Supporting Decentralization in Libya
Libya is currently witnessing an increased escalation in fighting as General Haftar commanded of the so-called Libyan National Army is trying to take control of Tripoli from the internationally recognized Government of National Accord. Our Principal Alexander Kjaerum weighted in on the developments for Danish Radio P1 Orientering discussing the prospects and role of foreign powers and UN.
One option in focus by the international community is further decentralization of power, enhancing power at the municipal level to generate trust in public governance institutions. In 2012, Law no. 59 ‘Concerning the Local Administration System’ laid the foundation for decentralization determining the relationship between local and national level institutions. The implementation of this law has however not been very successful so far as there is still a lack of clarify on roles and responsibilities of different government actors, gap between the law and the actual governance system, as well as external constraints such as insecurity and limited funding. Voluntas has been hired to carry out a political economy analysis to assess the challenges, risks, limitations, and opportunities of decentralization programming. To this end, Voluntas designed an analytical framework to investigate the dynamics of power, economic and social forces influencing development, and how prospective interventions may interact with these dynamics. Our Head of Tunis Office, traveled to Libya and conducted +15 interviews and 3 FGDs with mayors, political leaders, civil society, expert and representatives from international organization. Furthermore more than 30 reports and publications on decentralization, Libya, and local governance were reviewed to identify trends and knowledge gaps Based on the data collected and desk-review of other material, we provided the client with a report laying out pathways for reform and programming despite the contextual challenges.
With Sudan still ranking as the 138th state out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, millions of women face economic and political exclusion. These challenges are especially exacerbated amongst refugee women. As such, changing perceptions and attitudes, and ensuring vulnerable women and girls have access to opportunities is a long-term effort, which can only be achieved by involving local stakeholders and civil society organizations currently playing an active role in the development of their communities and their country.
Voluntas is expanding geographically. Earlier this year, we established a partnership with Sudan Polling and Statistics Center (SPSC). Dana Fuentes, a senior associate with Voluntas who until recently was based in Tunis, relocated to Sudan last month to support our expanding presence in the country. Dana will be supported by Nada Elamin. We will be opening an office in Khartoum in the coming months.