Reinforce, do not replace, national and local systems
- Commitment Type
- Core Responsibility
- American University of Beirut commits to establishing a common approach to providing information to affected people and collecting, aggregating and analysing feedback from communities to influence decision-making processes at strategic and operational levels.
- Change People's Lives: From Delivering Aid to Ending Need
What led your organization to make the commitment?
The Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) has held as a core principle from its inception in 2008 that all interventions be designed with a participatory approach, keeping targeted communities and local stakeholders at the center of the process from project design through implementation and evaluation.
Achievements at a glance
The Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) initiated project Ghata (arabic word for cover) in August 2013 to Bring Education to Refugees in the Informal Tented Settlements. To date, 8 portable Ghata schools have been assembled in Beqaa,Lebanon with an average number of 700 Syrian refugee students (age groups 4-14) per school. At each school, targeted communities and local stakeholders are kept informed and feedback is incorporated into project design. CCECS is currently collaborating with Harvard on a research study that includes feedback from school children and their parents.
In 2016 a university-wide initiative brought together AUB faculty and units addressing the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis. The first step was to collect data on the relevant AUB initiatives. A second step was a public forum. A website has been launched.
How is your organization assessing progress
Every project developed by CCECS is assessed by using rigorous Monitoring and Evaluation tools. The evaluation criteria cover relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The main purpose of the evaluation is to generate substantive evidence based knowledge to inform all concerned researchers, implementing partners, and donors on the progress of work, challenges faced, goals achieved, and the way forward.
Challenges faced in implementation
One challenge in collaborating across units and organisations in this commitment has to do with reluctance to share data across organisational boundaries which hinders the process of big-data analysis. Another challenge is faced in ensuring the balance of rigorous research on affected communities and ethical considerations in research with vulnerable populations.
Next step to advance implementation in 2017
The CCECS will be disseminating the research findings of the Harvard study of the Ghata schools with families served by the schools, school staff and management, and the broader refugee education community.
AUB's university-wide initiative to coordinate among various faculty members and units addressing the refugee crisis will continue to meet quarterly to facilitate information sharing. A major public conference is also planned for 2017.
If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Reinforce, do not replace, national and local systems', what would it be
Focus on establishing effective coordination mechanisms that are chaired by local governors.
Cross cutting issues
☑Accountability to affected people ☑ Refugees
☑Commitment to Action: Transcending the humanitarian - development divide ☑ Education Cannot Wait
Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations
☑3A - Reduce and address displacement ☑ 3E - Eliminate gaps in education for children, adolescents and young people