ALEF – act for human rights is implementing the WE’AM project (Working for Engagement, Acceptance and Mediation), funded by the EU and lead by OXFAM, which aims to contribute to a people-centered recovery of Lebanon, in line with 3RF and particularly its Pillar 3 focusing on supporting a socially cohesive environment. Considering the multi-layered crisis and divisions that characterize the country, the project aims at focusing on three key dimensions: drivers of tensions at the community level; conflict prevention processes and awareness raising; mainstreaming of community level social cohesion into programming, with particular focus on the EU. By involving a variety of stakeholders – civil society, community groups, religious, political, media and private sector actors, donor community and the wider audience – with a participatory approach, the project will help building consensus and produce recommendations to mainstream social cohesion into EU community-based development programs.

As part of the project, the Working Group for People Affected by the Syrian Crisis (WG PASC), a network of 32 local CSOs facilitated by ALEF,  has been collecting real-time community perceptions on social tensions and the reform process using Oxfam’s Community Perception Tracker (CPT) approach to enable capturing, analyzing, and understanding the perceptions of communities in the 6 areas prioritized by the consortium (Beirut, Tripoli, Akkar, Baalbek, Saida and Barja). PASC’s  usage of the CPT has focused on monitoring social tensions and sentiments of people around the reform process and its application, through the network’s regular day-to-day engagement and programming. This has been allowing for the tracking of the perceptions of not only crisis-affected communities, but also local service providers, local authorities, wider civil society and UN agencies’ staff, and other community groups, on an ongoing basis.

To further understand drivers and triggers of social tensions at the national level and the impact of the reform process and its connection to social cohesion, the qualitative data collected by PASC using the CPT is being analyzed by ALEF on a quarterly basis against incidents, news reports, and other secondary sources to produce quarterly perception reports around social tensions and the reform process. ALEF has also been conducting monthly meetings with PASC members using the CPT, in order to discuss any observations, recurrent trends witnessed, and potential improvements to the process. Additionally, the findings and recommendations of this report have been validated with PASC and project partners, in order to ensure that the report are in accordance with observations from the field.  

This community perceptions report is the first of the series and covers the period between 01 September and 30 November 2023.