The August 2015 passage of the Decentralization Law and the Municipalities Law demonstrated the Kingdom of Jordan’s increased focus on integrating municipalities into the governance framework to increase democratic accountability and improve conditions in Jordanian communities. This integration of municipalities and decentralization of power and authorities is also seen as an opportunity to help local institutions assist disadvantaged Jordanians and help them cope with the influx of Syrian refugees. While the policy reforms have given municipalities significant authorities, successful implementation of these laws will require sustained attention and support.
Building upon prior United States Government (USG) and other donor investments, as well as Government of Jordan’s (GoJ) own reforms, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has identified support to municipal governance and decentralization as an urgent need. Indeed, Jordanian citizens — and other semi-permanent residents, including Syrian refugees — are in need of access to basic services, economic opportunities, security and belonging, and inclusion by their government.
It is against the backdrop of these social and economic strains and continued regional instability that USAID initiated the Cities Implementing Transparent, Innovative, and Effective Solutions (CITIES) programme. Working through an integrated approach, CITIES will implement innovative and sustainable solutions to improve service delivery; increase sustainability of municipal and decentralized government operations; enhance citizen-government engagement; and foster community cohesion.
Within this context, REACH will be conducting a baseline study to measure the current effectiveness of municipal governance in the 33 municipalities selected for USAID CITIES intervention. CITIES has identified indicators which will be used to measure the changes that result from project interventions. A baseline study is considered an integral part of CITIES approach for guiding and informing evidencebased programming for project implementation as well as tracking progress and results, as per performance indicators identified by CITIES under the four Sub Purposes within the project’s Results Framework.