Reconcile the State with the Citizen to meet the social demand.
In continuation to our Local elections of November 23rd, 2017 (Part I), here is Part II in which we would try to propose that the non-exhaustive inventory of the daily gloom of the citizen, gives all its strategic meaning to the scientific knowledge of the social environment on which to act and strive towards the ideal of economic efficiency by a better management and social cohesion.
To do this, we must first have the necessary humility to recognize our limits in this area and to consider that “social fluoroscopy” is the first element of a perennial action that tends towards this objective. It is necessary to give primacy to case studies and investigations to establish a real “social mapping” which will have to highlight the specific nature of the problems of each neighbourhood, in urban areas, and of each agglomeration in rural areas.
This is how we will know how to geographically distribute the demand for employment, poverty, precarious living conditions, populations at risk, etc., and that knowledge and data will be available for the implementation of adequate strategies…
How can the public be better welcomed?
The seat of the municipality is the first landmark for the citizen in its judgement on the grandeur of the Republican State.
It is quite clear that the state of dilapidation of the building, the lack of maintenance of open spaces, the holding of officials, the poor reception, can only refer to a negative image of the perception of the concept of the State. In daily practice, whether for a birth certificate or any other document, the misinformed citizen about his rights would be left to himself in the maze of the administration and is tossed from service to service.
When this type of attitude becomes repetitive, it generates a form of divorce between the Citizen and the State very often ending up with a loss of confidence. In this case, the rehabilitation of the Authority and the credibility of the State takes the meaning of a profound change in the reception centres of the public. To achieve this objective, the action will have to focus on three essential elements: man, means of work and the host framework.
- About the first element, the reception attendants must be selected on the basis of rigorous criteria that refer to loyalty, availability of listening, quality and speed in the performance of a service. These officials, whose material situation must be necessarily improved, should feel involved in the fight that the State will have to take against injustice and the little consideration given to the public service. There is therefore a need for specific training of this staff who must learn to listen, to communicate, to convince, to consider others with courtesy.
- The second aspect relates to the working conditions of staff members of the local authority, to the painfulness of manual work, to its routineness, to the fatigue that takes shape in the exercise of this function and to the pressure of the public at the wickets level which makes public servants lose their sense of human relations. In this case, the computerization of services and the improvement of comfort takes priority, the purpose of which will be the emergence of a friendly environment conducive to serenity in human relations.
- The third point concerns the transmission of a positive image of a rigorous state in the management of the public thing, respectful of its people and anxious to serve it better. This image must find its translation into the state of the premises, the treatment of the external spaces, the cleanliness of the services, the reception service and the orientation of the public, the holding of the personnel and in all the elements that allow the citizen to measure the degree of consideration granted to him.
This policy takes the character of an investment for the realization of a user-friendly framework, which facilitates the reconciliation of the state and the citizen and predisposes them to engage together in “partnership” actions of a multifaceted nature, the purpose of which would be better social cohesion.
How to satisfy social demand?
First, it must be considered that the negative effects of visual pilotage which has characterized the management of our municipalities have been largely offset by the massive use of the State as a final contributor. Since this support has diminished, there could only mean re-emergence of problems, and even if the State is no longer able to fully meet all expressed needs, then a better justice in the distribution of means would be of paramount importance in the fairness of social welfare.
But how can one be fair and equitable when one’s knowledge of the environment in which one wants is intuitive and inevitably subjective to understand (1).
In the context of a real decentralization and not de-concentration, the State must ensure that the local authorities, are in full possession of all means and prerogatives to allow their full responsibility for the management of their respective territories, while safeguarding the uniqueness of policies and strategies.
In addition to the recasting of the status of local government, it goes without saying that the new prerogatives which will ensue for the local authority can only be exercised if they are accompanied by a reform of the local finances.
Each local community must have a budget and the autonomy of its use, so that the citizen can judge the capacity of its municipal administration to not only manage its territory of residence but to improve his living conditions. At the same time, the State must safeguard its basic tasks of guaranteeing everything that constitutes the interests of the national community (cohesion and social justice, safeguarding public heritage, equal opportunities for the development of all Citizens).
The autonomy of local management can only be exercised in accordance with the policies and strategies implemented by the State, to both regulate and guide the country’s economic and social development, and to help and organise equitable development and good management of all the components of the national space.
The full success of this highly complex process would involve questioning the role up to now of the State and its articulation with the market in its future socio-economic strategy, which refers to the mode of governance of both local and international matters.
Let us learn from all those social tensions that manifest themselves through most provinces. There is a dialectic link between security and development, of course of multidimensional development. It is imperative that social and cultural factors must be considered to achieve genuine decentralization by posing the problem of economic regionalisation, which will foster a more participatory society and Citizen.
Let us hope the end of demagogic speeches, that is with the revolution of the telecommunications, would be far away from any local and global realities. Let us recognize a slow cultural change on the part of the government in the face of the drastic fall in the hydrocarbons not only in prices but most importantly in their future utilization.
The set of actions mentioned above would imply a harrowing review of the current socio-economic policy which must be based on good governance not only based on Rule of Law, but on the knowledge economy and wealth and jobs creating entrepreneurs.
The objective is to promote a participatory and civic society through the restructuring of the parti system as well as civil society as a powerful mobilization network in order to avoid the direct confrontation of citizens and security forces.
These actions which are based on a strategic vision (hence the importance of a strategic planning body under the authority of the President of the Republic or the Prime Minister and why not a Ministry of State so as to give it more authority) and must be part of a government-wide reorganization around large ministries, including Economics / Education / Scientific Research, as well as territories administration.
This latter must be based on economic regionalisation, not to be confused with the harmful avatar of regionalism around regional socio-economic poles bringing together universities and regional research centers with the best competencies at the helm. Banks, public and private enterprises and representative of local economic and social organizations. The administration will have to play the role of regulator to remove all bureaucratic obstacles by promoting the development of creative energies.
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