Strategic planning in municipalities– Impediments, framework and benefits

Solution development by the municipalities of Sahab, Sahl Houran and Quweria

Development plans from Amman, Jordanien

Managing municipalities effectively and achieving sustainable development for residents are priorities for local authorities. As the link between the central authority and the local population, municipalities need to develop mid-term and long-term strategies to fulfill their developmental role in basic service provision, managing resources, infrastructure development, as well as achieving economic growth and sustainability. Strategic planning is key to shaping a vibrant community and economically competitive environment. It focuses on leveraging assets and strengths rather than overcoming challenges and are characterized by a sharp focus on the competitive advantage, key clusters of opportunity, workforce characteristics, quality of life standards and other economic and demographic differentiators.

However, long-term strategic planning is weak if not non-existent in the majority of municipalities in the MENA region. While some municipalities have made significant progress in adopting strategic planning, many face greater challenges related to urbanisation, service delivery, economic development, natural resources, environmental issues, social disparities, changing demographics, and response to crises. To overcome these challenges effectively, municipalities must have up-to-date local strategies that guide them in setting development scenarios, priorities, and making informed decisions to meet the diverse needs and challenges of the local population. In essence, local development strategies are the foundation upon which successful local governance is built.

Against this background, Connective Cities’ working group ‘Local development strategies’ is supporting municipalities in the MENA region to embark on their process for local strategic planning. With the aim of formulating contextualised local development strategies, this process involves data collection, engagement with community stakeholders, collaboration between municipal departments and accurate needs assessment. In addition to showcasing of good practices, the municipalities of Sahab, Sahl Houran and Quweria in Jordan have achieved a substantial advancement in the development of their local development strategies within the framework of the working group. Furthermore, an introduction on master planning was presented by showcasing Amman’s Master plan 2025.


You can learn more about the working group’s activities by visiting its page on the Connective Cities platform and by viewing the recording of the session held on the 13th May 2024 (in Arabic).


Shalan Muna, Connective Cities

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