Good governance and decentralisation

Project description

Title: Good governance and decentralisation
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Togo
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Administration Territoriale, de la Décentralisation et des Collectivités Locales (MATDCL)
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

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Context

Togo’s adoption of a decentralisation roadmap in 2016 marked a significant step forward in a key approach towards the country’s democratisation. Legislation passed in 2017 created new municipalities throughout the Togolese territory and realigned municipal boundaries. The first local elections since 1987 are scheduled to take place in 2018. Parliamentary elections are also set to be held by the country’s national commission on voting rights, which has now been established.

However, various challenges remain. At municipal level, there continue to be considerable conceptual and operational deficits, as well as a shortage of both human resources and finances. The municipalities receive hardly any financial support from central government. The processes of deconcentration and decentralisation are not coordinated between the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralisation and Local Authorities (MATDCL) and the other ministries. The deconcentrated agencies are unable to meet the needs of the local population. The available resources, and the knowledge required to carry out the relevant duties, are insufficient.

Objective

The Togolese Government is successfully implementing the decentralisation process at national and municipal level.

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Approach

GIZ supports Togo’s decentralisation process through policy advice, human resources development and organisational development. At national level, the project advises MATDCL in particular, but also the Ministry of Economy and Finance. At municipal level, it provides support for the improvement of municipal services. Development planning, the registration of births, deaths and marriages, citizen participation and local finances are just some of the areas covered by its advisory services.

The project works together with all stakeholders (multi-stakeholder approach) to initiate integrated and systemic processes and supports their implementation. One example of this participatory approach is the preparation of manuals setting out municipal administration procedures.

Since July 2017, the project has partnered with the European Union (EU) to leverage synergies in the decentralisation process (Decentralisation and Local Governance Programme (ProDeGoL)). The project is now financed jointly by Germany and the EU. It operates in all five regions of the country and advises a total of 13 municipalities.

Results

The six pilot municipalities supported by the project prepare development plans. The first municipalities have been implementing these plans since 2014, leading to a direct improvement in people’s living conditions. For instance, public investment in the municipalities has risen by 23 per cent.

In order to modernise the registration of births, deaths and marriages, baseline studies are being carried out at municipal level and archives containing the associated documents are being updated. Campaigns have raised citizens’ awareness of the importance of birth certificates for enrolling their children at school later on. In the pilot municipality of Sokodé alone, 449 of 676 birth certificates have been collected following the campaigns.

The act governing the creation of municipalities was passed in 2017 and the legislation on decentralisation was updated in February 2018. As a result, the citizens’ bureaus introduced with the support of the project have been institutionalised in the municipalities.

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Ministerial employees responsible for implementing decentralisation have increased their knowledge and enhanced their skills in training courses. Coordination between the different stakeholders in the decentralisation process has improved, among other things by setting up a dialogue body on local finances.