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May 07, 2019 | English | Sami Atallah, Georgia Dagher, and Mounir Mahmalat
The CEDRE Reform Program Needs a Credible Action Plan

When on 6 April 2018, the international donor community convened in Paris for the Conférence économique pour le développement, par les réformes et avec les entreprises (CEDRE), the Lebanese government presented both a capital investment plan and a reform program. This policy brief scrutinizes the nature and type of reform that Lebanon committed to as outlined in these documents—the ‘Vision for Stabilization, Growth and Employment’ and the ‘Capital Investment Program Report’. We argue that in its present published form, the reform program represents a list of intentions rather than an actionable agenda. Our analysis highlights four main findings. First, most reform measures are sectoral and fiscal in nature. Second, the program shows few new and innovative initiatives as it relies mostly on past reform programs and strategies. Third, two-thirds of the reform measures involve high or medium institutional commitments by the government, which— given its constrained institutional capacities—will be challenging to meet. Fourth, the program exhibits a high degree of vagueness, which prevents key stakeholders—including the parliament, civil society, media, and donor community—from holding the government accountable.

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