Actionaid Arab Regional Initiative (AA ARI) in Partnership with NAHNOO a local Non - Government Organization set out to continue strengthening local governance in Chiyah Municipality in Greater Southern Beirut this year.
However, the Partnership found itself grappling to continue its work despite previous successful collaboration with Chiyah and hitting a snag. Regional advisories for Southern Beirut have continuously this year advised against all travel to the Southern suburbs of Beirut Due to increased threats of terrorist’s attacks. This includes areas from the south of Camille, Chamoun Sports City Stadium and the neighborhoods of Dahieh, Gobeiry, Chiyah, Haret, Hraik, Borj al Branje, Mraije, Rouais and Laylaki. This has re-ascertained that;
“International and national organizations that work in the field of providing humanitarian relief and development in countries around the world continue to face many serious problems with either governments or armed elements and local violence threatening programs beneficial to communities and the safety and even the lives of field personnel, stagnating development strides made as in this case or completely destroying any local development made”
Amidst this, the organization and its partner swiftly relocated its local governance program to Dekwaneh Municipality in Northern Beriut that embraced the program, immediately signing a memorandum of understanding sanctioning a governance needs assessment to draw necessary interventions that will advance local governance in the area. This has seen commencement of activities smoothly and a great lesson picked that amidst shrinking organizational operating space, initiating parallel engagements in various locations in any organizational area of operation is a good strategy to facilitate resilience in advancement of development work. While security of organizational personnel and communities organizations operate in is very paramount in development work, another key lesson has been learned that Organizational resilience to advance development work is possible amidst various challenges and there is always an opportunity peeking behind any risks to enable organizational re-invention and expansion!
Mohamad Ayoub the Executive Director NAHNOO said;
“Chiyah situation may be fluid but we are keeping our ear to the ground monitoring it while advancing local governance in Dekwaneh. Achievements that will be realized in Dekwaneh will be used to build on future local governance programs linking them to Chiyah depending on how the security situation unfolds and takes shape there. We may have initially hit a snag this year but we remain steadfast to root local and democratic governance in Beirut. Only through dedication to community development work can development really take place”!
Despite the prevailing situation, advancing good governance remains high on the agenda of the Actionaid Arab Regional Initiative and its partnerships in Beirut as this is very vital for stability and development.