Launch of the RELIEF Centre

Under the Patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London (UCL) , in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the  American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) launched the RELIEF Centre at the Grand Serail Beirut on Monday the 2nd of October 2017.

The RELIEF Centre is an interdisciplinary centre, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, which will develop innovative mechanisms for addressing issues of prosperity and inclusive growth in the context of large scale movement and people. The RELIEF Centre is led by Professor Henrietta L. Moore at the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, in partnership with departments in University College London (UCL) , American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS). This team is comprised of world-leading senior academics with expertise on sustainable prosperity, economics, engineering, internet technology, urban design and education, along with regional expertise on Lebanon and the Middle East.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JhuVtCSPg0

www.relief-centre.org

 

Humanitarianism in a Different Key: Principled Pragmatism for Long Term Displacement

Talk by Professor Cathrine Brun- Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University

Date: Wednesday September 13, 2017

Time: 16:30 till 18:00

Location: Lebanese American University – Beirut Campus

Humanitarianism in a Different Key? Principled Pragmatism for Long Term Refugee Crisis.

Contemporary refugee movements have increased self-reflection among humanitarian actors operating in ‘non-traditional’ environments in urban contexts, in Europe, along routes over land and sea, and on borders and in borderlands. Current refugee movements add to an increasing number of refugees who are stuck in long-term situations of displacement, where refugees feel that their displacement is never-ending with no solution in sight. In this talk, Professor Brun brought together discourses of humanitarianism and development to critically interrogate the conditions for humanitarianism in long-term crises. The starting point is that non-traditional domains of humanitarian practice together with the ever-increasing number of refugees in long-term situations require new approaches to humanitarian practice. By using protracted refugee situations as a starting point, she analysed current strategies by humanitarian actors in the context of emerging debates around long-term assistance by and beyond humanitarians and into the development domain. Professor Brun focused in particular on the challenges and limitations that humanitarian actors face in negotiating the ethical register within which they operate:  that is, humanitarian principles. Recognising that long-term displacement requires responses that are closer to development practices, while operating within a constrained political environment, ideas were combined from development studies and the ethics of care in a pragmatic approach to suggest an ethics of humanitarianism that could enable development-in-displacement for people forced to live in protracted displacement.

Communicating Contentious Politics: Social Movements and Networked Communication in the Arab World

Thursday November 30, 2017

Interest in social movements in the Arab World piqued following the so-called Arab Spring and heralded a series of publications, some of which focused exclusively on the digital media. While the digital media has certainly allowed civil society “to survive, deliberate, coordinate and expand” as Manuel Castells succinctly put it, focusing exclusively on cyberspace is wholly inadequate as it overlooks socio-political factors, displaces agency and overlooks other forms of communication from the traditional media to interpersonal communication.

This project will bring together scholars working in the fields of networked communication and social movement research in both Lebanon and the region. Papers will probe the public self-representation of these movements, the manner in which they frame their claims, communicate with the polity, and how they are perceived. This project will also look at both contemporary and historical movements ranging from the communicative strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the workers’ movement in pre-civil war Lebanon to the “hashtagable” You Stink movement that erupted in Lebanon in 2015.

Promoting Inclusive Society Through Empowering Youth

 Wednesday August 16 and Monday August 28, 2017

In the framework of the NET-MED Youth Project (UNESCO/EU), and in collaboration with The Centre for Lebanese Studies, this project aims to promote a more inclusive society through empowering young women and men, both with and without disabilities, on advocacy and leadership for the rights of PWDs in Lebanon, with focus on also promoting the concept of inclusive design and the important role of youth in this process.

Participants were trained on the rights of the persons with disabilities, the concept of mainstreaming disability and the role of youth in it, in addition to the concept of inclusive design, and how to plan and conduct an access audit using the inclusive design index. On the first day of the workshop, participants learnt about inclusive design and how to conduct an assessment of any environment. Accordingly, they were asked to conduct an assessment of a building of their choice. Participants returned for day 2 of the workshop to share the results of their assessment and to receive further training on inclusive design.

This workshop was facilitated by Dr. Itab Shuayb.

 

 

 

 

A Survey of Life Skills Programmes for Girls in Lebanon

The Centre for Lebanese Studies partnered with the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) to carry out research for the improvement of knowledge about life skills programs delivered in non-formal contexts to adolescent girls. As part of the wider research, CLS mapped ongoing life skills programs in Lebanon that target adolescent girls. The project was followed up by surveys and interviews with girls participating in these programs in order to gather information about the importance of context in determining which life skills are taught, and should be taught, to girls in non-formal contexts.

Knowledge Production in Arab Countries: The Case of History Education

The Case of History Education

The Centre for Lebanese Studies conducted a regional study commissioned by the Arab Educational Information Network (Shamaa) entitled “Knowledge Production in Arab Countries: The Case of History Education.” This project included conducting descriptive and analytical studies and comparisons of articles published in Arabic educational periodicals, especially in comparison with international periodicals of the same quality.  The project also included conducting interviews with editorial boards, and workshops with chief editors of some of the Arabic periodicals and board members of international educational journals. The aim of the project was to influence the issues on educational research that appear in Arabic periodicals, and to present ideas and recommendations that help developing publishing in Arabic educational periodicals and improving the quality of educational research in general.

Adolescents and Youth Assessment of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

The study commissioned by UNICEF, investigated the living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The study investigated existing resources and opportunities (education, health, social and economic), and assessed the overall well-being of young Palestinian refugees both from Syria and originally residing in Lebanon, in 8 Palestinian camps across Lebanon.

This assessment contributed to existing surveys, which mainly focused on the socio-economic and legal conditions of Palestinians in Lebanon, by examining the perceptions of Palestinian refugee adolescents and youth of their own immediate unmet needs and the ways in which they can be fulfilled. This examination is relevant to design further programmes addressing the needs of young Palestinians in the future.

Citizenship and Exclusion in Lebanon 2016

The aim of the project was to examine how conceptions of citizenship change in contexts of significant political upheaval in Lebanon. This was led by the current CLS Fellow at St Anthony’s College, Oxford. The project’s two main objectives are understanding: i) the conditions and processes of change, and ii) the ‘actors’: who and how such discourses are produced and interact.

Conceptions of ‘citizenship’ are of great relevance across a wide range of policy domains, including education, immigration, naturalization, refugees and social integration.  This project is particularly relevant today, at a time when citizen revolts across the Arab world reflect urgent calls for a new ‘social contract’ between citizens and the state, challenging the scales of exclusion and sub-levels of citizenship that pervasively affect people’s lives. This research has the potential to contribute to the intellectual history of citizenship beyond Lebanon, challenging traditional conceptions of citizenship, democracy, civil society, equality and justice.

For further information contact: Dina Kiwan. Email address: dina.kiwan@sant.ox.ac.uk

The Politics of Administrative Reform in Lebanon June 2016

“The Politics of Administrative Reform in Lebanon” focused on examining the process of administrative reforms and human resources management in public Lebanese institutions inside the parties and on the state level. This was done by investigating the reform strategies and agendas, initiatives and challenges of MP’s, deputies and ministers involved in administrative reforms. A desk review of the literature on administrative reform in Lebanon, as well as individual interviews were conducted with ten Lebanese political parties to gather qualitative data on their involvement in administrative reform, as well as data pertaining to the internal administration of their respective parties. The research was funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

 

Control Agencies And Reform Attempts In Lebanon 2016

“Control Agencies and Reform Attempts in Lebanon” is a research conducted by CLS. The research looked into how administrative and human resources reforms are addressed by states agencies, namely the Central Inspection Board, Civil Service Board, General Disciplinary Council, Ministry of Finance, and the Court of Accounts. These institutions are the highest authorities responsible for personnel affairs and administrative accountability within Lebanese state institutions. The study selected public officials and ministers who have been in charge of control agencies, ministries (including the Ministry of Finance and OMSAR) as well as leading members of quasi-governmental institutions, such as the Council for Development and Reconstruction. The study focused on administrative reform since 2005.

 

An Education for Future: The Schooling Experience of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon and Germany 2016

The Centre for the Lebanese Studies conducted a comparative study in Lebanon and Germany to examine the future prospects of Syrian refugee children who dropped-out of Lebanese public schools and the German schools. The study compared Germany’s and Lebanon education provisions for inclusion of Syrian refugee children in public schools, as well as dropout rates of Syrian refugees. This comparison sought to highlight examples of best practices from Lebanon and Germany to reduce the dropout rates, to reintegrate out-of-school Syrian refugee children in education programmes, and to position Syrian students for success after graduation in Lebanon or around the world. The study was funded by Global Education Commission.

 

Strengthening Teacher Education In Plualingual Society ( STEPS) 2016

The study is an assessment of a training programme initiated by the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education ( MEHE). The overall objective of the programme was to improve Syrian students’ learning experience of foreign language in Lebanese public schools in cycle 1.

The findings revealed that the STEPS training programme had a positive impact on the extent to which teachers engaged with the children’s identities, contribute to their sense of security, and aid their process of adaptation. STEPS training also helped many Guidance Counsellors (DOPs) shift their focus to the students’ level of comfort and engagement when mentoring teachers of cycle 1 students. Prior to STEPS, in their mentoring of teachers, DOPs used to focus mostly the textbook material covered rather than the students’ engagement.

Accessing Education: Language Integration of Syrian Refugee Children 2016

The British Council and the Institute Francais in Lebanon in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) initiated a program called “Accessing Education: Language Integration for Syrian Refugee Children (ACCESS)”. The aim of the program was to mitigate the drop out of Lebanese and Syrian children, increase their retention and integrate the Syrian students into the Lebanese schools through introducing two teaching approaches, namely pleura-linguistic and socio-linguistic approach.

The Centre for the Lebanese Studies assessed the training program after its two years of duration. The evaluation aimed to investigate whether students’ language acquisition has been facilitated and supported when sociolinguistic and Plura-linguistic approaches incorporated in teaching and whether the training delivered to trainers, teachers and Guidance and Counsellors succeeded in shifting teachers practice in the classroom.

 

Rapid Need Assessment of The Psychosocial Needs of Public Schools in Lebanon 2016

Commissioned by Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) , the Centre for the Lebanese Studies conducted a rapid needs assessment of the psycho-social needs of public schools in Lebanon. The assessment aimed at enhancing the understanding of GIZ of the circumstances and context in which the project team will work in their three year project “Tackling the causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’. The project aimed at improving psychosocial support for school children and their parents in addition to school staff. Before commencing with the study, a literature review was conducted on available research on the psychosocial needs of Syrian refugees in general and children enrolled in education. In order to investigate the research questions, the study adopted both quantitative and qualitative instruments. 126 students were surveyed and 49, 10 principals, 8 teachers, 32 parents and 2 counsellors were interviewed.

 

A Mapping of Donors Supporting the Education of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon 2016

Commissioned by the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the Centre for Lebanese Studies conducted a donor mapping for the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbiet( GIZ).  The mapping aimed at identifying major donors involved in funding projects in the fields of school rehabilitation and psychosocial support in Lebanon. The mapping  sought to provide GIZ with an understanding of the conditions of building infrastructure of the Lebanese state schools and the conditions of psychosocial wellbeing of students, parents and staff at schools prior to implementing the project ‘Tackling the causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’.

 

Human Rights and Peace Education in Lebanese Civics Textbooks 2015

In 1997 the Lebanese government published its newly developed curriculum and textbooks following a long and fierce civil war, which started in 1975. The new curriculum emphasized nation building, reconciliation and citizenship. This study aims to examine how the civics textbooks in Lebanon addressed human rights and peace education, both of which are crucial in any attempt to build cohesion in a post-conflict society. Findings revealed that human rights and peace education were endorsed in the aims and objectives of the 1997 curriculum. The textbooks directly addressed some of these themes, particularly human rights and to a lesser degree peace education. The pedagogy followed in the textbooks to teach the two concepts was primarily descriptive. Despite the fact that the constructivist approach has been adopted as part of the curriculum objectives, implementation of this approach is almost absent from the civics textbooks. The study compares these results to citizenship education in two other countries in the region, Turkey and Palestine.

Read more about the paper published on the research:
Human Rights and Peace Education in The Lebanese Citizenship Textbooks: A Comparative Lens

The Role of Research Centers in Shaping Education Reform Policies in Lebanon Post Civil War Period

Co-funded by CLS and The Issam Fares Institute, the Centre for Lebanese Studies conducted a research entitled “ The Role of Research Centres in Shaping Education Reform Policies in Lebanon Post Civil War Period”. The project aimed at investigating the role of academic and research institutions in promoting and shaping reforms in educational sectors in Lebanon, namely the reforms that took place in 1994 and 2010.  Furthermore the research examined the process of education reform in Lebanon, and the obstacles that undermined the role of independent research institutions in playing an active role in policy making.

Read more about this research:

Arabic Publication

English Publication

تطوير قدرة معلّمي التاريخ على تنمية التفكير التاريخي

تطلق الهيئة اللبنانية للتاريخ مشروعها الشامل “تطوير قدرة معلّمي التاريخ على تنمية التفكير التاريخي” الذي سيجري على امتداد السنة الدراسية 2014 – 2015.  يمنح هذا البرنامج التدريبي المكثّف الفرصة لـ 18 من معلّمي ومعلّمات التاريخ  لتعلّم نظريات وطرائق تعليم التاريخ كمجال معرفي وتطبيقها وتطويرها.

يقدّم البرنامج نهجا جديدا في بيداغوجيا التاريخ في لبنان من خلال إعادة  تركيز تعليم  التاريخ على التفكير التاريخي. كما يقدّم مفاهيم التفكير التاريخي ويوفّر للمعلّمين فرصة اعتمادها وتجربتها في الصفوف. وتُدخل الأنشطة الصفيّة  التعلّم المبني على البحث، واستعمال المستندات المتنوّعة، وعمليات النقاش المنظّمة والمدركة حول معاني الماضي. ومن خلال تعزيز التعاون ودعم الأقران بين المعلّمين المشاركين،  يهدف البرنامج إلى تنمية مجتمع من المتعلمين.

يتضمّن برنامج التطوير المهني الذي سيخضع له المرشحون الذين يتمّ اختيارهم سلسلة من مشاغل التدريب تليها جلسات للارشاد والتأمّل، وذلك  بدءا من أيلول 2014 حتى تمّوز 2015.  يقوم بتيسير المشاغل اثنان من الخبراء المتميّزين في هذا المجال وهما د. أرثر شابمان من معهد التعليم في جامعة لندن وكريستين كاونسيل من جامعة كامبريدج في بريطانيا، الذان سيعملان عن قرب مع أخصائيين من الهيئة اللبنانية للتاريخ. ويتولّى أخصائيو الهيئة ارشاد ودعم المعلّمين المشاركين في البرنامج، والذين سيقومون بدورهم بدعم بعضهم البعض.

ندعو معلّمي التاريخ المندفعين وذوي الخبرة في الحلقتين الثالثة والرابعة في الدارس الرسمية أو الخاصة في كافة المحافظات للتقدّم بطلباتهم لاختيار المجموعة المؤلّفة من 18 معلّما ومعلّمة. يشترط على المشاركين التمتّع بمستوى جيّد في الانكليزية. وستتم عمليات الاختيار بناء على مقابلات مع المرشحين المختارين ومحادثات مع مدراء المدارس لضمان التزام المدرسة بالمشروع.

تقبل الطلبات حتى يوم الخميس 10 تمّوز 2014 على العنوان الالكتروني التالي naylahamadeh@gmail.com. الرجاء الالتفات إلى أن المشاركة في هذا البرنامج لا تتطلب دفع أيّ رسم مادي من قبل المشاركين.

A Study of Access of Syrian Refugee Children to Quality Education in Lebanon

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, more than 2 million refugees have fled to the neighbouring countries Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. According to the last regional response plan, it is estimated that the number of Syrian refugees in need of assistance across the region may reach 3.45 million by the end of 2013.

In Lebanon, a total of 616,341 refugees are currently registered with UNHCR, of which more than fifty percent are children.

The centre for Lebanese studies is currently conducting a study of the education conditions of the syrian refugees in Lebanon. The main objectives of the research project are to:

  1. Identify the current situation in relation to access and quality to education including certificates and accreditation.
  2. Examine types and quality of non-formal education offered to the refugees.
  3. Developing targeted intervention recommendations and advocacy strategies to significantly improve the education of refugees.

Access Campaign: Raising Awareness of Drop-kerbs

In an attempt to improve access to side walks by all the population including wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs, many municipalities including Beirut’s municipality have started the process of equipping pavements with drop-kerbs. However, this development has not been accompanied by awareness campaigns around the purpose of drob-kerbs for the general public. As a result, most of the existing drop-kerbs are blocked by cars, motorcycles, plants pots etc.  The Centre mobilized a group of activists of Lebanese civil society movements to start a raising awareness campaign on t pedestrians’ right to access sidewalks and drop-kerbs. “Access Campaign” raise the issue of all pedestrians’ rights and in particular those with special needs, including wheelchair users, elderly and mothers with strollers and other community groups.

The Campaign will target Beirut, starting with Hamra street. The first activity will be a public event in Hamra where volunteers will spray the wheelchair and pushchair signs on the drop-kerbs and distributed flyers and posters.

Supporting the Foundation of an Association for History Teachers in Lebanon

As a follow up of the workshop and a previous conference on history education organized by the Lebanese Association for Education Studies (LAES), both CLS and LAES facilitated meetings and discussions among a group of history teachers in public and private schools in Lebanon to develop a Lebanese Association for History Educators. The group meets once a month and are currently setting the mission and vision of the association.

Membership to the association will be open for any one who have interest in improving history teaching in Lebanon.

 

Teachers’ Leagues and Syndicates Role in Reform

The 2013 labour movement displayed several unique features that distinguished it from previous union strikes which were worth studying. One of the main questions this project explored is the issue of linking the strikers demands to fighting corruption and political reform breaking the status quo of March 8 and 14. This project focused more specifically on the role of UCC in education reform in the Lebanon. Whilst the strike was popular with most Lebanese, some questioned the entitlement of teachers to ask for better pay especially when the quality of education in public schools has been continuously dropping. 

Reform for Citizenship Education in Lebanon

In Sept 2012, the Centre for Lebanese Studies, the Institute for Education at University of London, Lebanese Association for Educational Studies (LAES) and Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) established a consortium and won the bid to implement a citizenship education reform initiated by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE)  and funded by the European Commission EuropeAid/131-916/M/ACT/LB.

The programme translates the third priority of the National Education Strategy developed by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) in 2010. This project supports all the activities of one of its ten components, Citizenship Education. Reform for Citizenship Education includes three main activities:

  • Evaluate and develop the citizenship education curricula and its learning and teaching resources.
  • Teachers and administrator to implement active citizenship program.
  • Develop democratic school environment through parent and student councils and community service programs.

In Sept 2012, the project was launched at the Ministry of Education with the presence of the General Director and citizenship committee members and relevant stakeholders.

For 30 months the consortiums members will work closely with the Education Ministry to enhance its capacity in planning, implementing and monitoring of the education sector reforms. The project specific objectives will focus on:

  • Update the citizenship education curriculum and textbooks to promote active citizenship behaviours among students
  • Train teachers, school principals and administrative staff to foster the concepts and implement the practices of active citizenship,
  • Enhance the role and function of Parent Councils, establish Student Councils and develop students’ capacity and empower them to participate in the school’s life,
  • Pilot a community service program in 100 public secondary schools
Funded by European Commission

Funded by European Commission

An Analysis of the Equity and Equality of Education in Lebanon

The Consultation and Research Institute in collaboration with CLS conducted a human right-based and equity-focused situation analysis (SITAN) of education in Lebanon. The study was commissioned by UNICEF.

The Situation Analysis SITAN follows a human rights-based approach (HRBA). According to the HBRA, educational equity were examined by looking at three complementary dimensions:

  1. The right of access to education
  2. The right to quality education
  3. The right to respect in the learning environment

Read more

A Whole School Approach to Education for Social Cohesion

The Project studied the process and impact of implementing a whole-school approach to active and skills-based citizenship education that involved a series of interventions including providing teacher professional development, reshaping school culture and providing opportunities for more inclusive and active student engagement in.

This approach was developed in the light of previous research by CLS which showed that schools adopting this model were more successful in promoting active and critical citizenship. The study was carried out in four secondary schools (one private in Mt. Lebanon, three public in Beirut, Mount Lebanon and the North).  Initial findings highlighted the important role of mentoring in developing teachers’ practices. It also emphasized the role of the school management in promoting an active and critical notion of citizenship education. The importance of reflection for review and development of new practices (e.g. setting up a student council, adopting new teaching approach) was very apparent though out the study.

Read more about the paper published on the research:

دلالات تأثير تهميش التماسك الاجتماعي في المدارس الثانوية في اتجاهات التلامذة السياسية والاجتماعية والمدنية في لبنان

Rethinking Education for Social Cohesion: International case studies

Social Justice and Education in Palestinian Refugee Camps 2014

The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is generally defined as “unique in degree of political, economic and social exclusion” (Sayigh, 2001). Indeed, since their arrival to Lebanon their civic, social and economical rights have been constricted by laws and practices.  This research explored students’ perception of their schooling and learning experience as well as their future vocational aspirations. The study aimed to clarify the extent to which a particularly restrictive context – such as Lebanon’s – influences the motivations of Palestinian refugee children to pursue their education.

The Art of Inclusive Exclusions: Educating the Palestinian refugee students in Lebanon
ﻓﻦ اﻹﻗﺼﺎء ّ اﻹدﻣﺎﺟﻲ: ﺗﻌﻠﻴﻢ اﻟﻄﻼب اﻟﻔﻠﺴﻄﻴﻨﻴﻴﻦ اﻟﻼﺟﺌﻴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﻟﺒﻨﺎن

A Content Analysis of Civic Textbooks in Lebanon

UNICEF partnered with the Center for Lebanese Studies (CLS) and the Center for Education Research and Development to conduct a review of the citizenship curriculum. The review is focused on the integration of the principles of children’s rights, gender, violence and conflict management, and dialog into the new curriculum. Read more

Current Approaches to Social Cohesion in Lebanese Secondary Schools

The education reforms and policies which followed since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990 emphasized the role of education in promoting social cohesion. The Taif Agreement (1989) which put an end to the civil war proposed education as a major means for promoting social cohesion. Consequently the main objective of the curriculum developed post-war era was to promote citizenship education and social cohesion.

Read more

A Study of Youth Political and Social Attitudes in Lebanon

The study investigated the political, social and civics attitudes of 900 students (15 to 17 years old) in 26 schools public and private (secular and faith schools) spread over the 6 Cazas (districts) in Lebanon. It also examined some of the conventional wisdoms regarding the effect of public schools versus private ones, faith versus secular schools and a student population from the same sect versus a religiously mixed school in shaping students political and civic attitudes.

Developing a Critical and Analytical Understanding of History Teaching in Lebanon

One of the few things that the majority of Lebanese from various spectrums of life seem to agree on is the urgency to develop a common History textbook, which will somehow unite the nation and solve the problem of confessionalism. There appears to be a conventional wisdom even amongst educationalists and intellectuals that by learning one version of history instead of the different textbooks currently taught in Lebanon, young people will somehow develop a common identity and a sense of unity and cohesion that supersedes their confessional identities.

Read more