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A synthesis report on the existing citizen engagement efforts in Arab Countries Dr. ZuhairAlkayed.

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Presentation on theme: "A synthesis report on the existing citizen engagement efforts in Arab Countries Dr. ZuhairAlkayed."— Presentation transcript:

1 A synthesis report on the existing citizen engagement efforts in Arab Countries Dr. ZuhairAlkayed

2 Background of CE in the Arab countries Arab uprising in the MENA region 2011, popular citizen demands for effective governments are transparent, efficient, non- corrupt, that involve all groups of the population in public policy making and evaluation of outcomes. citizens are not empowered, do not have access to necessary public information do not have the skills and capacities to master certain issues related to public policies

3 arguing that citizens are not knowledgeable, experienced, capable or motivated to participate This transformational change in the Arab region is one of the most fundamental lessons in recent history. Since 2011 hundreds of workshops, forums, expert meetings and conferences, at the country and the regional level, were conducted

4 the Arab development forum – voices and choices for the development agenda in the Arab countries: the goals of the forum came in five folds: 1.To initiate debate on what should be included in the post-2015 agenda. 2.To strengthen national debate on the post-2015 agenda by complementing formal inter- engagement of a broad set of voices. The forum complements the formal inter-governmental consultations being organized by ESCWA.

5 3. Ensure that development debate in the region keeps up with the changing development context, from people-centered perspective. 4. To ensure that the deliberative momentum being built in the run-up to 2015 is not confined to stand- alone events but rather consists of ongoing dialogue in the form of meetings, social media and traditional media. 5.To strengthen a broad-based constituency for development in the Arab region, with a view to fostering ever- stronger citizens participation in monitoring, analysis and advocacy around development objectives, policies and results.

6 Such CE will be articulated in three inter- connected and mutually – supporting pillars, namely: dialogue, social media campaign and, engagement with media and opinion leaders. forums open the way for wide awareness and involvement of citizens in active development management in order to pave a road map for democratic governance.

7 Global use of citizen engagement measurement: 1.Citizen report card (CRC) 2.Participatory performance Monitoring (PPM) 3.Open Government Data developed by UNDESA 4.State of Local Democracy (SOLD) 5.The (CESAQ) that was developed by UNDESA and to be customized for the Arab Countries in cooperation with ESCWA

8 Rio Grande de Sul state of Brazil allows 120000 citizens to propose and vote on the web or phone to find new governments’ policy solutions leading to new health services for women. Participation increased by 60%. Bangladesh ask 135 million citizens for their feedback, as the government can address grievances and improve services delivery. The World Bank projects in Cambodia, India and other countries utilize CE as an effective mechanism that produce better outcomes, with improved social accountability

9 the United Nations (2013) have embraced the concept of ‘open government’ including three core elements, namely transparency, participation, and collaboration, where open government requires open data as a precondition and enabler for effective CE. Open data and open government together laying the foundations for a new relationship between government and citizens where all stakeholders work together for the common good of society.

10 In the Arab region the utilization of CE still in its infancy. few economic and social councils (ESCs) certain consultative and advisory councils or committees, either at ministerial or the sectorial level, the role of different and several NGO’s represent the citizens. Parliaments are supposed to represent the public.

11 The measurement should focus on the quality of outcomes of the CE rather than the quantity, the design of different measures that suite the country, issues or the subject involved the full awareness of the issues, the free access of information, where only three countries in the Arab region have such act. State of local democracy (SOLD) was implemented in four Arab countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen.

12 Citizen engagement for development management in Arab States A general lack of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in the Arab countries. Inefficient management of resources Lack of awareness of the ideas of governance and CE. lack of proper implementation of policies, laws and procedures, lack of compliance to legislations, compliance is a selective practice do not apply to all cases in a fair manner

13 Media role is not fully utilized High rate of poverty& unemployment, the marginalized and the disabled worry more about their basic needs for survival and they do not have the luxury to be engaged women rights and practices gap, equality in opportunity gap Arab development model failure due to lack of transparency, accountability and integrity the main challenge is a lack of mutual trust between the official system and the citizens.

14 Priorities: a phenomena in the Arab region where there is, almost, a common agreement in the region regarding the development agenda’s priorities for post-2015. The United Nations global survey for a Better World titled “My World” has identified the top priorities in the region,


16 Conclusion: Arab states are experiencing a very unique, active and dynamic process of transformation,mainly in the political,social and economics due to the Arab spring that was triggered by the lack of democracy and justice combined with poverty,unemployment and escalation of corruption, Arab region challenges and problems are not necessarily new or even unique, but it is theirs dialogue around them- given new dynamics that stimulated by Arab spring, that is and needs to be nuanced.

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