Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Human development and capabilities in MENA economies with special emphasis on Egypt

Khan, Haider A. (2011): Human development and capabilities in MENA economies with special emphasis on Egypt.

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The critical assessment of human development and capabilities exercise in MENA includes the following areas for achieving capabilities enhancement (i) Macroeconomic framework component: Analysis of the evolution and nature of macroeconomic policies and their inter-relationships with trade policy and their effects on MDGs and human development; (ii) Fiscal component, the effects of trade reform and policies on the fiscal position of the countries and its relation with MDGs’ expenditures needs and potential constraining effect on the application of flanking policies; (iii) Institutional component: assessing institutional capacity and performance of trade- and finance-related institutions in particular and their effect on economic, social and political outcomes: (iv) Dynamic effects component, undertaking specific studies to assess spillovers and externalities brought about by various policies, particularly trade, financial and investment policies; and; (v) Intellectual property rights component assessing the effects of more stringent protection of IPRs on MDGs and human development indicators. I evaluate critically the neoliberal approach to these aspects of development and capabilities in the MENA region generally and with a special case study of Egypt.

A socially and politically oriented capabilities approach integrates poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) techniques, economic and technical tools of ex-ante and ex-post assessment, and monitoring and evaluation methodologies in a comprehensive manner. Accordingly, it begins by identifying interested stakeholders and asking questions regarding facilitating and coordinating their participation as well as building institutional arrangements that will assure sustainability of the human development process. A related aspect is the need for documenting and analyzing local historical settings including social and political movements such as those in Egypt. Finally, progress towards collecting data and building a database of relevant indicators, and developing tools of monitoring and evaluation along with the development of the institutional and technical capability of stakeholders are examined within a dynamic historical context of democratization. Building on other experiences of participatory assessment of different policies, the approach I advocate--- besides producing empirical analysis--- is intended to engage all actors involved (government, business, labour, and civil society institutions representing different segments of the population, in particular women) in active participation within a deeply democratic social and political context. Therefore, such efforts require continuous democratic institution building. The revolution in Egypt is evaluated from this socially and politically oriented capabilities perspective.

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