Launched June 2021, the first iteration of Youth4Governance gave 27 Lebanese students the chance to carry out internships within the country’s public administration. The project is an investment in Lebanon’s future capacity to govern, and seeks ultimately to re-build the social contract between state and society by promoting a reform movement from within the state, based on the principles of accountability, transparency and responsible political and economic governance.
There is a widespread belief today among the Lebanese population and particularly among youth that the “state” has failed and that civil society can bring about needed solutions. However, lessons learned from Haiti, Iraq, Yemen and others prove that relying on civil society organisations for recovery and redevelopment post-crisis can disrupt society, deepen existing fractures, weaken the social contract and widen the societal gap. Public administration is the bedrock of government and the central instrument through which national policies and programmes are designed and implemented to serve “all” the people. Rebuilding sustainable governance is dependent on re-capturing the state from the current “captors” and reinvesting in the capacity to govern.