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Monitoring Progress on Governance Amid Arab Political Transformation

Beirut, Lebanon

The Expert Group Meeting on Monitoring Progress on Governance amid Arab Political Transformation, organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut, Lebanon, on 11-12 June 2014, brought together international and regional experts, and senior government officials, who agreed that progress towards accountable, transparent and participatory governance in the region required a good monitoring tool at the national level.  Such a tool would be instrumental in enabling decision-makers to implement the policies and programmes needed to improve governance.

Participants agreed that ESCWA was ideally placed to assist by producing a biannual report on the matter and helping to put in place the infrastructure in the public sector and central statistical organizations (CSOs) to ensure that such a process for monitoring governance was sustainable and remained nationally owned. More importantly, the participation of ESCWA would ensure that Arab regional specificities were taken into consideration when policy recommendations on governance reform were made.

Experts studied the methodology suggested by ESCWA and the principle measurement challenges. The main recommendation is to lean towards a simple, transparent methodology focused on action to be taken and the identification of policy initiatives that would improve governance. This may require reducing the scope of indicators, with a limited number of pillars - the rest could be added later. Another concern is how to combine quantitative and qualitative information to provide a complete picture of the state of governance in each country considered.