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A citizens' agenda

Towards institutionalising public participation in political decision making

This project piloted a mechanism for greater citizen consultation in Lebanon, providing people from across the country with a unique opportunity to come together to identify and engage in discussions around common issues that affect their standard of living and daily lives.

The political system in Lebanon, like the wider society, is divided along partisan and sectarian lines. This has not only led to the politicisation of issues affecting people’s daily lives, such as public services and utilities, but also the monopolisation of the political agenda by national security and foreign policy issues. Yet citizens have little opportunity to improve the situation.

This project helped to expose policy-makers to more informed public opinion, allowing them to better align their decisions with the views and needs of their constituents. In doing so, it expanded the space for citizen input in policy-making, with the hope of ultimately contributing to a richer democratic process. It also promoted greater cooperation and open exchange of ideas across geographic regions.