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Civic Engagement and Participatory Development

Civil society organizations are taking on a growing role in Arab societies. They mobilized citizens during the Arab uprisings and have been prominent in debate on reform. By acting as intermediaries between the State and citizens, they have proven to be powerful advocates of the rights of the most vulnerable groups in society. Their efforts underline the need to involve all citizens in the design of socioeconomic policies and institutional reforms.

ESCWA works with member countries and civil society to promote cohesive, prosperous, culturally open and stable societies through citizen participation. The Commission’s approach is based on broad coalitions of social and political forces, supported by civil society and private sector stakeholders. By providing research and guidance (including manuals, toolkits and policy briefs) on best and innovative practices, ESCWA strives to foster collaboration between policymakers, civil society and citizens on fundamental development policy matters. ESCWA provides a unique platform for constructive dialogue between Governments and civil society.