Committee in Saida having a community meeting in Old Saida Town in Lebanon

Giving the Power to the Community

Fostering resilient communities, access to resources and enhancing decision-making capabilities through Survivor and Community-led Response.


DanChurchAid Lebanon

The Issue

Saida, like many Lebanese cities, has been profoundly affected by the deteriorating socio-economic crises that have gripped the nation. These challenges escalated, particularly after municipal board reformulation delays due to postponed elections.

The impact is evident, not only in the absence of sustainable waste management but also in the heightened security threats on the city’s borders, most notably in Ein al Helwe Camp. These dire circumstances underscore the critical significance and urgency of our project. We adopted the Survivor Community Led Response (SCLR) approach, recognising that it’s the beacon of hope for Saida. Through this project, we aimed to foster resilient local communities.

The Project

Through the support of our partner Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA), the project formed community groups poised to conduct Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (PVCA). Community members, including women and youth (aged 15-24), actively participated, identifying risks, vulnerabilities, and existing assets. Leveraging PVCA findings, communities co-create action plans to address their priorities and bolster resilience.

In a demonstration of our commitment to community-driven solutions, DPNA and DCA funded a minimum of two projects through cash grants, one in each community. This inclusive approach fostered a sense of ownership and dignity, revitalising the spirit of volunteerism. It also amplified the roles of women and youth, nurturing resilience at the individual, family, and community levels

The Change

By implementing the SCLR approach, DCA and DPNA aimed to empower vulnerable communities, facilitate their access to resources, and enhance their decision-making capabilities. This intervention becomes crucial in the face of the complex crisis and the limited prospects for national-level reforms.

DPNA recognises the urgent need to build community resilience, enable local solutions, and address the challenges faced by vulnerable households in Lebanon. 

The Results

A resilience/vulnerability mapping has been conducted in both Dalaa and Old Saida regions. The mapping served as a baseline databank of the available social and economic infrastructure to feed into the project implementation, such as the community mobilisers selection and committee outreach. This mapping was retrofitted after the community meetings were organised which helped funnel it into infrastructure and social mapping.

DPNA initiated our community engagement with a well-designed outreach survey and a field team meeting to define our target demographic. In Dalaa, a commercial and residential area, store owners and residents were engaged, while Old Saida, a tourist hub, involved owners of tourist facilities and crafts. Through a meticulous selection process based on commitment and diversity, 20 members were chosen from a pool of 30 in Dalaa and 40 in Old Saida, ensuring representation across age groups, nationalities, and professions.


Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA)

The story of DPNA reflects the journey and the possibility for activism and activists to be joint together portfolio-detailed DPNA, a new development, nonprofit, non-governmental and secular association.

In October 2003, a group of diverse social activists, different age groups, educational, and social backgrounds, established DPNA, a new development, nonprofit, non-governmental and secular association.

Our Work

The project is in line with the Country programme goal “All individuals know, recognise, and claim human rights and basic freedoms, have the space and safety to organise and influence decisions affecting their everyday lives and enjoy democratic, accountable governance in just and equitable societies.”

The project fits under two long term changes under the global strategy: Fight Extreme Inequality LTC 7: Marginalised and vulnerable individuals, households, and communities, including faith-based actors, know, own and claim their rights and the rights of others, and influence decisions to respond to their needs and protect their rights 

About this project

Project title: Survivor and Community-Led Response for Saida’s Most Vulnerable

Project period: 1 June 2023 – 31 May 2025

Partner: Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA)

Amount: 683,702 DKK

Number of people reached: 6000


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