Good governance

Programme description

Title: Support of reform processes in the fields of public finance and decentralisation in Mauritania
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mauritania
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances (MEF)
Overall term: 2014 to 2017

Mauretania. Meeting of the mayor and local council of Legrane  © GIZ

Context

Over the past few years, the Mauritanian Government has adopted a number of strategies and action plans in the fields of public finance and decentralisation to drive forward the development of a transparent, citizen-centric policy. Implementation of the reforms is, however, sluggish. The public finance institutions are not yet cooperating closely enough to guarantee efficient implementation of the reforms. Key players in the Mauritanian Government and administrative system do not have the necessary capabilities to practise a transparent, citizen-centric policy. The people are not yet sufficiently aware of their rights regarding political participation and governmental accountability in order to assert these rights effectively.

Objective

The capacity of strategic actors for citizen-centric, transparent and accountable governance at national and local levels is strengthened.

 Mauritania. Awareness raising campaigns on anti-corruption an transparency with students at schools in Nouakchott. © GIZ

Approach

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the programme is supporting reform activities relating to public finance and decentralisation. It is being cofinanced by the European Union.

With regard to public finances, the programme is supporting the Ministry of Finance with the establishment of a management system for state income and expenditure. Advisory services on procedural and organisational matters, networking with other institutions and training for key individuals all serve to promote greater procedural efficiency and encourage information sharing, which in turn is driving forward the reform process. The programme is also assisting with the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at national level.

In the field of decentralisation, the programme’s primary focus is on supporting the Ministry of the Interior and local authorities in introducing a nationwide human capacity development system for public officials. These basic and further training measures help the municipal institutions to execute their duties properly and to establish a citizen-centric, transparent political culture.

The programme is additionally helping to set up an IT platform for collecting information and key figures relating to the administrative, economic and social situation in local communities and making this data available to the municipalities themselves as well as to governmental authorities, journalists and the general public.

In order to raise the people’s awareness regarding their rights and opportunities for participation, civil society organisations are being supported in producing and disseminating information on transparent, citizen-centric administration and greater political involvement of women.

Results

In the field of public finance, the programme has helped the relevant institutions to coordinate their tasks more efficiently and to report on their work more transparently. Transparency and accountability regarding public procurement and the way in which income from extractive resources is spent (EITI annual report) have been improved. With the programme's support, the Mauritanian Government has identified potential for generating additional public revenue. The procedures for planning and administering public funds have been made more efficient through the introduction of modern IT systems, updated legislation and the gradual alignment of internal auditing systems with international standards.

Public participation has also been strengthened. The publication of budget information on the Treasury website provides citizens with better access to governmental budgeting and financial information as well as to the accountability reports of public finance institutions. For example, the people can now participate in monitoring governance and the fight against corruption by attending discussions with public and private sector representatives.

Mauritania. Training for elected municipal officers and office holders. © GIZ

In the field of decentralisation, the programme has established important conceptual and institutional foundations for the national training system for public officials. For example, training needs have been established, curricula developed and accredited, teaching material has been created and instructors have been trained. Around 500 mayors and local authority officers have already received training through this new system. Citizens participate more closely in political decisions at local level and the turn-out rate at elections has increased. The proportion of women working in politics and administration has risen and local women's groups are taking a more active role in local politics.

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