Contributing to municipal development with reforms
Title: Local Governance Reform Programme (LGRP)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Palestinian territories
Lead executing agency: Palestinian Ministry of Local Government
Overall term: 2015 to 2019
As the backbone of public administration, local authorities in the Palestinian territories carry a special responsibility, namely providing basic services to the population. However, cities and local authorities are severely affected by the occupation and the related economic and political instability. The local economy is stagnating, and many citizens are unable or unwilling to pay fees and taxes.
The budgets of the local authorities are shrinking, making it increasingly difficult for them to deliver important local services such as the provision of clean drinking water, sanitation services or waste management.
Development and spatial planning as well as finances and accountability of Palestinian local authorities are improved.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the programme in cooperation with several Palestinian partner organisations, including the Ministry of Local Government, the Municipal Development and Lending Fund, and selected communities and civil society organisations.
The programme is cofinanced by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). In addition, the programme is cooperating with Engagement Global, the central contact point for the involvement of individuals, groups and political communities in development policy in order to expand German-Palestinian city partnerships.
In accordance with the principles of good governance, the programme supports the partner authorities in modernising their administrations, introducing transparent financial management and improving the quality of their service provision. The programme trains elected local officials and employees of civil organisations to contribute to local policy planning- and decision-making processes, and to carry out joint initiatives. In this way the programme supports local reform processes and strengthens the participation of citizens in the political process.
At the national level, the programme establishes a conducive environment for the local authorities. The main focus lies on shaping the relationships between the central government, regions and local communities. In terms of content, this primarily involves establishing a funding basis for cities, towns and communities – with the aim of allowing transparent budget planning and strengthening accountability mechanisms.
- Local development and public investment are carried out in accordance with reformed guidelines for strategic local development and investment planning. For the implementation of these guidelines, communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip receive financial support from the Municipal Development and Lending Fund.
- During the 2017/2018 period, the programme assisted in the preparation of participatory strategic municipal development plans in all Palestinian towns and cities. They were progressively extended to include village communities. Local non-governmental organisations, private sector associations and other civil organisations – particularly representatives of women’s organisations – were actively involved in discussing and defining development priorities and measures.
- In cooperation with the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), there has been an increase in specialist learning, exchange of experience and the collective representation of interests among the local authorities. Moreover, German-Palestinian city partnerships have been expanded in cooperation with Engagement Global and the Association of German Cities.
- In collaboration with its partners, the programme has reformed various by-laws to allow transparent and rules-based financial transfers between the national and local administration level.