Libya—Taqarib

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2019-2023

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Libya

Solutions: Governance

Among the first acts of Libya’s revolutionary government in November 2011 was to create a Ministry of Local Government, a first step in fulfilling the people’s commitment to la markaziyya, or decentralization, a core value of the revolution, seen as insurance against the emergence of another brutal and totalizing dictatorship. In June 2012, Libya’s National Transitional Council approved Law 59, which outlined an audacious plan for fiscal and administrative governance at the municipal level.

The Libya Local Governance and Civil Society (LGCS) Program, locally known as “Taqarib” (the Arabic term for coming together or growing closer), supports Libya’s political transition by strengthening the pillars of a stable, democratic, and responsive Libyan state.

Taqarib empowers local governments, reinforces community bonds, and improves people’s standard of living. Taqarib helps citizens engage in public dialogue, prioritize public resource allocations, and understand the roles and responsibilities of local government. The project links enhancements to service delivery at the municipal level with national efforts to improve the execution of decentralization policy, and with efforts to undertake evidence-based reform.

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Sample Activities

  • Design and execute strategies for service delivery at the municipal level.
  • Use a Municipal Performance Index to gauge the administrative capacity of local governments, quantify their delivery of essential services and infrastructure, as well as monitor the corresponding public perceptions of governments’ effectiveness and legitimacy.
  • Engage local communities and community organizations to ensure that citizens have a voice in prioritizing and monitoring the expenditure of public resources.
  • Partner with community organizations to generate public support local revenue generation, public-private partnerships, city-to-city collaboration, and other tools that are important for achieving sustainable development and self-reliance.

Select Results

  • Enrolled nearly 700 participants in professional development courses or training.
  • Supported the development of 27 COVID-19 response plans across 30 municipalities.
  • Delivered nearly $3.5 million in equipment and supplies to municipal partners, aimed at a variety of service-delivery improvements, and at responses to COVID-19.
  • Trained 1,233 individuals in community emergency response.
  • Introduced or changed 19 public policies, with citizen input.
  • Conducted more than 40 community service events across 18 partner municipalities, implemented in partnership with more than 600 volunteers, municipal staff members, and representatives from civil society.
  • Supported the Swani bin Adam Municipality with 10 solar-powered pole lights for a playground and 14 solar-powered pole lights for the health center in the Shuhada Swani district.
  • Supported the Ministry of Local Governance’s first-ever conference for Libya’s women municipal council members. With nearly 90 women council members in attendance, the participants discussed ministry policy advancements intended to directly benefit women and made recommendations regarding further support.
  • Delivered to the Abusliem Municipality a jaw crushing machine that crushes concrete and most forms of rocks and minerals for use as building material. This machine will not only facilitate the removal of war debris but will offer low-cost rebuilding options by producing materials to be used to pave roads and build and repair infrastructure. It will also generate income for the local government and restore confidence in the local population.
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