ICMA has worked with cities in Lebanon to strengthen local economic development efforts and to improve financial management systems.
Lebanon Municipal Finance Studies Project
In 2009 ICMA was awarded a program that laid the groundwork for improved financial systems in Lebanon. ICMA prepared studies focusing on three key subject areas:
- Strengthening the municipal finance framework
- Property tax modernization
- Assessing the Independent Municipal Fund.
The program was conducted under the auspices of the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Municipalities with funds made available by the World Bank. Consultants and pro bono advisors from the United States developed the following:
- Municipal budgeting and accounting systems (including performance-based budgeting)
- Financial management and reporting procedures
- Personnel management systems
- Property tax assessment methodologies
- Property tax billing, collection, and monitoring systems
- Improved municipal real property management
- IT system development and expertise in hardware/software specification in support of all of the foregoing areas.
Lebanon Local Economic Development Program
In August 2007 the Government of Lebanon awarded ICMA the second phase of the Lebanon Local Economic Development (LLED) program to assist the country as it renewed its efforts to bring about sustainable economic growth. The program focused on the local level, beginning with five cities: Tripoli, Jounieh, Zahle, Saida, and Sour.
The program was funded by a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) and was administered by the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities of Lebanon, which selected the five cities.
ICMA and its partners worked with local stakeholders to develop a tailored, viable strategy that would invigorate local economies by encouraging investment and generating employment. The ICMA team involved stakeholders at each stage, using frequent workshops that brought parties together.
A formal mechanism for involving stakeholders from the public and private sectors and other interests was the creation of an economic development advisory board (EDAB) in each city. The role of each EDAB is to facilitate a process that will refine the economic development strategy into a formal plan and guide its implementation.
In addition to the EDABs and the city competitiveness strategy, the ICMA team provided each city with tools to help it sustain its economic development efforts.