One theme that was widely championed at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Jordan last month was the need for countries in the Middle East to further develop multistakeholder participation in government. Chairman of the Institute for State Effectiveness and former World bank executive Ashraf Ghani explains that policymakers can look to the cities of Curitiba in Brazil, Chicago in the U.S., and Barcelona in Spain, for examples of governments which have managed to transform their societies by adopting an inclusive approach. Malaysia, South Korea, and Indonesia are also good examples, he suggests.
"What is going to be required for the governments is to master a sense of urgency, so that they can persuade the people at the bottom that their issues are the issues of the top. What is required is a new social contract, where the issues that have been raised bottom-up are going to be solved top-down. Systems that function in terms of citizen-focused processes avoid a top-down or bottom-up process," he says.