Reinforcing institutional arrangements to deliver effective decentralised governance

The framework for service delivery: Local Development Units

  • • Local Development Units, in municipalities and governorates, should be enhanced by more clearly delineating their roles and activities. In addition to their development and data collection role, they have the potential to play a horizontal co-ordination function as the interface between the technical administration and the elected institutions both in Governorates and Municipalities. This would go hand in hand with a direct line of co-operation between LDUs in municipalities and governorates.
  • • Promote a closer relationship between MoI and MoMA on decentralisation matters. Better communication from the top could then easier be reflected across levels of government. A first step could be to establish common administrative procedures and a common system for data collection for LDUs at the governorate and municipal levels (such a focus could include shared IT tools, etc.).
  • • Consider reinforcing capacity in the administrative unit(s) supporting the governor to enable functions to be carried out effectively in governorates, and reinforce interface capacity within governorates to engage effectively with local and central administrations.
  • • Ensure that governorates and municipalities can contribute substantially to national strategy setting and implementation through effective multi-level governance.
  • • Implement an outcomes-based performance monitoring system for decentralisation and subnational management and administration. This system should be aligned with an integrated centre of government (CoG) monitoring and evaluation system. Budgetary programmes should be aligned at the three levels of government.

An ambitious reform with scarce new resources at the governorate and municipal level

  • • Adapt and strengthen the financial arrangement of governorates according to their new competencies. It will be essential to build up expertise to deal with budgeting and financial responsibilities, taking into consideration the governorate’s situation regarding: population, area, poverty, geographical situation, and other vital indicators. Hiring professional staff and capacity building should also be considered.
  • • Governorates could promote and give support to the creation of Joint Council Services for once needs are identified.
  • • Strengthen the working relationship on decentralisation with the MoF to ensure that performance budgeting is implemented at the subnational level,

and that subnational expenditure performance information is fed back into biannual development programme planning.

  • • Over time, consider creating a specific unit within the governorate that is dedicated to strategic planning. This unit could count on MoPIC’s expertise (and could even include public officials from MoPIC) with operational responsibility to work with governorate and local governments to implement decentralisation in each governorate. This could include managing intergovernmental arrangements (such as contracts, see below) to deliver coordinated fiscal resources to subnational governments, and helping to monitor expenditure performance against the achievement of results for regional development, regional disparity reduction and improved outcomes for people in each governorate. The cases of Morocco or Turkey with regional development agencies could serve as inspiration for Jordan.
  • • Mandate the MoF and MoMA to strengthen municipal government fiscal capacity and administrative capacity for fiscal management and collecting local taxes. Local governments could also raise citizens’ awareness for paying taxes on time so as to deliver better basic public services.
  • • Improve municipal budgeting and accounting processes.
  • • Promote accountability through improved management of municipal financial information.
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