Promoting decentralisation in Libya

Project description

Bezeichnung: Support for decentralisation and local development as a contribution to peacebuilding in Libya / Support for Municipalities in Libya (SML 2)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)​​​​​​​
Country: Libya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Local Governance​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Sewing courses at a development and training centre for women in Hay Al-Andalus, Photo: GIZ


A Government of National Accord was formed in Libya in 2015 following the outbreak of the civil war. This was officially recognised by the United Nations, but it was not accepted by all groups within Libya and international stakeholders. In 2021 the Government of National Unity was established to overcome the political division in the country in preparation for new elections.

Violent conflicts and changing power constellations have caused the standard of basic services to decline. The decentralised structure of the Libyan state has been enshrined in law since 2012. This aims to give municipalities greater responsibility in order to improve services such as waste disposal and the management of public places. However, there is no systematic strategy in place, and municipalities are lacking the necessary expertise and financing to put decentralisation into practice. Initial forward-looking decrees have been passed to decentralise functions.


The decentralisation process and inclusive local development have improved in Libya, and basic services can therefore be delivered.

-	A Libyan delegation visits an organic composting facility in Frankfurt, Photo: GIZ


The project creates more favourable conditions for decentralisation reforms in the country.

In this context, it advises the Ministry of Local Government and the General Secretariat of the High Council of Local Administration. They are supported in coordinating the reform process and developing political framework conditions. The project also pilots forums and communication measures to promote dialogue between national and municipal players and representatives for Libyan women.

At a local level, the project strengthens the specialist knowledge of local decision-makers from public administration and civil society in 26 partner municipalities. A national training institute is being established to support this. Basic services are being promoted in pilot projects, such as efforts to establish local development and training centres for women and advisory services for waste disposal. Civil society organisations, too, are being strengthened at a local level. Vulnerable groups such as women and migrants are therefore being involved in local development matters. With this in mind, dialogue between municipalities and civil society is being improved. Furthermore, models for financing public services based on national legal regulations are being developed with the partner municipalities. The models are a high priority in order to achieve a sustainable decentralisation process.

Last update: December 2021

Additional information