June 1, 2016Michael Sutherland-Shaw
In search of peace and prosperity throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the World Economic Forum assembled a group to help reform public-private cooperation across the regions.
“The World Economic Forum is committed to providing the international community a platform for greater public-private collaboration to respond to humanitarian and diplomatic imperatives,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Under the theme, “Redesigning Public-Private Cooperation for the Middle East and North Africa”, more than 70 leaders in business, government, academia, and civil society agreed on the need for collaborative diplomatic action to help resolve conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. In addition, they called for private-sector innovation in humanitarian aid delivery.
Facing a broad range of social issues this will not be easily achieved in the Middle East and North Africa, however, thanks to low oil prices the group believes there is an unprecedented opportunity for reform in oil-importing and oil-exporting countries.
The group defined seven principles they believe will promote an effective and inclusive reform process for public-private cooperation.
- Create a clear vision– Leadership’s vision and political commitment are the most important prerequisites for successful reforms and provide the framework for planning and implementation
- Establish an environment for trust– The decision-making process needs to be transparent and provide confidence that the reforms will genuinely benefit social and economic progress
- Foster inclusive collaboration – Reform implementation needs to be a collaborative process among government, policy-makers, the private sector and civil society with the objective of generating balanced benefits for all citizens
- Consult public beforehand and maintain momentum through regular communication– Along with effective communication, it is important to consult the public before planning reforms, continuously communicate during the process, and inform the public about the results achieved
- Enable an ecosystem for accountability– Social and economic progress requires the government to establish an ecosystem that encourages and validates citizen demand for accountability
- Attract and promote talent – Considering the national interest and complexity of reforms needed, their design and implementation call for consulting the best experts available
- Build foundations for stability – Greater public-private collaboration is imperative to address the humanitarian crisis and build regional cohesion because peace is fundamental to prosperity