How to build trust among the Egyptian public
The government had historical chances to create a positive atmosphere via marketing important projects
Two keys to success, which I will never get bored of repeating, are following a scientific approach when planning, implementing and devising, and communicating with people using the right language.
This raises the question of how much the Egyptian government follows a scientific approach based on real studies in order to specify priorities. How much do we use the experiences of our predecessors, or of those who overcame similar crises in their countries?
Another question is how much state apparatuses follow a scientific approach in specifying media plans when communicating with people, in order to clearly point out the message they want to convey and convince people of.
What Egypt has suffered from most in recent years is administrative paralysis on all levels... This paralysis has been marked by vengeance and impulsiveness based on wrong informationAbdel Latif el-Menawy
Neither of these two approaches are being completely followed. There is an absence of coordination between state institutions, of continuity, and of following scientific rules to follow up and measure results.
The government had historical chances to create a positive atmosphere via marketing important projects such as reclaiming 1 million acres, a plan that was handled as if it was a new poultry farm.
Dealing with the biggest event - digging the new Suez Canal - still adopts the traditional approach of decades ago, by which the event’s importance is conveyed via songs and repeated statements on the greatness of the Egyptians who built the pyramids and the high dam.
Creating harmony among different ministries, and following a proper scientific approach in specifying priorities that people recognize, are the right path to success. There have been many occasions in which opportunities were missed in terms of communicating with people. If this is not realized, and if no scientific measures are taken, then more chances will be lost and it will be difficult to achieve success.
What Egypt has suffered from most in recent years is administrative paralysis on all levels, among other things. This paralysis has been marked by vengeance and impulsiveness based on wrong information. Impulsiveness has reached the extent of trying officials who held their posts for more than 20 years. It is understandable that the result of this general atmosphere is a lack of confidence. The solution is restoring confidence and adopting a scientific approach.
This article was first published in al-Jarida on February 21, 2015.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy