"After four years at the helm of municipalities, the strategic planning document that the municipality produced at the start-up was our guide in all the periods we have been through. Admittedly, it was not possible for us to carry out all the planned projects, but we had a repository for our action ". With these words, Mohamed Snam, Mayor of Wazen, talked about his experience in strategic planning in his municipality.
The Municipal Planning training realized by CILG-VNG International in Mehari Hotel in Hammamet 26th – 28th of April 2018 within the framework of the EU-funded program “Libya Local Governance and Stabilisation”, was an opportunity for Libyan municipalities to listen to concrete experiences of strategic planning and to learn how to assume roles and take steps needed to carry out a general strategic planning properly.
A delegation composed of mayors, councillors, including 6 female council members, 14 Heads of Planning Offices, and the Director of planning department at the Ministry of Local Government participated in this training.
“The crisis is a special moment in the evolution of a city or an institution. One should know how to seize it as an opportunity. But for that, special planning methods must be developed and adapted for the case of Libyan cities “.
This conclusion was drawn during the introductory session by the participants of a 3-day course. The pilot projects for the implementation of city development strategies undertaken under the Libya Local Governance and Stabilisation Programme were presented, with a focus on how local difficulties, such as the absence of an investment budget to be transferred by the central authorities and the unclear distribution of competencies, could be introduced in the planning activities.
The participants acquired knowledge not only on the Strategic planning approaches, but also in terms of taking better account of their own context in their exercise. “It would be very helpful to prepare a methodological document and distribute it to all the Libyan cities”. This recommendation from the head of the planning office of the municipality of Gherian has indeed been taken into consideration. The CILG-VNG International team will consolidate the results of the training to prepare a manual facilitating the implementation of the approaches introduced during the training.
In parallel to the training, the participants participated to a field visit conducted on the 27th of April to the downtown of Hammamet mainly the ancient Medina, being an emblem of the authenticity of historic architecture and the way the municipality is preserving this heritage. Besides, the participants visited some other sites of projects implemented by the municipality of Hammamet either alone or in partnerships with local and international actors in an endeavour to introduce an inspiring model of project identification, from an out-of-the box perspective, based on the optimization of partnership opportunities.