In 2012, the Association Marocaine de Solidarité et de Développement (AMSED), with the participation of International IDEA, carried out the State of Local Democracy from a Gender Perspective in Morocco project. This assessment took place in the context of social upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa, which have shaken the foundations of some dictatorial regimes and apparatuses in the region and prompted others to implement political reforms to promote and institutionalize democracy and human rights. Together with Morocco’s 20 February youth movement, other voices have also demanded additional reforms and greater respect for human rights. Local management traditionally focused on citizens’ representation and administrative service provision, and from the outset did not encompass spatial development in all its dimensions. Consequently, AMSED provided a new approach to assessing local democracy using a gender-based perspective. A gender-sensitive community is one that links spatial development with local democracy by harmonizing legal and administrative approaches with human resources, and is able to work at the cultural and relationship levels and with roles and authorities.
Assessing local democracy in Morocco from a gender-based perspective began with creating an assessment reference guide. This guide contains 77 questions that address the most important and relevant aspects of community action. The project was implemented in six rural communities in the south of the country and four urban communities located in the regions of Zagora, Ouarzazate and Tinghir.