Published on October 23, 2007
Programme for Poverty Reduction in Urban and Semi-Urban Areas (PLCP): Maroc Programme for Poverty Reduction in Urban and Semi-Urban Areas (PLCP) The PLCP Programme: The PLCP Programme The Kingdom of Morocco, by adopting since 1995 a social development strategy, has placed poverty alleviation at the top of State’s priorities. In this context, the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Solidarity and UNDP have implemented a Programme for Poverty Reduction in Urban and Semi-Urban Areas… Following a promising Pilot Phase from 1998 to 2001, a 2nd phase (2002-2006) was approved. It coherently lies in the framework of the National Initiative on Human Development launched by the H.M. the King on May 2005. The presentation will focus on:: The presentation will focus on: Contents and Activities Strengths Weaknesses Challenges and Opportunities Contents and Activities – The Pilot Phase: Contents and Activities – The Pilot Phase The objective of the Programme pilot phase (1998-2001) was to enable : local authorities, elected officials and municipal technical staff, private sector decision-makers, civil society actors and university institutions to experiment and develop, collectively, partnerships for urban poverty alleviation in three large urban agglomerations (Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier). Contents and Activities – The Pilot Phase: Contents and Activities – The Pilot Phase In the light of the results of this Pilot Phase, it has been asserted the Programme constitutes a promising start… The implementation of no less than 70 projects, attests the capacity to mobilize the competencies of many local and national development partners in order to foster a joint partnership culture in dealing with urban poverty reduction in Morocco. Contents and Activities – Objectives / Strategic Axis: Contents and Activities – Objectives / Strategic Axis Based on the Pilot Phase, the Second Phase (2002 – 2006) aimed to consolidate the achievements thereof, through : Strengthening and institutionalising local consultation and coordination structures (i.e.: Municipal Steering Committees, MSC), in order to secure the effective ownership, by the local actors, of the partnership approach to poverty reduction ; Enhancing the capacities and competences of the local development actors ; Implementing operational projects in areas related to income-generating activities, job-oriented training and social integration. Contents and Activities – Relevant information: Contents and Activities – Relevant information Partnership: UNDP & Ministry of Employment, Social Development et Solidarity (MESDS) Wilayas and Provinces. Local Councils. Decentralized Government technical services NGOs and community-based associations. Universities and research institutions Private sector Budget: 1.000.000 US$ (60% MESDS, 40% UNDP) Beneficiaries: The direct beneficiaries of the operational projects are the illiterates, the unemployed, women heads of households, disadvantaged children and youths, the handicapped, the elderly… The main beneficiaries of the reinforcement of the capacities are the association executives, the communal elected officials and executives. Intervention sites (new areas added in respect to the pilot phase) : Casablanca : Ben M’scik and Médiouna districts. Marrakech : Marrakech-Médina, Ménara-Guéliz, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali districts. Tangier : Béni Makada, Tanger-Médina Charf and Larache districts. Evaluation: final evaluation achieved in 2006, expressing a general positive opinion. Outputs and Results - Strengths: Outputs and Results - Strengths Participatory culture enhanced at the local level PLCP is based on a true participatory dynamic at the local level, by further strengthening the space of consultation created in the Pilot Phase. This approach is realized through the participatory elaboration of: Chart of Development Priorities, formulated at the municipal level by institutional, civil society and private actors (which also express their commitment to a number of principles and values); Local Action Plans, aiming to formalize and prepare the implementation of the development priorities identified by the local actors; Municipal Steering Committees, composed by municipal technicians, elected representatives of the population, NGOs and private sector; and mandated to ensure piloting and monitoring of the identified projects. 10 MSC have been created in the target areas. Outputs and Results - Strengths : Outputs and Results - Strengths Local capacities for pro-poor interventions enhanced PLCP aimed to an effective strengthening of local capacities in the field of the implementation of poverty-reduction strategies and projects. More than 400 development actors (members of local institutions, private and no-profit actors) benefited from the 13 training sessions organized in the different target areas. Among the main subjects: Techniques of participation and communication Project management (and Results-Based Management) Organization and functioning of territorial bodies (Collectivités Locales) The local level as development driving force Outputs and Results - Strengths : Outputs and Results - Strengths Resources mobilization PLCP succeeded in mobilizing additional external contributions, showing a broad support to the approach developed by the Programme. In addition to the 500.000 US$ allocated by the Programme budget to poverty-reduction projects implementation, around 1.9 millions US$ (in kind) were mobilized by local actors (local bodies, governmental departments, local associations…). This result is assumed to be a direct effect of the participatory approach fostered by PLCP. As well, the evaluation stressed UNDP’s catalytic role through its direct involvement in PLCP management. Outputs and Results - Strengths : Outputs and Results - Strengths Strong impact of poverty-reduction interventions on populations Around 2.4 millions US$ have been allocated to poverty-reduction interventions (500.000 US$ from PLCP’s budget and 1.9 millions US$ from external partners’ contributions). 48 projects have been implemented in the three target areas. 52% of the total resources has been used for job-oriented training projects, 27% for social integration projects, and 20% for income-generating activities. 12.241 people have benefited from projects’ activities, among which 4.153 women (33%) and 6.404 children (52%). Outputs and Results - Weaknesses: Outputs and Results - Weaknesses Scarce resources for Programme implementation Considering the scope of needs of target populations, it was noted that resources for projects implementation were insufficient, even including the unexpected external contributions. In order to remedy this gap and allow the funding of a greater number of interventions, PLCP requested the partner associations implementing the project to mobilize 75% of the project’s budget. This was meant to promote a sense of ownership, but it has sometimes been perceived as a burden, impeding project formulation and implementation. Outputs and Results - Weaknesses: Outputs and Results - Weaknesses Scarce resources for local coordination and projects’ implementation Local coordination units are the pivotal actor in PLCP operational structure, since they mobilize local partners, monitor projects’ implementation, guarantee that PLCP is founded on a permanent participatory approach. Unfortunately, local coordination units were neither adequately equipped nor did they have sufficient human and financial resources. This has somehow jeopardized their leading role in project’s coordination and monitoring at the local level. This is mainly caused by the centralization in the management of funds (at the National Coordinator’s level), due to ATLAS introduction in 2005 and the impossibility to open local bank accounts for Programme’s management. Outputs and Results - Weaknesses: Outputs and Results - Weaknesses Some problems concerning training Training showed some inadequacies: The number of participants was low in relation to local needs Participants were not properly identified, on the basis of real needs Trainers didn’t play their role in accompanying trainees in performing their tasks after the training Trainings experimented some limits in organizational and pedagogical matters Outputs and Results - Weaknesses: Outputs and Results - Weaknesses Issues related to local partners Local associations have been the central actors in projects’ implementation. However, many of them didn’t show the required ability in project’s design and implementation. Sometimes, they benefited from training in a late stage of their intervention. Local authorities frequently showed low (financial or otherwise) commitment to participatory approach, as it’s demonstrated by the growing inefficacity of MSCs, that rapidly became “empty boxes”. The process of “local ownership”, and hence sustainability, by institutional arrangements and permanent consultation was below expectations. Government services sometimes showed little enthusiasm in engaging in localized poverty-reduction approaches, because of their centralized methods and low commitment at the top management level. Challenges & Opportunities: Challenges & Opportunities Call for an enhanced local and institutional commitment for a participatory approach in the field of poverty reduction. Strengthen local actors’ capacities and means. Stress the importance of local consultation and participatory decision-making for poverty reduction, and exploit lessons learned in the design of the agreed interventions. This approach – and not costly infrastructures – is key for establishing a sound, long-lasting and sustainable development dynamic. Recognize and enhance the growing importance of Civil Society as development key-player. The National Initiative for Human Development represents a strong opportunity to increase local development investments in Morocco and foster wider participation. THANK YOU !: THANK YOU !