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YEI process: Evaluation

BIG CHALLENGES FOR YOUTH POLICY IN BEIRUT FROM NATIONAL TO MUNICIPAL ACTION

A critical discussion about the Beirut Profile was held with representatives of public institutions. All acknowledged the existence of a “rift” between what public institutions are doing and the needs of society, particularly youth. Their interest in better tending to youth needs was tied by their feeling of disempowerment in the absence of a national political will to advance policymaking in light of structural deficits in public administration and financing. The role of the municipality was considered key in coordinating the process of assessment and policymaking within their jurisdiction. FINANCIAL DEFICIT AND ADMINISTRATIVE PARALYSIS Representatives unanimously pointed to a chronic and tremendous lack of administrative staff in all public institutions, leading to slowing down even paralyzing their work. Many newly enacted organizational hierarchies remain inactive (e.g. in the Ministries of Culture and Youth and Sports) (49). Many employees who are retiring or passing away are not being replaced. This results in a shortage both in numbers and in expertise. All concerned ministries face a financial deficit which prevents them from planning development work. They instead spend most of their budget on salaries and rents. This impacts their priorities which become dependent on international funding and changing international agendas instead of clearly formulated policies. This situation directly impacted the implementation of the youth policy by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. According to the Ministry’s representative, since its endorsement in 2012, there was no administrative staff to lead its implementation or the networking between stakeholders. However, a new grant (50) is today allowing the Ministry to multiply meetings with different stakeholders, make up a list of priorities and an action plan. The ministry would soon be calling upon youth to participate in this process. LACK OF COORDINATION BETWEEN AND WITHIN INSTITUTIONS Representatives agreed that public institutions were falling short of coordinating appropriately or systematically together. On one hand, this creates a significant duplication of efforts and on the other, a lot of the data important for decisionmaking is not being collected or shared appropriately, whether between public institutions or with the public. For instance, a lot of the economically relevant data is not being collected. While many institutions do have websites, they are either outdated or do not cover all important information. According to one representative, the problem is not merely logistical but pertains to the prevalent culture of the administration, and sometimes the obsolete laws.

49. This is also the case of the national institution of employment whose mandate is to orient young job seekers to available opportunities.

50. “Technical Assistance to Support Youth Development in Lebanon” by the British Council.

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