‬ ‫. ان ذاخ ه ٍ ت ان‬ ‫ا س ت ق ال ل ن ه ا س ٍ ك ى ٌ أ س ا س ٍ ت ش ؼ ب ٍ ت وت ج ً ؼ اث ب ه ذٌ اث إَ ش ا ء ٌ ت ى س ىف‬ ‫ي‬ ‫ت ُ ً ٍ ت وت ُ ىٌ غ ت ُ ظ ٍ ى ٌ ت ٍ ح وا س غ وي ان ً إدار‬ ‫تص ادٌ ت ان‬ ‫ث ق اف ٍ ت االق‬ ‫وان‬ ‫ت ً اػ ٍ ت‬ ‫ب ُ ى ت ط ىٌ ر ب فض م ورن ك واإلج‬ ‫ث ق ا ان‬ ‫ت ق ه ٍ ذٌ ت ف اثوان‬ ‫. ان‬ ‫ت ُ ً ٍ ت ن ه ذف ا ع وط ُ ٍ ت خ ذي ت إَ ش ا ء ٌ ت ى س ىف‬ ‫. وان‬

. Ibid. . Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003, p.16. . POGAR / Djibouti / Constitutional Law.

Djibouti is a highly urbanized country, with 81% of its people living in urban areas. The country is divided into five political units called districts (circles). The government has placed a hi gh priority on decentralization in the national cabinet by creating the position of Ministerial Delegate to the Prime Minister for Decentralization. In February 2000, the Djibouti government and Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie (FRUD) signed a peace agreement in Paris. This agreement calls for ―real devolution‖ to increase the autonomy of regions dominated by FRUD. A further agreement was reached in May 2001 to put an end to the uneasy aftermath to the Afar insurgency in northern and southwestern Djibouti. The agreement centered on "decentralization" in which the government promises to set up more representative local authorities. Constitutionally Decentralized Unions Libya, Sudan and Iraq, can be described as constitutionally decentralized unions: LIBYA By law, Libya has one of the most politically decentralized systems in the Arab region. Local governmental institutions extend over education, industry, and communities. But in practice, the central leadership exercises power of these institutions. Civil society and all non-state political organizations are actively suppressed, creating little political participation from the bottom up. 42 In 1998, most central government executive functions in Libya were devolved to 26 Sha‘abiyyat, or local authorities, with the exception of the following areas: defense and security, energy, infrastructure, foreign affairs, social security and trade. The latest political restructuring reform in 2002 increased the number of Sha‘abiyyat to 33 (31 Shaabiyyat and two districts).
Local Governance System: Libya Most central government executive functions in Libya are devolved to 33 Sha‘abiyyat (31 Shaabiyyat and two districts), or local authorities, with the exception of the following areas: defense and security, energy, infrastructure, foreign affairs, social security and trade The Sha‘abiyyat are further divided into Mahallat or Communes, each with its own (or sometimes grouped to form) Mu‘tamar or Congresses. Each Mu‘tamar reports to the Mu‘tamar Sha‘abiyyah, which acts as a filter vis-a vis the Mu‘tamar Sha‘abiyyah al-‗Amm (General People‘s Congress, the legislative body at the national level).



. POGAR / Libya / Decentralization. . Ibid.


The Lagnah Sha‘abiyyah, the executive body, functions through sectoral divisions. Each Mahallah has its own Lagnah, which is responsible for the implementation of scheduled activities and projects. Each Mu‘tamarah supervises and follows-up the Lagnah Sha‘abiyyah‘s implementation of planned projects and activities.

The newly formed Sha‘abiyyat were considerably different in size, population, education and health system status, as well as in GDP, percentage of self-generated revenues on the total, etc. The dissimilar status of development achieved by each Sha‘abiyyat reflected, of course, these discrepancies. As a consequence, the capacity to react to the new decentralized scheme was dissimilar in each Sha‘abiyyat according to their different development status. Indeed, some of the local authorities were neither prepared nor equipped to assume this new role. A Mu‘tamar bring together the ideas and proposals of its constituents and identifies its own area‘s needs and requests. These requests are presented to the Mu‘tamar Sha‘abiyyah, which in turn prioritizes the needs and presents them to the Mu‘tamar Sha‘abiyyah al-‗Amm, which allocates central government budget to the different Sha‘abiyyat on the basis of certain criteria. Disbursement of these funds to the Mu‘tamar is undertaken by the Office for Finance in the Lagnah Sha‘abiyyah. The Office for Planning in the Lagnah Sha‘abiyyah in coordination with the Office of Planning in the Ligan (Committees) of the various Mahallat, plans the sectoral distribution of the allocated money. 44 Economic decentralization has not been effectively implemented in Libya. In the late 1980s, Libya sought to semi-privatize state-owned enterprises by decentralizing management into cooperatives. But decision-making remained highly centralized, as companies depended on subsidies to stay in operation. The potential for new private local companies is limited because economic capital is controlled by the National Banks that have restricted loans to public enterprises. By law, Libya has one of the most politically decentralized systems in the Arab region. Local governmental institutions extend over education, industry, and communities. But in practice, the central leadership exercises power of these institutions. Civil society and all non-state political organizations are actively suppressed, creating little political participation from the bottom up. 45 IRAQ Iraq Pre-war status Despite clear constitutional provisions for decentralization, in practice, the Iraqi government remains highly centralized with limited local independence. With the exception of the three Kurdish governorates in the north that have had autonomy since the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq has not achieved substantial decentralization.
. Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003. . POGAR / Libya / Decentralization

Local Governance law: Iraq46




Article 8 of the Iraqi Constitution states that the organization of the government should be based on administrative units that emphasize the decentralization of governance. ―(a) Baghdad is the Capital of the Iraqi Republic, and it can be transferred by Law. (b) The Iraqi Republic is divided into administrative units and is organized on the basis of decentralization. Law No 159 on Governorates of 1969, Article 3 that sets the administrative structure of local government in Iraq. 47 The National Action Charter of 1971 called for the formation of popular councils in all administrative subdivisions. This was promulgated in Law No. 25 on the Establishment of Local Popular Assemblies published in the Official Gazette on 25/12/1995. Each Council was to be composed of permanent members who occupy official positions at each level and elected members whose number were to be double of those elected. The President of the Republic had the authority to appoint at the Governorate Popular Council other permanent members, from other government entities. According to the law, candidates were to be voted by secret ballot and were required to file their candidacies 20 days before the election. These were, indeed intended to be legislative bodies. The rest of the law delineates the function of those councils in each sector of the economy.

Local Governance System: Iraq Pre-March 2003 The local Government in Iraq is broken down into: o Governorates (18) - Governor appointed by the president The three predominantly - Kurdish northern governorates of Arbil, Dahuk and As-Sulaymaniyah have been under the control of an independent, Kurdish government since the end of the Gulf War. o A District or Municipality - The District is headed by the District Chief (qa’immaqam). - Municipal governments in Iraq vary in their responsibilities based on their size and political importance. The government of the city of Baghdad has a special administrative status and answers directly to the president. - Most municipal mayors are elected in municipal elections, but the president appoints some, such as the mayor of Baghdad. The government has made statements supporting the need to decentralize administration and to give local institutions more authority. - Iraq‘s last municipal election occurred in August 1999 in the fifteen governmentcontrolled governorates. This was the fourth municipal election since the end of the Gulf War.

. International Constitutional Law. See: . Local Governance, Civil Society, The Rule of Law and Media and Communication in Iraq: A Needs Assessment, August 2003.


Locality or Neighbourhoods - The Neighbourhoods is headed by the Neighbourhoods Director and the village is headed by a Village chief (mukhtar).

Responsibility of Local Government: Maintenance of the reticulated water system (below a specific size of pipe); maintenance of local roads; waste and garbage disposal; and the management of parks and green areas. The local governments are also responsible for the issuance of construction licenses and the collection of penalties, fines and real estate taxes.

A Supreme Council for Local Government was established under Law 159. The latter consisted of the Prime Minister (Chairman), and the Ministers of Interior, Finance, Education, Rural and Municipal Affairs, Public Works, Housing, Transport, Health Agriculture, Agricultural Reform, Irrigation, Information and Culture, Labour, Social Affairs and Youth. The basic function of the Supreme Council was the formulation of policies to be implemented by the different councils at the governorate, the district and the neighbourhood levels. 48 The Governorate Council is composed of: a) The Governor who was appointed by the President and served as Chairman; b) the Deputy Chairman who is a member of the Council and elected by the Council; c) elected members from the governorate or the administrative units attached to the governorate; d) ex-officio members -- Assistant Governor for Local Administration and all the heads of departments attached to the governorate as representatives of their respective ministries. The number of the council members is not specified in the law and varied considerably. 49 The local administration in Baghdad had, until the most recent war, operated on the basis of three different structures and models functioning in parallel: I. The Mayoralty of Baghdad (consisting of 9 municipal districts); II. The Governorates of Iraq (a total of 15 excluding the Capital); and III. The Governorates of Northern Iraq, comprising Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah) 50. In the past few years the government has sought to consolidate control of the Ba‘ath party by shifting the party‘s regional command. In 1982, the fifteen-strong regional command consisted of eight Sunni Muslims, six Shi'i Muslims and one Christian. By 1991, the seventeen-strong regional command consisted of thirteen Sunni Muslims, three Shi'i Muslims and one Christian. Twelve of the members came from the three Sunni governorates that the regime used as its political base. The five remaining members represented the other 15 governorates. 51 The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) government in the northern governorates held municipal elections in February 2000. There were 155 mayoral candidates and 916 municipal council candidates running in the election. Municipal councils

. Ibid . Ibid Created by law on 11 March 1974. . POGAR / Iraq / Decentralization

are the highest local authority in the region, overseeing education, development projects, and public service projects. 52 Local Governance System: Iraq After-March 2003 The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) is a new ministry created by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) with specific responsibilities for local government that was formerly within the purview of the Ministry of Interior.  MPW has five directorates, including the Directorate for Municipalities.  Responsibilities include: delivery of public services such as solid waste disposal, road maintenance and urban and physical planning in 251 municipalities (excluding Baghdad city and the three autonomous governorates of Northern Iraq). The Ministry is also responsible for the General Water and Sewerage Corporation, which provides water and sanitation services in 15 governorates (excluding those of the North).  There are also three public enterprises in the field of construction that report to the Ministry.  At present, five Directors General, with five CPA Advisers, manage the Ministry and decide on sector policies. Their functional linkage with the governorates remain the same as when local government was linked to the Ministry of Interior, a strongly centralized system. At present, the Ministry operates out of temporary premises scattered in different locations in Baghdad, including the Palace where the Directors General and their Advisers operate. The Ministry has little or no control over what is taking place in the governorates, particularly in personnel, asset and financial management. The total number of positions authorized for the Ministry is 45,000 of which about 50% are filled. This does not include the number of staff in the Water and Sewerage Corporations and the three public enterprises for construction. The Ministry‘s staff in the 15 governorates (251 municipalities) depend entirely on resources and instructions coming from the centre in Baghdad. The staff has not had training for the last 15 years. A new constitution is currently being drafted replacing the pre-war constitution of Iraq and it is anticipated that new local governments laws will be introduced. SUDAN Sudan stands out as one of the countries in the Arab region that has the most to benefit from decentralization. As the largest country in Africa, the geographical area of Sudan creates difficulties for a central government to provide effective and efficient services to the population. Sudan also includes a number of distinct ethnic groups. The differing needs of these groups can be better met by a decentralized system that allows for more popular participation and adaptation to the specific cultural needs of different populations. In recent years, the Sudanese government has imple mented decentralization plans as well as a federal structure. But these institutions have suffered immensely due to the ongoing civil war in the South.

. Ibid.

Local Governance Law: Sudan 53


The 4th Constitutional Decree of 1991, which adopted a federal system of governance whereby Sudan was divided into nine states (wilayat) each having its own government, legislative body and a number of provinces and local councils administering the affairs at the local level. A number of constitutional decrees followed in the following years detailing and consolidating the federal system further. In 1993 an amendment subdividing the country into 26 states was enacted in order to devolve power over smaller geographical entities. In 1995 the federal system was consolidated further by devolving more financial powers to the states thereby reducing the powers of the central government. The 1998 Constitution reaffirmed the federal system and included within its stipulations a map detailing the names, boundaries and capitals of the 26 states, thus making it difficult to change.

Sudan became a federal state in 1992, when a three-tier system of government was created (the federal government, states, and local communities). The practice of local governance in Sudan is deep-rooted and dates back to the early 20th century. However, due to accumulating negative circumstances, local government performance and its involvement in community advancement has declined. Rural and urban migration has also had a heavy impact on public services and utilities, despite the efforts of different actors to cope with the rapid changes.
Local Governance System: Sudan In 1991, Sudan adopted a new federal structure of government. The nation was divided into 26 states120 provinces and about 634 localities, Structure of the federal system: Following are the main features of each of those four levels: a. The wilaya (state), which is the main power base at the sub-national level. Each state has its own governor, legislature, and executive administration. It is governed by a wali, who is elected by the wilaya‘s legislative council from a list of four nominees proposed by the president of the republic in consultation with elites and community leaders in the wilaya. The wali appoints a cabinet composed typically of five ministers for finance, public works and engineering affairs, social and cultural affairs, education and health. Each wilaya also has an elected legislative assembly, which approves its legislations and budgets and oversees the performance of the various ministries and departments. Ten of these states are in the South. State governors and legislators in the South are appointed by the central government and can be removed at its discretion. b. The muhafaza (province), which is an intermediate level headed by a muhafiz, who, unlike the leaders at the other levels, is appointed directly by the president, but reports to the wali. The functions of the muhafiz are limited to political, supervisory, coordinating, and security-oriented roles. He/she has no executive or legislative functions or intrinsic powers other than coordination between localities or those delegated from the wali. The muhafiz plays a significant role in the Sudanese federal system. This may be attributed to two factors: (a) The muhafiz has been the premier local administrator throughout the previous decentralization schemes adopted in Sudan during most of the 20th century, except for the current system where the muhafiz has been stripped off most of his/her powers. (b) A muhafiz is

. Hamid, Gamal M. Localizing the local: Reflections on the experience of local authorities in Sudan.



usually selected based on his/her strong allegiance to the regime regardless of any prior experience in local administration. The mahaliya (locality), which is the other side of the coin to the wilaya, and the other pillar of the adopted federal system. Each wilaya is composed of a number of urban and rural localities. Each locality has an elected deliberative and legislative council, which elects an executive body. This council is assisted by technocrats and civil servants who may not necessarily be residents of the locality, but are seconded from their agencies at the wilaya or the national level to the locality in order to oversee the local health, education or public works systems. The lajna sha`biya (popular committee) is an elected body of volunteers who administer the affairs of a neighborhood or village. At this nuclear unit, or lowest level of the administrative-political structure, each geographical unit forms a ‗base conference‘ (mo`tamar gha`idi), as a public forum, in which all adult neighborhood residents could participate in deciding about the neighborhood affairs, in electing a popular committee composed of 20-30 members for a two-years term, and in dis/approving its programs and achievements. The conference has two regular meetings per annum. However, in special cases the neighborhood may call for a special meeting to address an emergency or to vote for changing an ineffective popular committee.

Experts have argued that the problem is Sudan‘s ―top-down‖ approach to federalism. Instead of the central government dictating a new decentralized political structure, it is necessary to engage ethnic groups in the formulation of a new system from the bottom up to relieve ethnic tensions. What accentuates the problem is that on one hand, the states are not guaranteed political power under the constitution and the federal government can dissolve a state at will. On the other hand, states are not represented in the federal government's Federal Council, and Sudan's federalist structure has neither reduced conflict in the South nor provided increased autonomy for ethnic groups. The federal budget management is still fairly centralized. States effectively control the budgets of localities, and the federal government issues guidelines for state budgets. The federal government also dominates public expenditures. In 2001, it spent 77% of total expenditures. The preparation of the federal budget and the release of budgeted funds are also highly centralized. Sudan‘s economic hardship has encouraged the government to de-concentrate administration to the state and local levels. All state expenditures for infrastructure and social services were decentralized to state governments. Most states have lacked the necessary resources or revenues to provide effective services. The Sudanese government receives most revenues from customs collection, which are channeled directly to the central government. Differences in productive capacity of states have also led to inequalities in revenues. One case of decentralization has been in the area of education. The Federal Ministry of Education is responsible for planning, training, curriculum, evaluation, and foreign relations. All other powers in education have been transferred to state and local governments. This has led to substantial variation in enrollment and literacy between the states. Most local institutions have paid little attention to local planning. In states that lack resources, schools have had difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers as well as maintaining facilities. The 1995 Asmara Resolution between the government in the North and the Sudan People‘s Liberation Army (SPLA) in the South made a commitment to divide power between the North and

South to allow for more regional autonomy. Sudan‘s federal system may provide a framework for this agreement if substantial reforms are made. Members of the SPLA and other combatants have continued to push for independence or at best autonomy for the South, but the central government has rejected any possibility of secession. However, the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People's Liberation Army began serious negotiations under international sponsorship in October and November 2002 with the aim of putting an end to the civil war and achieving peace in Sudan in the framework of preserving the country's integrity and unity. These negotiations made good progress in areas of power sharing, the provinces in which Islamic Law (Shari'a) prevails, and the relationship between the federal and provincial authorities. Unresolved issues concern sharing national wealth and the allocation of highlevel public positions. The unresolved issues are subject to further negotiations to arrive at a final peace in which all Sudanese political forces and groups take part. 54 Federations The United Arab Emirates is the only federation in the region comprised of seven formerly autonomous emirates. In 1971, the Emirates united to form the new state of the UAE. In practice over the past 30 years, the federal government has assumed additional responsibilities such as water and the judiciary system where local governments have been willing to relinquish power.
Local Governance System: United Arab Emirates UAE is a federation comprised of seven formerly autonomous emirates. The national constitution delineates a division of power between the federal government and the governments of each emirate. The central government is responsible for foreign policy, defense, education, public health, the communications infrastructure, and immigration and territorial issues. Powers not given to the federal government are reserved in the constitution for the individual states of the UAE. In practice over the past 30 years, the federal government has assumed additional responsibilities such as water and the judiciary system where local governments have been willing to relinquish power. The degree of local governance varies in accordance with the size of the emirate and the size of the local community. In Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate, there is a parallel government to the federal structure including a consultative council and public administration. The city of Abu Dhabi is divided into two municipalities that provide a variety of services including water, electricity, public works, finance, and customs. The municipality of Al-Ain within the emirate of Abu Dhabi also has a strong local government. In rural areas, the smaller and less developed emirates, the federal government tends to take a larger role in the provision of public services.


The United Arab Emirates took a visible international role on urban management and decentralization in 2000 by hosting two global academic conferences. In January 2000, Abu Dhabi hosted a conference on local councils and municipal finance organized the World Assembly for Cities and Local Authorities Coordination. Then in April 2000, hundreds of experts attended the Third Sharjah Urban Symposium on the role of cities in the global regional economy. Representatives from the Sharjah Directorate of Town Planning and Survey in coordination with the Sharjah municipality stated that the conference information would be used in urban planning for the
POGAR/ Sudan / Decentralization

community. A conference hosted by the Middle East Policy Council in April 1999 suggested that public administration in the UAE could be decentralized more to local government. The Dubai Municipality has switched over to the decentralized system of administration by effecting major changes in its personnel affairs system. For the last one year the civic body has been reorganizing the duties and procedures of its work force in order to accommodate the changes that are implemented through the electronic administration. The new system, which is being implemented through Intranet network, covers leave applications, return from leave notifications, payment of leave salaries, air tickets and many other services. The decentralization move comes as part of the continuous policy of the municipality to apply modern concepts in the electronic governance, especially for expanding the base of decision -makers The municipality, through its Personnel Department, has taken up new measures to achieve decentralization, to reduce the routine and to reinforce the principles of collective administration. The decentralization programme was introduced after necessary planning and changing a number of major services of the Personnel Department into electronic system through the Intranet system. The Personnel Department has taken effective measures to shift from the traditional concept of work using papers for forwarding applications for any service to the concept of integrated administration derived from the principles of decentralization. 55 Another decentralization programme in UAE is the Integrated Urban Management, Municipality of Dubai. In combining rapid urbanization with economic diversification, the Municipality of Dubai has developed a highly responsive and efficient urban management reform process. The municipal structure was designed in the 1950s for a population of about 50,00. But the city now numbers 700,000 people. In a bottom-up approach, the municipality has integrated structural change with administrative improvements, including systems of delegation of authority, human resource development and the introduction of a legal framework. Serving a 'city-state' and incorporating a wide range of multisectoral activities, the Dubai Municipality provides an adaptable mode; for cites which are assuming an expanded role in the delivery of urban services through decentralization. Decentralization in Conflict/Post-Conflict Societies Occupied Land/Territories Palestine Until the establishment of the PA in 1994, the legal frameworks for local authority elections in the occupied Palestinian territories were governed by the 1955 Municipalities Law and the 1954 Administration of Villages Law in the West Bank, and the 1936 Municipalities Ordinance in the Gaza Strip. Since the Oslo Agreements were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the concept of decentralization has received popular support both among the populace in Palestine and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

. Dubai - Municipality's administration decentralized, 26 June 2002, Khaleej Times. See:

Local Governance System and laws: Palestine After the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the president of the Palestinian Authority issued the Transfer of Authorities Law, according to which "all authorities and powers mentioned in legislation, laws, decrees, orders in force in the West Bank and Gaza before 5 May 1994 shall be transferred to the PA‖. - The Ministry of Local Government is the guardian of the decentralization process - The Ministry of Local Government and the 1997 Local Government Law identify two types of local authorities: Municipal councils (119) and village councils (251). These legal entities, referred to as local government units (LGU‘s) covered most of developed area under the Palestinian control or administration. - The Law on Local Government in October 1997 spells out the main functions of the elected councils of the local governance units, municipalities or villages, and their relationship to the central government, primarily the Ministry of Local Government. The main functions include town and street planning, building and construction permits, water supply and power supply. 56

The PA has worked to develop a framework for political decentralization, but implementati on has proven difficult. The boundaries of the municipal councils have been largely identified and agreed upon, but the actual boundaries of the village councils have never been decided. The three main political institutions engaged in the transition to decentralization are the Ministry of Local Government, the Union of Palestinian Municipalities, and a special committee for capacity building developed in concert with the World Bank. 57 The MLG has decided to reclassify all local authorities on a scale from A to E, which in return determines their fiscal and administrative autonomy (and thus MLG supervision). 1. Class A and B Municipalities have been in operation since 1967, and therefore posses a long experience of local administration. 2. Class C and D municipalities, which were all, established after 1994 some have performed rather well and justify their establishment, but performance of others is weak. - A structuring principle adheres to the division of the West Bank and Gaza Strip into areas labeled as A, B and C as specified in the Oslo Agreements. 1. In area A (the main towns), the PA has full civilian and security Control but the IDF retains military control 2. In area B (the majority of Palestinian villages), the PA has civilian control but the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) retains military control. 3. In area C (extensive territories belonging to the village councils and the majority of Project Committees), the IDF has full Civilian and military control. Although the PA has full planning responsibility for areas A and B, such responsibilities are under the Israeli jurisdiction. 58 Failed States SOMALIA
. UNDP/PAPP, Diagnostic Report: Support to Local government reform project. (Unpublished Draft), p.21-25. . POGAR / Palestine/ Decentralization . UNDP/PAPP, Local governance forum: The impact of the UNDP/LRDP on local governance in Palestine: Innovation through micro-regional planning committees (second draft). October 2003, p.7.

Somalia provides an interesting example of community initiatives in the absence of a national authority and disintegrated public institutions. In this aspect, Somalia‘s experience with decentralization and strengthening local governance shows their success and effectiveness in responding to local demands and needs in the absence of a coherent national policy or Government. Somalia has had no functioning national government since the United Somali Congress ousted the regime of Major General Mohamed Said Barre in January 1991. In October 2000, the Transitional National Government, with a president serving a 3-year term and a 245-member National Assembly, was established in Mogadishu; it controls only a limited portion of the national territory. Other governing bodies continue to exist and control various cities and regions of the country. Although overall political reconciliation has not yet been achieved and administrations are either weak or nonexistent, Somalia provides an interesting case where, despite the absence of a national state and its financial, economic, and social institutions, the private sector has managed to prosper and grow impressively. The people of Somalia have been able to create new communities, establish administrative structures and organize basic services. Apart from scars and destruction, we observe elements of hope that are mainly based on such initiatives. Although Somalia is a failed state, there are parts of the country that are stable and have functioning local governments in a post-conflict stage. Recently local elections were held for 25 jurisdictions in North West Somalia (or Somaliland), in which mayors and council members were elected. The election process was participatory, transparent and democratic. During the short period in which these elected local governments have been in place, there have been hopeful signs of good governance. 59 Somalia has lacked a central government since 1991. In the last decade, local institutions have emerged, particularly in the northern regions, to compensate for the lack of a central government. Reports by the Somali Aid Co-ordination Body have stated that local administrative units in the country tend to be responsive and responsible in trying to meet the public‘s needs. Still, political institutions in Somalia remain very weak due to the on-going violence, lack of resources, and lack of institutional capacity. The new Transitional People‘s Assembly (TPA) that was created in the fall of 2000 during peace talks in Arta, Djibouti, has stated a commitment to a decentralized government. But the two most developed regional administrations, Somaliland and Puntland, remain hostile towards the TPA and unification. The most developed local governments in Somalia are in the northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland. Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991 and declared itself a sovereign nation, but no other nations have recognized it as such. Over the last decade, the municipal governments in Somaliland have steadily increased their attempts to provide governance to the region. In the last five years, these governments have begun to collect revenues, again providing them with fiscal autonomy. In the fall of 2000, Somaliland announced that municipal elections would be held some time in the next 18 months. Puntland declared itself an autonomous region in 1998 in support of creating a decentralized federal state in Somalia. As this northern region has largely avoided the fighting, local institutions have been able to rebuild and expand over the last decade. Municipalities are administered by an executive mayor and an assistant mayor who reports to an advisory city
. Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003, P. 14.

council. In both Somaliland and Puntland, these institutions have been hampered by a lack of institutional capacity to plan and effectively rebuild the public infrastructure. Beginning in 1995, the UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) and the European Union (EU) have financed several local development projects in Somaliland and Puntland to provide technical and institutional assistance on fiscal and urban management. The programs have sought to improve urban planning and mapping, water supply and distribution, sanitation, and roads. Centered on the municipality of Berbera, the projects provided US $1.5 million in 1996. The Standing Committee of the Friends of the Inter- Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has supported a ―building block‖ concept of rebuilding Somalia. Instead of working to reestablish a central government as the current TPA is attempting, they suggest creating 5-6 regional government units that could then be united in a federation or confederation. Somaliland and Puntland are seen as the institutional model for the other regions, but several challenges exist in the central and southern regions. In the central Hawiye region, Egyptian and Libyan-backed groups tried to create a local administration in 1997-1998. Inter-clan conflicts undermined the creation of a police force and other local institutions by creating infighting that led to its eventual collapse. In the Juba valley region, leaders of the Darod clans attempted to create a local administration in October 1998, but fighting between the clans blocked implementation. A Rahenweyne local administration was established in the Bay and Bakool regions, including a Supreme Governing Council in 1995. But fighting and lack of resources led to its collapse. Although the building block concept may be an attractive alternative to forced unification, in practice most of the blocks have failed to survive the on-going clan conflicts. 60

. POGAR/ Somalia / Decentralization

Chapter Four

UNDP Support to Decentralized Governance in the Arab Region

UNDP has accorded priorities to decentralization and local governance in several of the country programmes that will be discussed in this part of the paper. In doing so, UNDP has identified several entry points to tackle the problems to be addressed in this area: building national frameworks and state support for decentralized governance and public sector management; fiscal decentralization; administrative reform; strengthening political accountability; local development; strengthening civil society and participation. In this chapter, we review UNDP initiatives and support to on-going decentralization efforts ALGERIA In Algeria, Decentralization and Local Governance is one of three governance programmes that the UNDP CO is currently implementing in partnership of the government. The program focuses on building relationships between MPs and local constituents; improving access to justice at the local level through the modernization of pilot courts in two different rural areas of the country; and capacity building for a national NGO to become a key player in promoting good governance in local communities and regions. A pilot project is currently being implemented focusing on strengthening local administration and improving access to social services. Box 4.1
Pilot Project “Promotion of Decentralization and Local Governance”

The “Promotion of Decentralization and Local Governance” is a pilot project aiming at modernizing national and local administration by the use of ICT tools and SHDs concepts. The expected outcomes are: i) Improved access of the poor to social services through community networks, introducing web based procedures/criteria, and enhancing transparency, ii) strengthened civil servants’ capacities in delivering efficient services as ICT is introduced and become available and training to use ICT tools is provided; iii) SHDs concepts shared and promoted through seminars organized at local and national levels.

EGYPT In Egypt, the Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) program has dealt, for over than ten years, with a wide range of urban environmental issues such as sanitation, solid waste management, and water conservation. As a result of this long-term engagement, LIFE has established a strong network of contacts with the local governments and municipalities, which have now been trained on participatory development. Furthermore, in 2001, a group from within the network formed a new NGO called ―Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for Development‖ (FDPD), which is mainstreaming the methodology of LIFE at many levels and on many issues in Egypt. Other examples of local governance can also be found in the water partnerships at the national level. The CO in Egypt, is undertaking the ―Municipal Initiatives for Strategic Recovery Programme” an effort aiming at lifting up the bottom 60 municipalities in the municipal human development index derived from NHDR 2003. Further the CO is launching the Governorate Human Development Reports. The first 7 Governorates Human development Reports are finalized and

are being launched one at a time. The remaining 20 will be prepared over the next 2 years, pushing human development analysis and HDI at village level. Egypt’s Inter-Governorates SHD platform for Action and Monitoring Project (PFAAM)
PFAAM is a UNDP project carried out in co-operation with NGOs in Egypt. The project aims to establish an inter-regional framework for the purpose of operationalizing SHD. It focuses on minimizing the socio-economic disparities existing between and within Egypt’s governorates and on cementing and institutionalizing participatory development processes among Egypt’s 26 Governorates.

JORDAN In Jordan, UNDP provides support to create upward linkages between local communities and municipalities and the central government through the establishment of up to 18 Jordan Information Technology Community Centers (JITCC). A JITCC is planned for the governorate of Ajloun with the aim of serving as a point of reference for training and information exchange. The JITCC will also house computer facilities to provide access to the Regional Information Systems. Furthermore, UNDP in collaboration with UNESCO has established an IT community center in Irbid to be used as a training facility targeting local government staff. UNDP has also completed a project with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation that led to the development of a database on water resources in Jordan disaggregated according to municipality. Information in that database will be useful in the planning and development of projects.
Box 4.2 Jordan’s Governorates’ Development Programme (GDP)

In October 2001, The Ministry of Planning, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched Jordan’s Governorates’ Development Programme and selected the Governorate of Ajloun as a pilot governorate-- because of the high poverty level and unemployment rate in the area--seeking quick impact results. Further, the pilot project aims to set the stage for the future implementation of the Government of Jordan’s Governorates' Development Programme. Using the Governorate of Ajloun as a pilot, the project seeks to (i) build the capacity of local government staff to implement development initiatives (ii) build the capacity of the Technical Secretariat within the Ministry of Planning to oversee the implementation of the Governorates' Development Programme; (iii) identify and elaborate specific development projects in Ajloun; (iv) enhance networking and access to information at the local level; and (iv) elaborate a management structure. The project will identify capacity gaps at the local level through assessing human resources available within regional and local governments, in Ajloun, local cooperatives and relevant civil society organizations. Once identified, training modules will be developed and training the trainers activities will be carried out targeting staff and local development stakeholders. It is envisaged that the training modules would be flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the other 9 governorates.

The pilot project in Ajloun will set the stage for the second phase of implementing the GDP, which will build on lessons learned, and good practices derived from implementing the Ajloun pilot project.61 LEBANON UNDP efforts in Lebanon have focused on two strategic areas of intervention or entry points: 1) support for building or revising national framework for decentralization; and 2) empowerment of local government and NGOs for sustained local development.
Box 4.3 Lebanon – UNDP Programmes

UNDP in Lebanon decided to focus its intervention on two levels: centrally through providing support for

decentralization and the formulation of laws that support the devolution of power from the center to the regions; and at the local level through building the capacity of local actors, including local government bodies and local civil society organizations, to move the development agenda forward. Whereas the first cluster of activities aims at providing the overall legislative and regulatory framework for effective decentralization and its implementation, the second is designed to provide the building blocks for this framework to be efficient and effective in local development and poverty reduction-linked to the strategic framework developed at the national level.

Centrally, and following a study on Situation Analysis and Entry Points for decentralization and local
governance, UNDP organized a series of discussion sessions on four central themes: (a) decentralization, municipal legislation and election laws; (b) a critical review of decentralization laws; (c) Caza Councils and federation of municipalities as an entry point into an effective decentralization system; and (d) decentralization from a socio-economic perspective (efficiency and effectiveness of decentralization), including fiscal issues and the role of decentralization in balanced development. The sessions were held in the Parliament and were attended by a number of experts, parliamentarians and municipal heads. and prioritize local issues and concerns through a participatory process involving local stakeholders; (b) provide the municipality with the needed tools for enhancing the local community involvement and participation in planning and managing development projects; (c) build the capacity of municipal council members to formulate and implement local development plans, acquire partnerships, and mobilize resources; (d) support municipalities in the implementation of small community development projects. Project implementation includes: 1. Training and human resource development targeting: (a) Participatory local development to clarify the importance of local community participation for enhancing local development, and acquiring knowledge of participatory tools and techniques to promote the participation of the local community. The deliverable of the training includes the preparation of a village profile through a village participatory survey involving the local community as well as the municipal council. The survey will be later used by the municipality as a baseline for monitoring local development changes. It will also be used as a basis for identifying and prioritizing local problems and needs, and will feed into the preparation of a municipal development plan. (b) Municipal Legislation and Finance to inform municipalities of the current municipal law that outlines their roles, responsibilities and obligations, including municipal financing and budgeting. The training will emphasize the need for internal responsibility, transparency, and participation.
. UNDP, Jordan- Support to the Governorates’ Development Programme (project Document), October 2001.

On the local level, the intervention aims at building the capacity of local partners to (a) identify, analyze

(c) Municipal Development Planning and budgeting to enable municipalities to develop monitor and evaluate municipal action plans that meet the needs of the community. The development plans will make use of the data collected through the field surveys, gathered in the village profiles, and the training on municipal governance. The training also targets resource mobilization issues, including partnerships (joint ventures, twinning municipalities, union of municipalities, etc.). (d) Project design and implementation, following the development of municipal action plans, this training focuses on the project cycle, including formulation, appraisal, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. 2. Implementation of small community projects- Following the training, municipalities develop project proposals for implementation. Based on the nature of the project, UNDP selects to support a number of feasible proposals. The implementation of these projects is not being viewed as an end by itself, but rather a direct application of the capacity building component.

PALESTINE In 1993, UNDP/PAPP initiated a rural development project in Palestine, known as ‗the Local Rural Development Fund‖ (LRDP). The project surveyed rural villagers about their infrastructure needs and conducted public meetings to devise a plan for a local development project. This was subsequently implemented with positive results. This project has been expanded under the Ministries of Government and Local Affairs, Planning, and Cooperation and Finance. By 1999, the program operated with a yearly budget of US $24 million with UNDP/UNCDF financing. This project is an example of a focus on institution building for local governance and of using policy experiments in fiscal decentralization and fiscal transfers as an entry-point for policy dialogue. Box 4.4 Palestine- The Micro-Region Planning Committees (MRPCs) In 1996, the MoLG (Ministry of Local Government), in a joint initiative with UNDP/PAPP and various donors, through the Local Rural Development Programme (LRDP), created and introduced new entities to the Palestinian local government system: micro-region planning committees (MRPCs) in order to adopt a strategy for strengthening local government and decentralizing aspects of development planning and implementation by the local authorities. The goal behind creating MRPCs is to enable more effective and efficient provision of planning and development services to the rural population. These MRPCs, comprising representatives of local authorities and assisted technically by engineers and planners, have proven to be effective instruments for improving the quality of life of Palestinians through better planning that engages citizens and through provision of new and rehabilitated infrastructure and services. LIBYA In 2002, the CO in Libya has identified decentralization and local governance as a major component of their programme. To that effect, the CO is in the process of preparing their next NHDR on decentralization and developing a programme in support of decentralization. A recent GEF mission to Libya found that UNDP can support government‘s efforts for sustainable development through integrated environmental management, including providing capacity build ing programs for wetland and coastal management, solid wastes management, sewage water treatment,

arid land management, climate change, etc. The Government is currently engaged in a dialogue with UNDP exploring collaboration and drawing on its expertise and experience in this area. More recently, UNDP was requested to provide technical assistance to the Sha'abiyyat in their efforts to implement effectively the decentralization process. Together with UNICEF, preliminary work has been undertaken and resulted in the selection of five Sha'abiyyat to be the intended beneficiaries of the project in its pilot phase. Five fields of intervention were identified for the pilot phase: capacity building, primary health, ICT, job creation and women participation. MOROCCO The strategy of UNDP‘s governance and institutional capacity-building program in Morocco is to promote an enabling environment for the implementation of administrative, judicial and legislative processes, as well as the management of a decentralized development approach focusing on the very poorest. UNDP‘s intervention in the governance area is focused at two levels: The upstream level involves elaborating a National Program on Governance to enable decentralization and participatory development; and the downstream level involves support to ongoing cooperation programs and establishment of regional audit account bodies. Of the seven sub-programs that comprise the UNDP program, the sixth in particular foresees the strengthening of decentralization and devolution. This sub-program targets four selected rural provinces and is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Planning and the UNDP. Activities related to local governance that have been undertaken include: o Establishment of a national committee of representatives from state, private sector, and civil society to promote consultation on governance; o Training of secretary generals of selected rural communities; o Training of newly recruited audit body magistrates for regional audit bodies; o The prioritization of decentralization for administrative modernization by a Study Panel; o Training and assessment of selected line ministries; and o A report on corruption in Morocco, which has been transmitted to the MDGD and OECD for analysis and comments. SAUDI ARABIA The UNDP is working at both national and local levels to build the capacity of lower levels of government, and to increase participation. The first program involves ongoing support to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in partnership with the councils, to develop provincial strategies for 11 of the 13 councils. These strategies aim to provide a map of the strengths and opportunities for future provincial development, and include community participation and capacity building components. 62 The second program is a local initiative funded through the DGTTF (Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund), to support and enhance the capacity of the Provincial Council of Al-Madinah
. Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003, p.14.

to negotiate and influence policy decisions of the central government and to strategi cally address development issues through strengthening its institutional capacity in policy development, analysis and community participation. The intended outcomes are; 1) Applicable model of effective Provisional Council that embraces the 1994 Provisional Council Act, 2) A Functioning Technical Secretariat for the Council capable of a) bringing to attention of the Council critical development issues, b) provoking dialogue among Council members and c) setting priorities for the province in consultation with the local communities. 63 The project can be considered the first initiative in the Kingdom to activate the role of the provisional councils and to strengthen linkages between national and local authorities. Through the Urban Observatory for Al-Madina, to be established with UNDP support, and the issue papers that will be prepared within this initiative; the project will produce (and sustain the monitoring of) a set of human development indicators for the province that will be aligned and linked to the n ational MDGs (already prepared with the help of UNDP). This initiative is innovative in a way that UNDP is serving as a national-local partnership broker for human-centered development.64 SOMALIA A process of decentralization and strengthening local governance and its link to achieving human development is promoted/discussed as integral component of a national policy and Government efforts to decentralize governance to local levels. Somalia provides an example of community initiatives in the absence of a national authority and disintegrated public institutions. While the people of Somalia have experienced civil war, strife and suffering during the last decade, they have also been able to create new communities, establish administrative structures and organize basic services. In the absence of a fully functional national government, UNDP has been assisting the Transitional National Government (TNG) and regional administrations to develop institutional capacity, provide support to the private sector and civil society organizations and strengthen their capacities, which had been severely affected by the fall of Barre‘s regime and the consequent civil war. 65 UNDP has provided this support through two programs: a) the Capacity Building for Governance; and b) former Somali Civil Protection Program, which focused on law enforcement, judiciary, with emphasis on human rights, small arms control, demobilization and reintegration of capacity to utilize and promote ICT for humanitarian assistance and development. UNDP Somalia has been constantly engaged in supporting the people of Somalia in the fight against poverty and promoting sustainable social and legal structures --conducive to social and economic
DGTT DGTT In this regard, see the Strategic Results Framework for 2000-2003, respectively Goal 1, Creation of an enabling environment for SHD, Sub-Goal 1.2, Strengthened capacity of key governance institutions; SAS 1.2.1, Institutional capacity of parliamentary structures, systems and processes; Outcome: Increased effectiveness of Somali institutions of representation to perform its legislative and oversight functions; and Goal 5, Reduced incidence of and sustainable recovery and transition from complex emergencies and natural disasters; Sub-Goal 5.2, Conflict prevention, peace-building and sustainable recovery and transition in countries emerging from crisis; SAS: 5.2.2, Capacity development of national institutions and civil society organizations to advance human security; Outcome: Enhanced rule of law (policing and administration of justice) and increased independence of the judiciary and strengthened institutional mechanisms for oversight.

development. UNDP is providing support to develop a competitive and equitable private sector,66 through creating an enabling legislative framework; fair, accessible and functioning judicial system, and law enforcement institutions. In order to ensure equal access to resources and opportunities offered by the private sector, the constitution of NW Somalia, the Civil Code, and the law for the administration of the justice system, exempt the poor from paying legal costs. UNDP is supporting regional authorities in providing legal assistance and counseling to the poor to ensure equitable access to assets and credits as well as to alternative dispute mechanisms. Finally, UNDP support for ―ICT for humanitarian assistance and development‖ in Somalia includes a capacity building component to provide training and technical assistance to utilize ICT by Somali administrations; support to set up ICT networks to promote internet and intra-net to link various administrative organs of TNG; support to set up a VSAT system for Northwest Somalia (Somaliland) to provide a cost effective solution for an information and communications network for the administration, two universities and aid agencies; and data and geographical information system, presently based in Nairobi, for aid coordination, planning and programming.
Box 4.5 Pilot Centres for Legal Counseling in Somalia UNDP Somalia, in partnership with the regional and local authorities, INGOs, LNGOs and other UN organizations, contribute to creating an enabling environment, for the poor, to ensure equitable access to resources, assets and services. A critical factor in depriving the poor from equitable resources is the lack of knowledge of and access to legal frameworks, rights and services. In most parts of Somalia, and especially in the rural areas, the poor do not have the means to access legal services or knowledge of their legal rights. Hence, they are denied access to justice. UNDP is supporting a pilot project to create pilot centres for legal counseling, in various rural areas and districts, to improve access to justice of the poor and legal services in local communities. The project will create a number of itinerant legal counsel centres that can provide services in remote rural communities of NW Somalia. The project is a first in Somalia, in its mandate and scope, supported by UNDP and other UN agencies with the aim of replicating this experience on a larger scale covering larger territorial districts and communities. Key partners in this project are the faculty of law of the University of Hargeisa, UNHCR, and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). The faculty of law and the Bar Association will nominate students and lawyers (graduated before the war) as volunteers in the centres. UNHCR and DRC will provide additional resources and expertise to ensure sustainability of the Centres.

See the Strategic Results Framework for 2000-2003, Goal 1, Creation of an enabling environment for SHD; SubGoal 1.1, National, regional and global dialogue and cooperation that widens development choices for sustainable and equitable growth; SAS 1.1.3, Policy, legal and regulatory reform to support private sector development; Outcome: Expansion of a competitive, market-oriented private sector based on principles of sustainable and equitable growth.

SUDAN In Sudan, UNDP aims at building local capacity for planning, as well as administrative and fiscal management (including revenue raising) and enhancing the role of local communities in decision making. The cornerstone of these efforts is the political will of the authorities and the enthusiasm of civil society organizations in the country to join efforts in these endeavors. In practice, however, many obstacles and problems have curtailed the ability of these local government institutions to play an effective role. These include inadequate organizational structures of the localities and inability to respond to demands and needs of each locality; poor financial performance; lack of financial resources; the absence of reliable data and statistics on which to base programmes/decisions; and lack of capacity or vision to interact with civil society and private sector, especially in areas relating to development and management of local resources. UNDP, in consultation with the government, has taken the initiative to develop a model for local governance by piloting it through Khartoum State. Subsequently, a meeting was held in Khartoum in May 2001 with interested donors/partners and concluded with concrete recommendations for a comprehensive local government programme in Sudan. Implementation of this programme is underway but still in early phases. TUNISIA Governance is a sensitive issue among national authorities. Nevertheless, UNDP is involved in three programs to enhance local governance: (i) In partnership with the Italian Decentralized Cooperation, UNDP has launched a successful initiative in the area of Gafsa - the Programme Cadre de Développement Humain au niveau Local (PDHL, or the Framework Program for Human Development at the Local Level). The resulting decentralized partnerships between local communities in Italy and in Gafsa, have lead to the creation of new associations and local development projects in several sectors, including agriculture, socio-economic development, education and sanitation. UNDP has recently embarked on the Mediterranean Partnership for Local Governance (or the GOLD initiative). GOLD facilitates the efficient allocation of development resources to strengthen local capacity and participation, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge on local governance and local economic development within the country and among countries in the Mediterranean Basin. It also supports the improvement of a national local governance plan. Another relevant initiative is Agenda 21, where local authorities have been actively engaged in implementation, and integrated activities have been supported at the municipal, governorate and national levels.



YEMEN It must be noted that the efforts in Yemen are in their infancy, and that tremendous challen ges to systems of good governance remain. These challenges range from: (i) the disconnect between the

rhetoric of decentralization embraced by many leaders, and the reality of more-limited deconcentration; (ii) a history of fragmented donor actions and UNDP programs, which have consistently bypassed local institutions, undermining local government, hindering capacity -building, and creating unsustainable development programs that are not linked to institutional reform; (iii) the absence of a long-term national strategy; (iv) weak structures for accountability, monitoring and control; (v) weak or non-existent systems and functions at the local level; (vi) limited capacity at the central and especially the local level; (vii) existing tribal and social structures; and (viii) weak systems for fiscal management, accountability and transparency at the local level. In order to support national decentralization efforts, UNDP launched a multi-donor supported initiative in selected governorates and districts with the aim of expanding it gradually to reach full national coverage. A programme document entitled ―Decentralization and Local Development Support Programme‖ (DLDSP), was signed on 19 July 2003 between UNDP, the Ministry of Local Administration (MOLA) and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. UNDP including the Country Office, the Drylands Development Centre and Capacity 2015, as well as the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). 67 The program uses fiscal decentralization as an entry-point to strengthening local governance. Through the Ministry of Local Administration and the Ministry of Finance, this program aims to implement transparent and predictable transfers to local authorities based on clear policy objectives and criteria. In particular it will (i) create a facility for fiscal transfers to District Councils; (ii) support institutions for local revenue mobilization and public expenditure management; and (iii) work with central, governorate and community-level bodies to support and supervise local authorities. 68 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven Emirates, each with its own local government parallel to, and sometimes, interconnected with the federal institutions. UNDP provides support in two main areas aiming at strengthening local government capacities and enhancing coordination between the federal and local governments. UNDP provided technical assistance and expertise in support of strengthening local government capacities in the following areas: o Public sector reforms and strengthening public management (the Institutional Development of Dubai Municipality project -1987-2000); o Building capabilities in governance and public administration/ management (Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry - 1999-2000); o Strengthening local government‘s role and capacities in creating environment for economic growth and integration into the global economy;

. Case study-Yemen, Decentralization and local development support programme. . Tripti, Thomas. UNDP, The UNDP E-Discussion on local governance in the Arab States (Draft Report), May 5– June 5, 2003.


Advisory support/ technical assistance in Economic planning, policy analysis, WTO issues, data collection and analysis, Mobilizing ICT for governance, economic and social development (ICT Strategy for Abu Dhabi Municipality); Emirate level development plans and policy analysis (Development plans for each of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah emirates (1996-2000) , and strengthening data collection and analysis );


o Enhance linkages and coordination between the federal and local governments to support and optimize decision making for development. o Provide support to develop national strategies and action plans in key areas with emphasis on participatory approaches to include local stakeholders and partners (National Environmental Action Plan (2000), National Strategy for the Advancement of Women, launched in 2002) REGIONAL PROGRAMMES UNDP Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) The UNDP Drylands Development Centre (DDC) was launched in 2002 with its headquarters in Nairobi and four regional offices in Beirut, Dakar, Pretoria and San Jose -- integrated into UNDP's regional SURFs. The overall goal of the IDDP is to contribute to realizing the millennium development goal of halving global poverty by 2015, given that many of the one billion people directly dependent upon Drylands for their livelihoods are poor and marginalized. Supporting lo cal governance for natural resources management (NRM) is one of the three main pillars of IDDP. In the Arab states of Morocco, Yemen, and Syria, NRM has become a strategic entry-point for supporting national decentralization efforts. In Yemen, the IDDP supports the Decentralization and Local Development Program; and in Morocco, the focus is on the implementation of the 2020 Rural Development Strategy. In its second phase, the IDDP will be extended to Tunisia, the Palestinian Territories, and to Iran.
Box 4.6 UNDP Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP):

Four specific outputs of the IDDP will support local governance: (i) (ii) (iii) Knowledge of local governance for NRM, including documentation and dissemination of successful approaches and best practices; (ii) Improved capacity of local institutions to enforce access to and use of natural resources; (iii) Review of existing systems of local governance and integration of participatory systems for NRM with the overall policy framework; and (iv) Innovative and sustainable local land management approaches for improving livelihoods reflected in large-scale programs.


Another Programme “Catalytic Support to Implement the Convention to Combat Desertification― in West Asia and North Africa, funded by the Government of Finland, and implemented by the UNDP Drylands Development Centre, was developed to move forward the implementation of the Convention in response to expressed needs for technical assistance from Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria

and Yemen. The goal of the programme is to contribute to the sustainable development of the Drylands through the establishment of a firm foundation for long-term implementation of the Convention in these countries. Urban Management Program (UMP) and City Consultations Executed by UN Habitat in Africa, Arab States, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, UMP focuses on addressing poverty, governance, environment and HIV/AIDS issues in urban areas. With a strong donor support, UMP involves a network of over 40 partner institutions (e.g., the International Union of Local Authorities, Asia Institute of Technology, the Housing Development Corporation in Jordan) and has supported more than 120 city consultations in 57 countries. The city consultation process involves stakeholders in the preparation of a city profile, the discussion and preparation of an action plan, the implementation of that plan, and replication of the process in other cities. The action plan outlines the key concerns and potential impact of the initiative being planned, the priority groups/actors/areas, priorities for action and roles, inputs (resources), outputs (achievements), and procedures for monitoring. Environmental Quality International (EQI) undertook the implementation of the UMP for nine years in the Arab Region. All UMP projects were conducted at the local level and used the City Consultations methodology. This is a participatory methodology, based on the premise that creating dialogue between municipalities and their constituents will improve urban management. The UMP chose cities and issues such as solid waste management or the upgrading of informal settlements, and worked through a consultative process that engaged all stakeholders to develop action plans and implement the projects. A unique aspect of the UMP and the City Consultations was the engagement of the Arab media as a partner in advocacy for local development. These efforts gave rise to two regional media NGOs – the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Urban Forum based in Morocco, and the Arab Media Forum for Environment and Development in (AMFED) in Cairo. The UMP worked with these NGOs to build the capacity of the Arab media in various fields of sustainable development. As part of the City Consultations, the media was intensively involved before any activity was started and even during the implementation phase. This process created advocacy and constant dialogue through different media channels, and resulted in a change of attitude and sometimes even policy at some levels.
Box 4.7 Urban Management Programme (UMP)
UNDP supports at least 300 urban-targeted projects and programmes at a cost of more than US $400 million in grants. The UMP is one example of a large and long-standing UNDP programme from which some capacity building lessons could be drawn. It began in 1986 with some publication work, switched to rationalization in 1992, focused on city consultations in 1996, and emphasized institutional anchoring in 2001. Some of the initiatives supported under UMP in the Arab Sates include the following: improvement of waste management and traffic circulation in historic Damascus, Syria; poverty alleviation in selected towns in the West Bank; investment planning through public-private partnerships in Tunis, Tunisia

Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) LIFE is a UNDP global flagship programme to promote local-local dialogue and partnership between NGOs, CBOs, local governments and private sector for improving the living conditions of the urban poor and influencing policies for participatory local governance. Using "upstreaming downstreaming - upstreaming" approach, LIFE provides small grants (up to US$50,000) directly to NGOs and CBOs for need based, participatory, community-based projects in urban poor communities; supports capacity development of local actors and promotes advocacy and policy dialogues using the experience of the projects. LIFE is in operation in 12 developing countries where the LIFE national programmes are managed and monitored by multi-stakeholder National Steering Committees. In addition LIFE supports regional and global NGOs and cities‘ associations to demonstrate and advocate participatory local governance for sustainable human development. LIFE supports programs in a number of Arab states such as Egypt. Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Environment (PPPUE) The PPPUE is a UNDP multi-partner facility that supports local authorities in developing countries in their efforts to implement inclusive partnerships involving government, business, and civil society organizations (CSOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) to reduce poverty. It focuses on small and medium-sized cities with populations between 20,000 and 500,000 inhabitants, on direct poverty reduction impact through service extension to poor neighborhoods and job creation for the disadvantaged communities, and on basic services (water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, local energy services, central municipal services). The PPPUE is presently supporting three national programmes in Namibia, Nepal, and Uganda and 12 other innovative partnership projects in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In the Arab region, PPPUE supports a national programme in Jordan. UNDP Capacity 21 Since its inception in 1993, UNDP Capacity 21 has supported Arab states in formulating, designing and implementing policies and practices compatible with sustainable development. Our work in Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria integrates social, economic, and environmental concerns into local and national development.
Box 4.8 AGENDA 21

Adopting an integrated, participatory, demand-driven, and cross-sectoral approach to sustainable development, Capacity 21 supports a wide range of catalytic and multidisciplinary programmes aimed at developing local, national and regional capacities for the implementation of sustainable development practices and policies. Capacity 21 programmes in the Arab States are driven by country priorities. Various entry points are used, including: Developing strategies for the implementation of national Agenda 21 plans and environmental action plans; Establishing local Agenda 21 action plans for municipalities or conglomerations of municipalities; Raising the level of awareness in countries concerning environmental protection and sustainable development; Providing training and technical assistance to selected groups of local and national incumbents; Strengthening legislative and regulatory frameworks for sustainable development policies and practices; Streamlining and upgrading institutional capacities of public and private entities involved in natural resource

management; and reinforcing managerial, organizational and staffing capacities of sustainable development mechanisms. The key principles driving the capacity building process in the Arab States region include: Cross-sectoral coordination to avoid economic inefficiencies and strengthen new and appropriate management structures; Integration of environmental and social concerns into all development; Participation by the widest array of partners in decision-making processes; Free flow of and access to information at all levels of society; Open public discussion at all levels; Participatory monitoring and evaluation to secure local ownership and sustainability of the programmes; and Decentralization of sustainable-development planning and management. In 1996, Capacity 21 joined the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank as a partner in the third phase of the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP III). The Arab States, which are partners in METAP III, are: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Palestine. The METAP programme acts as a catalyst for regional cooperation and action, bringing together countries with common environmental concerns. Based on collaborative arrangements with municipalities, countries, NGOs and bilateral donors, METAP provides grant funding for activities to assist Mediterranean countries in: Designing environmental projects; Strengthening environmental management capacity; Establishing environmentally sound policies; and Mobilizing resources to finance environmental investment in the region. In addition to its country portfolios, METAP III has also included a set of regional capacity-building activities intended to: Strengthen environmental institutions; Promote the exchange of information and experience; and Strengthen institutional links within and among METAP countries. Capacity 21 efforts in Djibouti are focused in a two-year programme entitled Strengthening Environmental Capacities and the Process of Participation through the PANE (National Environmental Action Plan). This programme aims at establishing the Directorate of Environment. The Directorate will be responsible for capacity building for environment and sustainable development at the national level. The program has three objectives: a) to establish a permanent Directorate of Environment, which will be responsible for environmental issues; b) to create a clear strategy for solving environmental issues; and c) to produce a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) based on dialogue and consultation with civil society, the private sector and the government. The programme achieved the following results: Integration of environmental priorities and concerns into economic and social development policy; Completion of the National Capacity Building programme; Creation of nine task forces to conduct thematic development studies; and a series of decentralized workshops have defined the role of the population at large in the NEAP elaboration and implementation process. The Capacity 21 initiative in Egypt, Capacity Building for Environment and Sustainable Development, was a three-year programme designed to promote the integration of environmental considerations into development plans and programmes to ensure sustainable development in all sectors of the economy. The programme seeks to create an enabling environment, which will promote sustainable development in Egypt. The program has three objectives: a) to support the Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; b) to support the newly established Ministry of State for Environment Affairs to enable it to fulfill its commitments to the Egyptian Government; and C) to support the preparation of Egyptian Environment Sector programmes in consultation with all stakeholders. The programme achieved the following results: a Workshop on Training in Environmental Management Units; A workshop for Training on Environmental Impact Assessment for development projects; And A National Consultation Meeting for the NEAP was conducted to identify and prioritize environmental challenges facing Egypt. The Jordan National Agenda 21 Formulation is a two-year programme aimed at building capacity for environment and sustainable development planning. The program has four objectives: a) to prepare a National Agenda 21 for Jordan; b) to raise awareness towards environmental protection and sustainable development; c) To provide training and assistance to selected national level ministries; d) and To

prepare the ground for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) system. The two-year Capacity 21 programme in Lebanon is entitled Establishment of an Enabling Environment for Integrating the Principles of Sustainable Development in Lebanon. This programme was designed to assist in building national capacity for sustainable development and environmental management for various stakeholder groups, including the government, NGOs, and the private sector. The programme also helps institute a process for coordination among all groups in the field of the environment. The program has four objectives: a) to provide necessary training, technical assistance and awareness programmes based on national needs assessments; b) to establish at least four Local Agenda 21 Action Plans in selected municipalities; c) to help build a legal framework for environmental management; and d) to ensure effective participatory processes and networking among stakeholder groups. The programme achieved the following results: Review of all existing environmental legislation and update of legal decrees to support environmental management; An Environment Code was developed, as well as laws for the protection of natural sites and monuments, Environmental Impact Assessment and coastal zone management; Establishment of a National Awareness Strategy and a relevant Action Plan; Pilot Local Agenda 21 Action Plans in four municipalities; Production of a Sustainable Development Resource Guide for Municipalities; and Assistance to NGOs in resource mobilization. There are two Capacity 21 programmes currently underway in Morocco. First, Development of a National Agenda 21 aims at formulating a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) to integrate economic, social, and environmental considerations into national development planning. The participatory process has resulted in the creation of an effective action plan for sustainable development. The program has three objectives: a) To introduce participatory planning processes and consultations with all key stakeholders in addressing sustainable development considerations; b) To define the ways and means for better protection of the environment and to integrate environmental considerations into the development process; and to strengthen national capacities for integrating environment and sustainable development considerations into the planning process. The programme achieved the following results: A series of national-level workshops focused on key aspects of sustainable development (e.g. industry, energy, agriculture, water, health, information); Establishment of the Ministry of the National Council for the Environment; Formulation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan (1999-2003). The second program is the Clean Cities for Morocco will reinforce community-level capacities for environmental protection and sustainable development in eight selected urban communes. The program has three objectives: a) to build local and national capacities needed to pursue Morocco’s National Strategy for environment and sustainable development; b) to improve the living conditions of urban population in selected communities; and c) to provide participated municipalities with improved decision-making tools, training, information, and sound environmental planning and management methods The programme achieved the Development and implementation of eight Local Agenda 21 Action Plans in selected urban communes Capacity 21 initiatives in the Palestinian Territories --Water Resources Action Programme-- aimed at assembling a Palestinian Task Force of specialists to identify and resolve priority water resources issues and to build capacity for the management of water resources in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The objective of the program is to promote sustainable economic and social development of the Palestinian people through building their capacity to manage scarce water resources within a national and regional context. The programme achieved the following results: Enhanced coordination of institutions involved in management and planning of water resources; Provision of information needed to lay the foundations for sound water resources management; and formation of a National Focal Point responsible for the support of projects active in the water resources sector

The Capacity 21 national programme, Support to a Strategic Planning Process, is a two-year project that aims to assist the Government of Sudan with the development of a national strategy for the implementation of Agenda 21. The programme supports the streamlining and upgrading of institutional capacity of public and private entities involved in natural resource management at both central and regional levels. The programme has two objectives: a) to prepare a National Agenda 21 for Sudan; and b) to build the capacity of key public organizations, NGOs and the private sector. The programme achieved the following results: A national workshop on sustainable development, which was attended by decisionmakers, NGOs and the private sector, was organized; A nationwide publicity campaign in the mass media on environment and sustainable development was launched; Seventeen pilot projects have been supported as models for sustainable development, and will be replicated in other places; Seven State Environmental Councils were created to decentralize environmental planning and decision making processes; Environmental courses were incorporated into the curriculum of major universities Capacities of two environmental state councils have been strengthened; and a training course for capacity building to plan and implement sustainable development projects was organized. The Capacity 21 initiative in Syria, Strengthening National Capacity for Environmental Affairs, is a three-year programme designed to integrate environmental considerations in all development activities and to assist with the preparation of a national strategy for sustainable development. The programme has two objectives: a) Upgrading the managerial, organizational and staffing capacities of the General Commission for Environmental Affairs, the Environmental Directorate at the Governorates, and the Local Environment Committees through a participatory approach; b) Developing a National Agenda 21 Plan for Syria; and c) Developing a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) for Syria. The programme achieved the following results: A National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) was developed; Environmental profiles for each of Syria’s seven river basins have been developed; Training sessions for national stakeholders have been organized; and Extensive discussions of the draft strategy have taken place and contributed to the overall awareness and understanding of the country’s environmental problems. In Tunisia, the Agenda 21 initiative where local authorities have been actively engaged in implementation, and integrated activities have been supported at the municipal, governorate and national levels.

GOLD-MAGHREB Initiative GOLD is an initiative of partnerships for Local Governance and Development in the Maghreb. It intends to offer to local administrations a reference framework and operational instruments to promote and facilitate the setting up of international partnerships, in order to contribute more efficiently to the achievement of a sustainable, fair, peaceful, and democratic development. Gold initiative involves four Arab countries in the Maghreb region: Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Libya.
Box 4.9 GOLD

GOLD is based on existing local development programmes in addition to planning and coordination instruments already set up

by local and national actors in collaboration with UNDP. With support from UNDP, GOLD is being progressively built through the collaboration between governments and local communities in Maghreb countries, European local communities, European regions, provinces and municipalities associations, donors, United Nations agencies and all international cooperation

organizations willing to participate in this endeavor. GOLD will Support governments, civil society and private sector in their efforts for the promotion of decentralization and participative and integrated development process at local level. It will also support local development process through better use of international, decentralized and South-South cooperation resources. The GOLD initiative will act at local, national and international levels. At local level, the initiative aims at capacity building on local development planning and management; favours consultation between public sector, private sector and civil society; participates in the orientation of international, decentralized and South-South cooperation contributions within the framework of local action plans. At national level, the initiative aims at the capitalization of the most efficient local governance methodologies and instruments to disseminate them in other regions of the country in collaboration with United Nations agencies and international cooperation. At international level, the initiative aims at the promotion of decentralized and South-South cooperation. It also aims at networking Maghreb countries experiences in the field of governance and local development, with other ongoing experiences in the Mediterranean Basin and elsewhere. The GOLD initiative support to local institutions in the field of planning and management of integrated and participative local development; capacities building of local institutions executives through training; support to local institutions in the production of their territory marketing documents; highlighting local potentials and priorities, in order to mobilize national and international resources; support to local institutions in the drafting of Action Plans. To promote partnerships and exchanges, UNDP intends to: a) implement in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya FrameworkProgrammes providing European local administrations with institutional and organizational support necessary to the establishment of partnerships for development. These Framework-Programmes define the necessary institutional and political agreements, contribute to the involvement of national and local partners and ensure information flow in concerned countries. b) To ensure local administrations and Governments an international technical assistance, through a UNDP team. This team will provide assistance to the Framework-Programmes and will support the identification of possible partners, production of multilingual documents, information flow, and organization of international exchanges (missions, visits and training programmes) to facilitate the establishment of partnerships, as well as the organization of international events. The Gold Framework-Programme of each country defines, at the local level, (regions and provinces) strategic guidelines for local development, which will be drafted in the documents for Territory Marketing. These documents constitute an instrument for better coordination of actions and services, on the one hand, and for resources mobilization at local, national and international levels, on the other hand. The pilot regions and provinces are identified according to national priorities and UNDP strategic programmes/projects. It is possible to identify other target areas in the future upon request of national representatives and according to potential partners’ interests. The preparatory assistance to GOLD of each country will be implemented in two phases: The implementation of the methodological approach and definition of strategic guidelines at local level; and The launching of the Framework-Programme and mobilization of resources at national and international levels, among bilateral cooperation institutions and decentralized cooperation actors. A close coordination with other UN agencies will be ensured. The preparatory assistance activities aim at the elaboration of documents to be used by UNDP Country Offices and local, national and international partners, notably: The document on the decentralized administrative structure in each country; The international and decentralized cooperation map in each country (in the light of the ongoing work on UN System activities and updating of DCR); The training modules on local development planning mechanisms. The initiative aims at supporting the ongoing local development processes in Morocco, by ensuring: The coordination of all ongoing interventions for poverty alleviation and contributions from international cooperation in this respect, at local level (provinces and regions); and the systematic mobilization of decentralized cooperation resources to support these processes. The initiative aims at supporting the ongoing local development processes in Algeria, by ensuring: the training of local officials on local planning, coordination instruments, and sustainable local economic development; The exchanges and systematic

mobilization of decentralized cooperation resources to support these processes. The experience of European countries decentralized cooperation is very common in Tunisia and it is appreciated by local and national actors. In a number of cases, local administrations of the different countries acted also as a catalyst for several European Union funded programmes and financial budget lines aiming at the regional development internationalization. The Tunisian model can contribute in the launching of other similar experiences aiming also at supporting decentralized cooperation efforts. The set up of an organizational framework of reference can facilitate coordination and synergies among various cooperation initiatives, and increase projects’ impact, through their integration into national decentralization policies. GOLD Tunisia aims at supporting government, civil society and private sector in their efforts to promote participative and integrated decentralization process at local level. The initiative targets particularly the support to local development process, through a better utilization of international, decentralized and South-South cooperation resources. In 2000, the Libyan Popular General Congress and government authorities started an ambitious decentralization programme, by transferring the majority of the functions of the central state to 31 regions (Sha’biyat). This new national strategy has emphasized the necessity of reinforcing local capacities to support this decentralization process, which also represents a new participative approach to ensure a better response to national development needs. GOLD Libya aims at supporting the ongoing local development processes, by ensuring: The capacities building at the Sha’biyat level in the field of local development management and planning; and the systematic mobilization of decentralized cooperation resources to support the Sha’biyat development.

Chapter Five.

UNDP experience in DGD: Key Results and Lessons Learned

Decentralized governance programmes generate different experiences and lessons in different regions and contexts. This is usually the result of different political systems in place, the level of democratization guiding decision making processes allowing for genuine local government, not just decentralization, and the efficiency of public management and governance models implemented. The experiences and challenges facing UNDP country offices reveal important lessons that could contribute to refining UNDP and donors‘ policies and on-going programmes as well as provide the basis for developing an agenda for decentralized governance for the Arab region. The key lessons learned, good practices and challenges, outlined in this chapter, are a result of desk review of on-going programmes and progress reports, as well as a summary of the ediscussion on local governance programmes in the Arab region. 5.1 Challenges to Decentralization Efforts

Decentralization and local governance challenges, in many countries of the region, are hard to address or overcome without a deep understanding of the underlying formal and informal (or tacit) institutions, legal frameworks, norms and practices in each country. The practice of decentralization has so far produced cases of both success or maintained the status quo. In many instances, the slow pace of implementation and organization of decentralization reforms have frustrated the promise of increased efficiency, of more effective popular participation and greater private sector contributions. A real concern or a challenge to effective local government is what was described as t he ―militarization of administrative functions‖ in local government structures and the appointment of former military personnel to decision-making and leadership positions. This has deterred public participation or genuine delegation of authorities to local actors and responsiveness to local needs. Resistance to change or devolution of powers is another serious challenge that needs to be overcome. The process of decentralization needs to emphasize the redefinition of structures, procedures and practices of governance to be closer to constituents, and the public at large, and an awareness of cost and benefits to all stakeholders at the local and central levels should be stressed, rather than the dominating (over-simplistic) definition of decentralization as the movement of power from central to local government. The key challenge is how to transform the role of the State from one of bureaucratic control to one of facilitation, performance monitoring and administration of incentives for local government.

Box 5.1 o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Challenges to Decentralization

Moving from deconcentration and delegation to democratic decentralization Strengthening civil society participation Legal and regulatory framework for decentralization and intergovernmental relations Fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal framework Administrative reform and capacity building Accountability (political, fiscal, etc.) Political decentralization and local governance (including the issue of representation) Local organizational capacity and network building (including the media) Linking local governance, service delivery and sustainable human development to the MDGs Mainstreaming Gender in local governance Decentralizing governance in conflict and post-conflict countries Implementing local governance in urban – vs.- rural environments The nature of public-private partnerships Advocacy and regional knowledge sharing for decentralization and good governance at local levels Implementing cross-cutting themes and the need for case studies/good practices in decentralization

Any significant reform effort will require the involvement and support of top political leadership. The role of elected Members in making policy and initiating reform is critical, as they possess the legitimacy and the mandate of representing public interests while resolving potential conflicts of interest or tensions resulting from conflicting priorities. Public interests, at both national and local levels, must be part of a participatory policy-making process. Further, local government structures can create links between the state and civil society which in turn can provide a space for democratic practices and institutionalize strategic means for identifying local needs/demands and use of resources. 5.2 Key Entry Points to Local Governance Initiatives

Decentralization is a political and sensitive national issue. It is also a long-term process of transformational change, hence, a strategic approach or identifying strategic entry points is crucial for a successful process, achieving long-term results and meeting expectations.
Key Entry Points for Successful Decentralization Processes
(i) Fiscal transfers, carefully structured, could be one potential incentive for local governments to adopt better governance practices; (2) Capacity building programmes targeting local government (3) Bottom-up approach to identifying local needs and priorities, and resource mobilization and allocations (4) Introduce pilot project in specific areas of decentralization to demonstrate results, impact and benefit for all stakeholders

Fiscal Decentralization is identified as one strategic entry point to improve local governance. UNDP and donors could support fiscal decentralization and in particular set up fiscal transfers systems that would offer a mechanism to redirect to/through local governments a portion of donor aid and, at the same time, serve as incentives to build local governments capacity and improve local governance practices. Capacity building for local governments is another entry point that carries a lot of merit and impact towards a sustainable and long-term decentralization process. Decentralized government requires efficient human resources and developed capacities. And in many countries of the region, local governments are characterized by weak capacities. Supporting local capacities not only encourages local development initiatives and private sector investment, but also offers a strategic entry point for donors to engage governments in long-term local governance reforms. Participatory approaches and engaging local communities, civil society actors and interest groups in identifying local needs and budget allocations, is also strategic in determining areas of intervention and resource allocation for local governance programming. For decentralization to be effective, it should be built on the needs, priorities and views of the people who are most affected by it. Adopting a bottom up approach encourages popular participation in the identification of local needs and finding the most adequate means to responding to these needs and priorities. Introducing pilot project to initiate local governance activities or reform is also identified as an effective entry point for long-term decentralization process. These are seen as nonthreatening, one-time activity that is experimental in nature. However, high impact projects, achieving expected results and meeting expectations of both governments and local communities would inspire governments to expand these projects to various regions, and encourage local communities to extend pilot projects to benefit other communities. 5.3 Key Lessons Learned

In the following section we highlight key lessons learned derived from UNDP experience and work in decentralization processes --in partnership with governments in the region. Several lessons learned were identified, most important are, dynamic leadership and political commitment and will at the top levels is crucial for genuine local government, the need for improved legal, regulatory and financial frameworks, the need to assess regional and local capacities prior to implementation of the decentralization process and the importance of participatory approaches in urban planning, project design and programme development and implementation. Several others were highlighted and are detailed below. The Complexity of decentralization should fully be understood and appreciated by all stakeholders. This complexity is often reflected in areas such as transfer of finances, procurement systems and management of human resources. For the process to be effective,

details of these priorities should be identified at the outset and well in advance of implementation. Further, the implementation of meaningful decentralization requires opportunities for local governments to have their own revenue-raising capacity, including taxation authority. There is a tendency to put narrow limits on the capacity of local governments to raise revenue, while at the same time, they are given the responsibility for new services which they may not be able to adequately fund.
Box 2.5 Summary of Key Lessons Learned 1- One effective entry point is local governments themselves, the direct beneficiary of subsidiary. Working with local governments on demonstration and pilot initiatives can be effective provided a framework of national government support is negotiated and approved at the outset. 2- Improving service delivery systems through checks and balances, accountability measures and transparency mechanisms increase relevance of local governance type of work to citizens 3- Central and local governments will always be interested in the economic rationale of things. Weak fiscal decentralization and intergovernmental fiscal relations were identified as one endemic source of weak local governance, creating vicious cycles of poor service delivery, eroded trust of local constituencies, and poor revenue base. 4- There is a great need to develop upward and downward accountability systems, for public resource management, so as to improve performance on both revenues and expenditures 5- There is a need to enhance information flow and transparency -- essential for accountability. 6- The need to build civil society capacity in initiating dialogue and maintaining good relations with government officials and policy makers. 7- The need to strengthen local governance within a framework of support from the Center to the State/Community. 8- The need to upgrade institutional frameworks, which have often been modernized in so far as to attract private investment but not so much as to encourage local participation and initiatives. 9- The need to scale up from pilot programs and institutionalize good local governance.

An incremental approach in scaling up local governance reforms is a key lesson learned derived from experience in this region. For example, municipal policy options that require minimum or moderate tolerance such as participatory budgeting, or creating citizen response centers (to deal with complaints), or e-government stand a better chance of achieving results in centralist regimes. Bold reform agenda working on intergovernmental fiscal relationships, election reform and independence of the judiciary, requires much bigger margin of tolerance that might not be easily attainable. Finally, improved local governance work should highlight its relevance to local economic development, job creation, access to markets, investment, growth and prosperity. Conducting urban planning, as a technical exercise, without participation of local actors and private sector representatives leads to making such plans irrelevant to local needs. Inclusive planning and management can yield a collective sense of ownership of the plan that would result in accelerated implementation and development.


Key Success Factors and Good Practices

As discussed in the previous sections of this paper, decentralization must embody certain characteristics in order to be effective and successful. Here a distinction should be made between the process of decentralization (planning and implementing) and the end result of the process—a system of decentralized governance. Mapping the experience of the CO in the region and efforts undertaken by governments to decentralize governance, we identified several key factors for a successful process highlighted in the box below.
Box 5.3 Key Success Factors and Good Practices 1. Implementation of the LIFE program in Egypt, where efforts to build capacity and networks have empowered local governments and encouraged participatory approaches to service delivery and sustainable development. 2. Implementation of the Urban Management Program (UMP) in the Arab region to achieve delivery of needed urban services. 3. The Local Rural Development Program in Palestine (1997) implemented to secure service delivery, improve access to social and health programmes and enhance participatory approach in conflict situation. 4. The UNDP Decentralization and Local Development Support Program in Yemen focusing on institutionalizing transparent and predictable transfers and resource mobilization strategies to pilot local councils. 5. The adoption of the Local Authority Law of 2000 in Yemen followed by the establishment of administrative and financial bylaws, which has created a legal framework for decentralized government. 6. UNDP support to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in Saudi Arabia, on capacity building and strategic planning for 11 of 13 Provincial Councils. 7. A proposed initiative for water and sanitation management in Jordan with components of empowerment for local community, women and local government. 8. The establishment of Inter-Municipal Service Councils in Jordan to coordinate and optimize resources of neighboring localities, to undertake, for example, expensive infrastructure projects. 9. Encouraging private sector participation in service production and provision (water supply in city of Oman; solid waste management in Alexandria). 10. The 2003 Local Governance Act in Sudan and ongoing efforts to build local government capacity for administrative and fiscal management. 11. Ongoing legal and institutional reforms to empower local government in Syria.



Annex I. Trends in Local Governance and Decentralization Reform in the Arab Region

Annex II.

Internet Resources on Local Governance and Decentralization

General Decentralization and Local Governance Sites: - UNDP - WORLD BANK nce^F0V=^Op1=^ - ESCWA - Others DATA Constitutional Laws BY COUNTRY ALGERIA BAHRAIN EGYPT D=021020015541952&PrmCountriesLst=&FreeSCriteria=(ArticleTextTbl.ArticleText%20LIKE%2 0%20N-BGN-Q‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫--ان‬END-Q%20)&Txt1=‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫ان‬ IRAQ D=021020016148107&PrmCountriesLst=&FreeSCriteria=(ArticleTextTbl.ArticleText%20LIKE%2 0%20N-BGN-Q‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫--ان‬END-Q%20)&Txt1=‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫ان‬ JORDAN KUWAIT LEBANON MOROCCO 692c85256b26004797a5/$FILE/MMMD%20083001.doc D=261220015065388&PrmCountriesLst=&FreeSCriteria=(ArticleTextTbl.ArticleText%20LIKE%2 0%20N-BGN-Q‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫--ان‬END-Q%20)&Txt1=‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫ان‬ PALESTINE QATAR SAUDI ARABIA SOMALIA SUDAN TUNISIA UAE YEMEN D=021020017254167&PrmCountriesLst=&FreeSCriteria=(ArticleTextTbl.ArticleText%20LIKE%2 0%20N-BGN-Q‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫--ان‬END-Q%20)&Txt1=‫الي رك سٌ ت‬ ‫ان‬ Agenda 21 Capacity 2015 pdf+%22capacity+2015%22%2Bjordan%2Bwomen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

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