In the area of improving the effectiveness and accountability of the public administration, administrative reform has been at the heart of UNDP’s Democratic Governance portfolio. UNDP provided advisory support and consultation to the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, which resulted in the drafting and adoption in 2011 of a new administrative reform strategy for Lebanon.
UNDP works closely with the Lebanese Parliament, Parliamentary committees and administration, and relevant Ministries and institutions on legislative reforms (women nationality, personal status law, street children regulations, anti-corruption legislation, investment law, human rights and SDGs oversight). Most importantly, the Parliamentary Human Right Committee closely coordinated with UNDP the finalization of the draft National Human Rights Action Plan, launched in December 2012. Parliamentary oversight is also strengthened through regional workshops to liaise MPs with local actors (government representatives, municipalities, NGOs, private sector, etc..).
The portfolio also works with the Ministry of Justice to promote a transparent and efficient judiciary system: in the first quarter of 2011 a help desk was established at the Beirut Court Palace to respond to all citizens’ inquiries and technical assistance is continuing for the automation of the Beirut courts.
Moreover, in terms of formulation and implementation of economic and financial policies, UNDP plays a key role in supporting the Government of Lebanon in preparing a comprehensive socio-economic agenda tackling all sectors of society and state. Key reforms were reached at the Ministry of Finance with the UN’s support for instance to integrate the revenue and VAT directorates and introduce risk management at the tax administration. With the Investment Development Authority for Lebanon (IDAL), UNDP has provided technical support and know how to develop an investment strategy addressing key target sectors. A national ICT strategy was developed as well, UNDP is mobilizing nation-wide support among all stakeholders for the implementation of the strategy.
UNDP has also been playing a key role in supporting Lebanon in conducting free, fair and transparent elections since 2005. The Minister of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) was granted the UN Public Service Award for its outstanding work in improving transparency, accountability and responsiveness in public service—all in recognition of the 2009 elections. More recently, UNDP launched the “Lebanese Electoral Assistance Project for the 2013 Parliamentary Elections”, to provide a strengthened capacity for: (1) the management and administration of Elections (2) the supervision of election campaigns and accreditation of observers (3) the provision of voter education initiatives (4) the resolution of electoral disputes, and (5) initiatives to improve election opportunities for women. The project also supported to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities to successfully manage the 2016 municipal elections and all preparatory work s are underway to assist the MOIM in the upcoming 2018 parliamentary elections.
Finally, the portfolio also focusing on supporting the Lebanese government prepare for the SDGs gap and assessment report as well as assisting the Lebanese parliament to p-lay its oversight role in monitoring progress on the SDGs.
UNDP continues to work closely with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on strengthening institutions responsible for disaster risk management. Our work includes:
· Assisting in the development and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies at national and sub-national levels
· Facilitating high-level coordination of disaster response agencies
· Training and testing in crisis management and disaster response
· Equipping of National Response Rooms (permanent and mobile) to be used in case of disasters