In Western societies, strategic planning is crucial before the state commissions any research related to social and economic issues. This is largely because, while social change can bring about opportunities, it can also present challenges and dangers, which is why such planning is important.
Role of culture
It was with this understanding that the UNESCO Culture 2030 Indicators was launched a few years back. This framework of thematic indicators measures and monitors "the progress of culture's enabling contribution to the national and local implementation of the Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." It also introduces a roadmap that defines the role of culture in sustainable development action plans.
Culture is a collective body of observations that can be dismantled, contemplated, and scrutinised. The nature and weight of these observations are often complicated and presents a burden on researchers who, armed with basic tools, try to explain these complex observations rationally and objectively and examine the past, present and future in order to introduce plans that correspond with cultural privacy.
This is meant to help people know their own culture and how it relates to the world map of cultures, so that they can understand their own identities and the nature of relations that emerge from one's particular identity. This goes hand in hand with cultural global indicators that are better seen as shared integrative elements that contribute to one's own culture.
For example, there are some commonly used proverbs that carry cultural connotations and implications, which are mostly unconscious and reflect how certain societies perceive the world which is a result of accumulated wisdom. Two proverbs commonly found in different societies that come to mind are: "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" and "Give and spend, and God will send."
Importance of planning
It is crucial to set incremental goals and follow strategic planning with patience and prudence to achieve fruitful social change and sustainable development. However, anyone familiar with the reality of psychosocial studies in the Arab world, in general, knows that understanding the impact of social change often takes precedence over strategic planning.
Arab societies are still addressing long-term questions such as: how to get there, how to assess social impact, and what starting points should be used to measure these sub-processes, which is crucial to achieving sustainable development through a holistic process of strategic planning.