USAID-Funded Community Support Program – Lebanon
The project supports activities that respond to resource-based tensions or local-level conflicts, therefore, promoting stable and inclusive communities. Specifically, the project will
- Improve economic opportunities
- Reduce tensions in vulnerable communities
- Enhance the delivery of essential services
The CSP represents a qualitative evolution in which USAID delivers development assistance in Lebanon. It combines speed and flexibility with sustainability, which permits the project to quickly address immediate small-scale needs. At the same time, it supports more complex interventions that address longer-term development issues.
CSP selects potential target communities based on Community Selection Index Tool. Once a village is selected, CSP’s regional field team conducts a Community Profiling exercise, which assesses general living conditions and essential services as well as the municipality’s organizational capacity and status. At this point, CSP decides if activity design is going to be program-led or community-led.
Program-led activities are more rapidly developed in response to emerging windows of opportunities by the CSP field team and could also include activities identified by USAID/Lebanon.
Community-led activity promotes inclusiveness and community-led processes for the identification and design of activities. Community-led activities ensure local buy-in and sustainability. Community-led activities will be identified using either a fast-tracked community-based Rapid Analysis and Design (RAD) or using the Local Systems Approach
Rapid Analysis and Design (RAD)
This methodology provides an understanding of tensions in the village following the Community Profiling exercise. The RAD methodology was inspired by systems thinking in its treatment and analysis of factors of tension and conflict and should lead to the identification of dynamics around the key issues in a systems-like manner. These discussions and ensuing analysis may form the basis for the design of a range of activities, some of which CSP can choose to fund. The RAD implementation time frame ranges from two to three weeks. RAD Activities may include
- Conducting secondary literature review, online media, and social media scan
- Undertaking stakeholder mappings in target villages
- Developing fieldwork plans and interview protocols based on agreed research questions
- Conducting primary research activities to better understand dynamics, including key informant interviews and focus group discussions with relevant actors, community members and interest groups (such as farmers, women’s groups, refugee representatives) to discuss the village’s main challenges and their impact on existing tensions, as well as possible solutions.
Local System Approach
A Local Systems Approach, however, is a lengthier process that can be adopted in communities with more complex dynamics. These communities require higher levels of engagement to ensure conflict sensitivity, relevant and impactful response. Through the Local Systems Approach, communities can be engaged in a longer and more in-depth analytical process to determine the main needs, vulnerabilities, conflict factors and dynamics, key actors and networks involved. The approach may necessitate the creation of Advisory Groups or the engagement of pre-existing committees or bodies. The Local Systems Approach may take up to 12 weeks to complete in most communities. In undertaking the Local Systems Approach, one can expect to:
- Conduct primary research activities to better understand dynamics, including key informant interviews and focus group discussions with relevant actors and community members
- Facilitate multiple working sessions with local actors or Advisory Groups to analyze village dynamics using a Systems Approach
- Conducting outreach activities with a beneficiary group(s) including the participation and integration of beneficiary perspectives
- Build consensus on identified solutions and facilitate community-level activity design.