Jordan Threshold Program

MCC selected Jordan to participate in the Threshold Program in FY 2006. At the time, Jordan did not pass the indicators in the following categories:

  • Ruling Justly 
    • Political Rights, 
    • Civil Liberties, and 
    • Voice and Accountability 
  • Economic Freedom 
    • Trade Policy. 

To assist the Government of Jordan with its threshold program proposal, MCC provided an indicator analysis that highlighted key policy constraints, inclusive of those raised by the eligibility indicator institutions. The program targeted the policy areas measured by three MCC selection indicators, Political Rights, Voice and Accountability, and Trade Policy. The program included components that focused on strengthening municipal governance and modernizing customs administration.

Program Achievements

The Local Governance Development component of the Jordan Threshold Program empowered local governments and enhanced citizens’ participation in local level decision making in pilot municipalities throughout Jordan. The component increased women and youth participation in local elections, including launching a “Get out the Vote” campaign in districts across the country. The Women’s Knowledge Network, supported by the program, created a forum for discussion and support among women newly elected to public service. The program further improved local governance by assisting municipal government staff in creating three-year development plans and increasing private sector coordination. 

Under the Customs Administration Modernization component, the Jordan Threshold Program implemented a single-window system in five customs centers across the country. This system, which allows traders to submit required documents to a single entity, improved security and increased efficiency of customs clearance. In addition, the program helped upgrade Jordanian customs to an online clearance system in 14 locations across the country. A study using World Customs Organization methodology showed that as a result of these and other efforts, the program contributed to a reduction in clearance and processing times across the country of as much as 80 percent. 

NOTE: Prior to beginning implementation of the threshold program, the government agreed to undertake several initiatives. These initiatives included the enactment of a new Municipalities Law that would directly elect municipal office holders and enshrine a 20 percent quota for women’s membership, revision of the Civil Society Organizations law and other reforms to increase political space and civil rights.

Jordan Threshold Program Implementation

The government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which was responsible for implementing the program on MCC’s behalf, signed the program in October 2006. The program officially concluded in August 2009. As the program administrator, USAID managed program operations and oversaw the program implementing partner: Associates in Rural Development, Inc. (ARD). The program worked with government entities, provincial governments, a range of civil society organizations, and local media.

  • Grant Total
    $25,000,000
  • Signed:
    October 17, 2006
  • Closed:
    August 29, 2009
Customs Administration Modernization Project

Objective

Modernize customs administration by improving efficiency and increasing coordination between the systems and procedures of the Jordan Customs Department and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Customs Department. 

Activities

  • Improved the efficiency of customs administration and customs clearance procedures through training, updating policies and procedures to align with international best practices, and conducting communications and training among stakeholders 
  • Assisted in speeding the flow of import, export and transit goods while ensuring security at the borders by designing and implementing a single window facility, and developing the supporting coordination mechanisms and procedural documentation 
  • Upgraded the existing customs software package, Automated SYstem for CUstoms DAta (ASYCUDA++ to ASYCUDAWorld)
  • Upgraded human resources processes and revised the incentive structure, and developed a training service to improve business performance through staff development.
  • Launched a communications campaign targeting internal and external stakeholders
Local Governance Development Project

Objective

Empower local governments and enhance citizens’ participation in local-level decision-making in pilot municipalities throughout Jordan. 

Activities

  • Increased public participation and representation in a free and fair electoral process, including a focus on increasing women’s participation in public office and the creation of an online Women's Knowledge Network (WKN)
  • Increased citizen awareness of local government and capacity for advocacy by mobilizing neighborhood communities, women’s and youth association, by providing advocacy platforms to hold local governments accountable and by producing nine Municipal Local Development Plans (MLDPs)
  • Promoted public-private partnerships for local development planning and implementation
  • Increased capacity of elected officials to improve municipal performance and delivery of public services by improving financial, fiscal, and human resource management systems
  • Increased responsiveness of local governments to citizen concerns through a Special Incentive Fund, creation of citizen outreach units in local governments, training, and holding regular meetings of municipal development planning committees.