More regional responsibility
Title: Supporting the regionalisation process in Morocco
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Interior / Directorate General for Local Authorities
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
Morocco has been shaped by centralised power structures: for decades, political decisions were made exclusively in the Kingdom’s capital, with a small group of people steering the development of the regions from afar. This resulted not only in a weak infrastructure and public services, but also in a lack of responsiveness to citizens’ needs and of opportunities for public participation.
With the new constitution adopted in 2011, the state responded to demands for citizens to become more involved in democratic processes. It embraced a reform programme for the ‘advanced regionalisation’ of Morocco. The aim of the reform is to modernise the civil service, promote democracy and develop the regions in the long term. The state wants to increase citizens’ participation in political life and reduce social and economic disparities between the regions.
As part of the reform, the central government has transferred more powers to the regions. However, the authorities and institutions responsible at regional level sometimes lack the necessary structures and employees do not have the knowledge they need to fulfil their role in regionalisation. Cooperation between regions, provinces and municipalities, which is important if the regionalisation process is to succeed, has also not yet become established. The same applies to the involvement of civil society in regional planning.
The key stakeholders in the regionalisation process in the selected regions are able to fulfil their roles and responsibilities in accordance with the principles of good governance.
The project’s activities focus on four regions: Casablanca-Settat, Marrakesh-Safi, Oriental and Souss-Massa. In the first field of action, the project supports central government actors such as the Directorate General for Local Authorities (DGCL) in coordinating and supporting regional stakeholders in the regionalisation process.
In the second field of action, the project concentrates on capacity building. Through training cycles, it helps representatives of the regional councils to develop the skills they require to fulfil their role in representing the needs of the population at regional level effectively and adequately. Training supports employees from the regional administrations in setting up a functioning administrative structure. In order to promote regional development, the project assists the regions in establishing a system to monitor their development plans. In addition, it provides training for civil society organisations and advisory bodies in equal rights, the promotion of young people and local economic development. The bodies advise and evaluate the regions as they implement their development plans in order to involve civil society more closely in regional policy.
In the third field of action, the project supports dialogue between authorities and institutions of the central government, regions, provinces and municipalities. Successful cooperation between the key stakeholders at the various levels plays a crucial role in implementation of the regionalisation process.
In Marrakesh-Safi region, almost 1,000 members of the regional council and administrative staff from the region have taken part in an initial training cycle covering various areas of regionalisation. 30 per cent of the participants were women.
The administration in Oriental region, which is receiving support in organisational development from the project, has begun to draw up a manual of procedures.
In Souss-Massa region, the project is setting up a digital monitoring system in cooperation with the local regional council. This will be used to implement the regional development plan.
In Casablanca region, which joined the project after the other regions, further training cycles are planned on a range of topics, including communication and cooperation between institutions.