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

Reclaiming Community Ownership in Saida

How DCA and DPNA are implementing a survivor and community-led response to hardships in the Saida region.


The Issue

Lebanon is grappling with a complex crisis encompassing economic, financial, political, and social challenges that have severely affected the population. The country ranks fifth worst in terms of economic crisis, with high inflation and currency devaluation, reaching an all-time low of 100,000 LBP/USD. The youth unemployment rate stands at 64.4%, exacerbating interrelated crises such as food insecurity and power shortages, with most areas receiving only one hour of electricity per day – over a million people have fallen into poverty. Lebanon also hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees and 257,000 Palestine refugees, with over half of the Lebanese population living below the poverty line and 89% of Syrian refugees below the extreme poverty line. 

The Project

DPNA are implementing the Survivor and Community-Led Response (SCLR) approach, building on DCA’s successful experiences with this approach globally. The project focuses on two communities: Old Saida, a disadvantaged neighbourhood with a 48.8% unemployment rate, and Dalaa Area, facing similar challenges, including lack of access to energy sources and limited livelihood opportunities, particularly for unemployed youth.

Several outreach activities will be organised including but not limited to, townhall meetings, WhatsApp messages, posters, etc. After the outreach phase, the community groups are formed through the recruitment of community members as volunteers. The number of the group members and the criteria for selection are to be decided by the communities themselves, where DPNA will facilitate and guide the process. Once the groups are formed and with the support of DPNA, they will conduct Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (PVCA) in these communities, involving community members, women, and youth (15-24 years old), to identify risks, vulnerabilities, and existing assets. Based on the PVCA findings, the communities will then develop action plans to address their priorities and enhance community resilience. After a voting process by the community groups, DPNA and DCA will fund at least two projects through cash grants, one in each community. 

The Change

This project empowers communities to take ownership of their responses, fosters a sense of dignity, and nurtures the culture of volunteerism. It also strengthens the role of women and youth at the individual, family, and community levels. Moreover, PVCA serves as a tool for communities to hold local authorities accountable and advocate for essential services.  

By implementing the SCLR approach, DCA and DPNA aims 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 recognizes the urgent need to build community resilience, enable local solutions, and address the challenges faced by vulnerable households in Lebanon. 

The Results

DanChurchAid have successfully reached out to 14 male right holders, with 9 from the Saida committee and 5 from the Dalaa committee. Additionally, we have connected with 27 female right holders, comprising 13 from the old Saida committee and 14 from the Dalaa committee.

Thematic Relevance

The project is linked to the theme of “Save,” as it focuses on empowering communities to address their urgent needs and enhance their resilience through a Sustainable Community-Led Response (SCLR) approach. By transferring decision-making power and capacities to community members directly, the project aims to save lives, foster self-respect, and promote ownership among women and youth. Through collaborative efforts with partners like DPNA, the project seeks to facilitate community-led actions, ensuring sustainable development and accountability in addressing essential services.

About this project

Title: Survivor and Community-led Response for Saida’s Vulnerable Groups 

Period: 1. June 2023 – 31. May 2025 

Amount: 1,775,000 DKK 

Outreach: 6200

Local Partner: DPNA – Development for People and Nature Association


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