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Report outlines steps to narrow ‘trust gap’ between gov’t, citizens

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Jan 23,2020 - Last updated at Jan 23,2020

AMMAN — The Economic and Social Council (ESC) issued its annual “State of the Country” report on Tuesday, which aims to monitor the performance of ministries and state institutions based on their strategies and goals. 

The 1,590-page report states that in 2019, "weakness in higher management and the lack of supervision and accountability across institutions caused an increase in the trust gap between the government and citizens”. 

The report also highlights the "weakness of state institutions and their inability to achieve their outlined goals", noting that many ministries "set up ambitious plans without supporting them with realistic, executive plans". 

Financial and human resources for executing these plans were also “notably weak”, according to the report, which indicated that these ministries also neglected to utilise key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring the progress and success of their projects. 

Regression continues for these reasons, the report said, noting that the achievements and changes in political reform, especially in the last decade, are “merely a democratic transformation that is still going through long-term transformation”, with many issues to be tackled.

The report stresses the need for “significant activity” to change the current approach according to work plans that positively impact the quality of citizens' lives.

The 2019 report is divided into eight sections, each of which focuses on certain sectors, tracking changes and achievements throughout the year.

The first section zooms in on overall economy, monetary and financial policies, business and investment environment and the impact of regional and international economies on Jordan. 

The water and agriculture sectors are the focus of the second section, while industrial, trade and small- and medium-sized enterprises, tourism and ITC are at the core of the third section.

The report discusses construction infrastructure, energy and transportation as well, in addition to human resources, public education, higher education, vocational education and training and the labour market. 

It also highlights social development, health, family, women’s affairs and youth and culture, in addition to political and public sector development. 

The report recommends accelerating the process of changing the general management approach implemented in the country and beginning improvements in ministry services as an initial start in reducing the current trust gap.

These steps, it notes, will “positively impact social change in the Kingdom as well”. 

The ESC was established on July 7, 2009 as an advisory body to the government on economic and social issues and policies, according to the council's website. 

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