Local Works Mission Profile: USAID/Morocco's Locally Led Development Story

Speeches Shim

USAID/Morocco is at the forefront of locally led development within the Agency, finding ways to succeed with a limited budget in a diverse and complex development context. In 2015, it became one of the first Missions involved in the Local Works Program, a USAID initiative that provides funds to Missions to pursue locally owned programming and innovative operational approaches. This brief provides a summary of USAID/Morocco’s experiences to date with locally led development, lessons learned, and recommendations based on its experience.

Particularly in the early stages, USAID/Morocco faced a variety of challenges in applying a locally led development approach. While some of these remain, the Mission, in collaboration with local partners, developed unique approaches to resolving these issues and overcoming barriers to progress.

Development Context

Historically, most Moroccan civil society organizations (CSOs) have lacked the ability to enact systemic change and function as a broker between citizens and the government. Only with the adoption of the new Constitution following popular protests in 2011 was the legal space for civil society enlarged, expanding the rights and the role of civil society in policymaking and the public sphere.

A central aim of USAID/Morocco’s Local Works Program is to increase the ability of five key CSOs to become intermediary support organizations (ISOs) for their extensive network of around 1,000 local organizations. The ISOs serve as capacity development “go-to” centers, strengthening the ability of their entire network to advocate for change, listen to their constituents, mobilize resources, and have a collective impact.

The Mission also decided to apply locally led approaches to its investments in democracy and governance, including its existing Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP), which ran from 2015-2019. Through CSSP, USAID supported over 200 Moroccan CSOs, including the five Local Works partner ISOs, in their policy advocacy efforts through tailored technical assistance, forming effective coalitions, and developing sound policy recommendations.

Through the Local Works Program and related efforts, USAID is supporting Morocco on its journey to self-reliance by working with all levels of government and civil society to increase civic participation and enable a more inclusive and effective government that is representative of all of Morocco’s citizens.

Issuing Country 
Friday, September 27, 2019 - 10:15am