Development In Lebanon
Poverty Eradication, Gender Equity, Youth Participation: The Role of NGOs, Civil Society and Other Actors
What is the project.
Development in Lebanon is a partnership project between Oxfam- Quebec- Canadian Fund for Social Development & the Arab NGO Network for Development.
It aims at elaborating a civil society vision for a national strategy on poverty eradication in Lebanon, taking into account two cross- cutting issues which are gender equity and youth participation.
It also focuses on providing substantial assistance for Lebanese NGOs in the domain of capacity building.
The process of elaborating this national strategy is to take place in close coordination with the relevant governmental institutions.
The project was launched during the month of March 2005 and will extend up until March 2007.
How is the project organized.
The project includes:
1. Three national seminars on poverty eradication, gender equity, and youth participation seeking to discuss these issues from a national perspective.
These seminars were implemented on the 23 rd and 24 th of June 2005, 11 th and 12 th of October 2005, and 28 th and 29 th of January 2006 respectively.
2. The national seminars are followed by five regional roundtables on the three matters in concern.
The roundtables will focus on the five poorest Lebanese regions which are North Lebanon(Aakar/Tripoly), Beirut (suburbs), Beqa a Valley (Baalbek/ Hermel), South Lebanon (Saida/ Sour), and South Lebanon (Marjayoun/ South Beqa a).
They aim at instigating discussions about the issues under study to attain input from a regional perspective on the national strategy.
Moreover they seek to raise awareness, sensitivity, and enthusiasm on those topics in an effort to reach regional plans to deal with them while allocating significant focus to the role of NGOs in this field.
This step entails conducting strategic planning workshops for each of the aforementioned regions, through which to formulate comprehensive regional strategic plans that would significantly contribute to the national plan.
3. In parallel to this, capacity building and training workshops are to be conducted for the sake of ameliorating the potentials of NGOs around the country.
The participants will be selected from among the local NGOs that participated in the strategic planning sessions. In partnership with the NGO Resource and Support Unit, the programs for the trainings will be developed and tailored to the needs identified during the strategic planning.
4. Finally, a national conference on poverty, gender, and youth provides the chance of setting a concrete national vision for fighting poverty, taking into account gender equity and youth participation.
The sought national strategy will have sector based as well as regional dimension.
The conclusive national conference would also play a useful role in assessing the two- year project.
Steps achieved so far:
As a first step, a steering committee for the project was formed; it includes representatives from:
the Collective of NGOs in Lebanon represented by the Social Movement group, the Lebanese Women s Network, the UNDP represented by the Program of Capacity Building for Poverty Eradication in the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), ANND, and Oxfam Quebec.
The formation of the steering committee aims at expanding the participation of involved groups in the planning procedures, increasing the space of discussion and idea formulation, and assisting in the organization of various events.
As a second step, the three national seminars were implemented successfully, and a report is available around the proceedings of each seminar.
Steps to be taken from now:
Following the national seminars, the two-day roundtables will be held in each of the above mentioned regions, which will be directly followed by five strategic planning sessions.
The roundtables will focus on identifying the challenges of each region and the mechanisms for enhancing the role of local NGOs in working on poverty issues.
In the roundtables, local NGOs will focus on discussing the conditions of each region and their programs in facing poverty related problems and then they will work on mechanisms and solutions during the strategic planning sessions.
In parallel to these sessions, training workshops will be held in close coordination with the Lebanese NGO Resource & Support Unit. Local NGO representatives will be selected to participate training sessions offered by experts in the field of NGO capacity building.
Finally, after completing all the above steps, all the proceedings from the two year project will be compiled and presented in one national conference, in contribution towards a national strategy on poverty eradication in Lebanon from the perspective of civil society and taking into consideration gender equity and youth participation.