CPI The Lebanese Center for Public Information

                           PARTICIPATIVE PLANNING

    In the previous presentations we have come to the conclusion that, in many countries of  the
    world, governments are calling on their citizens to participate with them, in one way or another, in
    the governance process.

    We have seen the form taken by such participation and the resulting benefits in some developing
    countries like the Philippines, Brazil and South Africa.

    In this connection we would like to refer the reader to an interesting study on the subject
    conducted by the World Bank that can be accessed at:

    In our modern age everyone recognizes the fact that no business enterprise can expect to grow
    and develop without proper planning and forethought. The same principle applies to
    communities large and small. The larger the community grows, the more complex its
    management becomes, and the greater is the need for efficient and shared planning. We can
    then logically conclude that good planning is the fundamental requisite of good governance.

    A country wide planning process is a lengthy and complex operation that usually takes place over
    a period of several months and covers all the economic and the social aspects and activities of
    the country for which the National Plan is elaborated.

    We contend that citizens' participation can also be an essential condition for  the successful
    design and implementation of a National Plan.

    To substantiate our assertion we shall provide, as an example,  the case of the Republic of
    Ireland where the citizens were called in to participate in the elaboration of five successive
    National Development Plans (NDP)  over a period of twenty years, from 1990 to 2010.

    As a result of the implementation of this participative planning policy,  the country's GDP shot up
    spectacularly during that period and the Republic of Ireland came to be known as the Tiger of   
    the European Union.

    But most significantly, and as a result of the active participation of the citizens in the planning
    process, that economic growth was spread evenly and was not restricted to  certain segments of
    the population, or certain sectors of the economy. Its effects benefited everyone, and in particular  
    the low income citizens, the underprivileged, the children, the poor, and the old.

    at this point, It is worthwhile pointing out that the failure to pay attention to that inclusive aspect of
    planning and governance has been the major cause of the revolutions  that are nowadays
    spreading at astounding speed throughout the entire Middle East

    The governments of these countries are now paying a heavy price for failing to plan and govern in
    the past in a thoughtful, fair, and inclusive manner, and associating their citizens to these

    We should weigh these considerations very carefully in Lebanon, lest we suffer the same fate
    that has befallen them.

    Time is not on our side. We should warn our politicians that, Instead of wasting precious weeks
    in political maneuvers and gesticulations, they should get together instead and proceed to plan
    and improve this country's governance, or risk suffering their people's wrath.

           (Nineteen different plans)   

    A.        Social Policy planning
    1.        Education
    2.        Health
    3.      Poverty eradication

    B.        Infrastructure planning
    1.        Solid & liquid waste treatment and disposal
    2.        Water supply and distribution
    3.        Electricity supply and distribution
    4.        Environment protection
    5.        Roads construction
    6        Public transport

    C.        Economic development planning
    1.        Agriculture
    2.        Industry
    3.        Trade
    4.        Services
    5.        Communications
    6.        Tourism

    D.        Financial and monetary policy
    1.        Fiscal policy (expenditure and revenue)
    2.        National Debt reduction

    E.          Future prospects planning
                       1        Gas and oil exploration
                       2       Privatizations

    A definition of planning
    BusinessDictionary.com on Facebook

    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.
    (4) implements, directs, and monitors all steps in their proper