For general information about the country profiles click here.
HDI ranking: 93/187
HDI score: 0.713
In Algeria, decentralization has not taken deep root and it establishes only an extended form of centralization. Its local democracy remains unaccomplished since the central power is unable to improve the autonomy and responsibilities of the local level (UCLG, 2009).
Local governance at a glance
- Responsible agency: Ministry of interior and local governments
- Algeria is divided into 48 provinces (wilayas) that are governed by provincial governors selected by the president. Governors are representatives of the president in provincial affairs and report to the Ministry of Interior (UNPAN, 2004).
- The provinces are subdivided into 160 districts consisted of 1541 municipalities all governed by the same municipal power and headed by the president of the municipal people’s assembly and an appointed executive selected by a proportional representation system for a five-year term (UCLG, 2009).
- The commune as the smallest administrative division represents the basic governing authority constituting the foundation of decentralization process (UCLG, 2009).
- Algeria adopted an Electoral Law in 2012 that includes the quota of women candidates at 30% or 35% for the Regional Elections depending on the size of the region (IDEA, 2012).
Civil society actors include
- Ligue algérienne des droits de l`home (LADDH) is an organization that aims to support human rights and civil liberties in Algeria.
- Comite algerien des droits de l`homme et des peuples supports activity that promotes human rights and civil liberties.
Capacity building institutions
- Centre national d’Etudes et d’Analyses pour la Population et le Développement (CENEAP) focus on conducting studies and analyses about several subjects including local governance. They promote decentralization process through the conferences.
- Local authorities at commune and province (wilaya) level can manage revenue generated by taxation, capital, subsidies, loans, and user fees. Moreover, they have the power to prepare and execute the budget (UCLG, 2009).
- Local governments are able to gain funding from government transfers via the Local Governments Common Fund (IMF, 2005).
Key initiatives for participatory local governance
- In 1976, the management of budgetary appropriations was transferred to the local governments which established the foundation of financial decentralization in Algeria (FAO, 1990).
- Between 1973 and 1979, the central government has decided to devolve authority on the regions at subnational levels where “the governor was given expanded supervisory, catalytic and coordinator authority over the civil service departments operating in his province” (FAO, 1990).
- The concentration of power was at the top of the political structure in the 1960s, however, since 1989 the most effective political decentralization has happened at the provincial level (UNPAN, 2004).
- “e-citizen portal” was launched in 2010 as one of “e-Algeria Strategy”. The portal put several online services and the news of interest to citizens to educate and inform citizens and to simplify the demands of citizens to public services.
Challenges for participatory local governance
- Algerian government has adopted a new Constitution with the establishment of political pluralism since the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, decentralization process remains the former pattern and as a result of low turnout rates in local elections (UCLG, 2009).
- Local and regional governments are highly dependent on the State authorities and thus they are demanding greater autonomy for communes, greater powers and responsibilities for locally elected representatives and greater civic participation (UCLG, 2009).
- The 1,451 municipal people’s assemblies (APCs) have only 10% to 15% of the State’s tax revenues (UCLG, 2009).
Recent posts on this website about this country:
- Women’s empowerment and good governance through community radio : best experiences for an action research process (2008)
List of sources (in order of citation):
UCLG, 2009: “UCLG Country Profiles: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria.”
United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN), 2004: “People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria: Public Administration Country Profile.”
International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2005: “Algeria: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes— Fiscal Transparency Module.”
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 1990: “Regional Decentralization for agricultural development planning in the Near East and North Africa.”