Authors: Gowher Rizvi
November 2006
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

The Arab Regional Forum of Government Innovators was held in Dubai on November 13th - 15th, 2006 to provide a platform for interactive dialogue between practitioners, scholars, and policymakers to learn and build knowledge through a two-way exchange of experience and ideas. The material that follows was developed from that dialogue. Forum participants and presenters came from over 20 countries to bring their unique perspectives on issues they have faced as government officials, academics and civil society representatives.

Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Director of the Ash Institute, and Dr. Tarik Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government, challenged participants to assess the relevance of innovations in governance to their cultural, economic, and political contexts as well as assess the barriers to their implementation.

Lessons learned from the conference centered on the key areas of:

Panel 1: Institutional and Organizational Restructuring

Setting the Context
Diana Goldsworthy, CBE, Independent Advisor on Public Management and Reform

Presentations by Innovators

1. The Agency Model, Dubai.
Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younis, Chief Executive Officer, Strategy & Corporate Governance, Roads & Transport Authority, Dubai

2. Competition and Costing, Indianapolis, USA.
Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of Government, KSG, Director, Innovations in American Government Program

3. From Traditional Bureaucracy to Networked Governance, Netherlands.
Johan Hakkenberg, Director of the Vehicle Inspection Agency (RDW)

Resource Papers

1. Institutional Reform
Mark Kryzer, Chief of Party, Support to Centre of Government Project, Asia Foundation

2. King Abdullah II Award for Government Performance and Transparency
Hyam Nashash, Faculty Member, Al- Balqa Applied University, Princess Alia College, Jordan

Panel 2: Public-Private Collaboration of Government, Civil Society and the Private Sector

Presentations by the Innovators

1. Partnerships to Improve Enforcement, Los Angeles.
Domingo Sauceda, Director of Code Enforcement, Housing Department Code Enforcement, Los Angeles, California, USA

2. State Bonds for Economic Development, Mexico.
Omar Giacoman, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Quintana Roo, Mexico

3. Outsourcing Services, Ten Boer, Holland.
Harry ter Braak, Change Manager

Resource Papers

1. Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA): Preliminary Findings
Khalid Al-Yahya, Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University

2. Government For Hire Stephen Goldsmith, Daniel Paul Professor of Government and Director, Innovations in American Government Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Panel 3: Civic Participation and Accountability

Setting the Context
Adel Abdel Latif, Director, UNDP-POGAR

Presentations by Innovators

1. Program Assessment Rating Tool, USA.
Robert Sandoli, Program Examiner, Office of Management and Budget

2. Equity and Reconciliation Committee, Morocco.
Idris ben Zikri

3. Improving Services to Citizens, Mexico.
Pedro Langre, Former Network Coordinator, Good Government Agenda, Mexico

Resource Paper

1. Strategies for Increasing Civic Participation and Accountability
Adel Abdel Latif, Director, Program on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)

Panel 4: Decentralization, Devolution, and Local Governance

Setting the Context
Chair: Dr. Shabbir Cheema, Principal Adviser & Program Director, UN Department of Economic & Social Affairs, & Senior Fellow, Ash Institute

Presentations by the Innovators

1. Decentralization in Qena, Egypt.
H.E. Adel Labib, Governor of Alexandria and Former Governor of Qena

2. Innovation in Reducing Corruption, La Paz, Bolivia.
Ronald Maclean-Abaroa, Former Mayor of La Paz

3. Citizen Engagement in Budgeting, New Brunswick, Canada.
Dr. Norman Betts, Former Minister of Finance

Resource Paper

1. Local Governance and Regulation
Susan Valaskovic, Manager of International Programs and Training, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Roundtable Panel: Engaging Youth in Civic Participation

1. National Youth Strategy, Bahrain.
Amal Al Dossary, President, National Youth Strategy & Bahrain Youth Parliament, General Organization for Youth & Sports, General Organization for Youth and Sports

2. School Mayor's Project, Iran.
Dr. Parviz Piran, Allameh Tabatabaee University / Swiss Academy for Development

3. Youth Civic Engagement, Hampton, USA.
Cindy Carlson, Director, Coalition for Youth, Hampton, Virginia, US

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