In June 2019, BALADI CAP initiated an in-depth qualitative assessment of municipal government and citizen engagement in Lebanon. As the closest formal form of government to Lebanese citizens, municipalities play a major role in the country’s security, service delivery, and socioeconomic development. They also impact how citizens perceive their government and their own well-being.
Various political, sectarian, and familial dynamics influence how municipal councils are elected and how they function throughout their six-year elected term. Municipalities are heavily influenced by national dynamics, yet each one still enjoys its own autonomy and must be responsive to local citizen needs and issues. This makes the municipal scene an interesting field to study to better understand how citizens interact with municipal authorities and how the authorities in turn respond to the citizens.
The overall goal of this learning was to assess the efforts and effectiveness of citizen and government engagement at the municipal level and to identify opportunities for making municipal outreach and engagement efforts more inclusive and effective, which in turn leads to more responsive governance and development at the subnational level.