Support to Libyan Municipalities : ISAL Program Kick-Off
On 12 December 2019, CILG VNG International, in partnership with DRI, organized a kick-off event of the programme “Improved Service delivery and Accountability at Local level in Libya” (ISAL), funded by the European Union.
"The delivery of social services is a key component of the work of local authorities - as outlined already in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our programmes of support contribute to delivering effective and efficient social services to the Libyan population in the areas of healthcare, water and sanitation, electricity, and solid waste management", said His Excellency the Ambassador Alan Bugeja, Head of Mission of the Delegation of the European Union to Libya, at the opening of the event.
The evolution of the current political transition in Libya shows that despite the difficulties, the country has made steady steps towards establishing legitimate local institutions. However, the process is a long-term process that remains fragile. Policy, legal and planning frameworks are lacking to clarify the process and systems needed for transferring competences and resources to municipalities. Moreover, municipalities continue to depend on a central authority, whose ability to steer this reform is complicated by the political crisis.
In this regard, the ISAL programme aims to contribute to the consolidation of the democratic transition and stabilisation process in Libya. The program offers specific support to different groups of actors involved in the transitional process for democratic local governance.
Neila Akrimi, DG of the International Development Center for Innovative Local Governance confirms that "we are fully aware that engaging a local governance agenda today in Libya requires different methods and modalities from the programs that have been implemented since 2012, and that is what guided our approach in the making of ISAL. Our support to our Libyan partners, from national to local levels, is complete and we deploy every effort to meet the diverse expectations."
During the conference, the team presented the three specific objectives of the programme: The first relates to building the capacity of Libyan public institutions at the local and national levels, thereby enabling the environment for effective service delivery. The second seeks to enable local level public institutions to contribute to employment generation of youth and women through good governance and local economic development. The third objective is to strengthen local capacities for promoting collaborative governance and participation of Libyans in the transition process.
Youssef Ibdiri, Mayor of Gheriane, for his part states that "the projects of CILG VNG International have a real impact on the work of municipalities in Libya. It is the one of the main organizations that has managed to respect its commitments despite the very difficult security conditions. We continue to collaborate with CILG VNGi through this new program because we are aware of the importance of its objectives and the efficiency of the support given by CILG VNG International".
The program collaborates with the Ministry of Local Government of the Government of National Accord, the Commission of Civil Society Organizations, the National Municipal Councils Association, and Libyan Municipalities from the different regions of the country, as well as a large-scale network of civil society organizations.
In the last session of the event, a debate took place between the participants, the beneficiaries and the experts about the opportunities and modalities for cooperation and coordination with other development and technical cooperation programs.