The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) LENS program, with help from the International City and County managers Association (ICMA), is designed to improve the economic resilience of vulnerable and under-served populations in Jordan, including women and youth, and facilitate their participation in economic growth. It has three primary objectives:
- To promote a policy environment that (1) enables micro and small firms to produce, transport, market, and sell efficiently and at competitive cost; (2) helps clarify the availability of resources for municipalities to undertake local economic development (LED) initiatives and support their capacity to access such resources; and (3) encourages investment at the local level;
- To create effective markets for business support services, particularly access to finance, for MSEs and vulnerable populations and increase the appreciation of firms for the value they provide;
- To improve the capacity of local government leaders to implement local economic development through streamlined communications with citizens, the private sector, and national government actors; clearer lines of authority; and improved ability to market the assets and investment opportunities in their municipalities.