In a previous web page we suggested that a number of
stake-holders as well as some State institutions and foreign
bodies should take an active part in the plan building
process. We identified at least twenty five groups of
individuals, organizations, state or foreign institutions who
must be called upon to participate, in one way or another,
in the construction of the Plan to ensure its ultimate
success. We are sure that we may have missed some and
we intend to rectify this error during the execution of the
However, before we envisage building the National Plan
we should consider introducing and explaining the
participative governance and participative planning
concepts to Civil Society and familiarize the citizens with
the notion and the benefits of planning nationally and the
role that they may be called upon to play in the planning
To attain this result, we believe that the best approach is to
conduct, in some universities, a number of internships on
the subjects of participative governance and participative
The interns, who will be invited to attend the enlightenment
sessions, will subsequently move on to the study and to
the research phase of the individual plan concerned. This
will be followed by a consultation phase with the various
stakeholders, the expert institutions, and the officials of
the Ministry concerned.
That, in turn, should lead to the evaluation, the critique,
and the elaboration of the Plan before its final write up and
its presentation to the Authorities.
We have estimated that the entire process for each of the
sixteen sub-plans will last six months. In order to complete
the entire project within one year we shall have to
assemble eight groups of interns who will be assigned to
oversee two sub-plans each.
The first course was scheduled to start on the 15th of
February and end on the 30th of June.
Should this first course prove successful, it is proposed to
form seven additional groups as early as the first of March
2011 to keep in line with the program.
In this connection, we wish to point out that we believe that
it is imperative to conclude the study of the sixteen topics
of the National Plan before the end of this year. The current
circumstances in Lebanon and in the region render it
imperative to provide the State and the citizens with a clear
vision of the future lying ahead of us and what we are
expected to achieve during the next five years. That
economic and social vision, provided it is adopted by the
majority, will become the cementing factor that will unite us
all and prevent the discord that threaten us dangerously.
That vision will serve to define precisely the goals that we
shall commonly agree upon, the means and the time table
to achieve them.
Once all the parties agree upon a common economic and
social policy, the political aspects can be easier to settle
We believe that educated youth, in spite of its relative
inexperience, and, in some instances, because of it, can be
the ideal driving engine and rallying factor behind the
project of a National Plan.
We pray for the success of the forthcoming internship
project and we hope that it will get the necessary support
from all concerned.
The standard program for each course is expected to last
six months and will include the following:
planning Some leading experts and economists will
be invited to attend the sessions
2) A review of the current sectional plan if it is
3) If no plan was drawn for that section, the group will
spend five weeks to study, with the experts, and with
the Ministry concerned, some applicable Plan.
5) A discussion will then take place over the Plan with
representatives of civil society and experts, including
the members of the Social and Economic Council
6) A discussion over the Plan will follow with the
7) The group will meet with the Parliamentary
Commission concerned to communicate the result of
their work and seek their feedback on the subject.
8) The group will draw up a final synthesis and a
summary of the different studies and present it to the
Each of the above steps will last three weeks.
|36. Building the Plan
Public Private Participation has been successfully tried in different parts of
the world, where the governments were not able to directly bankroll the
huge sums needed to realize or rebuild the infrastructure or introduce some
costly reform measures.
However, as Mr. Mounir Corm, a specialist in public/private participation,
rightly argues in his article in l'Orient Le Jour, the solution is not, at first
hand, easily applicable in Lebanon.
We tend to believe that, before rushing impulsively to adopt PPP, we should
consider participative governance first.
The object is to recruit Civil Society as a watchdog over public funds to
prevent any unlicensed use of these funds by some of the private cartelwho
operate in this country freely and without sufficient control.
For that purpose, we have in mind the Lebanese Economic and Social
Council referred to in slide 25 above. We believe that it can be the perfect
link between the State and the private sector, provided it is allowed to
operate strictly according to the rules.