Since the Arab Spring reached Libya in 2011, the country has been torn by violence. This violence and the consequent lack of political stability has left citizens without a clear national political leadership to turn to. Municipalities remain the only accountable bodies as they are elected by citizens. However, due to the situation in Libya, the municipalities experience a lack of resources. The “Libya Local Pilots Project: strengthening local governance by supporting selected municipalities” is a project specifically set up to support municipalities in Libya to improve their transparency and accountability.
The pilot projects are implemented in close cooperation between VNG international, CILG, and eight selected local municipalities. As of September 2020, we can see the first visible outputs of these projects on the ground with the establishment of a Citizens Service Office in Brak Al Shati. The main objective for this project is the improvement of services provided to citizens by improving communication in an effective and modern way. To this end, the municipality has created an office open to the public concerned with the support and follow-up on complaints, proposals, transactions, improved access to information, and municipal marketing.
On September 8, 2020, the construction of the office was finalised and a press release was sent out. The resulting office has the capacities needed to support and inform citizens as well as create a safe space for citizens to address complaints and proposals. Furthermore, the modern office will help improve the transparency and accountability of the municipality.
On this occasion, Khalil Massoud, Human Resources Director at the municipality of Brak al-Shati, affirms that:
“This Citizen Service Office is one of the most important projects so far carried out in our municipality as it will help us cut through the centralization of the processing of citizens' requests. In addition, the website that our municipality has launched with the help of CILG-VNG International will certainly modernise the processing of cases and help us better measure our effectiveness in short and long-term".
Besides the finished office, the project also consisted of the creation of a website where the municipal data will be published, the monitoring of the implementation of projects will be displayed, and citizens’ requests will be processed. Moreover, the civil servants have been trained in the use of this new system, reception techniques, conflict resolution and communication.
The mayor of Brak Al Shati, Jilani Daw has welcomed the project:
“This colossal work motivates us even more to improve the quality of the services we offer to citizens. This space will allow us to make communication with citizens more fluid and to modernize our management. Therefore, we hope that our collaboration with CILG-VNG International will continue with the aim of continuously reinforcing our capacities.”
Seven other municipalities are a part of this project and will be supported in the improvement of civil service delivery.