April 1, 2019, Kismayo. Jubaland civil servants have taken part in a discussion forum on the importance of decentralization in government, as part of local government development in the federal member state. The forum was facilitated by the Ministry of the Interior of Jubaland, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under a UN Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG).
Decentralization of government is a process of devolving power, decision making, and administration from the federal and state levels to the local district level. Effective decentralization of government means that people in districts, towns and villages can access services such as education, health care, and infrastructure, that suit their specific needs and requirements.
Over thirty men and women from the Jubaland state government attended the Kismayo forum, which aimed to allow a clear understanding of the shared roles and responsibilities at Federal Government, Federal Member States, regions and local government level. Those attending also discussed next steps on delivering government services and administration to communities in Jubaland.
Speaking about the process of decentralisation Aden Farah Garane, the Director General of the Jubaland Ministry of Interior, said “Administrations at district and municipality level are one of the closest levels of government to society, so to serve and achieve [the best] society we have to determine the best suitable and sufficient structures [at this level],” he said
Ahmed Bisle, Social Affairs Coordinator for Kismayo, said: “District level local government is like an executive cabinet with functions, roles and responsibilities for delivering services to the public. The way we design this structure today determines the efficiency in which services would be delivered to the public,” he said.
The forum also discussed examples from other states and districts where local government structures have already been set up, and where effective consultations and projects carried out. Decentralization administration and government services are successful when services are based on consultation with local communities, and local governments are then held accountable by local communities on what is being delivered. Effective, accountable based local government service delivery and resources can then contribute to political stability, government legitimization, and to long term sustainable development of countries.
UNDP supports the Government of Somalia and federal member states to develop local governance systems under the UN Joint Programme on Local Government (JPLG). The programme works to establish good governance and improve social services, and to strengthen, development and service delivery to all Somali people.
The UN Joint Programme is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, UNCDF, UN-Habitat, and ILO together with the Government of Somalia, and with funding from Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and USAID.