News & Updates

News & Updates

Peer-learning helps spread community-led responses in the Middle East

In the last few months, Palestinian staff from East Jerusalem YMCA have travelled to Lebanon twice to train colleagues from Lebanese NGOs to work with community-led responses.

In March, Alaa Sabarneh and Mai Jarrar conducted a survivor and community led response (sclr) workshop with Al Najdeh Association – with support from Christian Aid. The workshop aimed to introduce sclr and Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (PVCA) approaches to 12 Al Najdeh staff and volunteers. The EJ YMCA staff shared their experience in developing community action plans and working with community cash grants, alongside other approaches that challenge traditional approaches to aid. The workshop covered both theoretical and practical aspects of sclr and PVCA, –placing them in the complex political realities and context in Lebanon, and looking at how to adapt the approach from Palestine. Sessions also included information about tools such as community mapping and tailoring monitoring, evaluation, and accountability requirements to community-led work. Responding to the post-training survey, participants reported that the now felt capable of using these approaches in their own work and context.

At the end of May, Waleed Anabtawi and Nancy Kathib – also from EJ YMCA—provided another sclr training workshop with Development for People and Nature Association and AgriMovement in Lebanon – this time supported by DanChurchAid. Some 23 staff members and volunteers from these organisations participated in the training sessions. Participants were keen to get a handle on the terminology, and understanding the principles underpinning the approach, as well as reflecting on how to implement sclr and PVCA in their own communities.

These instructors and participants are part of a growing community of practice around using community-led responses across the Middle East. Bringing together participants from Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and North eastern Syria, members of this Hub share best practice, lessons learned, and key adaptations for supporting community-led crisis response in different contexts. In November 2022, more than 20 sclr practitioners met in Istanbul to share their experiences working in community-led approaches, looking at the strengths and weaknesses, and planning for future collaboration across the region. You can read a short report from this meeting here.

Over the course of this year L2GP will support this Hub as it continues to grow, and the community of practice works to develop community-led responses across the region.