Dialogue for Socio-Economic Transformation

Project description

Title: Socio-Economic Dialogue in Libya
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Libya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning (MoP)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020



After the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 and the ensuing civil war in 2014, the situation in Libya remains unstable. The national unity government founded by international mediation efforts is weak and faces, among other things, a rival government in the east of the country. 

A decentralisation process, which was aimed at the better integration of the country's regions and municipalities, has stalled. The responsibilities of various authorities and bodies are often unclear. The centrally planned economy is still almost exclusively dependent on the oil sector. The private sector plays virtually no role, with around 80 percent of all employees working in the public sector. Many young people are unemployed. 

The country lacks a comprehensive strategy for socio-economic change. The absence of government capacities, a lack of public acceptance and recurring conflict make it difficult to effect social change. Similarly, local expertise and knowledge have hardly been mobilised to date and there is little civil society involvement.


Experts and the people of Libya have devised development strategies for Libyan society. These create economic prospects and strengthen society besides boosting confidence in state institutions. Options for a viable economic, state and social model are incorporated into policy-making processes for Libya's transformation.

Partizipativer Dialog_Libyen_1


Development strategies for Libya's transformation are created in collaboration with the unity government through inclusive dialogues at expert level. Public feedback is also incorporated into the process through citizen participation and public relations work. 

The dialogue between professionals and experts from academia, politics, business and civil society prioritises development objectives and leads to relevant implementation plans. The results of the dialogue should encourage socio-economic change. 

To this end, the project has commissioned a sub-organisation of the United Nations to moderate and organise the process (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, UNESCWA). It pursues a participatory approach that involves the state administration, communities, municipalities, universities and non-governmental organisations – for example in public dialogue events or joint workshops. The organisation also focuses on the participation of women. 

Ongoing citizen participation and public relations work also promote an awareness of the necessity to transform the country. The knowledge and skills of the participants involved are simultaneously expanded and strengthened to enable them to implement the options that emerge from the workshops and dialogue events. The strategy will include study trips and cooperation with other countries, such as Norway, Azerbaijan and Mongolia. Socio-economic conditions in these countries are similar to the conditions in Libya, but the political and institutional models adopted are different.


Libyan academics have prepared baseline studies on the economy, institutions and civil society. By mid-2019, Libyan interest groups will develop scenarios for important areas of the country's social and economic development. 

To enable the Libyan population to provide systematic feedback regarding the development scenarios by the end of 2020, at least 20 public dialogue events will be held on important socio-economic subjects - for example, diversification of the Libyan economy, the role of the private sector, decentralisation, social security as well as the promotion of women and young people. At least 100 decision-makers will participate in international study trips or other exchange formats. 


Additional information