By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President
If Morocco could effectively implement participatory development through decentralized administrative systems across the population, the model could then be emulated and adapted to help create pathways for the people of the Middle East and Africa to achieve the kind of future they seek.
Morocco could guide the region by its attempt at, and example of, community democratic development–or “bottom-up” civil movements–that, with cross-sectoral partnership, elevate life conditions across communities and provinces and at the national level. Morocco’s development experiences and lessons are, therefore, informative and relevant regionally and globally.
The Arab Spring has brought about a heightened sense of urgency for governments and societies in the Middle East and North Africa to promote development that both directly engages and benefits the majority of the population.
By responding to this determination for genuine growth and justice, governments now have the opportunity to gain greater national and regional stability by increasing autonomy of sub-national interests (communal, public, civil and business).
In practice this means local people receive the political and social space and financial support to create and implement development projects that meet their particular human needs and that are driven by them, as the intended beneficiaries. Decentralized systems thus engender localized decision-making and utilize local capabilities (financial, operational and technical) to create development projects.
The HAF’s innovation has led to it becoming the foremost leader in community organic agriculture in Morocco, and offsetting carbon, in order to generate finance for participatory decentralized development across the sectors and country. Our commitment to advocacy at all levels of society for policies that promote participation and decentralization has resulted into strategic actions and policy reform.