Supporting decentralisation and municipal development

Programme description

Title: Supporting decentralisation and municipal development (PDDC V)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Lead executing agencies: Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Governance, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of the Interior and Public Security
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

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Context

In 1999 Benin set out to reform its territorial administration with the aim of consolidating democracy and further reducing poverty. Since then, the country has achieved significant progress: it has created a legal framework for decentralisation as well as a uniform fiscal equalisation scheme and institutions to support financial administration at local level. In addition, local authorities and the body representing municipal interests have been trained to fulfil their role in their respective areas of competence. Despite this progress, Benin’s municipalities are not yet sufficiently capable of exercising the powers conferred on them to be able to provide high-quality municipal services to citizens.

Objective

The municipalities receiving advice under the programme are fulfilling their responsibility to provide local services more effectively.

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Approach

The project aims to improve the knowledge and skills of all those involved in the decentralisation process. To do so, it is advising 35 of the 77 municipalities and implementing measures in four areas:

Drawing on the experience of municipalities in order to implement the 2030 Agenda: With support from the project, municipalities evaluate how to apply what they have learned so far to the 2030 Agenda implementation process at local level and also contribute their experience to the national and international debate. Additional support is provided by the 2030 Agenda Initiative.

Local finances: The project is advising the government on how to create a better framework for fiscal decentralisation. At the same time, it is helping municipalities to mobilise their own revenues.

Municipal administration: The project proposes tailored advisory services for each of the partner municipalities and for national structures, particularly the Training Centre for Municipal Administration (CeFAL). These measures are implemented by the AMBERO-VNG consortium.

Local democracy and civic participation: The project promotes civic participation in local partnerships with policy-makers and the private sectors. It also aims to make the use of public finances more transparent and to promote gender equality. The European Union (EU) is co-financing this.

The project’s lead executing agency is the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Governance. Other partners include the decentralised services, the Ministry of Planning and Development, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, the National Commission for Local Finances, the National Association of Municipal Authorities of Benin, the Training Centre for Municipal Administration, the Beninese ‘House of Civil Society’ and other civil society organisations and networks.

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Results

National strategies reflect the contribution made by municipalities and civil society to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The capacity of the partner municipalities to collect taxes, fees and levies has improved. National procedural regulations have allowed municipalities to harness their fiscal potential more effectively. Cooperation between the tax authorities and the municipalities has improved.

The municipal administrations are more efficient. They use organisational development tools to achieve the objectives of their municipal development plans, manage civil registries more effectively, train their staff, improve financial planning and the quality of expenditure, control procurement procedures, and monitor municipal investments and climate change adaptation measures.

The municipalities facilitate dialogue with civil society and encourage the participation of citizens. At the same time, civil society organisations monitor the activities of the municipalities efficiently and constructively. Increasingly, all stakeholders are working together to solve local development problems.


Last update: November 2020