Executive Summary

Lebanon has recently expressed interest in undertaking the reforms necessary to adhere to the OECD Recommendation on Open Government, and in becoming eligible to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP).This OECD Open Government Scan of Lebanon provides, for the government’s consideration, a broad range of policies and initiatives reflecting the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation.

Developing a strategy or a long-term agenda is a core step towards achieving the vision of a more open government. Chapter 2 looks at how Lebanon can bring scattered open government initiatives under one roof, strengthen their coherence and gain a stronger mandate. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss framing this vision within a sound enabling environment, including a comprehensive regulatory and legal framework and as an institutional framework that supports the effective implementation of reforms and initiatives. Given that an open government agenda or strategy needs to be continually evaluated and revised, Chapter 5 discusses how Lebanese officials can ensure that they are gathering insights and evidence to measure impact.

Subsequent chapters address how Lebanese citizens are informed, engaged and brought into the decision-making process. Chapter 6 analyses how public communication is a central function of an open government and how it can increase the impact of transparency measures by providing information to the widest possible audience. As noted in Chapter 7, Lebanon has begun integrating participatory mechanisms in some of its policy processes, which can be further expanded in the future, drawing on the valuable insights of the country’s strong civil society.

The final chapters of the scan provide an view of how Lebanon can integrate the concept of an “open state” into its open government vision or strategy (Chapter 8), outline the necessary steps to attain eligibility to join the OGP (Chapter 9), and institutionalise open government practices at the decentralised level, including in the municipalities of Shweir and Jbeil (Byblos) (Chapter 10).

Summary of recommendations:

  • Towards an open government strategy: 1) elaborate an open government action plan that includes all ongoing initiatives; 2) disseminate the plan widely to the public; and 3) develop an open government strategy for the whole of government.

  • Legal framework: 1) update effective legal and regulatory frameworks for the digital transformation of the public sector; and 2) expand stakeholder engagement guidelines.

  • Institutional framework: 1) formalise the role of the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) as the leading agency of Lebanon’s open government reforms; 2) establish a committee on open government, which functions in accordance with existing government committee structures; and 3) introduce responsibilities and skills related to open government in certain job positions/descriptions.

  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework: 1) strengthen Lebanon’s M&E system by automating the process; 2) apply open government principles to the M&E system by systematically engage all relevant stakeholders and publishing results; and 3) build an M&E culture and system by developing indicators for open government initiatives.

  • Communication and information: 1) create public communication structures across the administration; 2) consider making the official government gazette freely available to enhance transparency; 3) advance efforts to digitalise the administration and make public information readily available, in an open, easily accessible, interoperable and reusable format; and 4) consider publishing the draft budget law, the audit report, and the budget law in an open data format.

  • Participation practices and innovation: 1) consider the establishment of an open government stakeholder network that brings together government and civil society organisations involved in the promotion of different elements of Lebanon’s open government agenda; 2) adopt an inclusive and collaborative process in the design and roll-out of the planned e-participation platform for the consultation process of draft laws; and 3) strengthen stakeholder feedback and complaint mechanisms.

  • Open state: 1) institutionalise the practice of allowing parliamentary question sessions for stakeholder participants; 2) discuss the draft budget law and the audit report in public sessions and making all relevant documents accessible; 3) include a more user-friendly design and more up-to-date information on the parliament website; 4) publish draft laws before they are discussed in parliament sessions; 5) create an informal working group of parliamentarians and administrative staff committed to open government principles; and 6) appoint an official responsible for access to information and providing training and raising awareness of parliamentary staff.

  • Lebanon’s performance against the OGP minimum eligibility criteria: 1) publish the executive budget proposal and the audit report on an annual basis; 2) publicly disclose assets alongside a system to verify the accuracy of the declarations; and 3) continue the implementation of ongoing open government reforms to improve the results of indices measuring civil liberties, civil society organisation (CSO) entry and exit, and CSO repression.

  • Open government scan of selected Lebanese municipalities: 1) co-create an open government strategy; 2) foster exchange mechanisms with other Lebanese municipalities; 3) provide training and capacity-building activities to implement open government initiatives; 4) assign responsibilities to an individual or office for the handling of ATI requests and for stakeholder and citizen participation; 5) expand the use of public-civil partnerships for the co-delivery of public services; 6) publish the budget in an open data format at the municipal level; 7) create a citizen’s guide to the budget; 8) develop a public communication strategy linked to open government; 9) publish systematic information about local projects; 10) extend communication beyond social media and develop audience insights; 11) create a Charter of Openness & Participation; 12) institutionalise stakeholder and citizen participation in planning local projects; 13) develop monitoring and evaluation guidelines for open government; 14) introduce cutting-edge citizen participation practices; 15) expand the functionality of mobile applications; 16) continue the data archive process in co-ordination with OMSAR; and 17) create a mechanism for representatives of all levels of government and OMSAR to collaborate on the national open state agenda of Lebanon.


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