Governance Fund MENA

Project description

Title: Governance Fund MENA
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: North Africa and Middle East: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Yemen
Lead executing agency: The fund itself does not have a lead executing agency; the individual measures financed by the fund each have their own lead executing agency
Overall term: 2012 to 2016

Context

The North Africa and Middle East region (Middle East and North Africa, MENA) is undergoing a process of radical political and social change. The upheavals that took place during 2011 highlighted the structural deficits in the political systems of many Arab countries. The rapid success of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt also encouraged the population in other countries in the region to question the existing regimes and push for reforms.

The post-revolutionary momentum has now slowed down, the reform processes have often hit stumbling blocks and some of them are being questioned outright. The public administrations continue to be predominantly centrally organised, and in many countries their way of working is neither sufficiently responsive to citizens' needs nor transparent. There has been insufficient progress in establishing a culture of constructive dialogue between state institutions and citizens regarding how to design state structures and shape political participation in future.

Objective

The conditions for political participation and good governance in the MENA region have improved.

Approach

The Governance Fund was launched in 2012 by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as an instrument to support democratically oriented reforms.

The measures financed by the fund are intended to modernise state structures and involve civil society actors in the modernisation process. The projects are aimed at improving the effectiveness of the state and supporting the democratic impetus for reform in both the social and political arenas. The core criteria are transparency, accountability, citizen orientation and civic participation, which are collectively referred to as ‘good governance’. The project thus helps to establish constructive relationships between the state and society.

As part of this process, numerous measures operate at subnational as well as central and state levels to strengthen the democratic impetus for reform from the bottom up. These measures take particular account of the concerns of young adults and women. They can be expanded nationally as part of a second step.

The measures are designed in close consultation with BMZ and adapted to the situation in the respective country. They are often attached as ‘governance components’ to other projects financed by BMZ in the regional priority areas of water, energy, environment, sustainable economic development and education. Existing governance projects – such as those aimed at municipal and urban development – are supported with additional resources.

Results

Nineteen measures are currently being implemented within the framework of the Governance Fund in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Yemen. Further measures are being planned and coordinated. The measures serve purposes such as supporting the Jordanian Ministry of Environment in implementing its climate policy, promoting gender-sensitive community work in the Palestinian territories, strengthening civil dialogue in Moroccan towns and cities, and supporting improvement of the human rights situation in Morocco.