CPI The Lebanese Center for Public Information
PARTICIPATIVE
GOVERNANCE
PARTICIPATIVE GOVERNANCE

    Foreword
    Facing together the national challenges

    Most national and international observers tend to agree that Lebanon is confronted with
    three major social and economic  issues:

    1.        The absence of a coordinated social policy, particularly as regards health,
    education, social security and the fight against poverty.

    2.        Poor budgetary procedures leading to a recurrent annual deficit amounting to
    around four billion US dollars per year and an inflated national debt that has grown to
    $52.6 billion in the space of twenty years.

    3.        A near total lack of planning in managing our national infrastructure. According
    to the present Minister of Economy the country needs to spend some twenty billion US
    dollars to overhaul the technical structures that support our society, such as roads,
    water supply, sewers, energy generation, power grids, telecommunications, and so
    forth.

    The new government should not try to meet these huge challenges alone.

    Rather they should seriously contemplate associating the citizens to the entire reform
    process.

    The citizens can greatly assist the Authorities into seeking and finding the right solutions
    to all these challenges.

    The government should allow, rather they should encourage the citizens to play an
    advisory role in the reform of our social policy and monitoring the results of its
    implementation, assisting in setting up and monitoring a national budgetary policy and
    procedures, and participating in the adoption of a planned approach to the overhaul of
    the country's infrastructure leading to the creation of a National Five Year Plan.

    Such an approach is strongly supported by many prestigious world institutions, like the
    World Bank, and The Social and Economic Council, as well as by a number of well
    known  advisory and consultative groups in the United States and in Europe.

    We have include in this web site some extracts of their reports that strongly recommend
    the introduction of participative governance and provide some clear evidence of its
    benefit in the countries where such an approach was used.  

    We are also of the opinion that, associating the citizens to the task of governance, will
    lead to better mutual understanding between them and the Authorities,  improved
    performance all round, lower levels of corruption, and reduced risks of confrontation
    between the citizens and the State.

    In this connection we have quoted below some excerpts from a report drawn up by a
    world famous think tank, the Middle East Research and Information Project, that
    attributes the major cause of the grievances of the Algerian population to their
    "marginalization" by the Authorities.

    It is exactly the avoidance of such a "marginalization" that should be our concern in
    Lebanon. It can be best avoided by associating the citizens to the governance and
    convincing them as well as the Authorities that their common interest lies in working
    together, not against each other.


    How can Youth lead the reform movement in Lebanon?
    A new partnership

    To reform adequately and effectively one must possess both the knowledge and the
    drive.

    Youth own the will and the drive to launch a national reform in this country but they
    lack the necessary knowledge.

    We believe that they can be the driving engine behind these reforms in spite of all
    the intoxication and the brain washing that they have been subjected to in the past
    few years through the combined efforts of the establishment, the militia leaders, and
    the "monocracy".

    These three groups have successfully forged together an unholy and vicious
    alliance, spurred and motivated by their joint desire to retain an exclusive hold on
    the resources of our country without interference or protests from the population.

    They have rightly realized the danger that an enlightened and knowledgeable youth
    might represent to their project

    At their instigation, all references to the methods and to the ethics of local public
    governance have been carefully expurgated from the curriculums of both our
    private and our public universities. These subjects were considered taboo and all
    attempts by well meaning educators to introduce them were systematically
    countered on the false grounds that they were controversial subjects that run
    against the principles of the institution.

    As a result, of this calculated policy, our Youth has grown up with a solid knowledge
    of a great many topics but remain crassly ignorant of the basic workings of our
    public institutions, the ways they should function, and the principles that should
    guide them. Incidentally, this may also partially explain why no officially approved
    book on Lebanon's history has been adopted until now by  our educational system,
    for fear of treading on "delicate grounds".

    In our opinion, this relative unawareness of the issues of public governance is at the
    root of most of the problems that we are facing in Lebanon today. Among them the
    lack of civic sense, the exacerbation of religious and communitarian allegiances, the
    individualistic and selfish approach to life in general, the absence of belonging to a
    State and the lack of attachment to the Nation. All these defects are the results of
    the deep chasm that has been artificially created to separate and divide the
    population from the State, the governors from the governed (in Arabic, Al Chaab
    mina Al Dawle).

    The project of participative governance that we are advocating in this web
    site is meant to reverse that trend and restore the broken relations between the
    State and the citizens. Participative governance, provided it is correctly
    implemented, will  allow the two estranged parties to reconnect again and forge a
    new alliance  to rebuild our beautiful Lebanon on some solid and durable
    foundations.
A3. Our project
    To better illustrate that statement we reproduce below some extracts from a
    report published on line, two days, ago by a famous think tank on the real
    causes of the grievances of the Algerian population against their
    government. According to this report,  300 youth who reported their
    grievances to Parliament, complained about marginalization, which is called
    Authorities.

    This is a serious warning to our government in Lebanon, the current
    one as well as the new government that is currently in gestation. Do
    not  repeat the same mistake. Do not ignore or marginalize the
    Lebanese youth lest you face, sooner or later, the same reaction
    from your people.





                                           Middle East Research and Information Project.
    http://www.merip.org/mero/mero031211

    Algeria's Rebellion by Installments
    by Azzedine Layachi | published March 12, 2011

    More Than Food

    Three hundred youths were invited to air their complaints at a session of
    Parliament on January 19, and the price of food was low on their list, even
    though the average Algerian spends 40 to 55 percent of his income on
    nutrition. The youth representatives spoke instead about the lack of jobs
    and housing, their marginalization in the Algerian political and economic
    systems, and the contempt (known as hogra) shown to them by the
    authorities, including bureaucrats and state security agents. Hogra, indeed,
    is the core grievance uniting the rough-hewn rioters of January with the
    more polite protesters of February. Opaque and unaccountable, le pouvoir
    treats all Algerians who have no stake in the system with a considerable
    degree of disdain.