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Community Contribution

Libya's Taqarib Project Channels the CLA of Local Politics

Hunter Keith
2022 CLA Case Competition Winner Ribbon

Taqarib is a local governance project in Libya. It helps municipal institutions improve their delivery of the public-services that communities value most. Its objective is the objective of politics itself: to grow the legitimacy of public institutions among resident communities, and to establish elections as a way of either rewarding, or correcting, government performance. Politics is collaboration, learning, and adaptation played out on a societal scale. When they perform effectively, representative governments engage their residents in public forums, take measure of their priorities, and adjust their business practices in order to solve emergent problems and address evolving needs.

Taqarib's effectiveness is built on the same principles and the same functions. The project deploys a variety of CLA instruments that keep the project astride the unique and changing needs of communities across the country. As a matter of principle, Taqarib also adopts a CLA approach that fully institutionalizes the process of collecting information, of thinking about its implications for the project workplan, and adjusting the workplan at focused times in the year, based on shifts in what we know. Taqarib goes further than just this, though: it also incentivizes all three aspects of CLA among staff, rewarding those whose contributions are so fresh and substantial that they alter the course of the project.

In this case, we describe a data-driven pivot toward urban planning as a project focus. That shift in focus created lasting, statutory changes for the way that Libyan cities are built, including the incorporation of Taqarib's own CLA elements into the way that Libyan cities conduct their business. This submission includes most aspects of CLA, with special focus on technical evidence base and adaptive management.

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