SUNY/Jordan Holds Second "Public Policy Dialogue" about Problem of Poverty
SUNY/CID NEWS STORIES 2006
The State University of New York's Center for International Development held its second public policy dialogue on "The Role of Parliament in Alleviating Poverty in Jordan" on April 27, 2006 in Amman, Jordan. The event allowed over sixty participants from both houses of parliament, senior legislative staff, government ministries, academic institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the mass media to discuss poverty in Jordanian society. One third of the participants were women. The dialogue focused attention of opinion leaders and law makers on the many dimensions of poverty, different approaches to alleviating poverty, and the roles played by different actors in developing sound economic policies that would reduce the burdens of poverty throughout Jordanian society. Speakers at the forum included Senator Salwa al-Masri, MP Mohamed Arslan, Professors Mohamed Masalha and Walid Shawaqfeh, and CSO representative Samer Kawar. Their speeches ranged from such topics as "Poverty in Jordan - The Role of Parliament in Alleviating Poverty: National, Regional and International Issues - a Parliamentarian's Perspective," and "From the Ground Up: Grassroots Actions toward Parliament in Fighting Poverty, a CSO Perspective," to "Parliament and its Budgetary Responsibilities: A View from Under the Dome." Following the presentations, participants gathered in small discussion groups to explore such facets of this important public policy as: Housing for the Poor; Wages, and Minimum Wage; Safety Nets - Subsidizing Poverty and Burdens on the Budget; Employment, Jobs, Foreign Workers; Enhancing Women's Participation/Gender Concerns; Corruption vis-à-vis Poverty; and Fair Distribution of Wealth/Revenues. These policy dialogues represent one element in SUNY Jordan's effort to increase public participation in the legislative process and to widen the public space for contributing to the dialogue over public policy in Jordan. The first dialogue on February 19, 2006 addressed the policy of privatization in Jordan (see SUNY/Jordan Launches Its Series of "Public Policy Dialogues").