Strengthening inclusive local governance and vertical social cohesion in Lebanon

Posters with ads for steel and aluminium workers on a wall in Beirut, Lebanon. Photo © / Jo Kassis

By bringing together government representatives, civil society and locals from 25 municipalities in Lebanon, we aim to empower communities to address local challenges.

Timeframe: 2024 - 2024

Amid Lebanon's deepening economic crisis and weakening state institutions, the Berghof Foundation is spearheading participatory planning and decision-making processes in 25 municipalities. By bringing together representatives from municipalities, civil society, and local inhabitants, the project aims to identify socio-economic needs and foster inclusive governance. Local committees will be formed in each municipality and will include a diverse range of stakeholders, ensuring economic, social, and political representation. Through this collaborative effort, the project seeks to enhance trust, cohesion, and local ownership over initiatives, ultimately fostering vertical social cohesion and empowering communities to address their own challenges. With a focus on capacity-building and transparent communication, the initiative aims to increase confidence in local governance structures and empower citizens to shape their collective future.

Background information

With the multi-faceted crises in Lebanon, comes the erosion of state institutions at all levels and the state’s inability to ensure service delivery. In the absence of state-led initiatives at the level of the central authority, municipalities across different regions in Lebanon are leading on service-provision projects. However, municipalities across Lebanon lack the capacities, tools and skills to properly lead on such projects, especially in the absence of state resources and any accountability or transparency measures. It is important to bring diverse groups together to collaborate on measures to respond to the increasing needs, fostering local engagement and rebuilding trust between communities and local authorities.

Partners and funding

The project is implemented by the Berghof Foundation in partnership with GIZ. It is commissioned by BMZ.


  1. Participatory training sessions: We conduct workshops on participatory planning, proposal writing, and budgeting for all working groups across selected municipalities, building capacities of local figures and inhabitants.
  2. Needs assessment and project identification: Local consultative meetings and expert-led exchanges will facilitate needs assessment and the identification of potential projects. Through those sessions, the criteria for project selection will be established, with public hearings ensuring transparency and community input.
  3. Project selection and budgeting: Regular dialogues will support the local committees in selecting, budgeting, and planning their project implementation. Through these processes, vertical cohesion and trust will be fostered, strengthening community engagement and ownership.



Project lead

Joelle Assaf
Senior Project Manager
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Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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