CPI The Lebanese Center for Public Information
PARTICIPATIVE
GOVERNANCE
PARTICIPATIVE GOVERNANCE

    "EVERY GOVERNMENT DEGENERATES WHEN TRUSTED TO THE RULERS OF THE
    PEOPLE ALONE. THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, THEREFORE, ARE ITS ONLY SAFE
    DEPOSITORIES."

    THOMAS JEFFERSON - NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, QUERY 14, 1781

    Participative planning, the road to true democracy in Lebanon
    In our study of the Lebanese National Plan we shall endeavor to seek the answers to
    the following:
    1.        What is planning?
    2.        Why do we need a Plan in Lebanon?
    3.        What are the main sector plans that make up the Lebanese National Plan?
    4.        Why the previous attempts at sector planning in Lebanon ended up in failure?
    5.        Which main steps should one follow to develop a National Plan?
    6.        Who should be involved in building the National Plan?
    7.        Who should be assigned to direct and monitor the elaboration and the
    implementation of the sector plans?
    8.        How long will it take to execute the project?
    9.        What are the budgeted costs of the project?
    10.        What broad objectives do we aim to ultimately achieve through the Lebanese
    National Plan?
    11.        Additional Notes

              The Lebanese National Plan (LNP) 2013-2016
           ASOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR THE NATION
    1.        WHAT IS PLANNING?
    According to the business dictionary, planning is a basic management function
    involving formulation of one or more detailed plans to achieve optimum balance of
    needs or demands with the available resources. The planning process: (1) identifies
    the goals or objectives to be achieved, (2) formulates strategies to achieve them, (3)
    arranges or creates the means required, (4) identifies the individuals or the
    organizations who will be involved in the process. (5) Implements, directs, and
    monitors all steps in their proper sequence.
    2. WHY DO WE NEED A PLAN IN LEBANON?
    In addition to the obvious economic and social incentives that plainly justify all efforts to
    revise and improve upon our current policies, there are other important considerations
    that make it imperative for our government to introduce within the public Administration,
    along with some urgently needed reforms, a modern system of participative planning.
    Lebanon is a relatively small country with a population estimated at four and a half
    million inhabitants. The citizens belong to a mosaic of eighteen different religious
    communities. The political system in place is, what you may call, the closest thing to
    democracy in a region where dictatorship was until recently the norm. However, a small
    ruling business class in Lebanon has monopolized most of the economic advantages
    to the detriment of the underprivileged majority. At election time, several opposing
    political parties led by clan heads or “zaims” vie to entice the voters by offering them
    monetary inducements instead of a political program. To make matters worse,
    corruption has reached unprecedented heights at all levels of the public Administration.
    Few formalities can be conducted smoothly without bribes or a personal
    recommendation or “wasta” provided by some public official

    All the efforts to fight these huge challenges have, so far, proved unsuccessful.

    The adoption of a National Plan primarily aims at addressing these obstacles by
    offering the citizens some viable alternatives.

    1.        Focusing attention upon achieving defined objectives
    The in-depth study that will be required to develop the National Plan will allow us to
    identify precisely what is going wrong in our country and how it should be rectified. It will
    make it possible to single out and ascertain the objectives that ought to be achieved
    over a definite period of time, at some specified cost.
    2.        Fighting corruption
    The study will also expose the extent of the corruption that mines the Administration and
    its harmful consequences. It will reveal ways and means to fight and eradicate this
    corruption.
    3.        Gaining hope for a better Lebanon
    The National Plan, once it is formally adopted and enters its implementation phase, will
    boost the morale of the population and the Civil Administration alike.
    4.        Improving governance
    Good planning will allow the Authorities to anticipate and prevent crises rather than
    rushing to solve them after they occur.
    5.        Providing a platform for the 2013 parliamentary elections
    Probably the most valid “raison d’etre” for the National Plan is that it will provide the
    voters in the June 2013 forthcoming parliamentary elections, with an action plan and a
    yardstick to gauge the claims and the promises of the different candidates.  
            3. WHAT ARE THE MAIN SECTOR PLANS OFTHE LEBANESE NATIONAL PLAN?
    The following sketch illustrates our view of the proposed contents of the Lebanese
    National Plan, LNP. Naturally, we may decide, at a later stage, to modify this list, if it
    proves necessary:
    4. WHY THE PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS AT SECTOR PLANNING IN LEBANON ENDED UP IN FAILURE?

    The following sector Plans were studied and elaborated by different governments during the period from 2005 to
    date.
    1.        « The Education and Higher Education Plan » 2010 authored by HE Hassan Mneimne
    2.        The « Social Pact » 2011 authored by HE Elie Sayegh
    3.        The Agriculture Plan, 2005 authored by HE Aly Hassan El Khalil
    4.        The Industry Plan, 2006 authored by HE the late Pierre Gemayel
    5.        The Tourism study, 1996 undertaken by the UNDP
    6.        The Water Policy 2011 authored by HE Gebran Bassil
    7.        The Electricity Policy 2010, authored by HE Gebran Bassil
    8.        The Transport study, 2011 authored by HE Ghazi El Aridi but not yet published.
    9.        The Environment Mission Program, 2011 authored by HE Nazem El Khoury

    We note with regret that all the above plans, as well as many other plans that preceded them, have failed to this
    day to be suitably implemented. Most plans were born dead or did not survive after the departure from office of
    the Minister who authored them. Others have not been executed due to lack of funding or “political will”. Some
    plans also broke down because their authors did not keep in mind the big picture. They omitted to recognize the
    fact that the eighteen individual sector plans that make up the National Plan are all interrelated and
    interdependent. One cannot reform one sector alone and ignore the others. In other instances, the plans
    crashed because their authors did not go through the five basic elaboration processes described in paragraph 1
    above. But, above all, the plans fell short because the citizens were not directly associated to the plan building
    course. We shall comment on this last remark later in the report.
    5. WHICH MAIN STEPS SHOULD ONE FOLLOW TO DEVELOP A NATIONAL PLAN?

    A. - PLAN PREPARATORY PHASE
    1. Study the existing Lebanese Plans
    2. Study the Irish Plan and some other successful foreign Plans
    3. Agree upon a unified approach to Plan study
    4. Agree upon a single basic Plan architecture
    5. Allocate Plans among teams and team members
    9. Draw up some lists of potential collaborators/participants

    B. - INFORMATION, COLLECTION, STUDY & EVALUATION PHASE
    10. Collect information from available sources (see attached list)
    11. Evaluate information obtained
    12. Discuss evaluated information with outside collaborators
    13. Draw up preliminary execution programs
    14. Discuss preliminary programs with outside collaborators

    C. - PLAN ELABORATION PHASE
    19. Receive and study all written suggestions
    20. Introduce modifications as needed
    21. Redraw draft plans and distribute to all concerned
    22. Study the draft plans with UNDP/CDR/Experts
    23. Study the draft plans with consultants
    24. Study the draft plans with the parliamentary commissions
    25. Study the draft plans with the Minister and his assistants
    26. Redraw the final draft plan and forward to the Council of Ministers
THE LEBANESE NATIONAL PLAN (Part one)