Skip to main content

Enhancing Integrated National Development Planning in the Arab Region

Development Account Project: Towards the Arab Horizon 2030: Enhancing Integrated National Development Planning in the Arab Region

In most Arab countries, there exists a body responsible for setting national plans but with very little strategy or policy options to achieve planned targets considering lack of integration across national priorities and broad national commitment to ensure implementation and sustainability of the plans. In order to reformulate the concept of development planning to increase its applicability and improve its chances of success, it is imperative to look more closely at the structuring of the planning process and the weak link between targets and their realization. Integrated, strategic and better-coordinated development planning, combined with strengthened economic governance, will contribute towards putting the countries in the region on a more inclusive development trajectory toward the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

This project, proposed by UN-ESCWA, is designed to address these challenges by first introducing the concept of integrative planning and presenting to member states why it is a more suitable framework in today’s challenging development landscape. 

A vital part of this stage is to gather information on the process through which national plans are created, as well as to construct a database of existing national development plans to ensure co-learning by national planning institutions.  The second stage aims to reorient planning institutions in some selected member States to adopt this new concept.  An essential component of this stage is conducting training and capacity building workshops to demonstrate how integrative planning concepts can be used effectively to achieve national objectives, as well as to integrate the SDGs into the individual national plans.

As a signal of the centrality of this project and to solicit contributions from all divisions in UN-ESCWA, a Brown Bag Meeting was organized in June 2017 to share preliminary findings using an embryo database on National Planning in the region. Various sections expressed strong interest in utilizing as well as contributing to the expansion of the work done so far.

The project sustainability is expected through (1) active networking activities, (2) an up-to-date database that will be designed and developed in the context of this project and will constitute an effective tool to engage with ministries and all stakeholders and interested parties, and (3) enhanced ESCWA’s institutional capacity. The database, the information collected and institutional experience/memory acquired will become essential components of ESCWA’s future work programme and allow providing extended and higher quality technical assistance and advisory services to member states with a vision to enhance their planning capacity towards the achievement of the Agenda 2030.  We envisage that the activities of this project would extend beyond the life span of the project to establish a consultative process involving planning entities of Arab States hosted by ESCWA which can be funded by RB and XB funding an ECLAC initiative.