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Transition to Open Governance in the Arab World

Transition to Open Government in the Arab World

October 11, 2013

Washington, DC and online

On October 11, 2013, the World Bank will host a live event to highlight key reforms in the region, where progress is being made on greater access to information and public engagement. Join us as we engage in a lively discussion with government representatives, private sector executives, academics and Bank-Fund staff on this important development agenda.

Over the past few years, citizens in the Middle East and North Africa region have demanded more open and inclusive governments. Transparency and public engagement are essential pillars of government accountability, which is a fundamental precondition for economic development. In MENA, access to information and public engagement mechanisms are among the weakest in the world. While the current regional context is challenging, international country experience can shed light on lessons learned in the areas of transparency and public engagement, which can prove useful for practitioners in the region undergoing similar reforms.

On October 11, 2013, the World Bank will host a live event to highlight some key reforms in the region, where progress is being made on establishing the foundation for greater access to information and public engagement. Join us as we engage in a lively discussion with government representatives, private sector executives, academics and Bank-Fund staff on this important development agenda.

Submit your questions and comments and join the conversation on October 11, 2013.

Agenda (pdf)

  • Inger Andersen, Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank

    Inger Andersen, Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank

    Ms. Andersen, a Danish national, is Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, where she is responsible for the Bank’s strategy and operations throughout the region. Prior to her appointment, she served as Vice President of Sustainable Development, where she led the department’s work with developing countries to provide key infrastructure, enhance food security, promote environmental sustainability, develop social accountability, provide support for climate change mitigation and resilience, and support countries in disaster risk management. More »

  • H.E Mr. Nicolas Nahas, Minister of Economy and Trade, Lebanon

    Nicolas Nahas was appointed Minister of Economy and Trade by Prime Minister Najib Mikati in June 2011. Mr. Nahas began his career as an entrepreneur, joining “Amiantit” (member of the Swiss Amiantus Group) as Head of the Construction Department in charge of implementing Asbestos cement plant in many Arab countries. He is the founder of the “EDAFI Value Partners”, a business development firm managing private equity investments focusing on a number of industries such as FMCG, construction material and clean energy in MENA region. He also served as the CEO of “Ciment de Sibline”, a prominent Lebanese cement factory and member of “Secil” Portuguese cement group, from 1980 until 2009, of which he later became a Board Member. Minister Nahas played an active role in the public life of Lebanon in his capacity as vice president of the Lebanese Businessmen Association (RDCL) from 1991 to 1995, and as Member of the Board of the Lebanese Industrialists Association from 1992 to 2002. He was appointed as Chief Economic Counsel under Prime Minister Mikati’s mandate in 2005. Mr. Nahas was born on November 28, 1946. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon. He joined the postgraduate ISMP program in Harvard Business School in 1992. He is married and has three children.

  • Ms. Zeina Toukan, Director, Minister of Planning and Int’l Cooperation, Jordan

    Ms. Zeina Toukan, Director, Minister of Planning and Int’l Cooperation, Jordan

    Ms. Toukan was appointed Director of International Cooperation in 2007 and was also appointed as the Program Manager of EU Programs Administration Office in 2008. She previously held position of Deputy Director from 2002-2006 and Policy Analyst (Aid Coordination Unit) from 1998-2000. In 1997, she worked as an Economic Assistant at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Ms. Toukan holds a postgraduate degree in Development Economics from University of London (1996), and a BA in Economics from American University in Cairo (1994). She is a Board Member of Jordan Silos and Supply General Company and Housing and Urban Development Corporation.

  • Ms. Amira Yahyaoui, Founder, Al-Bawsala, Tunisia

    Ms. Amira Yahyaoui, Founder, Al-Bawsala, Tunisia

    Amira is the president of Al Bawsala; a human rights NGO that monitors the Tunisian constituent assembly. Before the Arab Spring, Amira was activist in the anti-censorship and freedom of expression movement. One of Yahyaoui’s first projects was the internet platform marsad.tn, which has been publicizing the work and voting records of the constitutional convention since 2011. Her work is supported in part by Media in Cooperation and Transition, an NGO based in Berlin. She won Vital Voices Global Trailblazer award and is considered by Arabian Business Magazine as one of the most influential Arab women.

  • Mr. Warren Krafchik, Director, International Budget Partnership

    Mr. Warren Krafchik, Director, International Budget Partnership

    Warren Krafchik is the Senior Vice President for International Programs of the International Budget Partnership at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Project works to enhance the effective participation of civil society organizations in public budgeting in developing and transition countries. Krafchik has worked with the IBP over the past five years, assisting budget organizations in Africa, Latin America and Asia by providing training and technical support and designing research programs. Krafchik joined the IBP in February 2001 after nine years at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, where he founded and directed the Budget Information Service in 1995. Since its inception in 1995, BIS has conducted cutting-edge work to produce analytical and accessible materials on national and sub-national budgets, with a particular emphasis on how these budgets affect disadvantaged groups. Krafchik has a Master’s degree in macro-economics, awarded with distinction, from the University of Cape Town and is the author of numerous publications on the role of the parliament and civil society in the budget process, the development of methodologies to track the impact of budgets on low-income and poor people, and international economic development.

  • Mr. Mark Bowman, Director General, Department for International Development (DFID)

    Mr. Mark Bowman, Director General, Department for International Development (DFID)

    Mr. Mark Bowman is Director General, Humanitarian, Security, Conflict and International Finance at the Department for International Development, appointed in 2011. Immediately prior to joining DFID, Mark was Director Budget, Strategy and Planning at HM Treasury and a member of the Treasury’s Executive Management Board. He joined the Treasury in 1995 as an economist and held a variety of positions including: Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001-04); Head of the Treasury’s International Poverty Reduction Team during the UK’s Presidency of the G8 (2005); Director International Finance (2006-07) and Director Budget and Tax (2008-2010). Ms. ZEINA TOUKAN, Ms. Toukan was appointed Director of International Cooperation in 2007 and was also appointed as the Program Manager of EU Programs Administration Office in 2008. She previously held position of Deputy Director from 2002-2006 and Policy Analyst (Aid Coordination Unit) from 1998-2000. In 1997, she worked as an Economic Assistant at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Ms. Toukan holds a postgraduate degree in Development Economics from University of London (1996), and a BA in Economics from American University in Cairo (1994). She is a Board Member of Jordan Silos and Supply General Company and Housing and Urban Development Corporation.

  • Guenter Heidenhof is the Sector Manager for Public Sector and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank.

    Guenter Heidenhof is the Sector Manager for Public Sector and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa Region, World Bank.

    Guenter Heidenhof is the Sector Manager for Public Sector and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank. He is a German national who began his career as a Magistrate. He has comprehensive expertise with public sector governance, organizational development and managing change with special focus on the procedural and institutional underpinnings of public sector reform. More »