Promoting decentralisation, stabilising Libya

Project description

Bezeichnung: Promoting decentralisation to contribute to stability in Libya
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Libya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Local Governance
Overall term: 2019 to 2022


The national unity government in Libya – the Government of National Accord (GNA) – was formed in 2015 under the brokerage of the United Nations after civil war broke out. The government is weakened due to the many ongoing conflicts between rival powers. So far, the GNA has not managed to overcome the political division in the country or restore state authority. 

The resulting deterioration of basic services, including water supply, waste disposal and sanitation, has been compensated by elected city councillors as far as possible. This shows the need for systematic decentralisation.

A decentralised state structure for Libya has been enshrined in law since 2012 (Public Law 59). Despite this, there is no systematic decentralisation strategy with the relevant planning to implement it and the expertise required. Furthermore, there is, as yet, no budget framework for public expenditure and no financing procedure for municipalities, nor are there any budgets for cities and municipal development. 

In order to develop all Libyan municipalities in the long term and build a state, the government has to be supported in its coordinating role to implement Libya’s decentralisation process.


The basis for an inclusive design of state decentralisation in Libya is created.


The project focuses on four main fields of action. This creates conditions for integrated planning of Libya-wide decentralisation reforms at national level.

The project builds the capacities of key stakeholders. The Ministry of Local Governance (MoLG) is being advised and supported so it can perform its leading role in the coordination and shaping of the reform process. The project includes further supporting measures such as training for public servants, developing a restructuring plan for the MoLG and setting up cross-regional working groups.

Cooperation between departments and the regions is being improved.

The coordinating body for several ministries, the Higher Council for Decentralization (HCD) and interregional dialogue and coordination forums are being supported. As part of these measures, steering and monitoring committees are being established and contact points are being set up in the sectoral ministries.

Initial experiences of implementing decentralisation are being processed.

The capacities required to transfer individual functions and the corresponding financial resources from the central government to the local governments are being developed. Decentralisation is being piloted with the aid of specific services. Possible areas include waste disposal, fee collection, improved environmental management and restructuring water supply and sanitation.

A target group-oriented communication strategy is being created.

Information is being collected from all the state actors and citizens affected by the decentralisation reform. Cross-regional communication teams are being formed and information brochures are being written in the various languages of the country.