Rami Khoury of the Daily Star wrote a very uplifting piece about Jordan’s plan to initiate massive reforms of the public sector. In his piece, Khoury interviews Marwan Muasher who highlighted some positive changes that are to be part of this anticipated reform
This is one extract:
We realize that most Jordanians don’t think we’ll succeed, which is why we must show results quickly, within a year or two, in order to gain the trust of citizens who have to buy into the process.
"We want to start a process of change that will allow the ordinary citizen to feel that he or she is treated fairly by the state. This requires introducing concepts and systems of accountability, transparency and measurable performance indicators, all of which need time to take effect"
I am quite aware that this may never materialize in real life, but still, it is something to look forward to. Another part that caught my attention was:
A booklet to be given to every citizen will allow citizens and government employees alike to know what to expect and to do in their routine bureaucratic encounters. Regular "citizen voice" polls will track the public feelings about the services it gets from government offices, and the poll results will be published.
I think it is about time that Jordanians are given written directions about what needs to be done to take care of any bureaucratic task. A visit to any public sector office in the kingdom reveals how the system still bears the third world country mark. You move from one office to another without really knowing what is going on, all the while suffocating due to the "smoker-friendly" environment. I talked about my experience with the public sector earlier on this page when I was in Jordan for the holidays. It was extremely frustrating and dragged for days. Reading this piece of news definitely made my day. Let’s just wait and see …
I knew something was up when a friend’s son came to us (foreigners!) asking for connections for jobs when his father’s employer (the Moxabarrat, or however you spell it)decided not to carry on the tradition of patriarchal job security for sons.
I think Jordanians are going to rise to the occasion, but I am an optimist by nature. Calling the former junk what it is was a huge first step, but this is unprecedented.