Jordan 2025: Placing citizens at the heart of the development process

Jordan 2025, the country’s long-term national vision, features more than 400 policies or procedures that “should be implemented through a participatory approach between the government, business sector and civil society” (Inform, 2015a). The King’s letter from 29 March 2014, which precedes the Vision, stresses that the economic blueprint should be based, among others, on the principle of enhancing local governance and implementing decentralisation, and be rolled out in a way that ensures a “just distribution of developmental dividends by giving priority to governorates’ development programmes.” Jordan 2025 stresses the need to “improve the welfare of citizens and the basic services provided to them, and to create a balanced society where opportunities are available to all and the gap between governorates is bridged.”

As shown in Figure 1.4, and in line with the objective of the 2015 Decentralisation Law and Municipality Law, Jordan 2025 places citizens at the centre of the development process.

Figure 1.4. Key pillars of Jordan 2025

Source: Inform (2015bj, Jordan 2025 - A National Vision and Strategy, Part 1, http://infoim.gov.io/Portals/0/Report%20PDFs/0.%20General/io2025part1.pdf.

The Strategy acknowledges that active civic engagement and political participation are indispensable for a democratic culture at the local level to emerge. Moreover, by explicitly seeking to advance the principles of participation, transparency and accountability, Jordan 2025 strongly supports Jordan’s open government agenda. This is further reinforced by parallel efforts to foster the fair representation of citizens (2016 Electoral Law, which largely presents a return to the 1989 election law) and the creation of political parties (Law of Political Parties of 2015, No 39) (Independent Election Commission), with a view to cutting back on the influence of the tribal affiliations that have tended to dominate political, social and economic life in Jordan until the present day.

Structure of the strategic assessment

At the request of the Government of Jordan, this report provides a strategic assessment of three distinct but interlinked public governance areas, which will be critical determinants of the success of the ongoing reform and along which the subsequent chapters are organised:

  • 1. The role of the centre of government in driving decentralisation reform in Jordan.
  • 2. Enablers for effective public service delivery at the local level.
  • 3. The impact of the decentralisation reform on Jordan’s open government agenda.

Based on OECD instruments and principles, and good practices from OECD and MENA countries, the report provides actionable policy recommendations to turn the new legal and policy framework into practice. There will be a focus on how the reform can deliver on the promise to create a better performance of government across the different levels and to move forward in Jordan’s open government and democratisation agenda.

 
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