Building Civic Participation and Enforcing the Law: Qena, Egypt, 1999-2006

Richard Bennet

During his six years as governor of Qena, Adel Labib fostered civic participation in the remote Egyptian governorate and leveraged public involvement to develop infrastructure and enact social reforms. Labib, who had an extensive security background, eased sectarian tensions, mediating some himself and encouraging dialogue between factions. With the help of Qena’s executive committee and local councils, he repaired and upgraded infrastructure.  Improvements to roads and bridges provided citizens with evidence of his effectiveness and encouraged them to take interest and pride in the area’s development. Labib used locally generated funds to improve schools, hospitals and roads, to beautify the city, and to support programs that reduced unemployment and illiteracy rates. This case study examines Labib’s reform strategy and how his management style contributed to Qena’s turnaround from 1999 to 2006.

Year of publication: 
Princeton Innovations for Successful Societies
Themes and sectors: 
Civil society
Themes and sectors: 
Public administration
Case story length: 
12 pages

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