Publication: Legal Review of the Jordanian Decentralization Law Report
This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the Jordanian Decentralization Law through direct discussion with the stakeholders and comparison of the decentralization systems of Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco.
Research was conducted during October of 2018 and consisted of focus groups with 98 male Governate Council (GC) members from 11 governates. It also consisted of interviews with all 12 GC heads, and 32 of the 36 female members of the GC.
Discussion uncovered many flaws with the implementation of the Jordanian Decentralization Law and this report publicizes these findings while also suggesting possible actions to strengthen the law and improve decentralization policies in Jordan.
Main issues in the Jordanian Decentralization Law uncovered in the research are issues in clarity of the law, lack of resources for GC’s, and the need for a larger female voice on the councils. The law was written very broadly, and it has led to different interpretations of the role of GC’s.
The citizenry often makes requests from GC members that are outside their capabilities, some municipality officials fail to work with GC members claiming they operate under a different set of laws that don’t mention the GC’s, and GC members are unsure which Ministry they should operate under.
The GC’s also have not been granted adequate resources for their work, they lack secretaries, transportation methods, and office space among other things. Some of the GC’s have held meetings in parking lots because of a lack of a meeting space.
Finally, only one woman is a head of a GC, two are vice-presidents, and only a small number of women are heads of committees in their GC’s. The lack of female involvement fails to give GC’s the diversity of viewpoints and the tight ties to the community they were created to ensure for the government.
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