Civic engagement as a vehicle for policy change in Lebanon
Lebanon is facing unprecedented and intertwined political, economic, and social crises. Public protests over a tax increase to reduce the budget deficit caused by economic and financial mismanagement have led to demands for political accountability, early parliamentary elections, and social and economic reforms. In parallel, the country’s financial situation has worsened significantly, with the contracting economy threatening local markets, businesses, and livelihoods.
This project seeks to inform and shape policy debates on pressing political, social, economic, and financial issues in the context of the protest movements that have overwhelmed the country. The aim is to safeguard the interests and welfare of citizens seeking to negotiate a new social contract while assisting policymakers in the process of designing and implementing public policies and policy reforms.
To this end, a gender-balanced working group comprised of experts, academics, and key thought leaders emerging from the protest movement will be established to guide the project. The working group will guide the design of seven roundtable discussions with multiple stakeholders to promote informed debate and discussion. These discussions will generate evidence-based outputs in the form of policy briefs, videos, and podcasts to be disseminated to policymakers and the general public. The aim is to develop policy options, assess their implications, and guide national decision-makers and future leaders of the country. This will also be accomplished through a comparative lens highlighting best practices from other regional and international contexts.