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ONU - ESCWA "COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC POLICY FORMULATION IN SELECTED ARAB COUNTRIES"

ONU - ESCWA "COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETY PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC POLICY FORMULATION IN SELECTED ARAB COUNTRIES"

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Published by: ddufourt on Jun 17, 2011
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11/05/2012

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ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR WESTERN ASIA (ESCWA)
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETYPARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC POLICY FORMULATIONIN SELECTED ARAB COUNTRIES
United Nations
 
 Distr.GENERALE/ESCWA/SDD/2010/128 December 2010ENGLISHORIGINAL: ARABIC
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR WESTERN ASIA (ESCWA)
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF CIVIL SOCIETYPARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC POLICY FORMULATIONIN SELECTED ARAB COUNTRIES
United NationsNew York, 201010-0498
 
 iii
Preface
The Social Participatory Development Section (SPDS) at the Economic and Social Commission forWestern Asia (ESCWA) prepared this comparative analysis based on four case studies about Jordan,Lebanon, Palestine, and Yemen. Researchers were assigned by ESCWA to collect information, conductinterviews, and review reports of civil society organizations in those countries in order to analyse theactivities and decision-making influence of civil society organizations. Case studies were based on atheoretical and research framework developed by SPDS at ESCWA. Following an overall review of civilsociety activities in the four countries, researchers focused on active organizations having influence onpolicymaking and policy implementation. They tackled the activities and work patterns of thoseorganizations including their previous advocacy campaigns and social movements as well as their tangibleachievements in policy influence in the four countries covered by case studies.The case studies introduced some experiences which, albeit limited, elucidate a myriad of ideas,methods and approaches adopted by civil society organizations in the Arab region. Moreover, they includethe best practices used by civil society organizations to influence policymaking, and explain the decision-making process in the four countries. Finally, the case studies reach a set of conclusions andrecommendations to enhance the role of civil society organizations in policymaking.While developing the case studies, researchers used a research toolkit to conduct interviews withrepresentatives of decision makers in the concerned ministries and parliaments, and with volunteers incampaigns and lobbying movements to capture their opinions on the effectiveness of civil society action.Researchers used the available literature related to civil society organizations such as periodic and annualreports, programme leaflets, and desk research related to civil society action and decision-making. Besides,when drafting the case studies, researchers followed the theoretical framework developed by SPDS atESCWA, although it was not fully applicable in some cases, as in Yemen. The case studies include valuableresearch information, and arrived at conclusions addressing the following issues:
Understanding decision-making processes and their complexities which vary depending on thecapacity of civil society organizations;
Identifying the national and local role of civil society organizations, particularly their capacity tochange local policy;
Understanding the socio-political environment and knowing how to deal with it in order toinfluence decision-making, notably in rural and conservative communities;
Realizing the need of most civil society organizations for scientific expertise and specializationsto influence policymaking in the Arab region;
Identifying the qualitative change introduced in their capacity-building initiatives over the pastfew years by civil society organizations which helped to create political, international andregional conditions conducive to a policy change.This comparative analysis aims to review, analyse and compare acquired skills in order to draw outpractical and applicable recommendations to enhance and mainstream the performance of civil societyorganizations in order to influence policymaking effectively.

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