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Area-Based Planning in Akkar

Unions of Municipalities of Dreib El Gharby, Dreib El Awsat and Akkar El Chemaly lacked basic geographical, urban-planning, demographic and social data. Their staff also didn’t have the capacity to undertake data management, planning tasks, or strategic development plans.

The Area-Based Planning MASAR project aimed to improve the capacities of subnational governments to engage in holistic, area-based planning and consider different scenarios that respond to the needs of host, refugees and IDP (Internally Displaced Person) populations. Under this project, many activities were executed by PCPM.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

In December 2020, the first assessment of needs related to GIS implementation has been completed, followed by a Database assessment which identified database related to satellite imagery, digitalized cadastral information, zoning maps and decrees, ground elevation maps, road network, land use maps, as well as region and Union boundaries.

Between May and August 2021, 16 municipal staff and volunteers ready to support the work of the GIS Management Units in each Union completed the GIS training.

Also in August 2021, each Union of Municipalities received IT equipment necessary for the GIS management units to operate and to ensure an efficient technical base for GIS implementation. The support included PCs, laptops, external drives, printers and stationery.

The GIS Units staff were further capacitated in data collection during December 2021, and the field data collection has been completed in 2 Unions while it’s still ongoing in Akkar El Chemaly (with the focus on demographics and wastewater management).

Strategic Planning

In May 2021 strategic planning experts launched three strategic planning processes, one in each Union of Municipality. After the assessment phase, focus group discussions were organized in addition to planning committees’ formation. In order to ensure youth participation in the planning process, a competition for the best development idea was organized called “Fair of Ideas”. Participatory planning processes were completed, resulting in Union-specific development scenarios, including a list of quick impact projects. The plans were validated in December in 2021 through sessions with the Unions representatives as well as online publication of the reports using Unions channels.

Additional Trainings

In January 2022, local governments representatives and staff participated in a very important training on the role of municipalities in local economic development. Followed by a training for active youth of Dreib E Awsat Union in February 2022 aiming to form committees supporting planning activities at the Union.

Another training was organised in June 2022, aiming at familiarizing the participants with the mechanisms of cofounding local initiatives followed by a series of trainings for local governments and youth in project proposal writing. These trainings also included individual coaching for small groups working on a project idea.

Towards Project Sustainability

Adopting of the Geographic Information System as a tool in the Municipalities will have a positive effect not only in the future of the local governments service provision but also on many different levels; environmental, cultural, economic and institutional.

In solid waste collection and wastewater collection, it will contribute to a better control over the quality of those services and facilitates positive impact on the environment.

Broader knowledge on local projects formulation and fundraising will facilitate bigger ownership of future projects’ implementation.

Key data for development and spatial planning have become available at one click thanks to the development of the GIS database and that will open the doors for more informed decisions in the future and Longer term development scenarios are in place allowing the Unions to orient their decision-making towards the identified goals.

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