Lebanese Republic
21 September 2018
A platform for dialogue and training program: AFKAR workshop for the public sector and civil society
27 August 2018

AFKAR program, managed by the Ministry of State for Administrative Reform and funded by the European Union, organized a workshop entitled "Dialogue on public policies partnership between the civil society and the public Sector" on Monday, 27 August 2018 at the Radisson Blu-Verdun Hotel. The workshop, which was held in cooperation with Transtec and its partners Beyond and Stem for technical assistance, included some NGO stakeholders who benefited from AFKAR program, as well as representatives of the ministries concerned by the projects implemented within the program.

This workshop followed a number of events held in the past, aiming to strength the dialogue between civil society and the public sector on public policies, taking into consideration the necessity of implementing a platform including these two sectors. This meeting focused also on the role of the platform, as an area for dialogue and on the ways to establish an organizational process for partnership between civil society and the public sector, through a set of principles which constitute a reference.

At the beginning of the workshop, AFKAR program manager, Mrs. Youmna Chacar Ghorayeb, stressed on the policy dialogue component roadmap within AFKAR program, and the implementation of a "platform of ideas" which was established thanks to the participants willingness from both civil society and the public sector. Noting that the dialogue has different forms and degrees, she added that the role of the program managers is to facilitate the ideas, principles and operational mechanisms, which should be based on the activities with the members of the platform. These participants will play a key role in the training program to be established as an executive step.

After the technical assistance consortium manager intervention, Mrs. Najwa Kseifi,  about the course of the dialogue and the steps taken by the program, the expert Nizar Amin presented the results of the previous workshops. Then, Mr. Ziad Abdel Samad, an expert on policy dialogue, moderated the debate. He said in his speech that the trend is expanding towards a tripartite partnership between the public sector, the private sector and civil society. As the partnership between the State and the private sector is organized and regulated by laws, the partnership between the public sector and civil society must be explored. Here is the role of the platform.

As well, Mr. Abdel Samad highlighted that the partnership must be between two strong parties: on the one hand, the strong state that recognizes the role of civil society and is able to strength the mechanisms of democratic action, protecting human rights and solving problems through dialogue, and on the other hand, the civil society, which must have a vision, regulatory mechanisms and tools, characterized by transparency and governance. He concluded that if one of the two sides is weakened, it becomes vulnerable and not easy to be controlled by the other. He stressed on the necessity of the coordination between the two parties:
"For this reason, we need to work together on the platform, taking into consideration all the challenges, in order to implement an appropriate structure for all parties," he said.

In the second part of the workshop, the expert Nabil Hassan informed the participants about the objective of the training program to be prepared in partnership with a panel of members. "Every future step will be with you," he said. He explained that the regulatory framework reflects the executive direction towards the policy dialogue process”.

The meeting included discussions and working groups resulting in a set of principles to be explored in upcoming meetings. Two committees were created. The first will be responsible for the follow up on the partnership process, and the second will be in charge to develop the training program.

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