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Day One: February 20, 2024

Session 2: 19:00 - 20:30

Peace and Institutional Development

Session Moderator:

          Colonel Dr. Myszka Guzkowska - the United Kingdom

Main Discussant:

          Dr. Saeed Al-Masri - Arab Republic of Egypt


A- Building Institutions and their Role in Solidifying Development

          1- Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas - France

          2- Dr. Nahla Mahmoud Ahmed - Arab Republic of Egypt

B- Activating the Role of Non-Governmental Institutions in Development

          3- Ambassador James Watt - the United Kingdom

          4- Dr. Mona Al-Maliki - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia




A- Building Institutions and their Role in Solidifying Development

1- Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas - France

Can Europe Help Prevent a Bi-Polar World?


“ The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations.”

Declaration on the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community.

Robert Schuman May 9, 1950


This short paper is built on three assumptions.  Assumption one is that the American led world order is waning. Assumption two is that we are witnessing an accompanying trend towards a growing geo-political bifurcation in two distinct global political ecologies; one under US suzerainty and the other under Chinese suzerainty. The paper does not assume this second trend is inevitable, but we do assume it is likely without positive intervention to ward it off. To mix metaphors, the ball is, of course ,very much in the court of the two major players; but the ball is not for them alone to run with. Other actors must be engaged in this process and the EU must be among them. So, the third assumption of the paper is that if we are to have any hope of containing the drift towards a bi-polar world, then the European Union must, to use a final spoting metaphor, “step up to the plate”.

This paper investigates two core issues.

(i)              At a strategic level, it investigates the thinking of the major actors—the US and China—towards this trend. Depressingly, we argue that the bi-polar dynamic is increasingly driving the strategies of both powers and is unlikely to change in the near future. President Biden we assume may soften the rhetoric of bifurcation but not the practices—such as de-coupling—that are in train will continue.

(ii)           At an applied policy level, the paper identifies the core issue areas in which processes of bifurcation are taking place; especially the domains of security, economics and commerce, technology (especially AI, digitalization and cyber) embedded in a wider growing ideological-civilisational contest.

At a regional level we look at how the European Union in addressing the process of bifurcation. Its role will be examined as series of both reactive and pro-active responses to the challenges of pending bi-polarity. The first part of the paper sets out briefly these assumptions. The second half of the paper looks at them through European lenses. It sets both the challenges for Europe and the tasks that face Europe in mitigating them.


Bifurcation and its Implications

A drift towards bi-polarity is a multidimensional process. It is built on the growing competition between the USA and China in a range of distinct policy areas: broadly speaking security (military hard power), economy (trade, finance and infrastructure), technology (AI and cyber) and ideology (education, science and culture). In combination these areas are building towards a generic level contest between the world’s two dominant powers that in some of the more alarmist analyses is leading us inexorably towards a new Cold War. If not a new Cold War, then at least a new geo-political order is in the process of evolution with major implications for USA-China competition and implications and challenges for Europe.

To-date, Europe is struggling to develop a coherent position towards these challenges. It welcomes the return of Joe Biden. But it is wary of a full-blown recommitment to the trans-Atlantic relationship in the wake of 4 years of Donald Trump in which the US came to be seen as an untrustworthy ally. But Europe is also cognizant of what is perceived by many as the bullying and ruthless nature of China’s growing global influence captured recently for example in the rise of its “wolf diplomacy” during the 2020. Thus, the EU—which was at the epicenter of the first Cold War bipolar world—is yet to formulate a recognisable joined-up strategy to the current trend. Pew recently found European views of both the USA and China to be more negative than positive. In brief, European (especially German) distrust of China as a country and Xi Jinping as a leader is at an all-time high. This growing lack of trust in China reflects the same lack of trust in the USA that developed in the EU during the Trump Administration.

The structure of a future world order is a work in progress. Currently the EU seems to think it can cover the spectrum from being a genuine good liberal internationalist multilateral citizen at one end to being a realist geo-political strategic actor at the other. The issue for the EU in 2021 and beyond is how to manage the relationship with these two superpowers as they force a bifurcation of world order. The early signs are that this emerging order will be very different from the constituent form that dominated during the Cold War. If China, or perhaps more precisely, Xi Jinping’s diplomacy, has over-reached in recent years with attendant negative consequences and trust issues for China then Biden’s desire to secure a new alliance of liberal democracies via a Summit for Democracy to “renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the Free World” is equally fraught with the danger of over-reach following four years of Donald Trump’s wrecking ball diplomacy.

A good idea in principle, the proposed summit nevertheless risks looking like an attempt to put the genie back in the bottle by simply rehashing a G7+ style view of world order. Like it or not, allusions to the “free world” no longer carry the moral authority they might once have done when Joe Biden first entered the US Senate forty-seven years ago. Adding several other countries to his summit—for example, Australia, South Korea and India--would make it look no less elitist or exclusionary. Other inclusions or exclusions will only make the enterprise seem more problematic. America’s unipolar moment has passed.

In an op ed published in The Guardian December 22, 2020, entitled “Biden wants to convene an international 'Summit for Democracy'. He shouldn't”, David Adler and Stephen Werteim argued:

“…the summit will not succeed. It is at once too blunt and too thin an instrument. Although the summit might serve as a useful forum for coordinating policy on such areas as financial oversight and election security, it is liable to drive US foreign policy even further down a failed course that divides the world into hostile camps, prioritizing confrontation over cooperation … If Biden is to make good on his commitment to ‘meet the challenges of the 21st century’, his administration should avoid recreating the problems of the 20th. Only by diminishing antagonism toward the nations outside the “democratic world” can the US rescue its democracy and deliver deeper freedom for its people”.

Unlike the bi-polarity of the US-USSR Cold War, any new bifurcation will not be built around hard and fast politico-ideological blocs. China does not represent the existential threat of mutually assured destruction that drove strategy and diplomacy in the earlier bi-polar era. Rather its challenges arise more in the domains of technology and economy. Moreover, smaller global actors in the current era--state and non-state alike—are not simply waiting for the US to return to provide their security. They can be expected to flow between either the US or the Chinese spheres, traversing specific issue-areas in a manner that was not the case in the 20th century Cold War.  A potential further unintended consequence is that talk of democracy alliances could exacerbate the bifurcation process by driving Moscow and Beijing closer together.

Much store—indeed far too much store we believe—is being placed on the potential of the new administration in the United States to address this trend. But how a Biden Administration can change both the rhetoric and practice of international order can only be assumed at this stage. For sure, the rhetoric will change, as will some US practices—especially with regards to a range of multilateral activities such as the Paris Agreement, and the WHO to name but two—but we can only speculate at this stage regarding the degree to which policy will halt, let alone roll back, the wider structural geo-political and geo-economic trends currently in train. Biden, one can only assume, will rapidly come to the conclusion that he needs to deal with the world as it is, not as it was prior to Donald Trump. But this will require a shift in thinking for the incoming administration away from a Trumpian transactional approach towards a system in which delusions (for that is what they are in the 2020s) of American exceptionalism should no longer drive US foreign policy.

A disagreement on values, culture and modes of governance should not prevent cooperation on fundamental issues to guarantee peace and stability, the fight against terrorism, sustainability of the planet and health safety. Nor should it be impossible to find a path to agreement on a reformed multilateral framework to achieve the indispensable goals of development and prosperity. Bifurcation does not only not correspond to the aspirations and well-being of humanity. It also makes cooperation difficult if not impossible. Alternative approaches other than bifurcation must be explored. Alternatives on offer are captured well in an article in The Atlantic in July 2020. Then President of the Carnegie Endowment William Burns (President Biden’s new Head of the CIA) proposed that:

“The United States must choose from three broad strategic approaches: retrenchment, restoration, and reinvention… We can’t afford to just put more-modest lipstick on an essentially restorationist strategy, or, alternatively, apply a bolder rhetorical gloss to retrenchment. We must reinvent the purpose and practice of American power, finding a balance between our ambition and our limitations…”


The European Dimension:

Joe Biden has expressed a desire to reassert American transatlantic leadership in dealing with China economically and Russia militarily. Yet an optimistic view of a diplomatic reset is problematic. After four years of Donald Trump, both Europe’s leaders and its general public have indicated that they will only cautiously and selectively support American rapprochement. As a recent German Marshall Fund survey found, there is little support from the French or German publics for their governments to get involved in a number of current international issues central to US policy. Indeed, despite its expressed preference for global multilateral cooperation, Europe’s leaders have indicated an intent to hedge geopolitically when faced with a growing bifurcation of American and Chinese positions in key policy domains such as ecology and climate, trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, digital, military, educational, cultural and scientific spheres.

Rhetorically, for example, Emmanuel Macron has advocated “European solutions for European problems” and Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has more pointedly called for EU “strategic autonomy.” The rhetoric of strategic autonomy is increasingly reflected in EU policy behavior. On the one hand the EU signed an investment agreement with China that has disappointed the incoming Biden administration seeking to establish a common position against what it regards as malfeasant Chinese behavior; although the agreement has been welcomed by some prominent American analysts. On the other hand, British and French aircraft carriers have conducted freedom of navigation operations in the East and South China Seas, much to China’s ire and America’s delight. But one-off examples of individual policy behavior do not represent a consistent approach to diplomacy. It would be naïve to believe that a European strategy could be built on a process of issue-by-issue hedging between China and the US.

Multilateralism may be instinctively preferable for Europeans, but there are no simple panaceas in a world of prospective growing spheres of influence. First, establishing operational strategic autonomy entails the EU selectively developing a member state consensus on the best ends, ways and means to consolidate an independent yet complementary position between the two behemoths. Secondarily, but still significantly, EU policy will need to develop a coherence with a post-Brexit UK if it is to be successful. This will require a greater flexibility of strategic thinking and diplomacy than either side of the Channel demonstrated in the final stages of the Brexit negotiations. Both will require skill and a nuanced use of material resources – adaptable to a variety of contexts. But the prospects of managing the US will be enhanced only the unlikely event of the EU and the UK proving capable of aligning their respective approaches to their transatlantic ally.

To address the limitations in its coherence and capacities and to avoid sending out mixed messages to the wider international community, Europe must address two major issues in its diplomacy:

(i)              The development and viability of the core elements beyond simply the rhetoric of European strategic autonomy as a means to combat global bifurcation. The priorities, forms and limitations of that EU strategy must be articulated.

(ii)           The tools that the EU has at its disposal, and those that it will need to build, if it is to succeed as a diplomatic actor enhancing its economic and military security in the increasingly bifurcated world will also need to be articulated and honed.


How is the EU to avoid “mixed messaging” ?

The EU is surely correct to adopt a more strategically independent approach towards a troubled and competitive world order. But a full-bore commitment to a geopolitical strategic disposition is at odds with the path the EU has taken over the last several decades, especially in its commitment to collective problem solving in multilateral institutional settings. For all the challenges it faces, multilateral collaboration is still the best approach for the EU to articulate and propagate. Not withstanding setbacks along the way, it has served the EU well as it has developed over the last sixty years. Moreover, all things considered, multilateralism remains the best option for a more peaceful, stable and prosperous world order. Objections to the rationalist, liberal multilateral endeavour of course exist. Realists describe attempts to secure common, collective-action solutions to global challenges as no more than globalist-cosmopolitan meanderings.

But in an era when populist leaders try to normalise the nationalist postures of the realist, it falls to the EU to provide the intellectual and practical leadership necessary to halt this trend. It will best do so by reasserting the core liberal values that underpin the European project. Seven propositions as to how this might be done in a way that resists both the populist-nationalist discourse mitigates the geopolitical discourse of traditional realism with which the Commission was dabbling throughout 2020.


The US is looking a less reliable actor and longterm partner. Thus EU—while embracing the US security relationship—should do more to defend itself. There are damaging long-term splits in the EU’s relationship with the US that need to be repaired. The future of NATO, strategy towards Iran, trade and protectionism, the importance of international institutions (especially the UN and WTO) and global environmental policy are all in need to priority attention. A strategy of European Defence can coexist with NATO, especially with the EU buying 80+% of its military hardware from the US.

Europe must lead on the reform and (re)-strengthening of multilateralism in the absence of either US or Chinese leadership. This is especially so as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the UN. As both High Representative Borrell and President Von der Leyen have noted, multilateralism for the EU is obvious. As she says: “Cooperating and working with others is what our Union is all about.” But multilateralism must change. It needs to adapt to the growing hybridity in international relations, become less bureaucratic and be more open to non-state actors. A new multipolar system will require new rules, or at least reform of the old rules. Sensitively espoused and properly contextualised, “rules-based order” preferences emanating from long-standing liberal democratic norms still have considerable purchase and Europe remains a laboratory of multilateralism and multi-level governance. It must act as a defender of these principles and support the reform of institutional practice where necessary.

The venues of diplomacy and dialogue need reinvigoration or, as with the WTO, they will continue to atrophy. The challenge is to get the balance right between a tired-looking international institutional technocracy and the need for a multilateral diplomacy to provide public goods in a nuanced and moderated fashion. This should be a diplomacy that exhibits an appropriate compromise, reflecting the demands of all major players in the modern order and taking advantage of modern communicative technologies. The EU must support multilateralism with all the vigour it can muster. It must put real support, not just rhetoric, behind the Franco-German led Alliance for Multilateralism. But while the EU must tread firmly in the pursuit of modern-day multilateralism, it must also tread softly and deftly.


The EU should strengthen its inter-regional multilateral relations, especially in its neighborhood. In a world drifting away from global multilateralism, inter-regional relations will become increasingly important. This is especially so regarding Eurasia, East Asia, the Middle East and North African (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa regions. EU-Asia relations will grow as trans-Atlantic relations become more strained. The EU understands the global “China issue”. But in contrast to US policy towards China, the EU should work towards accommodation not confrontation. This does not mean accepting everything that China does that may be questionable. Cautiously nurturing the relationship is not the same as either passive acceptance or aggressive rejection.

The EU should treat the concept and practice of Eurasia seriously. It is gaining momentum as both an economic and a geopolitical fact of life. The relationship between Russia and China might be fitful, but it would be imprudent to assume that it will not consolidate in the security or the economic domain in the near term, especially since the relationship is now developing more on the basis of strategic pragmatism rather than, as in the past, ideology.

The EU should recognise that events across the Mediterranean will have an adverse impact in the longer run if sustainable governance and growth and development strategies cannot be put in place to contain the pressures of economic and political migration. Less talk of Europe as a “cultural superpower” and more talk of pragmatic partnership and business potential that takes the relationship beyond a residual colonial legacy will change the atmospherics of the relationship. The two continents are going to be more integrated across a range of economic and political issue areas in the years to come. Now is the time to think comprehensively about a systemic strategy that balances both optimism and pessimism about the future of the continent. The development of a “continent to continent” relationship, with North and Sub Saharan Africa treated as a single entity, should be an important development.


The EU needs to take the lead in combating climate change: The European Green Deal is premised on the assumption identified in the 2019-24 New Strategic Agenda for the EU that climate change is “an existential threat.” The EU cannot solve this challenge on its own. It is a foreign policy issue. The new Commission has the formidable ambition to combine growth with sustainable development. In theory, the proposed 100 billion EUR deal will cut emissions while also creating jobs and improving quality of life. But to do so it will require massive investment in infrastructure, research, innovation and green technologies, as well as a commitment to stimulate a circular economy. Moreover, it will also need policies to decouple economic growth from resource depletion and environmental degradation. This implies levying carbon taxes on imports, becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and developing the various technologies needed to get there as the EU becomes the partner of countries also wishing to address the climate change challenge. This task is not simply an internal affair, but also one that will change the EU’s external policy. Its ambition here will, for example, affect EU trade policy and its policy of scientific and technological cooperation.


Dealing with digitalisation and digital disruption must be another EU priority. These issues are foreign policy and international relations questions as much as questions for EU internal resolution. The need and desire of states to preserve their “information sovereignty” is a major policy issue, as issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction compete with freedom and openness. The EU will need to respond to both the hierarchical behaviour of the digital “superpowers” (the US and China) and the aspiring great powers (notably Russia and India) and the hybridity of the principal non-state digital players that have driven digitalisation in the 21st century: notably GAFAM companies in the US and Tencent, Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba and Weibo in China.

The major states are now harnessing privately developed technological platforms of power to enhance their rhetoric and practice of nationalism in the battle to safeguard (and control) national digital economies. Current tensions over design, governance and jurisdiction reflect broader global fissures. In the contemporary era the US and China are creating two sharply defined technological and online systems—or separate digital ecologies. The American system is still primarily private sector-driven, while China’s is state-driven. But both systems envelop the development of AI, big data, 5G and instruments of cyber warfare. The European President appears to understand the implications of this for the EU, especially the digitalisation of finance. Importantly here, it is time for the EU to get over its inferiority complex vis-à-vis the US dollar, especially as the US now uses it as an economic weapon. As Russia and China look to trade in roubles and renminbi, the EU should ensure that European financial instruments are used strategically to enhance Europe’s leadership and influence in the world of digital practice and governance.


The EU must not follow the US in seeking a major decoupling in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. Decoupling in the name of national security is a US response to China as a strategic competitor. China is also showing signs of a decoupling strategy. But supply chain integration is much greater than vocal “de-couplers” appreciate and support for this trend is still alarming. Integrated supply chains are still one of our best hopes for avoiding a new Cold War. Europe lacks the clout to contest US, Chinese or Russian politico-strategic power. The EU should be a major player but has to-date “muddled through”, so it must now make the best of the economic and trade assets to remain the champion of global commerce.

As a top three global trader, and whatever the pain it might cause, the EU must face down US protectionist recklessness and a preference for transactional/bilateral negotiation if an open trading regime is to survive. It will not be alone. Others will support the EU position, especially states along the East Asian seaboard from China down through Japan, South Korea and into the major Southeast Asian trading states. Support will also be found in outward facing Africa, Latin America and Oceania. The EU should show resolve towards excessive Chinese intrusion into its affairs, especially in AI and digital information technologies. But it should equally avoid decoupling from China simply to conform to American wishes and pressure.


The EU needs to acknowledge that for many people in Europe, migration is the major policy challenge. Therefore, coherent, humane and fair policy is needed. But to do this Brussels must now deal with the principal opponents to a sensible migration policy—populists and nationalists. Not only have they grown more politically powerful, they are becoming internationalist in outlook. While still strongly Eurosceptical, the new populist-nationalists are learning to harness a pan-European identity to further their goal of a racially pure, white Christian continent. Nationalists have done this by adopting a broader “civilisational” outlook on international relations which, ironically focuses on European, not nationalist, culture. Conflict is moving in a nationalist cross-cultural civilisational direction, although nationalist views of European values focus less on issues of freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights than racial and ethnic identity politics and a privileged status for Judaism and Christianity. 

Adjusting old narratives to new environments will not be enough to restore the liberal order. New mindsets will need to take account of the impact of modern communicative technologies on international relations as we strive to maintain an open (and increasingly digitally networked) new order. Digital communication changes the nature of state bargaining and cooperative strategies. The governance dilemma is no longer simply democracy versus autocracy; it is also open governance versus closed governance. This applies in particular to the role of those self-empowered international civil society networks outside the scope of governments and for whom many traditional liberal values remain salient. There will (must) still be a place for democracy (of many variants), freedom of thought, rule of law and human rights. Europe must be their advocate. But these values will have to exist within a context of greater respect for national values and civilisational identity. In an open order we should expect power to be distributed more horizontally—both publicly and privately and with flatter, reciprocal structures—than in the past. So-called soft power will become increasingly, not less, important and increasingly digital in its application.



The world is drifting, faut de mieux, towards a US-China bi-polar world. The European Union must decide what strategy might best allow it to resist this drift. What should its strategic message be? This paper has suggested that to outside observers two competing views might appear to emanate from its senior leadership: (i) The idea that the new Commission will be a “geopolitical commission” operating in an increasingly geo-political world and (ii) a continuing commitment by the EU to the values of multilateralism and cooperative, collective action problem solving. While not necessarily contradictory, these are messages that do not normally sit easily together.

Sometime soon choices will need to be made. The EU should not become a purely Realpolitik-driven player—implicit in the first view—if it really believes in and intends to stick to its internationalist values, expressed in the second view. It must behave better than the great powers if it is to lead by example. A geopolitical road needs to be resisted for a geo-sustainable strategic agenda that offers innovative ways to deal with climate change, digital disruption and migration and that strengthens multilateralism as a way to securing greater interregional and intercultural cooperation and an open, non-protectionist global trade regime in the face of the protectionist and de-coupling urges of its major trans-Atlantic ally. Only by privileging its internationalist message can Europe hope to play a significant role in the mitigation of the trend towards bi-polarity.



2- Dr. Nahla Mahmoud Ahmed - Arab Republic of Egypt

Developing Bureaucratic Capacities: The Dialectics of Institution Building and Achieving development


Issues related to institutional building and achieving sustainable development have garnered significant global attention, especially since the end of World War II, particularly amidst the rise of national independence movements and the attainment of independence by a large number of developing countries in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, the issue of support provided by developed countries and international institutions, commonly referred to as donors, has become a pressing necessity to assist these newly independent countries on their path to modernization and development. Consequently, the approach or strategy of institution building has emerged as one of the pillars presumed capable of aiding these nations in achieving development. However, to this day, a significant number of these developing countries continue to face challenges and obstacles that hinder them from attaining better living standards for their citizens, posing a barrier to achieving improved development indicators. The aim of the researcher in this paper is to emphasize the importance of developing bureaucratic capacities as a fundamental requirement in the process of institutional building, which is a cornerstone for achieving development. Renowned international development institutions have recognized the role that institutions play in achieving development, based on the experiences and experiments of advanced countries on their paths to modernization and growth. Therefore, they have repeatedly called for the importance of supporting the construction of strong and effective institutions in developing countries in various global reports and occasions.

The researcher conducted an analysis of the evolution of the approach and concept of institution building since its emergence to support development in developing countries through a review of various literature. This analysis focused on three axes regarding the historical development of institution building and its development: capability building and its development, and issues related to development management, as well as the role of institution building in achieving development. In this context, the researcher provided a set of observations regarding the evolution of institution building and development issues, among which were: the process of institution building is cumulative, and there is no ideal form of institutions that can fulfill specific functions; development does not follow a linear or symmetrical path, among other observations. Additionally, the paper emphasized that bureaucracy is a fundamental cornerstone for the functioning of institutions and plays a crucial role in enhancing their building and thus achieving development. Finally, the paper addressed a range of challenges facing the institution-building process, such as corruption, administrative bloating, and the weakness of bureaucratic skills and capacities, and reviewed the strategies of some developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Egypt in dealing with them. Finally, a set of proposals and recommendations were presented to develop bureaucratic capacities and accelerate the institution-building process to achieve development. These include: transitioning towards digitization, adopting better management systems, building databases, adopting a set of values, principles, and ethics associated with their own ethical charter, and adopting organizational structures characterized by flexibility, among others.

Key Terms: Institution Building, Capability development, Bureaucracy, Institutional reform, Development


Developing Bureaucratic Capacities: The Dialectics of Institution Building and Development Achievement


Issues related to institutional building and achieving sustainable development have garnered significant global attention, especially since the end of World War II, particularly amidst the rise of national independence movements and the attainment of independence by a large number of developing countries in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, the issue of support provided by developed countries and international institutions, commonly referred to as donors, has become a pressing necessity to assist these newly independent countries on their path to modernization and development. Consequently, the approach or strategy of institution building has emerged as one of the pillars presumed capable of aiding these nations in achieving development. However, to this day, a significant number of these developing countries continue to face challenges and obstacles that hinder them from attaining better living standards for their citizens, posing a barrier to achieving improved development indicators. The aim of the researcher in this paper is to emphasize the importance of developing bureaucratic capacities as a fundamental requirement in the process of institutional building, which is a cornerstone for achieving development. Renowned international development institutions have recognized the role that institutions play in achieving development, based on the experiences and experiments of advanced countries on their paths to modernization and growth. Therefore, they have repeatedly called for the importance of supporting the construction of strong and effective institutions in developing countries in various global reports and occasions.

This study aims to analyze the evolution of the approach and concept of institution building since its emergence to support development in developing countries, while studying the relationship between the role of institution building and achieving development in those countries. The study focuses on the importance of developing governmental bureaucratic capacities as part of the institution-building process, and examines examples of challenges faced by developing countries in this context. It also derives a set of recommendations and suggestions to develop bureaucratic capacities to accelerate institution building and development goals. The paper follows an analytical descriptive methodology and case study analysis in examining the development of bureaucratic capacities as a key component of institution building and development requirements to achieve development goals. It does so by presenting a set of challenges faced by some countries and how they dealt with them, followed by suggestions for developing bureaucratic capacities to contribute to institution building.

The study commenced by presenting the results of previous literature regarding the evolution of institution building and development management, as well as the relationship between the role of institution building and sustainable growth and development. This was followed by an analysis of observations concerning the institution-building process and its role within the framework of development. Subsequently, it outlined the role of bureaucracy as one of the components of the institution-building process, emphasizing the importance of developing its capacities and the impact thereof on achieving development goals. It then highlighted some of the challenges faced by developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Egypt in enhancing bureaucratic capacities and institution building, aiming to identify their prominent strategies and policies for addressing these challenges and the impact of that on achieving their development objectives. The study emphasizes the paramount importance of the role of developing bureaucratic capacities and institution building in achieving development despite being a complex process that requires considerable time and resources. However, it has become an inevitable issue to assist developing countries in achieving their development goals.

The study is divided into five parts, in addition to the introduction and conclusion. The first part presents a review of previous studies that illustrate the evolution of institution-building approaches, capacities, and development management, as well as the role of institution building in achieving development. Following that, the second part analyzes a set of observations regarding the evolution of institution building and development issues. The third part highlights bureaucracy as a cornerstone for institution building and emphasizes the importance of enhancing its capacities to contribute to institution building and achieving development goals. The fourth part presents examples of some challenges faced by developing countries in enhancing bureaucratic capacities and their strategies for dealing with them. Finally, the fifth part discusses a set of proposals and recommendations for developing bureaucratic capacities to accelerate the institution-building process and expedite development achievement.


First, the Evolution of the Concept of Institution Building and Its Role in Cementing Development: Previous Studies

This section provides a survey of various literature, including reports from international organizations as well as reputable scholarly and academic articles, addressing the issue of institution building and the associated challenges in its implementation in developing countries. It can be divided into three axes: first, literature focusing on the evolution of institution-building approaches, capacities, and development; second, literature addressing the issue of development and its management; and finally, literature emphasizing the role of institution building in achieving and solidifying development. In general, the literature indicates that after independence, governments were required to make fundamental amendments to their public policies. Consequently, the leaders of those countries announced various plans for comprehensive institutional and societal change, even if they did not have a clear vision of the political, economic, and organizational structures that needed to be developed for the advancement of their societies and the implementation of the new plans. Within the framework of the nation-state, citizens' demands for improving living standards escalated, and naturally, meeting these demands required significant investments in national development. The role of the state was to initiate projects and coordinate all comprehensive development plans aimed at guiding activities and measures for implementing developmental policies. Extensive international development initiatives in the 1950s and 1960s explored the best approaches to assist these countries in overcoming their challenges and achieving development (Esman, M.J. & Blaise, E. 1966; Henderson, K. M. 1969).

These countries were in need of more efficient organizational structures that were in line with the requirements of national development. They found themselves in urgent need to develop various types of institutions different from the traditional ones they inherited. This institutional development required accepting certain conditions and requirements at a time when these countries were trying to discover, learn, and apply the methods and means that had succeeded in some other countries. The World Bank seemed to agree with this premise when it established the Economic Development Institute (EDI) in 1956, with substantial financial assistance from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. EDI provided six-month training courses in development theory and practice for senior officials from developing countries (Jreisat, J, 2010).

In the context of the first axis of literature, which focused on institution-building approaches, it is often found that the term "institutional building" is used interchangeably with terms such as institutional capacity building, institutional reform, institutional change, and capacity development. The aim behind these terms is to enhance the capacity of governmental institutions to function properly. No state can effectively and efficiently operate without its institutions. The institution-building approach was the result of the efforts of research and international donor institutions to create tools to assist developing countries in their path towards modernization and development. The findings of these studies suggested that these countries need to establish innovative, effective, and responsive institutions capable of performing new functions. Here lay the dilemma: the existing institutional structures in those countries were traditional, inefficient both functionally and technically, and performed a large number of functions. Therefore, replacing the institutions existing in developing countries at that time with specialized new institutions similar to those in industrialized countries was the idea proposed by Esman to address this dilemma (Esman, J. 1967; Esman, M.J. & Blaise, E. 1966).

(Milton J. Esman, 1967) defined the concept of "Institution Building" as "an approach or method for understanding induced social change." He described it as "an effort to identify operational methods and work strategies that would be useful for practitioners and stakeholders as agents of change in various cultural contexts." It is also "the planning, structuring, and directing of new or reshaped organizations that (a) embody changes in values, functions, and material and/or social technologies; (b) establish, enhance, and protect normative relationships and patterns of work; and (c) achieve support and integration in the environment." The institution is not defined as a set of established standards such as marriage or contract, nor is it considered a sector of work, but rather as an official organization that promotes and protects change. Esman indicated that the foundation of the institution-building model relies on several factors: the presence of skilled leadership capable of managing activities, the existence of a set of goals that the institution aims to achieve, the presence of a comprehensive program that encompasses all activities intended for achievement, the availability of resources including human and material resources, and the organizational framework that must be well-designed to facilitate performance and program implementation.

The approach evolved over time, with the emergence of the "capacity building" approach in the 1970s in the United States, indicating the need to enhance the capacity of state and local governments to implement financial decentralization policies. This term later gained further attention. The challenging economic circumstances experienced by many developing countries, particularly African nations, during that period, along with the ineffectiveness of development efforts undertaken by governments and supported by donors, underscored the need for the concept of institution building to undergo some refinement. Capacity building, aimed at enhancing the ability of institutions in developing countries to perform their functions, involved "planned (or increased) development of knowledge, output, management, skills, and other capabilities of an organization, through incentives, technology, and/or training." This term was often used in relation to public institutions and has been widely discussed and analyzed by international organizations (Franks, T. 1999; Blase, Melvin G, 1986).

As Zamfir, Ionel (2017) pointed out, in the mid-1990s, all major multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, as well as non-governmental development organizations, adopted capacity building as a key element in their policies and issued documents and brochures on this subject. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report for 1996, titled "Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution of Development Cooperation," marked a pivotal moment in presenting a new developmental model based on local ownership and partnership between donors and recipients. In this context, the World Bank defines institutional capacity building as "the process of acquiring resources and integrating them in a way that leads to changes in individual behavior and ultimately to more efficient and effective operations of institutions and organizations." Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme defines it as "the ability of people, institutions, and communities to perform functions, solve problems, and begin to achieve goals."

A. Hudock, S. Stewart, and Moore (1995) affirmed that there is no specific definition of institutional building per se. They stated that the essence of institutional building is "building the organization," and that all initiatives are nothing but attempts to support the effective development of the organization, either individually or collectively, by changing its structure, management, procedures, and so forth. This is aimed at achieving more efficient accomplishment of the tasks performed by a particular organization (or organizations). They indicated that institutional building consists of two parts, the first part related to "organizational building activities" aimed at improving organizational performance, and other activities "aimed at changing the mechanisms through which societies are organized."

With the increasing impacts of globalization and international policies on developing countries, a significant shift occurred in the approach to institutional building, giving rise to a new concept: "Capacity Development." This concept has become the preferred choice for the development community and embodies the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2005. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) defines Capacity Development as the process through which individuals, organizations, and communities enhance, maintain, and build upon their capabilities to identify and achieve their development goals. It distinguishes itself from capacity building, which solely supports the initial stages of capacity establishment or creation, assuming the absence of existing capacities to begin with (Zamfir, Ionel, 2017).

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Capacity Development differs from its construction. It is the process through which individuals, organizations, and communities as a whole unleash, enhance, establish, adapt, and sustain capacities over time. It emphasized that the term "Capacity Development" is preferable to "Capacity Building" because "building" implies the step-by-step construction of a new structure based on a predefined design, but does not guarantee success unless capacities are enhanced and developed. The World Bank defines Capacity Development or Building without distinction as a locally driven learning process led by leaders, alliances, and other change agents that bring about changes in social, political, and policy-related domains, and the organizational factors for enhancing local ownership and the effectiveness and efficiency of efforts aimed at development (Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko & Lopes, Carlos & Malik, Khalid, 2002).

As for the perspective of developing countries on the term Capacity Development, as noted by Zamfir, Ionel (2017), citing the website of the Economic Commission for Africa, Capacity Development is the process through which individuals, groups, organizations, and communities disseminate, adapt, enhance, and maintain the necessary capacities to identify, plan, and achieve their objectives based on a comprehensive, participatory, and sustainable approach. At the same time, the Strategic Framework for Capacity Development in Africa emphasized that Capacity Development involves empowering individuals, groups, and institutions to identify their developmental visions or objectives, articulate them, and engage in their sustainable achievement based on their own resources and learning within a specific African context. Meanwhile, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) justified that human and institutional Capacity Development is a model for organized and integrated processes designed to identify the root causes of performance gaps in institutions in developing countries, address those gaps through a wide range of performance solutions within the context of all human performance factors, and improve performance by establishing performance monitoring systems, empowerment processes, and regular and continuous monitoring processes.

Otive Igbuzor (2019) affirmed that the concept of institution building has evolved over time from its initial interpretation as a matter related to administrative training and development to considering it as encompassing sustainable change programs and construction within organizations designed to make them more effective and efficient, or within organizations designed to change the overall direction of institutions by modifying their goals, strategies, cultures, work methods, management styles, and so forth. Therefore, the primary focus associated with institution-building activities is to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of formal organizations, as it is well known that the quality of institutions in any country is of great importance to its growth and development, and that the starting point in institution-building in any country is the development of a comprehensive development plan through the formulation of policies and strategies to achieve the objectives outlined in the development plan. This is followed by effective organization with clear roles, standardized operating procedures, alignment, coordination, and collaboration between institutions, and finally, efficient service delivery through budgeting and the implementation of effective and efficient delivery mechanisms that involve citizen engagement.

In its latest presentation, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs defines “institution-building” as one of the most important topics under discussion. The definition also includes that it aims to enhance the institutional and human resource capacities of governments to achieve national development goals and internationally agreed development agendas, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNDESA also claims that “institution-building” seeks to build institutions through: (a) transforming public administration institutions into efficient, transparent, and accountable entities that are innovative, citizen-oriented, and capable of fulfilling state functions, including service delivery and sustainable development objectives; and (b) enhancing the development of public sector capacities and human resource leadership to support leadership, professionalism, ethical behavior, and commitment to public service among civil servants (UNDESA).

The second axis of literature review includes studies addressing development and its management. Most of these studies emphasize that development is the result of human efforts by all members of society. To achieve development, four types of capital are deemed necessary: (1) Economic capital or capital accumulation, which has the capacity to build material foundations, tangible and intangible assets. (2) Social capital, manifested in the establishment of sound and effective relationships between various economic and non-economic institutions, and governmental and non-governmental institutions. (3) Human capital, representing the stock of knowledge and skills inherent in the workforce at the societal level, capable of achieving development. (4) Intellectual capital, embodied in the presence of individuals capable of creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. These studies also indicated that formation, strengthening, and development of human capital are identified as one of the most important determinants of development (Mustafa, Kamal, 2017; World Development Report 2002).

In his discourse on institutional building, Esman also articulated his perspective on development, delineating five pivotal dimensions: (1) Economic growth, (2) Justice, (3) Capacity (encompassing skills, institutions, and incentives development), (4) Authenticity (the distinctive attributes) of each society as manifested in its institutions and practices), and (5) Empowerment (the expansion of opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in economic and political transactions). He often noted significant resemblances among various prescriptions for development standards or objectives. He underscored the importance of elements such as rationality, improved planning, enhanced productivity, social and economic equality, institutional enhancement, national independence, and popular participation as facilitating factors in achieving development (Esman, J., 1967).

A group of literature (Jarisat, 2011; D. Bochańczyk & R. Pęciak 2015) emphasized that genuine development cannot be based on assumptions and preconceived requirements; rather, it relies on an empirical understanding of the local political, social, administrative, and economic realities. They also emphasized that development is depicted as a collective effort involving the full capacities of both private and public institutions, along with partnerships between them. The group of literature also emphasized that sustainable development does not solely depend on injecting capital from external sources but rather, relies more on self-reliance and utilizing processes that meet the needs and demands of the society. This involves employing relevant technologies innovatively to bring about general improvements in productivity, as qualitative development is enhanced when public decisions are transparent, and accountability of officials in public institutions is emphasized. That is because the application of scientific and technological methods is inevitable to achieve growth and increase productivity, as the developmental process faces a challenge in transforming institutions and cultures to embody efficiency, orderliness, rationality, and knowledge-based decision-making processes.

International organizations have shown interest in defining development by establishing a set of indexed indicators that measure the economic, social, political, and cultural dimensions of development. Although the practical use of a large number of indicators is difficult and costly, it remains a useful tool. One prominent index is the Human Development Index (HDI), introduced by the United Nations Development Program since 1990. This index compiles data on indicators in education (adult literacy rate), health (life expectancy at birth), and per capita GDP to assess and measure progress in human development. National development in any emerging country inevitably embodies specific needs and requirements that demand particular managerial capabilities. This type of management, tailored to suit the unique needs of developing countries, has been referred to as development management. Development management is an integral part of societal development and is deeply influenced by the comprehensive political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the society (World Development Report 2002; J. Jreisat 2012).

Some literature highlights the complex and multi-dimensional nature of sustainable development, which impacts the ability of institutions to effectively deal with these challenges, especially in the context of the need to establish multi-level governance, where actions being taken at more than one level—local, national, or global— and this alone is not sufficient or guaranteed to achieve sustainability. Therefore, there is a need to coordinate actions across these levels to effectively implement and apply the principles of sustainable development at all levels of decision-making, even if matters become more complex in less developed countries, where populations suffer from high poverty rates, illiteracy, and where vertical integration has failed between various levels of government to be fully effective, as governments tend to focus on short-term economic problems that achieve quick success. (D. Bochańczyk & R. Pęciak 2015; Moore, Mike 1995)

The third part of the literature review, which examines the relationship between the institutional building approach and development achievement, has been addressed by several studies, such as the study by Habib Zafarullah (1980). These studies highlight the institutional building model as an integral component of economic development, as it contributes to guiding developmental efforts and is utilized to initiate and safeguard change. This is because it is specifically designed for developing countries that have embarked on a path of modernization, with their primary objectives centered around social and economic progress and nation-building. Reference was made to the main components of this model, which include: (a) a governing elite oriented towards goals and bearing primary responsibility for initiating and directing the process of change modernization; (b) practical commitments that establish, communicate, and legitimize the rules, priorities, and methods of operational programs; and (c) working tools through which communication with society is maintained and operational programs are implemented. The significance of development management issues intersects with institutional building, as although Ezemen developed this institutional approach (institution-building), writings by Riggs and Jreisat (F. Riggs 1962) on development management significantly contributed to its evolution, as these institutions will serve as channels for utilizing technology interacting with their environment, and they will need to adapt to changes in that environment under certain conditions, as these new institutions could contribute to transforming values and technology to achieve development.

Likewise, the study by (Chang, Ha-Joon 2006) started by investigating the existence of specific functions that institutions must fulfill if they intend to enhance economic development. It also delved into exploring the forms of institutions that best serve these functions. However, the study emphasized the difficulty of reaching a consensus on a universally agreed-upon list of "core" functions. It also highlighted that there is no clear match between the functions and the proposed forms of institutions, and even if the study pointed out three main functions of institutions aimed at enhancing economic development: coordination and management, learning and innovation, income redistribution and social cohesion, it also underscored the challenge of agreeing on a list of functions that constitute a fundamental necessity for economic development.

In a related context, a portion of the literature focused on exploring the issue of the optimal form of institutions, with clear discrepancies emerging, as it highlighted the problematic of not being able to distinctly differentiate between institutional forms and their functions. When some of them were aggregated into key "governance" indicators (or institutional quality indicators), we find that these indicators often conflated variables that track differences in institutional forms (such as democracy, independent judiciary, absence of state ownership) with the functions they perform (for example, rule of law, respect for private property, contract enforcement, price stability, corruption prevention). Some studies have indicated that the functions performed by institutions may be more important than their forms. In other words, institutional forms may not be of great significance because different institutional forms can perform the same function. However, complete neglect of forms makes it very difficult to offer any applicable suggestions. It's akin to a nutritionist extensively discussing a "healthy and balanced diet" without informing people about the quantities they should consume. In other words, focusing on "good" institutions may become empty of substance without some insights into the forms that will be adopted. (H-J. Chang, and P. Evans 2005; Ha-Joon Chang 2006)

Thus, there has been a clear disagreement among the literature regarding the optimal form of institutions capable of achieving better development rates, especially in the context of globalization, even if some argue for the importance of having an independent judiciary, professional bureaucracy, and corporate governance system. Moreover, the fondness of a specific form has specifically led to the denial of the idea of institutional diversity and the imposition of one-size-fits-all programs through donor institutions and governments. Other studies have criticized this approach, emphasizing the need not to adhere to proposed forms more than necessary and stressing the importance of having a list of multiple alternatives of institutions that perform similar functions in different contexts so policymakers can choose among them.

The study by (Bochańczyk, Dominika & Pęciak, Renata 2015) focused on the role of institutions in achieving distinctive economic performance within the context of sustainable development, considering it critically important. It pointed out that sustainable development is fundamentally related to all areas of social and economic life and highlighted the challenges facing institutions in achieving it. Among the most significant challenges is the complexity of sustainability issues, and due to their intricate nature and longtime horizons, sustainability requires policies and governance to be implemented at various levels, and this is where these institutions play a crucial role. Some literature emphasized the institutional dimension of development and considered it one of the primary reasons for the disparities and differences among countries in terms of their growth and income levels. According to some other literature, in answering the question of why some countries achieve better growth than others, the role of institutions in poverty alleviation and the attainment of social and economic development through supporting economic activities, fostering innovation, and increasing productivity is the answer, as the lack of a conducive institutional environment leads to a decline in economic activity and suboptimal resource allocation. Furthermore, the presence of high-quality institutions positively influences social and economic development, contributes to poverty reduction by mitigating income inequality, addresses societal issues, preserves order, reduces conflicts, and lays the foundations for economic growth, although it does not guarantee sustainability in achieving development.

In general, the literature indicates that institution-building and development, as well as capacity-building as part of development management in developing countries, pose significant challenges, as managers and leaders in these countries face unique challenges due to the complex requirements and needs of national development management. It serves as a means to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of aid programs and enhance international cooperation. In essence, development management is the process of formulating and implementing strategies comprising policies, plans, programs, and projects aimed at achieving societal improvement, stimulating economic growth, and fostering social change. It represents a response to specific national needs and differs from administrative development, which can occur anywhere seeking to enhance its capacity or effect change. Development management encompasses policies, organizations, and processes specifically tailored to initiate and execute development objectives, although development management is primarily associated with development in developing countries (even if not exclusively).


Secondly, Observations on Institutional Building and Development Issues Based on the Literature

1- The application of the institutional building approach has been characterized by a clear bias towards social engineering, as its fundamental assumption is that a significant proportion of key contemporary changes, especially in developing countries, are deliberately planned and directed, distinguishable from those occurring through gradual evolutionary processes or as a result of political or social revolution. It also assumes that introducing changes primarily occurs through and within formal organizations. (Blase, Melvin G, 1986)

2- The components of institutional building encompass three primary activities: skill enhancement, process improvement, and organizational strengthening. That means these components involve enhancing human resources (technical skills and individual capabilities), improving within-organization processes (core organizational processes and culture), activities shared among organizations (network of organizations, relationships), and external activities (legislation, policies, incentives). They also entail tangible measurable aspects such as infrastructure development, organizational structure, legal frameworks and policies, as well as intangible immeasurable aspects including social skills, social cohesion, values, organizational culture, motivation, political attention, and more. Each holds equal importance as they enable institutions to realize their potential to the fullest within an appropriate balance for addressing these tangible and intangible components to achieve institutional change (Esman, J, 1967).

3- The concept of institutional building differs from that of institutional change: the latter implies that organizations undergo change and adapt over time in response to changes in external and internal conditions, leadership, and resources, with a potential for continuity. This adaptive capacity of organizations is termed institutional change. On the other hand, institutional building "refers to the deliberate instillation of different values, functions, and essential techniques requiring changes in the institution's beliefs, structural patterns, and behaviors" (Esman, M.J. & Blaise, E, 1966).

4- The institutional building approach has faced considerable criticism and debate within the literature regarding its effectiveness and success in assisting developing countries in achieving development goals, even if most of these discussions conclude that there are no compelling arguments against making institutional building a central focus of development policies and aid, especially considering that more advanced economies benefit from more effective and efficient public institutions, and that the effectiveness of the institutional building approach in developing countries is closely linked to their history, types, functions, structures, and the capabilities of their human resources (Bochańczyk, D. & Pęciak, R, 2015).

5- The link between institutional type and development is fundamentally based on the existence of a set of forces that may have contributed to shaping new institutions or reforming existing ones. For example, identifying urgent problems that seem to require the establishment of new institutions is linked to a set of conditions or requirements for achieving development. One of the most prominent conditions is the ability of the government of any developing country to establish institutions to manage conflicts and reach national consensus on economic and political ideologies, which is necessary to make institutions effective and thus facilitate economic growth. Weak institutions and their lack of capabilities and mutual dependence have a negative impact on development and growth (Jreisat, J, 2012).

6- Building institutions is essentially an accumulative process (World Bank Report, 2002) that encompasses numerous variables in various domains that integrate and support each other. There is no one-size-fits-all pattern or model that can suit everyone, even if problems or challenges may appear symmetrical in achieving development. However, progressing in building more effective institutions requires a practical approach. The goal is not to determine what should be done in an ideal world, but what can be done in the world today, and that the process of institutional building and its evolution may take more or less time depending on environmental dimension, historical, cultural, social, and economic context, as well as political conflicts or economic and social conditions, the significance of customs and culture in developing countries.

7- The literature, despite its differences, has emphasized the impossibility of reaching consensus on a definitive list of functions that institutions should serve, which are essential for economic development. Moreover, there is no agreement on the precise types and forms of institutions needed to fulfill these functions. Firstly, one institution can serve multiple functions. For instance, budgetary institutions typically serve multiple functions, such as investing in productive assets (like physical infrastructure and research and development facilities), providing social protection (welfare state functions), and contributing to overall economic stability (for example, through the function of "automatic stabilization"). Similarly, political institutions can also perform several functions, such as aggregating diverse opinions and turning them into decisions, resolving conflicts, and providing social cohesion. Secondly, there are many institutions that perform the same function, although they all perform other functions as well, which may overlap or not. Therefore, for example, achieving overall economic stability is not simply achieved through an independent central bank focusing solely on inflation (as the current creed suggests), but also through a range of other institutions, including budgetary institutions, financial regulatory institutions, financial institutions, and wage and price-setting institutions. Thirdly, the same function can be performed by different institutions in different societies (or in the same society at different times). For example, social welfare is typically provided through the welfare state in most European countries, while the same function is achieved through a combination of a (weaker) welfare state, corporate and familial care plans, and other means in East Asian countries. If we only consider the welfare state, it might misleadingly suggest that the level of social care provision in East Asia is much lower than it actually is. Similarly, corporate governance oversight in lax corporate management is provided through the stock market in Anglo-American economies, while it is provided by major lending banks in countries such as Germany and Japan. Therefore, coming up with a single list of desired functions and forms of institutions, let alone deeming them necessary for economic development, is challenging. This, in turn, makes exploring the relationship between institutions and economic development exceedingly complex. (Chang, Ha-Joon , 2006)

8- In understanding the relationship between institution-building and development, it's essential to recognize that development does not follow a linear or uniform path, and that some countries, especially in Asia such as Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia, have managed to develop unique models of development based on their national capabilities, challenging theories of dependency. In this context, the influence of cultural values on society (developing a contextual approach to development) cannot be denied. While culture refers to the overall acquired social behavior of a particular group, it provides standards for perception, belief, evaluation, and behavior. Culture includes knowledge, beliefs, law, art, religion, ethics, customs, habits, and symbols. Culture evolves through institutions and structures such as schools, families, workplaces, and places of worship. It is not easy at all to determine the direct impact of culture on individual attitudes and behaviors, and indirectly, on institutions and society as a whole. (Jreisat,J, 2002)


Thirdly, the Role of Developing Bureaucratic Capacities in Enhancing Institutional Building and Achieving Development Goals

This section addresses bureaucracy as a key component in the process of institutional building, as well as the role of developing bureaucratic capacities in enhancing the institutional building process and achieving development goals.

A- Bureaucracy as a Pillar of the Institutional Building Process:

Some studies have emphasized that bureaucracy (human resources) is the cornerstone of institutions. Therefore, they underscored that institutional building is impossible without focusing on bureaucracy, developing its skills and capacities. Some literature even considered it one of the best and most objective tools for achieving development (Illchman, 1965). Some authors have gone as far as considering bureaucracy as the most important tool for development (Johnson, 1972; Huntington, 1968; Janowitz, 1964). Additionally, some studies have focused on discussing the goals and values that bureaucracy should achieve, and whether it is possible to hold bureaucracy accountable. As noted by Jarisat (2002), bureaucracy is the primary entity entrusted with implementing the state's public policies. It is a system with its parts and units aimed at serving the state's objectives as an intermediary between society and authority. It includes state institutions, units, and agencies such as departments and ministries. It is also the organization that operates according to specific rules and procedures, with employees committed to performing designated tasks. These tasks are typically routine operational tasks carried out through specialization, high formality, legal rules, functional departments managed by central authority with narrow control and supervision, and a chain of commands. Its strength lies in its ability to efficiently perform standardized activities.

Studies have emphasized bureaucracy as a key component in institution-building, constituting one of the substructures of the political system, fulfilling its role through several functions: implementing government policies and laws (public policy implementation), participating in their formulation, providing advice to executives and elected officials, acting as an intermediary in communicating with society, and actively engaging in the development process. Through performing these functions, bureaucracy assists the political system and shares in its three main functions: the transformation functions, which involve gathering, shaping and separating demands, the extraction functions, which include communication and functions related to the three authorities (rule-making and enforcement), and the functions of preserving the system and adaptation, which involve the function of upbringing and the nature of recruitment (Keiser, R., 2011).

Bureaucracy constitutes the human element that forms the driving force for the effectiveness and success of an institution. The efficiency of an institution is realized based on the competence and qualifications of its bureaucracy. Hence, some studies point to institutions' interest in harnessing the potentials and capabilities inherent in individuals, while finding the best ways to engage them to achieve better productivity rates and respond to their various economic and social orientations and aspirations, meeting their needs and desires. Bureaucracy with limited capabilities undermines the system's ability to achieve its goals. In such cases, there is difficulty in efficiently implementing policies, even if the leadership has the expertise to understand which policies would yield the desired outcomes. Conversely, the more capable the bureaucracy is, the more politicians delegate authority to it, granting it greater freedom of action. It's essential not to conflate information deficiency with capability weakness, as they are distinct issues. Therefore, senior bureaucrats may possess information and expertise, yet their effectiveness may be compromised due to their limited capabilities and skills (John D. Huber & Nolan McCarty, 2004). Likewise, weakness in bureaucratic capabilities not only affects its efficiency but also impairs policymaking and reduces bureaucratic incentives to comply with legislation. Thus, they are not only inefficient and less successful in implementing planned policies, but also difficult to control due to their ineffectiveness (Haruţa, C. & Radu, B., 2010).

In order to understand the role of bureaucracy and how its capacities and skills can be built for institution-building, it is essential to identify the factors that affect the administrative apparatus's ability to perform tasks efficiently. Downs identified five types of motivations for public employees: power, money, income, suitability, social status, and security. Additionally, there are several criteria related to the bureaucracy's ability to perform its functions, as highlighted by Riggs, including:

  • Its tenure, which is linked to long-term commitment, as performing its functions requires specific managerial capabilities, yet it has an interest in retaining its positions and, therefore, its salaries for extended periods, making it incentivized to utilize its offices for reasons that may be political.

  • Income (salaries) is the second variable that determines bureaucrats' performance of their political and administrative functions. Systems of wages, compensations, and promotions play a role in this regard. Consequently, some government sectors known for distinguished wage systems attract more employees compared to others. In some countries, bureaucracy resort to bribery and corruption to increase their income levels beyond the legally defined ones—unlike in democratic governments—contributing to a collapse that prompts bureaucrats to seek protection and promote their interests, leading to dissatisfaction with prevailing conditions.

  • Finally, the third variable, as noted by Riggs, is the bureaucrat's dependability. Unlike traditional bureaucracies, contemporary ones exhibit a high degree of dependency. This is attributed to increasing tasks alongside citizens' expectations. Additionally, the informal network of bureaucrat relationships influences their responsiveness to reform, performance, and benefit from training programs. Therefore, to effectively build institutions, it is essential to enhance the capacities of employees by understanding the factors that affect their work and abilities (Riggs, F.W., 2009).


In the same context, some literature adds another set of factors, including the organizational administrative environment, which consists of several levels. The first level comprises factors such as culture, history, economy, and technology. The second level discusses the nature of politics, government organization, and the nature of bureaucratic function. The third level addresses external factors such as political support, political environment, and external factors like knowledge, cohesion, and leadership. All these levels, including their interrelated feedback, affect policy outcomes. These levels impact the organization's life cycle, regarding its existence, termination, or integration. The level that most significantly affects bureaucratic capacity is the third level because it determines whether the bureaucracy has political support. Bureaucratic support involves both citizen and government support, as their activities are closely linked to the procedures and tasks carried out by the bureaucracy. Political environment can be understood through the functions of politics, which can be distributive or regulatory. Internal factors refer to the knowledge possessed by the bureaucracy, including information, expertise, and alignment with its institutions and objectives. Finally, leadership entails proficiency in exercising top authority and the core functions of an administrative entity involved in policy preparation, decision-making, and provision of goods and services. All of these factors influence bureaucratic capacities and their efficient fulfillment of their assigned roles. (Meier, K.J. and Bohte, J., 2007)


Therefore, various scholarly works have concluded that for institutional reform or institution-building to succeed, governments of developing countries must undertake reform and development of civil service systems and public administration. This entails adopting a comprehensive system of reform, including restructuring the organizational framework (reducing the number of government employees), utilizing mechanisms of the private sector (privatization, outsourcing), addressing expenditure and government budget issues (establishing new budgets, tax systems), reforming the performance of the public sector (enhancing public sector tools, levels, and professionalism of its employees, especially as upper levels are subject to change with the importance of having systems for performance evaluation and measurement, and there is no uniformity in work development systems). Additionally, efforts should focus on developing monitoring and control systems and using information technology to improve government services (Liebert& Stephen E. Condrey,2013). Moreover, the success of these reforms depends significantly on the degree of interaction and responsiveness of the bureaucracy to these reforms. In some cases, the bureaucracy responds positively, while in others, it maneuvers based on its knowledge and experience regarding policy-making and its ability to directly communicate with the public. This does not mean that the bureaucracy is inherently opposed to the idea of reform, but rather, it must be a partner in policy-making, as achieving reform and development poses a challenge to the bureaucracy, and implementing structural reforms may require time and effort, leading to changes in organizational culture, which may affect the focus on development programs and their implementation as well as the professionalism of the bureaucracy, as it is responsible for delivering services despite lacking the necessary capacities. (2014 Rahardhika Arista Utama)


b- The Role of Developing Bureaucratic Capacities in Enhancing Institutional Building and Achieving Development Goals

Studies indicate that bureaucracy has significant impacts on political, economic, and social outcomes. A strong and well-organized bureaucracy contributes to economic growth, as seen in the economies of Southeast Asia in the 1990s, as the manner in which bureaucracy is organized within a state enhances opportunities to reduce poverty. In general, there are indicators regarding the outcomes of bureaucracies, such as those presented in the study by Evans and Rauch. While this study may be one of the few in the comparative field, it provided a pioneering insight into the bureaucracy structures in some countries that experienced unexpected growth rates. Independent or neutral bureaucracies played a significant role from their recruitment processes to performance evaluation methods (Evans & Rauch, 1999).

In interpreting the role of bureaucracy as a tool for achieving development, studies indicate that part of the problem in achieving development lies in the shortcomings of implementing state plans in the development management process (policy implementation being the authentic function of bureaucracy). Therefore, the implementation of the development plan by bureaucracy becomes a matter of concern for both the government and the citizens. Furthermore, the decisions issued by the bureaucracy to implement these plans are a significant source for assessing its competence and effectiveness in implementing the state's public policy. Moreover, their exclusion from the formulation of these policies can negatively impact the achievement of development goals. In such cases, a political system may encounter a powerful bureaucracy that could impede the execution of development plans. Furthermore, development cannot be achieved in the presence of poor bureaucratic performance, characterized by routine procedures and complexity in work methods. This renders bureaucracies incapable of meeting the requirements of citizens and providing them with services, especially considering the economic costliness of services and the declining productivity and efficiency of governmental work. (Evans. P and Rauch, J ,1999)

Additionally, issues such as weak training systems and the lack of clear and specific plans affect the ability of human resources to fulfill their roles. These characteristics are reflected in phenomena such as excessive formalism, rigidity, resistance to change, stagnation, means-end reversal, and administrative corruption ranging from exploitation of public office to bribery. Moreover, phenomena like favoritism, nepotism, exchange of favors, and bureaucratic neglect of citizens contribute to laxity in work practices, negatively impacting the achievement of development goals. (C. Dahlström, V. Lapuente & Teorell, 2 ,2011)

On the other hand, the stereotypical or common image of bureaucracy in most developing countries appears as an impediment rather than a driver to the process of development. The problem facing these countries lies in seeking effective means to achieve a balance between bureaucracy and institutional systems. This imbalance tends to favor the former, as policies and public plans are subject to various bureaucratic influences, particularly in terms of goal implementation, the choice among different means, and the provision of recommendations to enhance the efficiency of these goals. The political system sets the goals, while the administrative apparatus determines the means. Therefore, the role of the political system is to achieve these goals, contingent upon the efficiency of the administrative apparatus in attaining them (Jreisat, J., 2009). This is because, as Riggs pointed out, bureaucracy constitutes a governing class with its own vested interests. Therefore, the dominance and control of bureaucracy have a clear and significant impact on the future of institutions. Conversely, achieving political development requires the presence of a competitive bureaucracy that cannot be attained without strengthening the administrative and legal foundations associated with bureaucracy's function. This should not come at the expense of political development; rather, both should mutually support each other's achievement. Some researchers argue that efficient political and administrative systems usually coexist and interact rather than being zero-sum competitors. Government agencies in developing countries have proliferated rapidly, driven by the expanding role of the state in development and its transformation into a locus of power in society, controlling vast resources without genuine and effective oversight. This has been associated with sluggish and severely delayed growth in other state institutions (Khalifa, Azmi, 1979).

When it comes to bureaucratic work, certain variables such as innovation, creativity, and change appear to be highly significant, acting as catalysts and facilitators to accelerate progress towards development. Bureaucracy faces challenges in this regard, particularly concerning the issue of change and innovation. These variables are among the key pillars of institution-building, and various studies confirm that criticisms directed towards bureaucracy in developing countries often revolve around their rigid systems, lack of adaptability, and incapacity for innovation, tendency to prioritize setting standards and routines in managing public organizations, leading to inflexibility and resistance to change. The lack of continuous training may result in irregularity, rigidity, and inflexibility in applying required skills, and that change may lead to further centralization and the preservation of the system's non-neutrality, as management development is considered a crucial aspect in societal development, due to issues - deficiencies related to stagnation and other challenges (Jreisat, J. E, 2012).

Regarding the relationship between public administration and development, the decision of the United Nations General Assembly 50/225 in May 1996 highlighted the "rapid and interconnected global, political, and social developments and their effects on developing countries." It emphasized the "urgent need to improve the efficiency of public institutions and administrative and financial procedures to harness challenges in support of sustainable development." That is because effective governance requires a public administration characterized by efficiency, responsiveness to citizens, promotion of justice, and the creation of a conducive environment for development. Transparent and accountable administration is one of the most crucial pillars for achieving development and requires transparent governmental measures based on efficient and effective administrative systems equipped with capacities. (1995 UN Resolution No. 50/225). Hence, some successful experiences have emphasized the importance of governments implementing institutional reforms such as decentralization and providing mechanisms to combat corruption, ensure accountability, and foster positive participation in the formulation of policies and training programs offered by management institutes. Bureaucracy plays a vital role in either achieving or hindering the principles of governance, which are among the most crucial pillars of sustainable development. The worldwide governance indicators released by the World Bank since 1996 encompass a range of metrics, including government effectiveness, quality of government services, civil service quality, and the regulatory framework's quality, which reflect the extent to which government institutions can formulate and implement public policies and indicate whether there has been a deterioration or improvement in some indicators, reflecting the development status in those countries (Worldwide Governance Indicators 1996). In this context, it would be beneficial, after discussing the role of bureaucracy in institution-building and subsequently contributing to development in developing countries, to identify the key challenges faced by the governments of those countries in enhancing bureaucratic capacities and how they addressed them. This could be achieved by referring to a range of examples from various experiences.


Fourthly, an Exposition of the Key Challenges Encountered by Developing Countries in Enhancing Bureaucratic Capacities

The context in which bureaucracy emerged, its condition, and characteristics at the time of independence were among the most significant impediments to institution-building processes in developing countries since the early initiatives calling for aid to these countries to build their institutions. Its work environment was characterized by extreme centralization, leading to the fragmentation of responsibilities and the duplication of functions, which adversely affected bureaucratic flexibility and undermined the existence of efficient and effective administration. Additionally, this contributed to its lack of political neutrality, transforming it into a tool in the hands of some governing systems (Souza, 2017). The goal of bureaucracy therefore ceased to be serving citizens but rather serving the system whose performance it evaluates and from which it receives incentives. Consequently, some governments have promoted senior administrators to leadership positions without possessing the qualifications for these positions or demonstrating merit, which has impacted their role and interaction with the system and society (Primanto, Aji, Suwitri, Sri & Warsono, Hardi, 2014). The institution-building processes and the role of bureaucracy within this framework have faced a set of challenges, with some stemming from international institutions and donors, some originating from national governments, and others resulting from bureaucracy itself. Some challenges were a combination of these factors. Among the most significant challenges were:

The first challenge was the proliferation of corruption and the weakness of accountability frameworks, which had a detrimental effect on the institutional structure and its outputs. This later impacted reform programs and plans supported by international organizations, which failed to address the problems of corruption and its negative effects on development outcomes. Moreover, governmental plans were unable to combat corruption or even undermine the discretionary power granted to the bureaucracy to accomplish its tasks, which the latter exploited to pursue its own interests. As a result, this source of power reflected on its role and the lack of a common understanding between law enforcement, regulatory comprehension, and implementation. This occurred amid the weakness of its ethical frameworks, legal compliance, and the instability of institutions initially tasked with combating corruption. Consequently, corruption became the most prominent institutional phenomenon, affecting all institutions, particularly in the absence of transparency and weak accountability frameworks. This became a major obstacle to rebuilding and reforming institutions. (Rice, M. 1992)

As an example, Brazil suffered from bureaucratic corruption for extended periods, to the extent that some literature considered it a hindrance to development. Living standards were deteriorating, and levels of social inequality were excessively high. Therefore, improving citizens' lives, equalizing the high levels of inequality in society, and combating the spread of corruption were objectives set by the government. Consequently, Brazil developed an integrated strategy to address this challenge: the government worked on successfully implementing development policies by involving the bureaucracy in their formulation and ensuring their effective execution. One such example is the redistribution policies implemented through programs like the Family Allowance Program (Programa Bolsa Família). Moreover, the government developed a set of mechanisms to combat corruption, with their success relying on the role of the bureaucracy. Therefore, efforts were made to enhance institutions tasked with fighting corruption by increasing their financial allocations and improving their legislative and judicial frameworks. Stricter judicial sentences were imposed and swiftly enforced. Furthermore, the role of oversight bodies responsible for accountability was activated, as they constitute the primary entities responsible for investigating corruption cases, recovering state assets, activating strategies to combat corruption, and prosecuting a significant number of corruption cases. These included investigations into the sale and allocation of state-owned land to ineligible individuals, as well as inquiries into violations related to senior government officials, board members, and leaders receiving unwarranted incentives, leading to misappropriation of public funds. Furthermore, the government focused on organizational structures within institutions, especially those related to innovation and research for various changes. Consequently, the share of institutional spending on research and development increased from 15% to 20% between 1990 and 1997. In connection with this, institutional structures can serve as valid explanatory variables for development outcomes, given high levels of independence and the bureaucracy's ability to adapt, reflecting on development and achieving stability (Sérgio Praça, Taylor. M, 2014; Vanessa Elias de Oliveira & Gabriela Spanghero Lotta, 2018).

The second challenge lies in the weakness of bureaucratic capacities and skills. One of the major challenges faced by developing countries is the inability or failure of training programs to achieve their objectives, improve their skills, and change their behaviors. This inability extends to the failure to promote values such as innovation, creativity, and work ethics due to organizational cultures resistant to change, as well as the rejection of any initiatives for reform or development aimed at building institutions and enhancing their capacities. As a result, reform efforts have failed due to the lack of consideration of the cultural component in their design, as well as the failure to involve the bureaucracy in identifying its training needs. This cultural dimension has been closely linked to the decline in indicators and the position of developing countries in reports on ease of doing business and global competitiveness. Consequently, bureaucracy has transformed into a rigid and low-quality tool, serving to reinforce its privileges rather than fulfilling its role, thus exacerbating its difficulty to be controlled (Luiz Carlos Bresser, 1999).

As an example, the government in Indonesia faced this challenge by adopting various strategies to incorporate the cultural dimension and its impacts on institutional responses to reform programs and unified institution-building efforts, which were not uniform due to differences in the historical and social context in which these bureaucracies operated. Some institutions responded by obstructing, attributing their shortcomings to internal deficiencies, and exhibiting rigidity and a low level of collectivism with a high degree of adherence to rules. Consequently, the programs provided to them were significantly different from those designed for institutions that have responded formally to reform, especially considering that these institutions operated at a high level of organization and adherence to rules in social interactions. Both differ significantly from those that responded to reform by turning it into individual or personal interest. These institutions are characterized by a low degree of collectivism, where individual interests become more important than collective ones due to weak accountability. This has turned reform into a means of gaining personal benefits from public positions (Mamadouh, V, 1999).

The third challenge lies in the magnitude of the transformations and variables that must be considered when undertaking reforms and institution-building compared to the process of institution-building in advanced countries according to the Marshall Plan, which was both increasing and exceptional. This highlighted the characteristics of difficulty and complexity, coupled with the need to simultaneously work on multiple structural change processes. For instance, there was a need to adopt systems of technological change and transition to the new public administration and its principles, focusing on results and outputs. Additionally, there was a need to partner with non-profit organizations and the private sector in service delivery. Moreover, there was a necessity to respond to the call of international institutions for developing countries to transition their policies and adopt a new developmental model. Furthermore, the effects of globalization transformed the organizational structures of public institutions, making them more horizontal. Adjusting information and management systems, fostering competition among domestic resource providers, and adopting a specific reform model to leverage its advantages, as well as emphasizing the importance of applying governance principles (transparency, accountability, etc.) is required. This made it challenging for governments of these countries to undertake the institution-building process, as they had to deal with a massive amount of changes simultaneously. (Horhoruw, Maggy et al,2010)

For example, various action plans were developed in Indonesia to address the impacts of global transformations. A program for building and enhancing the human capacities within the administrative apparatus, projects such as the qualification of young leadership within the administrative framework, language training, and the development of programs tailored to address human resource across various levels and career trajectories (introductory and advanced) were adopted. Each program had a set of objectives aimed at addressing internal and external challenges related to the work environment. Additionally, a program was developed to update and enhance the information infrastructure with the aim of establishing unified databases to create an integrated information community and government entities that exchange data to maximize state resources and reduce expenditure (Primanto, Aji, Suwitri, Sri & Warsono, Hardi, 2014).

In Egypt, there were also challenges reflecting globalization and international changes, associated with problems of bureaucratic sluggishness, inefficiency, and the complexity of its structures, which Robert Springborg, a professor at the University of London, likened to "stovepiping," meaning the existence of multiple parallel vertical paths for information flow from the base to the top without horizontal exchange. Additionally, there were thousands of obsolete laws that acted as obstacles to the system's objectives. Subsequently, a unified government complaints system was established, along with citizen service departments and offices, and specialized administrations to combat financial and administrative corruption. Measures for digital transformation were taken to enhance administrative and financial governance. The government adopted measures aimed at establishing administrative bodies to carry out tasks that were supposed to be performed by certain entities, while relying on administrative pockets that are more efficient, moving away from bureaucracy. (Mohamed Hamama and Osman El Sharnoubi, 2019).

The fourth challenge is linked to the emergence of bureaucracy, its roles, functions, and objectives, primarily aimed at achieving development and improving citizens' lives. Bureaucracy directly contributes to development by efficiently and effectively implementing policies. Poor policy implementation is considered a hindrance to development and its programs. Exaggeration in applying bureaucratic principles (such as complexity and routine) can impede the achievement of its objectives, affecting the quality of life for citizens and development indicators in all its dimensions. Adding to the complexity of the matter regarding the bureaucracy's role in achieving better development rates is the internal crises (economic, political, and social) faced, in light of the requirements and programs imposed by some organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank for institution-building and achieving development goals and governance principles.

As an example of this, in Indonesia, some countries aimed, in their efforts to build their institutions, to bridge the gap between government plans and visions regarding sustainable development and the role of bureaucracy in achieving this goal. There are a set of governing factors that determine the institution's role in implementing or obstructing its policies and achieving development. Among the most significant factors are: the nature of the relationship between the bureaucracy, the system, and the citizen, as well as the extent to which the bureaucracy benefits from the outcomes of development and its participation in policymaking; and the comparison of such benefits with those gained by public servants through obstructing these development plans (such as through the proliferation of corruption). This is related to the role of oversight agencies in uncovering any corruption issues within the administrative apparatus, the prompt adjudication by the courts, and adopting a program to reform the bureaucracy, aiming to develop a government administration characterized by professionalism, transparency, and inclusiveness, making it accountable, clean, and free from corruption (Primanto, Aji, Suwitri, Sri & Warsono, Hardi, 2014; Nurdiana Gaus, Sultan Sultan & Muhammad Basr, 2017).

The fifth challenge is linked to the functioning of bureaucracy and the form of its organizational structures. The more complex and multi-layered these structures become, the greater the impact on reform plans and institution-building efforts. Therefore, there is a need to simplify complex organizational structures by separating supervisory and monitoring functions from production and service delivery, integrating repetitive and overlapping activities (and departments), supporting the continuity and sustainability of policies and programs, refraining from expanding organizational levels, restructuring, and introducing and modifying the roles of specific departments. Additionally, it is essential to establish an institutional approach to restructuring.

In Egypt for example, since independence and up until the early years of the new millennium, successive governments have faced several internal challenges in rebuilding their institutions. These challenges included the duplication of mandates within the same sector or across different sectors for employees within the state administrative apparatus, which sometimes led, due to weak coordination, to conflicts between institutions. Additionally, the problem was exacerbated by the creation of parallel entities or centers, while senior officials were often unwilling to delegate their responsibilities and tending to monopolize power, hindering subordinates from developing their capabilities and decision-making skills. Moreover, subordinates often refused to accept responsibility and lacked the necessary skills to accomplish tasks. Delegating tasks also resulted in various problems and slowed down work procedures. Furthermore, the bloated size of the administrative apparatus and the increase in the number of employees beyond the actual work requirements led to widespread disguised unemployment within the government. Their salaries posed a significant burden on the general budget and hindered the government apparatus from effectively and efficiently performing its functions, negatively impacting development outcomes. Additionally, the proliferation of legislation and the absence of clear and defined standards and rules led to further task overlap and duplication of roles, increasing organizational and administrative conflicts and complicating coordination, monitoring, and evaluation processes. (Ismail, Mamdouh 2005, Palmer, Mont et al. 1994)

Hence, governments have developed strategies to address the dilemma of simplifying organizational structures in the administrative apparatus and restructuring them, which require significant time and effort. Various government plans have therefore clarified that implementing institutional development policies involves administrative reorganization of ministries' affiliated entities, studying laws and decisions related to the establishment of the administrative apparatus, and analyzing their jurisdictions to identify areas of overlap. One of the most important steps in reforming organizational structures was the implementation of the new Civil Service Law No. 81 of 2016 and its executive regulations, particularly Articles 9 and 75 of the law. These articles stipulated the necessity for each unit to establish an organizational structure approved by the competent authority. After consulting the agency, it involves dividing it into sub-divisions that align with its activities, size, and areas of operation. Each unit is required to create a job schedule accompanied by job description cards, specifying the functional level and job requirements. Moreover, units must commit to updating organizational structures, job description cards, and listing the services they provide along with their procedures and conditions within a period not exceeding one year from the date of the law's enactment (Al-Hosary, Tarek, 2018).

The Central Agency for Organization and Administration also introduced some organizational divisions within the administrative units, including units of strategic planning and policies, evaluation and monitoring, internal auditing, human resources, legislative support, in addition to units of information systems. The government has also presented a plan to build the capacities of employees in government institutions and prepare them for leadership in line with the Sustainable Development Strategy; Egypt Vision 2030. It has also presented programs for new employees, career path programs, where employees undergo a certain number of training hours to progress, capacity-building programs for middle-level supervisory management, programs for retirees aimed at highlighting their potential contributions, and a leadership program focusing on various topics such as strategic management, change leadership, and others. The National Strategy for Building and Developing the Capabilities of Administrative Staff was designed to assess the impact and outcomes of these courses and training plans on the effective performance of the government apparatus. It aimed to measure the success of these programs in changing the behavior of employees, improving their capabilities and skills, and enhancing the performance of the government apparatus. It also involved continuous evaluation or surveys of citizens' opinions regarding the performance of the administrative apparatus to gauge the extent of the impact of these training programs on citizens' perception of improvement in performance and efficiency (Mahmoud, Nahla, 2020).

Fifthly, the Most Important Suggestions and Recommendations for the Success of Institution-Building in Developing Countries

The dilemma of lacking essential skills and capacities in developing countries must be addressed comprehensively, especially as technical and developmental assistance provided by donor institutions, which may reflect inequality and dependency rather than positive engagement, is insufficient. These aids do not seem capable of truly transferring knowledge—or at least not in the incentivizing manner that could lead to development in these societies—because they do not contribute to bolstering national capacity. This is crucial concerning the human element, which is as productive an asset as land and capital. Human development is a set of mechanisms and means that incentivize individuals to be productive, enabling them to achieve the highest possible level of well-being and self-sufficiency in all aspects of their personal lives. This empowers them to contribute to the building of their institutions and communities. Therefore, adopting sound public policies aimed at establishing institutions based on meritocracy and competitiveness, and recognizing bureaucratic work as a highly valuable profession for institutions, is crucial for institutions. Thus, if a developing country seeks to build its institutions, it should enhance the capacities of its bureaucracy to support its participation in policy-making processes to promote economic growth and create good job opportunities to empower citizens to improve their lives. This continuous support for government employees includes:

·       First: Emphasizing the importance of coordination between national institutions, international organizations, and donors regarding capacity-building programs and grants for institutions. This enables maximum benefit from these programs and the efficient achievement of their goals, as one of the requirements for civil service work is that managers collaborate intensively within the administration and with external entities, using various tools and mechanisms for coordination in central administration, including budget proposal preparation. Additionally, various forms of collaboration and coordination have been established between external agencies, and a significant role in enhancing dialogue and coordination within agencies and across management levels has been played. Civil service managers must clarify lines of responsibility, distribute tasks, and diversify forms of communication to enhance cooperation and ensure the best possible coordination, with the quest to prevent and resolve conflicts and to increase the use of incentives that promote communication, cooperation, and appropriate coordination between agencies and management levels. Additionally, fostering teamwork and technical expertise is essential as they serve as a driving force to strengthen cooperation with other governmental institutions. Furthermore, leveraging opportunities provided by information and communication technology (ICT) is crucial (Osman, Aahad, 2004).

·       Secondly: Participation or inclusivity is a key requirement for building the capacities and skills of bureaucracy. International experiences have revealed that the foundation of successful institution-building lies in the involvement of stakeholders at all functional levels in the policy-making process, not just in implementation, without excluding any groups from participation. This also involves establishing an advanced system to attract and manage talents for skill-based recruitment and work experience, as well as determining employee compensation and rewards in line with their job roles and contributions. Thus, fostering a culture of inclusivity for all supports the goals of human resources development, as well as their career advancement. This includes organized training to enhance employee skills and establishing a performance evaluation system to incentivize employees and develop systems for improving productivity and efficiency (Templer, Klaus, 2014).

·       Thirdly: The importance of adopting and developing values ​​of innovation, creativity, and leadership as part of the institutional culture of different organizations cannot be overstated, as the empowerment and decentralization are the foundations of institutional development. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize the importance of innovation values ​​as part of the institutional culture and constantly strive to motivate employees to embrace them, enhance a culture of innovation, welcome diverse perspectives, and utilize them for learning purposes. Moreover, innovative leadership methods should be adopted, and employees should be engaged in decision-making related to human resource management to ensure increased productivity and loyalty. Efficiently involving employees in achieving organizational goals grants them a wide scope of independence and opportunities for active participation. Thus, enabling continuous innovation and adaptation among employees can be achieved by providing a developed and organized professional model that offers diverse learning and growth opportunities, as well as providing career paths based on personal aspirations and strengths while engaging employees in institutional decision-making (Hyggen, C., & Vedeler, J, 2021).

·       Fourthly: The importance of adopting a set of values, principles, and ethics associated with their own code of ethics cannot be overstated. Often, the purpose of these codes is to establish standards of integrity and behavior that public employees must adhere to, aiding them in meeting these standards and informing citizens of the behavior they can rightfully expect from public employees.

·       Fifthly: Building employee capacities through continuous training involves adopting various training programs that precisely identify needs and the types of skills to be developed. This includes establishing specialized training institutes, providing scholarships and fellowships to incentivize workers, coordinating with educational institutions, and developing specialized bodies to enhance, build and support their skills through a comprehensive culture and system of lifelong learning aimed at mastering skills, enhancing the ecosystem of quality education, and offering governmental programs to support employees' career paths and develop their capacities. This approach not only focuses on developing technical skills but also emphasizes personal skills, notably critical thinking, which are cognitive skills essential for broad-scale problem-solving. Furthermore, efforts should be directed towards fostering a culture of lifelong learning for employees throughout their professional lives. Emphasis should be placed on providing training packages that offer opportunities for advancement, training grants, and skill development opportunities. Financial support for employees, especially in challenging economic conditions, is crucial. Additionally, guidance and training programs should be implemented to support and transfer best international practices and technical skills from foreign experts to local teams. Establishing institutes for public administration to enhance and strengthen human resources and set standards for excellence is also essential. (Madsen, Dag, & Kåre Slåtten. 2022)

·       Sixthly, the transition towards digitalization is paramount, emphasizing the adoption of better management systems and the establishment of robust databases, that should be made accessible to all government employees, with a focus on enhancing digital services, internet security, information technology, artificial intelligence, workplace innovation, and open data initiatives. Working on identifying the necessary skills through leveraging technology, data, analytics techniques, and machine learning to provide insights into job skills, making them more responsive and comprehensive is also required. Additionally, providing insights revolving around the institution to refer to in designing capacity development policies for bureaucracy, where appropriate, helps complement the continuous efforts of other state agencies in identifying trends, driving employee capacity development within their expertise, meeting human resource needs across various sectors, and establishing a technical and vocational education system to meet the needs of economic development in its various stages. (Hyggen, C., & Vedeler, J, 2021)

·       Seventhly, building a safe work environment to foster a distinctive institutional culture and emphasizing occupational health and safety, along with providing reliable and relevant tools and resources to enhance workplace safety programs, is fundamental for employees' rights in a healthy work environment. Simultaneously, developing organizational culture by emphasizing the importance of skills development and its impact on the economic status of the employee, as well as personal development to achieve self-fulfillment and the collective impact thereof on societal development. Taking into account the development of programs to update the work environment, as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we think about how employees work, with better support for employees. The hybrid workplace model combines elements of remote work and office work, aiming to enhance innovation, collaboration, and productivity, adaptable to meet institutional needs. (Hyggen, C., & Vedeler, J, 2021)

·       Eighthly, adopting flexible organizational structures capable of dealing with the instability experienced by administrative systems worldwide, granting more authorities and powers to administrative levels, while emphasizing institutional values and energizing individuals to work together as one team. Implementing specific strategies to build a stable and high-performing team that achieves positive results and addresses employees' needs, launching awards for institutional excellence where all government institutions and their employees compete for recognition (Osman, Aahad, 2004).



The paper aimed to emphasize the importance of developing bureaucratic capacities as a fundamental requirement in the process of institution building, which constitutes a cornerstone for achieving development, through a review of various literature. This analysis focused on three axes regarding the historical development of institution building and its development: capability building and its development, and issues related to development management, as well as the role of institution building in achieving development. The researcher provided a set of observations regarding the evolution of institution building and development issues, among which were: the process of institution building is cumulative, and there is no ideal form of institutions that can fulfill specific functions; development does not follow a linear or symmetrical path, among other observations. Additionally, the paper emphasized that bureaucracy is a fundamental cornerstone for the functioning of institutions and plays a crucial role in enhancing their building and thus achieving development. Finally, the paper addressed a range of challenges, such as corruption, administrative bloating, and the weakness of bureaucratic skills and capacities, and reviewed the strategies and policies of some developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Egypt in dealing with them. Finally, a set of proposals and recommendations were presented to develop bureaucratic capacities and accelerate the institution-building process to achieve development. These include: transitioning towards digitization, adopting better management systems, building databases, adopting a set of values, principles, and ethics associated with their own ethical charter, and adopting organizational structures characterized by flexibility, among others.





B- Activating the Role of Non-Governmental Institutions in Development

3- Ambassador James Watt - the United Kingdom

Defining the Role of Civil Society in Development


Popular participation and non-governmental institutions can both be classified as springing from civil society. But what do we mean by civil society? How does it flourish, and where does it fail? What benefits does it bring and what are its limits? These questions are the starting point for a deep and original interrogation here of the role of the state in relation to the grass-roots and voluntary activity that is the life-blood of communities and nation states. Such activity is usually channeled through accepted religious and social institutions, which themselves have a defined relationship with the state and which provide positive social benefits. Each culture and community in the world provide examples of the diverse forms that civil society action can take. Each form is the natural product of specific local social conditions, including those derived from memory, custom and tradition. At the same time, civil society has the ability to respond flexibly and organically to new demands placed upon it. In these respects, civil society is an embodiment of culture itself.

The two subjects proposed in the agenda for discussion each refer to development. The term is open to discussion as to its exact meaning. This paper will take development as meaning economic and social change in a beneficial direction.  It questions however any assumption that development is exclusively a process led by government, or by professional “development experts” provided by aid donors and multilateral institutions. This is not to belittle their expertise or their contribution, but simply to keep a degree of open-mindedness about what change is truly beneficial to communities and countries, and how that change is best derived from the experience and priorities of the peoples concerned.  By taking this questioning approach the paper reflects the contemporary debate about the lessons to be learnt from decades of development led from the top, and from the mistakes that have been made along the way.


The views presented in this paper are entirely those of the author in his personal capacity and do not involve in any way academic or other institutions to which he is connected.

Main paper

The concept of civil society is difficult to pin down in a single accepted definition. And yet we come across the term used in passing when considering institutions that do have a defined meaning, such as the state itself, or in relation to other recognizable public realities, such as government or the private sector, or when analysing society or culture.  Civil society appears as an expression of the natural energy of communities to find solutions to common problems, often in the area of health and social welfare. An example would be charitable efforts are made to support research into the cure for a medical condition such as cancer, or for a developmental condition such as autism. Funds might be raised through zakat or other religious donations, or through sponsored runs or charity auctions.

Civil society movements are by their nature voluntary in origin, based on the shared motivation of communities to improve their social and economic conditions. The most powerful energy of this kind comes from the strong humanitarian and compassionate impulse that is natural to human beings when confronted with the misfortune of others within their group. The boundaries of the “group” can extend very wide: in the best traditions of religious faith, and of secular humanism, the group can be universal: all fellow creatures, human and animal. The basis of modern human rights standards is exactly that: the founding document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1945. Whether or not people and states today fully endorse the specific formulations of that declaration, there is no opposition to the universality of compassion and humanitarian action. Such action which, as a matter of principle, excluded part of the human race would be a betrayal of shared values. In practice, humanitarian action has to be directed to specific objectives and thus specific recipients of support. But this does not contradict the principle of universality.

In examining the nature of civil society we are thus starting with the concept of the universality of human values, rooted in moral instincts common to all men and women. We can consider examples of civil society action across the whole world from the same fundamental viewpoint. The almost limitless diversity of such action reflects the diversity of human society, in all its historical and cultural origins, and with it the diversity of situations in which communities take action together.

Civil society actions, to be effective, require a degree of organization and material resources. This is where matters begin to become more complicated. The more leadership direction is required, the further the initiative moves from its original collective nature. The successful examples of civil society organization manage to combine the power and energy of collective values with a clear and transparent form of leadership that inspires and reassures. Over time, the fortunes of all human organizations fluctuate: successful leadership is unlikely to remain completely successful for ever. Disagreements may arise over priorities and strategic direction. Often these arguments are in reality the consequence of personal styles of behavior among those in charge. All of us will have witnessed such cases, and know how exhausting and damaging they can be for the organization and its humanitarian purpose.

What are the boundaries of our definition of civil society? According to some, they seem very wide indeed. The independent press is often described as a part of civil society in a political context. Academia likewise. Not-for-profit businesses sometimes make the same claim, in that as social enterprises their purpose is social and economic development, not the accumulation of financial capital. Some even claim a civil society status for social media, in that the platform they provide serves the expression of individual views, outside the structures of power. In reality they are highly profitable businesses with arguably a damaging effect of social cohesion and human happiness.

One way of defining civil society is simply to see it in distinction from the power and structures of the state, and of business. Non-governmental Organisations. That is a useful guideline, though we need to go beyond it and identify the true power and value of civil society. The nearer civil society is to its community roots, and its voluntary structures, the closer we get to defining its unique value in our social, economic and political lives.

The question of development is raised in the agenda titles for items 1 and 2: Popular Participation and Development, and Activating the Role of Non-Governmental Institutions in Development. As mentioned in the Abstract, I propose to take development as meaning economic and social change in a beneficial direction.  This is a broad and simple definition. It is also a careful one, avoiding the implication that some agency – a government or developmental body – is essential to achieve beneficial change. Beneficial change in its complete nature is organically the outcome of social adaptation. Governments and development agencies have an enabling and technical part to play, but they find it difficult to accommodate all the factors and processes within society itself that are required for success.

Much study has been conducted, and much expertise is available, in the question of how to achieve beneficial change through development programmes and policies. There is no space here even to summarize the main lines of argument. It is enough to say that they deserve attention and thought. This paper instead aims to discuss the contextual factors, rather than those of programme design, which result in the success or failure of development.

To form a picture of context and its effects, we should start with the regulatory environment for civil society action. Regulation is certainly required, above all for safeguarding funds raised for charitable purposes and ensuring the proper conduct of managers and boards. It is also necessary in relation to the safeguarding of vulnerable people, above all children and those suffering from neurological disorders that affect their judgement. Good regulation, properly administered, provides confidence to both donors of funds and to the recipients of the services provided. Wrong regulation, or the wrongful administration of regulation, can on the other hand be very damaging.

The context for beneficial social change, driven by community-led civil society, can be distorted by legal as well as regulatory obstacles. Laws made for an earlier time need to be reviewed, and lessons drawn from their unintended negative consequences. The rapid advance of mobile technology and other innovations is opening up new ways of delivering beneficial change. In places this comes up against the established interests of telecoms companies or banks, or of professions which have a monopoly – no longer justified – of certifying or formalizing processes. Obstacles also arise from legal commitments made by states in altogether different context. A difficult issue, for example, is how to reconcile international obligations on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) with the digital economy fast becoming the lifeline for poor and refugee populations: payments across national borders can be impossible if those people do not have the right personal documentation and settled status.

There is scope for all countries to review seen and unseen regulatory and legal obstacles, and open the way as far as possible to the full and healthy flowering of community-led social and economic action.

Also hard to get right for policy-makers is the matter of equity and fairness in the impacts of development projects. It has been the practice of development policy makers to measure the greater economic good, as they see it, against the negative side effects. Spectacular cases of injustice typically arise from major hydraulic projects, or mining schemes, which displace an agricultural population, for whom no adequate efforts are made to compensate for the upheaval and dislocation inflicted by that form of “development”. Recent practice is generally better, involving greater awareness of the damage at risk of being done, and listening to communities and hearing the real story remains an essential part of project design.

These questions of equity and fairness bring the discussion of civil society into the sphere of politics. Policy decisions, and who makes them, are the crucial factors in the state’s interactions with civil society. They explain why advocacy has become a leading element of the role of many voluntary and third-sector organizations. Just as business lobbies government for the right policy decisions on regulation and the legal environment, so do civil society bodies. This can be at the local or national level.

Advocacy involves politics as well as policy, and some states are less open than others to it. Where political power is closely guarded and not shared, the interventions of advocacy can soon become unwelcome. In such cases, civil society tends to censor itself and to set less ambitious targets for its beneficial objectives, resulting in a loss of benefit to the country as a whole. It also happens that the political credit and prestige flowing from economic and social development projects are jealously guarded by the leadership, leading them to operate through their own chosen foundations and initiatives, to the exclusion of others. This “capture” by political power of what should be autonomous and spontaneous community-led action is exceptionally damaging to the development prospects of a country, both economically and socially. It does not have to be like that. Even in autocratic systems there are examples of the state making good use of the energy and capacity of community-led organizations, for example in public health delivery, which is often beyond the ability of a national bureaucracy to provide effectively.

A feature of the climate change negotiations being conducted with ever greater urgency on a global level has been the role of business. Companies and financial institutions have emerged as the powerful champions of the transition to net zero. They have the resources, the organizational strength, and the lobbying power, to make things happen. Their commitment to environmental goals has generated a entire new level of self-regulation and of technical solutions. It is striking that their motivations are both self-interested and altruistic at the same time: saving the planet calls for both. Environmental goals are one of three strands in their commitment: the other two are Social and Governance goals, forming the triad of ESG.  The way business relates to the state, in this way, has a parallel in the way civil society relates to the state: dynamism, moral strength and the need for high degree of freedom of action at the practical level.

Business pays less attention to the Social aspect of ESG, because the Environmental aspect is rightly seen as supremely urgent. But responsibility for social impacts has long been acknowledged by the best companies. There is a tradition of Corporate Social Responsibility that continues, and that needs continuing professionalization and study. The potential for business and civil society to reinforce each other’s goals is limitless, and could achieve more than even the most enlightened interventions by government.

In drawing all these threads together, it is worth noting that a lot of good things are happening through civil society action throughout the world It is not a sector of human life that we would describe as being in crisis. On the contrary, it thrives on the challenge of change. It is driven by the human instinct to do good, and to organize at the community level. Information technology and mobile communications are making it easier to organize and grow, engaging more citizens in its beneficial effects. The partnership between civil society and business is capable of transformatory growth.

We should also note the essential role that voluntary work, and the work of people motivated by a sense of universal justice and compassion, play in the health of our societies, from the local and national levels to the global one. It is what saves us and redeems us from the dimension of human violence and conflict, of which we are seeing more and more. As the world becomes more stressed by climate change, environmental degradation and rapid growth in demographic pressures, so conflicts are becoming more violent, more ruthless and exterminatory, and more destabilizing. The number of refugees and internally displaced is climbing year by year. The usual sources of humanitarian aid are becoming overstretched and exhausted by the relentless scale of new challenges. Existing conflicts are not resolved but burn on forever, often forgotten as new horrors force themselves onto the attention of the world.

In this increasingly dystopian landscape we have one enduring resource: the power of human compassion and moral values, expressed through the action of civil society. We need to appreciate it, understand it better, and use it better. Yes, it has to be regulated. Yes, it has to conform to the laws governing the other elements of the state. And yes, the border between advocacy and political power will always be characterized by a degree of contention. But none of this detracts from the reality that, for human society to recover and flourish again, states must do more to empower civil society to play its beneficial role in economic and social development.  And all actors in the private and public sectors, above all those in leadership and policy-making roles, should do more to understand what will release the power it represents.




4- Dr. Mona Al-Maliki - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) emerged as a result of multiple transformations and changes that imposed a new reality on the contemporary world across various aspects of social, cultural, political, and economic life. From advocating for democracy, traversing through capitalism, to culminating in an unprecedented revolution in human history represented by information and communication technology, the term "non-governmental organization" began to be used with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. The UN Charter stipulated the consultative role of NGOs, independent of any specific country or member state (Kurten, 1990).

Thus, these organizations have become a potent force at the state level, even extending to the point of intervening in decisions regarding war, peace, and the sovereignty of certain nations that require such support from these international organizations. They have, in many cases, equaled or even surpassed governments in terms of resources and expertise. The ASAKO report (2003) highlights the significant international attention given to non-governmental organizations, recognizing their developmental role and their impact on interstate and people-to-people relations.

This interest is evident in international and regional conferences where these organizations participate, exerting influence by securing dedicated provisions within various international and regional programs. Examples include the World Summit for Social Development, the Beijing Conference on Women, and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. Given the political, economic, and social transformations occurring at the international, regional, and local levels, these societies cannot be conceived without non-governmental organizations playing a fundamental and active role in development. Therefore, supporting and collaborating with these organizations is imperative. Additionally, measures must be taken to prevent some of these organizations from being exploited for political purposes that may harm the interests and developmental trajectory of the state. Consequently, the success of non-governmental organizations hinges on their ability to maximize sources of strength and minimize areas of weakness.

My paper will explore how non-governmental organizations are activated internationally, regionally, and locally to achieve equitable development and peace both domestically and abroad. The discussion will be structured around the following main sections:

First: The concept and origins of non-governmental organizations.

Second: Activating the role of non-governmental organizations in development.

Third: The reality of non-governmental organizations (the non-profit sector) in Saudi Arabia.

Fourth: Conclusion.


Firstly: The Concept and Origins of Non-Governmental Organizations

Numerous writers and researchers in the fields of law, society, and culture have discussed the concept of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Despite this attention, there is no universally agreed-upon definition among scholars. Instead, there are various definitions and labels used to describe these organizations. "There are other terms and expressions used to refer to these types of organizations, as there is no consensus on a single term due to the different social, economic, cultural, political, and legal contexts among countries" (2). Consequently, several terms exist, such as "non-profit organizations," "civic organizations," "voluntary organizations," "civil society organizations," and "non-governmental organizations."

Jacques Fontamel defined non-governmental organizations as "a group that gathers momentum, an establishment that arises not by agreement between states, but by private or joint initiative bringing together natural or legal persons, whether private or public, of different nationalities to engage in international activity, meaning that they extend across multiple countries and are non-profit in nature."

A third definition stated that they are "voluntary groups, non-profit, organized by citizens on a local, national, or international basis. When the membership or activity of an organization is confined to a specific country, it is considered a national non-governmental organization. However, if its activities extend beyond the borders of the country in question, it becomes an international non-governmental organization. Among the well-known international NGOs are Médecins Sans Frontières, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam, etc. The United Nations Economic and Social Council uses a concise negative definition that an international non-governmental organization is 'any international organization not established by intergovernmental agreements,' contrasting with intergovernmental organizations, which are established through agreements between governments."

The World Bank provides an official definition of non-governmental organizations as "private organizations that are partially or entirely independent of governments and are primarily characterized by having humanitarian or cooperative objectives rather than commercial ones. They generally seek to alleviate suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or engage in community development."

Others define them as "organizations with objectives that serve the public interest, not subject to governments or affiliated with any political party or religion. They are organizations that work to benefit humanity regardless of religion, race, or political affiliation. These organizations may receive funding from governments or interested individuals, yet they are non-profit entities."Top of Form


The United Nations has developed the concept of non-governmental organizations as independent entities separate from the state, characterized by the following criteria:

  • Structural similarity to an organizational framework with a constitutional system and legal form.

  • Founded by individuals or organizations independent of the state.

  • Decision-making bodies are independent of government authorities.

  • Their objectives are directed towards the public interest rather than profit and transcend the interests of their members.

Thus, non-governmental organizations are entities established by private initiative with the aim of achieving objectives of public interest. Non-governmental organizations may adopt various legal forms, but most commonly they take the form of associations or non-profit institutions.

Reflecting on the concepts of non-governmental organizations reveals certain essential conditions for their formation, including being non-profit, independent, aimed at serving the public interest, and established by individuals concerned with general humanitarian issues. After presenting various definitions of NGOs, it is important to understand their origins and development. The spirit of cooperation, assistance, and solidarity has existed since the dawn of humanity, as humans are naturally social beings. Islam was the first to establish principles related to human rights, which ensure a person’s life is safe, peaceful, and prosperous, free from terror, fear, or anxiety. These rights are reflected in the rights of children, women, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the needy, orphans, relatives, travelers, and other societal groups.

On the international level, in 1943, NGOs in the United States established a federation known as the American Council for Voluntary Civilian Assistance. This council, in the early years following World War II, played a significant role in providing aid to European populations (distributing medicine, food, and clothing, etc.), particularly to refugees and displaced individuals. Around the same time in the United Kingdom, the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was founded in 1942 to assist the Greek population suffering from famine during the Nazi occupation. This committee later evolved into one of the most prominent British charities known as Oxfam.

Afterwards, many voluntary non-governmental organizations established in Europe and America during the First and Second World Wars redirected their activities towards Third World countries, as most of these countries were colonized by industrial nations before gaining independence. Historically, this form of international solidarity can be traced back to the Middle Ages, specifically to the trade links between major cities of that era. The emergence of non-governmental organizations can be divided into three generations:


a.     The first generation of non-governmental organizations corresponds to the missionary work that emerged during the colonial era. Catholic and Protestant missions in Africa and Asia played a fundamental role in fields such as education and healthcare.

b.    The second generation of non-governmental organizations emerged around 1960, influenced by the sympathetic attitude towards the Third World, bolstered by the struggle against colonialism and the defense of human rights.

c.     The third generation emerged in the 1980s, with a focus on supporting agriculture and intervening in areas of development, education, and healthcare. Their activities have since expanded to include fields such as economics, the environment, and emergency response.

Arab voluntary non-profit civil work has been shaped by the social, economic, political, and cultural conditions of the Arab community throughout its historical trajectory. Numerous factors have distinctly influenced the orientations, objectives, and roles of civil work in different historical stages. From a religious and spiritual perspective, the values ​​of the Arab region have had an impact on civil work. Charitable associations, the oldest form of which are an extension of the system of Zakat (charitable giving) and the concept of ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah) in Islam, reflect the values ​​of social solidarity promoted by Islamic teachings. These religious organizations have played a significant role in disseminating education and religious culture, alongside providing social services and assistance.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have witnessed unprecedented growth in Arab countries in recent decades, particularly during the late twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium. This growth can be attributed to various political, economic, and social changes, some of which have global characteristics while others are more local in nature.

The motivations behind the emergence and increasing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the international, regional, and local levels have been diverse, as articulated by various thinkers:

Some have attributed the sudden and notable rise of NGOs to a growing awareness of the necessity and importance of building a global civil society within an increasingly complex world, in a way that ensures realizing the concept of international citizenship. This can be achieved through "the construction of a complex network of voluntary associations and organizations that allow for social pluralism by facilitating and affirming participation and expression of opinions, including, in the final analysis, representing marginalized groups, supporting individuals, empowering them, and addressing inequality, repression, and violence in a manner surpassing what governments do in this regard."

Building on the aforementioned perspectives, some have argued that the diversity and complexity of global problems and challenges in a manner that exceeds the capabilities of individual states and international governmental organizations, which are often constrained by numerous legal, political, and scientific limitations that restrict their effectiveness, necessitates the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which "are characterized by their flexibility, efficiency, and distance from political tensions and bureaucratic complexities, allowing them to move quickly and effectively in response to emergencies and humanitarian disasters such as famines, natural calamities, relief efforts, and migration."

Some argue that what has happened in the current period in terms of the evolution of the international system, especially after the end of the Cold War, including the proliferation of violence, extremism, wars, and armed civil conflicts, along with the transformation of some governments into repressive regimes resorting to the suppression and extermination of opposition groups and elites in a manner that has left populations devoid of security, have been cited as reasons for the emergence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate independently from politics and are based on humanitarian principles seeking to achieve security and development in its humanistic sense, ensuring the security of individuals, groups, and "humanity" rather than the sovereignty of states. In this regard, both Michael Edwards and David Hulme argue that the rise of NGOs was not merely a response to local initiatives and voluntary work but rather a result of recent developments in political and economic thought, especially with the end of the Cold War.

A team of researchers has argued that a series of crises and revolutionary changes served as the main driving force behind the proliferation and growing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


Activating the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Development

A review of the Universal Declaration on the Right to Development reveals essential components, with community participation and equitable distribution of development gains at its core. This directly links to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as they have become a fundamental mechanism for activating community participation in development. This alignment is underscored by various United Nations global documents and emphasized in the political discourse of governments worldwide, especially those in developing countries. On the other hand, the Declaration on the Right to Development imposes obligations on governments to encourage and enhance participation, and to provide basic rights. This points to fundamental responsibilities that governments bear in (creating an environment) for public participation and specifically for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The main practical reasons behind the growing significance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the development process stem from the failure of the majority of development experiences and practices that relied on top-down approaches, represented by development ideologies imposed from above without significant community participation. Within this new approach to activating citizen participation, there has been global interest from international institutions, financial bodies, and governmental political discourse to emphasize the active role of NGOs. This occurred in a global and regional context witnessing economic and political transformations, with the most significant changes being the activation of the role of the private sector and the shift towards privatization, accompanying economic reform policies and economic restructuring.

The objectives of activating non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in development and achieving peace among nations include:

  • Elevating the standard of living for member states.

  • Striving to achieve full levels of employment and job creation (for member states).

  • Stimulating effective demand.

  • Increasing real national income.

  • Optimizing the utilization of global economic resources.

  • Encouraging production, investment, and capital movement.

  • Facilitating access to markets and primary sources of financing.

Additionally, specialized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played an active role in incentivizing international legislative organizations to play a significant role in facilitating their humanitarian missions. This includes coordinating multilateral agreements between governments and humanitarian organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), along with increased financial support to sustain robust activities like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which contributes to analyzing environmental systems. This role also includes the states engaging their citizens in generating this active social movement for development through laws and legislation.

This is evident in our Arab environment, as in Morocco, where the Moroccan writer Younes Melih mentions in his article "Civil Society as a Tool for Contributing to Territorial Social Development," that "Involving civil society in the implementation of public decisions and policies, if it signifies anything, clearly indicates the state's openness to its internal environment, making the Moroccan citizen, in particular, and civil society organizations, in general, partners in the territorial development process and partners in making decisions that contribute to the advancement and development of their country, whether locally, nationally, or even internationally." The direction taken by the new Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco allows specialized civil society in the developmental, cultural, social, and political fields to have significant opportunities to strengthen its position in ensuring the implementation of public decisions in many areas. The new constitution not only emphasizes the necessity of involving civil society in the process of making public decisions but also in their implementation, as affirmed by its twelfth chapter, which stipulates that "associations concerned with public affairs and non-governmental organizations contribute, within the framework of participatory democracy, to the preparation, activation, and evaluation of decisions and projects within elected institutions and public authorities, and it is incumbent upon these institutions and authorities to regulate this participation, in accordance with conditions and procedures stipulated by law." Also, Chapter 3 for consultation, intended to clarify its purpose, which states the following: "Public authorities work to establish bodies to involve various social actors in the preparation, activation, implementation, and evaluation of public policies." Additionally, Chapter 4 of the 2011 Constitution stipulates that "Regional councils and other territorial communities shall establish participatory mechanisms for dialogue and consultation, to facilitate the contribution of male and female citizens and associations in preparing development programs. Female and male Citizens and associations can submit petitions requesting the inclusion of specific items on the council's agenda, followed by interventions within its jurisdiction."

Thus, the constitution’s involvement of civil society in the implementation of public decisions is an attempt to enhance the civil society’s work, structure, and culture, pushing it to generate new dynamics internally. Consequently, it becomes capable of productivity and sustaining developmental action in various fields. The reason behind that is that sustainability and continuity have been and remain subjects of debate between civil society and funders, due to limited experience, resources, and the absence of the institutional collaborative nature. It's worth noting here that civil society doesn't necessarily have to retain developmental projects across various fields indefinitely. Instead, it oversees their implementation and management, ensuring their successful completion. Afterwards, these projects are handed over to the targeted and concerned groups. This allows the organization or association to move on to adopting another project. Through this process, civil society transforms into an active and influential community.

As Melih emphasizes in his article, "This participation has played a significant role in supporting collaboration between the state and citizens to achieve some development targets. However, this role is still in the process of formation and initial stages, which require greater support." In this context, Morocco is committed to participating in the modern development process, which led to the birth of the National Initiative for Human Development, providing a strategic platform for civil society organizations as entities closely connected with citizens. Indeed, the constitution enshrines the recognition of the significant role of non-governmental organizations in sustainable human development areas and laying down the groundwork for the involvement of civil society organizations in the process of public and territorial decision-making by stipulating several pillars and fundamentals, according to which these organizations can seamlessly integrate into the territorial development process only through the implementation of the mechanisms outlined in the constitution and by working to activate the recommendations of the national dialogue on civil society and the new constitutional roles. The role of civil society remains unsatisfactory and requires further improvement and concerted efforts to bring it to greater care and modernization.

Hence, there is a need for coordinated efforts and the establishment of smart partnerships among the three sectors - governmental, private, and civil society organizations - to implement joint development programs, to allocate the necessary budgets to relevant government departments involved in developmental work, to make more efforts that should be directed towards training the technical and administrative staff within these departments, and to provide healthcare facilities with trained technical personnel from the community to ensure their stability.

The importance of adopting a participatory approach to achieve development has also emerged in the work of non-governmental organizations in Sudan, for example. A study conducted by Dor Hassan Abdel Nabi Allah Jabu Omar and Sara Taha Farah, titled "The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Providing Basic Services in Rural Communities," highlights that "through meetings and field visits, it is observed that most organizations follow a participatory approach to implement their programs. They engage local communities from all segments in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of their programs, ensuring the sustainability of the results of these programs upon the organization's withdrawal."

The widespread attention given to the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - in terms of the assistance they provide to countries and communities in various fields to support the role of these countries in the development race, or in cases of war where governmental action is impeded internationally and domestically - has empowered them significantly. It is evident that this empowerment and protection of their humanitarian role cannot be achieved without the cooperation of all stakeholders and the mobilization of efforts from international, local, and various organizational entities in monitoring and identifying risks, evaluating outcomes, taking preventive or remedial measures, and doing research aimed at early detection and anticipation of threats faced by these NGOs.

The efforts, achievements, and field activities carried out by international non-governmental organizations, whether aimed at environmental protection, charitable endowments, or educational grants, have earned them a good reputation, widespread recognition, and significant influence, especially on the international stage. They have attracted the attention of countries, particularly in light of the diminished role of some states in comparison to international non-governmental organizations, which have taken their place. This can be attributed to the policies and strategies they employ, particularly the presence of efficient structures and the availability of specialized scientific and field expertise among their members.


The Status of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), or the Non-Profit Sector, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The non-profit sector in Saudi Arabia today represents a potential economic opportunity for growth, development, and investment, after having remained largely inactive for extended periods. This sector is considered an untapped economic opportunity thus far. As a local developmental partner, it has surpassed the recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic with significant stability and achieved risk rates at historically low levels, along with substantial financial resilience. The assets of this non-profit sector amount to more than a quarter trillion Saudi riyals, with annual revenues of 8 billion riyals and annual expenditures totaling 7.5 billion riyals by the end of 2019.

The non-profit sector plays a pivotal role in the Kingdom's Vision 2030, with hopes pinned on its developmental and economic contributions. This opens up wide avenues for growth and lays the groundwork for a robust legislative and regulatory framework. It is expected that the sector will experience exceptional annual growth rates, reaching a growth rate estimated at 92% in the number of organizations and multiplying the number of employees several times. The sector steadily progresses towards achieving its target of raising its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 5% of the Kingdom's GDP annually. It is anticipated that financial technology solutions and innovative investment tools will contribute to increasing liquidity within the non-profit sector. This is evidenced by electronic donation platforms, which have managed to receive digital donations exceeding a total of 2 billion Saudi riyals within just 3 months of their launch. The Non-Profit Sector Fund plans to contribute approximately 7 to 10 billion Saudi riyals to support newly established associations in the non-profit sector by mobilizing funds from various categories of investors, contributors, and donors (as reported by the King Khalid Charitable Foundation in "Financial Inclusion of Non-Profit Institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"). Additionally, the Saudi government plays a significant role in partnering with non-profit organizations and has effective contributions to charitable work through various state institutions, including the Social Development Sector in the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development. The responsibility of these institutions lies in supervising civil entities such as charitable associations, cooperative organizations, and centers and committees for social and civil development, and reinforcing these concepts among various segments of society. Additionally, they support the establishment of contributory funds to meet community and developmental needs.

The Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia serves as a platform for the initiation of non-profit work in the country, as well as the transformation of its concept, which was previously characterized by unstructured charitable volunteering in some cases, and not contributing to economic and social development. The link below illustrates the role and importance of this sector in development, as well as achieving sustainability in non-profit work.

In his article titled "Anticipating the Future of the Non-Profit Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," published in Sahm e-newspaper in Saudi Arabia on the 17th of March 2022, the writer Bandar Al-Qahtani mentions that "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made great efforts in building an integrated and ambitious society as part of Vision 2030, through effective partnerships with civil society in the private sector and non-profit organizations, resulting in an increase in GDP and economic growth that reflects on the 'quality of life', and maximizing social impact in building a stable, balanced, and cohesive nation. The non-profit sector in the Kingdom aligns with Vision 2030, which seeks to increase the sector's contribution to GDP to 5%, and to raise the number of volunteers to one million by 2030."

Non-profit organizations are spread across various provinces and regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seeking to implement social solidarity by providing various forms of assistance to the poor and needy, and to instill principles of coexistence, tolerance, cooperation, solidarity, and cohesion, especially in the face of global crises and pandemics experienced worldwide."

The non-profit sector effectively contributes to the development of various fields that serve society and fosters a culture of social responsibility. Moreover, this sector serves as a fundamental axis for achieving sustainable development, given the Kingdom's continuous support that enhances the humanitarian values of community members through integration with various government entities, thus maximizing its benefit.

Vision 2030 has shown clear interest in developing and empowering the non-profit sector by dividing the vision into short-term goals to be achieved by 2020 and long-term goals to be achieved by 2030. This is accomplished through the launch of objectives and metrics that contribute to the development of the sector. Recognizing the importance of the social entrepreneurship sector and its role in stimulating societal innovation and improving economic and social conditions, public entities are continuously developing these partnerships and aiming to build strategic alliances that enhance collaborative efforts to achieve the targets of Vision 2030.

Vision 2030 has emphasized understanding the impact of programs and services provided by non-profit organizations. Regarding short-term objectives, there has been a focus on increasing the number of social impact metrics for more than two-thirds of non-profit organization programs, which is considered an important step in encouraging non-profit organizations to assess their impact and deliver high-quality services to beneficiaries.

Regarding long-term objectives, the Kingdom aims to increase the sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 0.3% to 5%, and to increase the number of projects with social impact from 7% to 33%. Considering the impact of the Saudi non-profit sector, expanding the sector holds significance in both economic and social aspects, as it contributes to job creation and provides an environment that prioritizes social responsibility within the country. In terms of its contribution to the Saudi economy, the growth rate of the non-profit sector in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaches 7%, surpassing the governmental sector which stands at 2.76%. Regarding the social contribution of non-profit organizations in the Kingdom, despite the limited number of such organizations, there is a diversity in their interests and activities. These include providing housing, offering community services, charity work, and others, all of which contribute to meeting the needs of various segments of society.


The Reality of the Non-Profit Sector in Saudi Arabia Top of Form

Several factors have contributed to the flourishing of the sector, which can be summarized as follows:

1.    The role of social welfare in meeting the community's needs and providing services: During the 1970s, revenues from oil enabled the state to financially support social welfare programs and exempt them from financial taxes.

2.    The evolution of charitable work: The non-profit sector began relatively recently, with some accounts suggesting that non-profit organizations were registered almost 70 years ago. Initially, the sector focused on direct material giving, collecting alms and donations directly from donors and distributing them to those in need without considering the actual impact of those donations.

Such practices led to an increase in the risks of illegal misuse. With the growing awareness among Saudi citizens and their realization of the importance of knowing the final destination of donations and governing the outcomes of programs and services provided, registration and management systems for non-profit organizations were established by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in 1384 AH (Islamic calendar) with the aim of organizing and unifying the efforts of the sector in charitable activities.

According to a report by the King Khalid Charitable Foundation, the registered numbers for non-profit organizations amount to approximately 2598 entities.

Challenges Facing the Non-Profit Sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The non-profit sector faces numerous challenges, which can be divided into three main aspects:

[1]  The challenges faced by the sector from the past that persist to the present day include difficulties in accessing funding and financial support, scarcity of data on the sector and its impact, bureaucracy, governance issues, and the lack of financial management strategies and impact metrics.

[2]  Current Challenges: The sector faces new challenges related to adopting innovative administrative and accounting tools. Financial supporters (particularly investors) emphasize transparency in the operations of non-profit organizations. They scrutinize the administrative and accounting aspects of projects to ensure their efficiency and the beneficiaries' genuine need for them.

[3]  Future Challenges: The future challenges confronting the non-profit sector in the Kingdom can be summarized as follows:

·       Enhancing the flexibility of the non-profit sector's work environment through collaboration with advanced countries in developing administrative aspects and impact metrics.

·       Expanding the number of non-profit organizations to ensure the impact of such organizations reaches every citizen and resident in the Kingdom.

·       Broadening the role of organizations beyond meeting societal needs by encouraging citizens and residents to participate in shaping their own needs in collaboration with non-profit organizations according to their requirements, and delivering services and programs in creative and innovative ways.

·       Exploring the possibility of expanding the sector's activities to keep pace with the rapid and evolving changes in the Kingdom, aiming to contribute to achieving the desired role of the non-profit sector within Vision 2030. This could include contributing to the creation of entertainment content tailored to the needs of citizens, as well as efforts to provide services that contribute to driving development in the tourism sector and other important activities.

·       There is also a necessity to establish independent centers specializing in issuing research and scientific studies on the Saudi non-profit sector in all fields. Undoubtedly, the Kingdom is striving to establish numerous knowledge foresight centers. In addition to these efforts, there is a need to strengthen the research capacity specialized in non-profit sector affairs and to establish centers dedicated to producing scientific research on the Saudi non-profit sector in all its fields independently. This should be done in collaboration with both the academic and practical sides of non-profit organizations.القطاع-الغير-ربحي.pdf 



The evolution witnessed by international non-governmental organizations has led to a diversification of their interests and activities across various fields. This expansion includes intensified research and studies on new threats to human life and global peace, such as wars and famines, as well as emerging threats like modern technology.

The aim of these non-governmental organizations is to prevent and assist in anticipated future risks. Despite the broadening scope of their role, it remains complementary to the role of the state in these areas, especially as the work of these non-governmental organizations - often - faces insufficient cooperation in some countries. This could be due to skepticism regarding the intentions of these international organizations, preconceived notions, or real-life experiences.

This paper concludes with several recommendations:

1.    Strive to establish communication mechanisms among these organizations and with governments and international entities in order to create channels for communication and consultation to hold conferences or meetings and to produce binding recommendations for governments to mitigate the risks of wars, famines, and illiteracy.

2.    Explore financial support sources for international non-governmental organizations to facilitate their activities, especially in fields reliant on costly scientific research. This includes work in environmental protection and creating opportunities for financial sustainability for such support.

3.    Work towards establishing specific and clear legislation governing the operations of these organizations within countries, particularly in times of war. Such legislation should protect these organizations and their personnel with the backing of international forces. Even if such legislation exists, its enforcement is often weak in some cases.

4.    Implement initiatives for educational outreach, engaging with community members to raise awareness about the work of these non-governmental organizations, particularly in developing countries. The aim is to instill these values within the younger generation.

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