Jordan—Municipal Support Program

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Jordan

Solutions: Governance

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated already precarious economic and governance conditions in Jordan. In 2021, unemployment spiked to 25 percent. The confluence of the pandemic and recurrent economic crisis has caused municipal revenues to decline sharply.

Mayors and municipal councilors, as the face of government accountability and public spending, assume outsized responsibility for government performance. However, with limited authority, these officials are not empowered to make decisions and set funding priorities. Many municipalities have the basic building blocks needed to strengthen services and pursue local economic development but lack the organizational culture required to apply them effectively. Recognizing that municipalities should serve as convenors, enablers, and facilitators of local economic development, mayors and municipal councilors must partner with the private sector and remove bureaucratic obstacles to investment, job creation, and local economic growth. Municipalities must capitalize on their existing assets in partnership with the private sector, while also delivering more efficient services that are responsive to community needs.

The Jordan Municipal Support Program works to improve local government service delivery, stimulate local economic development, and thereby strengthen the social contract in the Kingdom.

The project will assist municipal “clusters”—in which multiple municipalities share tools and resources—to better serve their communities by delivering visibly improved services and infrastructure. Municipalities in each cluster will collaborate with one another, with other Jordanian government stakeholders, and with the private sector to leverage and invest in existing assets that deliver cost-effective, sustainable services and economic growth.

The project will facilitate the launch and sustainable management of private investments and public-private partnerships that deliver community-responsive services, mobilize revenue, and generate employment. Successful service improvements and investments will build momentum for sustained individual and organizational transformation, sparking replication of successful tools and approaches that build community resilience and foster a culture of municipal excellence that embraces private enterprise and pursues local economic growth.

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Sample Activities

  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue that highlights new voices—including unemployed youth, female home-based business owners, people with disabilities, and local environmental civil society organizations—in municipal planning.
  • Introduce a Municipal Performance and Investment Readiness tool to measure municipal service delivery performance and capacity to attract private investment.
  • Support municipal clusters to establish strong plans and mechanisms for coordinated climate resilience and emergency response.
  • Develop an action plan for implementing International Public Sector Accounting Standards and strengthening financial reporting.
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