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
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
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
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
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".
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.
- 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
- Empowering and engaging civil society & youth to become an
equal partner in decision making and activate their role in