What is a Social Contract?

Since its emergence in the thoughts of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in the 17thcentury and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the 18th century, the concept of the social contract, which means an implicit agreement between the government and its citizens that articulates both sides' rights and duties, has been ever since evolving and developing.

Why Social Contract for Egypt?

In early 2000, the Egyptian government faced a situation in which some segments of the society are suffering from poverty and inequality, after a decade of economic reforms that resulted in a dramatic shift in the Egyptian economy's structure. Moreover, the Egyptian government faced the huge challenges of reducing poverty, achieving equitable distribution of wealth and enhancing human development.

Accordingly, the Egypt Human Development Report 2005 (EHDR 2005) titled "Choosing Our Future : Towards a New Social Contract" introduced a new vision for Egypt based on the Millennium Development Goals and recommended a new "Social Contract" that aims to reshape the relationship among the parties concerned through an integrated developmental rights-based program. According to this new social contract all partners - including government, civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector and citizens -  shoulder equal responsibilities and are subjects to public accountability with regard to the implementation of the social contract's objectives, provided that all partners enjoy equal opportunities and are capable of participating in the decision making process.

About SCC

As per EHDR 2005 recommendations, the Egyptian government decided to establish the "Social Contract Center" (SCC) to follow up and guarantee the efficient and timely implementation of the vision recommended by the report and to build consensus on the social contract objectives.

The SCC was established in 2007, as a joint initiative between the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) at the Egyptian Cabinet and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the support of the Italian Cooperation Corporation and the government of Japan.

The affiliation of SCC to the Minister's Cabinet offers the necessary flexibility required in dealing with all the concerned ministries and government institutions and allows it to take advantage of the expertise and technical resources available at IDSC.

SCC Mission

SCC's mission is to support, monitor and evaluate the equitable and integrated development policies & initiatives through effective community participation based on principles of "Equality, Participation and Accountability".

SCC Vision

To become a center that has a leading role in reshaping the relationship among the Social Contract parties concerned in the political, social and  economic fields through an integrated developmental rights-based program.

 Strategic Goals

  • Building a Societal Consensus about the social contract goals between all stakeholders,
  • Enhancing the State's responsiveness to the citizens' needs through adopting the good governance principles,
  • Supporting efforts to reduce poverty from a developmental right based perspective,
  • Empowering and engaging civil society & youth to become an equal partner in decision making and activate their role in community development.


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