Majesty King Mohammed VI on May 18, 2005, fits into a comprehensive vision, revolving around three main areas:
- A political process of consolidating the modern State: democracy, rule of the law, promotion of women’s and children’s rights;
- Reforms and structuring projects generating development;
- Human development in its economic, social, and cultural dimensions, based on the main principles of good governance, through the information, the follow-up and accountability.
This local initiative is implemented in convergence with sectoral programs and the local authorities’ development plans. The NIHD process aims, therefore, at reinforcing the decisional power of the concerned populations as well as the action of the territorial authorities.
Moreover, the NIHD, which is based on a global and integrated vision for human and social development, aims at fighting the social discrepancies, through setting the foundations of a harmonious development of both urban and rural areas.
It is a community participative development program, through which the inhabitants of the targeted urban and rural areas express their needs in terms of equipments and social services, the support for income generating activities and the reinforcement of social skills.
On the other hand, the NIHD reinforces the action of the State and the local authorities, without being, of course, a substitute for the programs of the Ministerial Departments or the economic and social development plans of the local authorities.
Accordingly, the Initiative provides an additional financing to support actions that allow the improvement, in a rapid and sustainable way, of the human development indicators. Its values are dignity, trust, participation, good governance and continuity.
A total amount of 10 billion Dirhams was allocated to the NIHD over the period 2006-2010. The funding is as follows:
- 60% from State budget loans;
- 20% from local authorities, through their share of VAT
- The balance of 20% from external sources, mainly in the form of donations.
The projects processed under the NIHD are decided upon by the population on the basis of a participative territorial diagnosis and formulated into multiannual development plans called: Local Initiatives for Human Development (LIHD). The concerned population participates in the implementation, follow-up, and evaluation of the projects.
In this respect, a training strategy of capacity building has been set up and more than 18,000 local and national actors involved in the implementation of the Initiative benefited of it.
In parallel, a proximity-based communication strategy has been implemented to ensure both implanting the values, principles and approaches of the NIHD and a greater appropriation of the Initiative’s projects.
The implementation of the NIHD for which processes of simplification and efficiency have been introduced is done, through four main programs detailed below:
1 – The program for the fight against social exclusion in urban areas: this program targets 264 districts located in the 30 largest cities of the Kingdom and has as an objective reducing the social exclusion and poverty of the underprivileged population through improving the living conditions and strengthening integration. There are four categories of actions to be undertaken by the NIHD:
- Supporting access to proximity-based services and urban basic facilities (education, health, road, water and sanitation, etc.);
- Revitalizing the local economy through income-generating activities;
- Supporting the social cultural and sports-related actions.
- Strengthening local governance and capacities.
2- The program for the fight against poverty in rural areas: this program targets 403 rural communities in which the poverty rate exceeds 30% (based on the poverty map published in 2004 by the High Planning Commission). Like the urban program, this one aims at improving the human development index in the targeted municipalities, through working on:
- Supporting access to basic infrastructure, basic equipments and services especially for those who are in a precarious situation.
- Revitalizing local economies through encouraging income and employment generating activities.
- Supporting social, cultural and sports-related actions.
- Strengthening local governance and capacities.
3 – The program for fighting against precariousness: implemented at the regional level, this program targets marginalized and extremely vulnerable individuals, and offers the following assistance:
- Encouraging as much as possible family reintegration of the concerned people.
- Improving the quality of services currently offered by associations and public institutions to meet quality standards that guarantee the respect of human dignity;
- Creating additional shelter capacities where necessary.
4 – The transversal program: which aims, on the one hand, at supporting projects with high impact on human development across all prefectures, counties and provinces of the Kingdom, particularly in rural communities and disadvantaged and untargeted urban areas, on the basis of a procedure of project tenders at the prefecture or province levels; and on the other hand, supporting the micro-credit associations and the ones in charge of the implementation of the NIHD with training / capacity building, technical assistance, communication, monitoring and follow-up/evaluation.
A budget of 2.5 billion Dirham was allocated for each of these four programs over the period 2006-2010.
Latest facts on the NIHD
In 2008, a mid-term review of the NIHD was undertaken, putting in synergy the inputs of various State departments, local authorities, public institutions and partner associations.
This strategy which fits perfectly into the approach of the Millennium Development Goals has significantly contributed to reducing the poverty rate, as defined by the World Bank, from 15.3% in 2001 to 9% in 2007.
Finally, it should be noted that the NIHD, which is an innovative approach in terms of involvement and participation of the beneficiary population received in December 2006 the Euro-Mediterranean prize given by the International Association “Assafrica & Mediterraneo”. Moreover, it was emphasized during the first African Conference on Sustainable Human Development, held in Rabat in April 2007, that the NIHD, like other African countries’ experiences, would be a source of inspiration in the context of strengthening South-South cooperation.