Since 1990, Lebanon's attempts to restore its economy and society have revealed several significant flaws. Lebanon has lacked a comprehensive and effective endeavor to modify and enhance its policies since then, rendering productive sectors to contribute by only 16% to the country’s GDP (O’Neill, 2022). Furthermore, the country has been witnessing inconsistency in policy making and updating for more than 40 years. The role of think tanks and civil society organizations in advocating for policy reforms has been neglected as their advocacy influence is still in an early phase of development. Ordinary advocacy strategies and techniques employing public knowledge to modify policies and regulations seem out of place in a setting which its associations operate in. Additionally, policy reform plans have always been proposed by policy makers and in some situations inspired by international initiatives which have always overlooked the Lebanese policy context. Therefore, a contextualized and inclusive bottom-up policy discourse and reform plan is necessary.
The mission of the Lebanese Citizen Foundation is to promote Lebanon's efficient and relevant public policy solutions. For far too long, the country's economy, labor market, public and private investment, infrastructure, and social safety nets have lacked a development model and vision. With the current crises, as the economy is in freefall and Lebanese citizens struggle, it is a responsibility to help provide hope through clear policies and strong mobilization toward their implementation. The Lebanese Citizen Foundation serves as a tool for strategic thinking and influence for the many participants on the Lebanese stage, whether local or foreign. Its mission is to accompany Lebanon beyond the conclusion of the crisis, anticipating future problems and critical decisions.
The Lebanese Citizen Foundation (LCF), in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beirut and the Institute of Political Science of Saint Joseph University, invites you to attend its inclusive policy-oriented discussion forum titled “Lebanon, Looking Forward”. This forum aspires to facilitate space for engagement and critical discussions of issues related to policy reform with a community-centered lens. Prominent speakers with vast knowledge and expertise in different areas of specialization such as politics, economics, law, culture, art, and social sciences will be presenting their publications. Four hybrid panel discussion sessions will be held to review and discuss the papers of every policy reform area revolving around the following themes: fostering justice and rule of law, optimizing good governance, re-engineering the economy, and enhancing societal welfare.
In an unprecedented effort, Lebanon will witness an event in which society as well as experts partake in policy dialogue together to bring about the necessary change and reform that sets the country back on track. This participatory-induced discussion forum is intended to create a sustainable platform for students, journalists, women activists and the entire society to take part in perennial policy advocacy. This forum provides an opportunity for the community to play an active role in determining future policies in Lebanon. To facilitate audience participation in the process of policy discourse, contributors are required to sign up to become registered members. All registered members may access 16 policy-related studies authored by prominent professionals in a variety of fields on LCF’s online platform. They will be given the chance to read the studies and comment on them by providing their own input using reliable references, or asking questions for further discussions. Consequently, queries foregathered from the poll as well other live questions will be posed during the conference for subsequent contemplation. This will enrich and enlarge the policy dialogue within the forum itself, promoting more approaches to establishing the needed change in Lebanon. However, the audience’s contribution will not be merely limited to the event itself, for their input will be ongoing and distinctly favorable in designing a forward-looking inclusive policy roadmap. This forum will hence foster strategic thinking and influence numerous local and international entities on the Lebanese scheme.
The conference aims at promoting efficient and relevant public policy options for Lebanon. The project fosters effective policy dialogue while diagnosing and analyzing multi-dimensional aspects of the policy and institutional situation of the Lebanese corporations. The purpose is to actively involve young scholars, journalists, and women activists with an inclusive and active participation in policy advocacy. The conference also targets an expansive pool of people from the general public who are interested in policy deliberations and reform. Additionally, policy makers and international community representatives are welcomed as well as national and international think tanks and NGOS.
From this context, the conference attempts to mobilize the instruments of nonpartisan thought and public action in order to collaboratively rebuild an authentic state, propose solutions, and avoid future problems. In order to actively and effectively incorporate cross-sectoral policies and institutional reforms in the Lebanese institutions, sustainable and inclusive governance of the socio-economic welfare of the community ought to be established. This is attained by diagnosing multi-dimensional aspects of the policy and institutions. It is also achieved through informing, motivating and engaging young scholars, journalists, and women activists to work for an inclusive and active participation in policy reform dialogue. This conference hence constitutes inclusively discussing sector-specific policy papers with relevant stakeholders. This is achievable by implementing the following activities: drafting sector-specific policy papers, organizing sector-specific round table discussions, and preparing the policy papers’ related visuals and communication material. Additionally, cross-sectoral policy discussion recommendations will be combined in a forward-looking reform roadmap. The outreach of the roadmap will then be optimized to influence the public and policy discourse. This can be realized through the following activities: drafting the reform roadmap, publishing the roadmap, preparing related visuals and communication materials, planning a thorough awareness campaign, and launching the campaign.