For three days, during 12-14 March 2022, in Tunis, UNDP Libya held a Knowledge Exchange and Lessons Learned Workshop focusing on local development planning as part of the Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL). The event brought together local Task Force members representing the local authorities, civil society, and service providers from Bani Walid, Derna, and Ghat, who for the past year have been working on preparing strategic, medium-term development plans and resource mobilisation strategies for their respective municipalities. The workshop was also attended by the Mayor of Bani Walid, Dr. Younes Ali Alazoze, and Chargé d'Affaires of Japan to Libya, Mr. Masaki Amadera, alongside representatives of UNDP in Libya, and moderated by Dr. Muhammad Kadhim, a municipal planning consultant who provided expert guidance to the Task Forces throughout the process.
After more than a year of intense work in each municipality, which included stakeholder mapping and engagement, identification of needs and priorities, conducting strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis, and preparing comprehensive costed lists of investment projects, the workshop was essential in providing the space for the participants to come together, exchange best practices and lessons learned, and agree on next steps to implement the plans.
With ongoing guidance and support, the Task Forces met regularly to assess the needs, identify challenges and opportunities, among which water and power supply, housing, and clean energy, define a shared vision, and develop a road map for their municipality. Importantly, the road maps focus on locally-driven development, directly benefiting residents. "We should really be focusing on local projects that benefit citizens, " emphasised by Bani Walid's mayor, Dr. Alazoze. The plans are also designed to help municipalities to embark on a strategic, locally-led, medium-term development path, transition away from direct assistance towards self-sufficiency, and ensure greater sustainability at the local level. It is also a step towards reconciliation and peacebuilding.
At the national level, the development plans will help MoP advocate for establishing local planning and development support structures and enacting Law 59 on decentralisation of the administration system and subsequent by-laws and regulations.
The Task Forces will continue to work together to finalise the plans and present them to the local and national authorities for implementation in the coming months.
"We consider such plans and the approach as important...And we are willing to support you further towards the new Libya. We aspire to get to know you more, and to work with you in the future", commented the Chargé d'Affaires of Japan to Libya, Mr. Masaki Amadera
This support is made possible thanks to the support from 13 international partners and the Government of Libya. Through its Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL) and the Stability, Unity, and Social Cohesion (SUSC) projects,
UNDP has been building capacities of local actors to reduce conflict, enhance social cohesion and reconciliation, and improve the overall quality of life of the Libyan population.