Lebanon has been lagging behind its region and income group despite being once a business friendly and prosperous country. Some progress made on reducing administrative burden and e-services offered has been offset by the absence of fiscal transparency. An increasing number of e-citizens demand for good governance. However, major obstacles exist due to geopolitics and its main consequence, the existence of a large number of refugees straining public resources traditionally distributed through a plural, ethnic patronage based system.
Selected trends from the Public Integrity Index
Trends in Judicial Independence, Administrative Burden, Freedom of the Press over the past 13 years
Corruption is by all accounts an endemic problem in Lebanon. The protests that started in October 2019 are symptomatic of decades of corrupt practices in the government. The total lack of budget transparency and the complacent political patronage have allowed the political elites to enrich themselves and their cronies on the backs of the population. Throughout the year 2020, Lebanon has been brought to its knees by catastrophes that directly resulted from the failures of the government: the debt default leading to a financial crisis in April and the traumatic explosion in the port of Beirut in August. The time is ripe to escape the dead-end of consociationalism.