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  • Reply to: The other Arab revolution   3 days 22 hours ago

    Dear Wael, Very informative to read your blog on Tunisia. It's important to be reminded of the connection between reforming the land market systems and accessing bank credit. And it's helpful to hear about the successful experiences of other countries. Thanks for sharing this encouraging news, and good luck with the work in Tunisia. Cheers, Tom

  • Reply to: The multiple tragedies of Syria’s displaced women, and why the G20 needs to pay attention   1 week 23 hours ago

    Omer, Another excellent blog! I would encourage you to find ways for broader distribution of these clear and crisp reports so that key findings and messages are incorporated into today's local and international dialogues on the mounting refuge crisis. Your latest blog illustrates how important it is that a global response be mobilized to address the human suffering taking place. All the best, Tom

  • Reply to: What is the social contract and why does the Arab world need a new one?   1 week 2 days ago

    Thanks for the blog. Great, succinct diagnosis. Interesting to contrast it with evaluations of strategies and projects from 2000-2010 - their increased focus on governance, but less on operational impacts/results for social contracts. Poverty reduction and some shared prosperity (though unevenly)occurred, but insufficiently, as the social contracts frayed and then dissolved when opportunities, jobs and public service delivery failed to meet expectations.
    But, in any event, what to do now? A contract needs at least two parties, and to be fair and effective, some balance of power or accountability/verification between them. After the revolutions (invasion in Iraq), there were institutional vacuums for capable public service delivery at the state level, except perhaps for Tunisia. In Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, security institutions or armed militia (remnants of fragmented security institutions) lay in wait as the vacuum engendered even greater physical, social and economic insecurities. So now what? How to use development assistance to help forge new social contracts that encourage legitimacy and accountability? The last three sentences of Shanta's concluding paragraph are in the passive voice. Identifying the actors and the means to support them is probably the operational challenge for MENA's new strategy.

  • Reply to: The multiple tragedies of Syria’s displaced women, and why the G20 needs to pay attention   1 week 2 days ago

    Hi Omer,
    Nice blog. I agree and I am glad to put up something on this. The precarious conditions of these refugee women and girls are appalling. And with the recent terrorist attacks, I am very afraid that the desire of European citizens to care for them and the willingness of European leaders to take action to improve their conditions are on the decline. I would be very happy to reconnect and have lunch if you are around.

  • Reply to: “The dreams that we have are rights for others”: Listening to disadvantaged youth in Morocco   1 week 6 days ago

    Dear Michelle, Kristyna et al,

    Thank you for your comments. The nexus between the right level of education and the development of an economic ecosystem to absorb the available skills should definitely be the guiding beam of this engagement. More projects and innovative solutions should be deployed to help tackle this inactivity. And all stakeholders can be players, from private sector, to schools and local authorities.

    The purpose of this blog was to raise the voices of the unheard