The Arab Spring has elevated national awareness of transparency and civic participation issues. Morocco’s new constitution emphasizes good governance practices, including free and fair elections, accountability of elected officials, and greater civic participation in decision-making at the local level. Local governments, however, still struggle to engage with their citizens; they lack resources and capacity. Moroccan civil society organizations have little success in influencing reforms due to weak capacity in advocacy and networking.
USAID works with local governing bodies, political parties and civil society to promote democratic reform, advocate for marginalized and disaffected groups, and improve participatory dialogue between government and citizens. We are promoting youth and women’s participation by supporting the creation of local youth councils and equity commissions that advise elected officials at the local level. In addition, USAID is promoting local government accountability by improving complaint management systems and implementing internal audit structures. USAID is also focused on strengthening the organizational, advocacy, networking and watchdog capacities of Moroccan civic organizations, including community, youth and business associations. As part of U.S. support for free and transparent legislative elections, USAID funded a local election observation mission in November 2011 to provide a local impartial assessment of the electoral process and to ensure free and fair elections. USAID also trained female candidates and campaign managers for the parliamentary elections.
Impacts in this sector include:
- Newly established youth councils are creating an unprecedented environment for young men and women to engage their elected officials and administration on youth issues;
- Municipalities, known as communes in Morocco, are introducing an internal audit process to evaluate their operations and budget management, leading to improved accountability and efficiency of their operations;
- USAID-supported youth CSO coalitions generated significant policy impact on constitutional reform, youth representation in parliament, and 37 government measures on youth; and
- 2,482 election monitors were trained and accredited, and deployed in every region of the country, across approximately 22 percent of polling stations, on Election Day.
Last updated: October 28, 2014