Amman, March 28, 2022 – The Government of Norway, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), launched the second phase of the “Network of Local Governments” project. The project covers the northern, central and southern regions, including 6 governorates: Irbid, Ajloun, Balqa, Madaba, Tafileh and Aqaba. It employs a triangular focus to promote “agency”, enhance “voice” and stimulate accountable and responsive institutions at the local level. The project provides opportunities for targeted populations to enhance their knowledge, skills and attributes to become more “informed and responsive citizens” in the public and political realms. As well, the project supports effective open government and bridges the citizens’ lack of social connectivity, especially among vulnerable groups. 60 multipurpose gathering spaces, employing digital tools, were established to ensure linking the three tiers of government and enhance bottom-up dialogues. Local level institutions’ internal systems and human resources’ capacities will be tackled to improve responsiveness and accountability. To enhance representation of vulnerable groups in governorate and municipal councils, 118 candidates were capacitated to run for local elections, of which, 46 won seats in municipal and governorate councils. Taking new political reform into consideration, the project aims at strengthening and promoting vulnerable groups participation and representation in the political sphere, including political parties, through post graduate scholarships in the Higher Diploma Programme on Electoral Policies and Management as well as the master’s Programme in Local Administration and Development.

Keynote speeches were delivered by the Secretary General of Ministry of Local Administration, deputizing H.E. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Local Administration, the Chairman of the Independent Election Commission, President of University of Jordan, H.E Ambassador of Norway to Jordan, Espen Lindbaeck and UNDP Resident Representative in Jordan, Ms Randa Aboul-Hosn. The launch was also attended by high-level representatives from relevant ministries, embassies, international NGOs and development partners, university professors, the project’s consultants and beneficiaries including women, persons with disabilities and youth. Human rights, anti-corruption, women and Persons with Disabilities’ national machineries were also present; as well as a group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

His Excellency the Royal Norwegian Ambassador stated, “Strong local governance is critical for providing good public services”, Ambassador Espen Lindbæck says. “Norway is therefore very pleased to continue our support for this project, which aims to strengthen local government institutions and networks, and increase citizenship engagement at the local level.” UNDP Resident Representative Randa Aboul-Hosn also added that “We are committed to support Jordan’s Government throughout operationalizing and materializing the Political Reform. Through “The Network of Local Governments-II”. The launch started with a film screening, capturing the impact of the project on local communities and targeted populations followed by welcoming statements from keynote speakers, and ended with human stories from beneficiaries who shared experiences on the impact of the project’s interventions on their lives. 

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