A Youth led research in 2021
Siren Analytics and Arab NGOs Network for Development (ANND) launched a joint research project to map the needs and capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in Lebanon in terms of internal policies structures, capacity development needs, and use of digital and modern technology for programs and organizational development.
Siren Analytics carried out the questionnaire-based preliminary research from 17 June to 16 July 2021. The study focused on three main organizational areas: planning and procurement, technological and digital readiness, and advocacy and monitoring capabilities. Siren’s junior associates team, involved in the Youth4Governance program, mapped a wide range of CSOs working in Lebanon and engaged with the organizations through various communication channels.
A sample of 450 CSOs was selected and spanned all areas of expertise, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), syndicates and academic stakeholders involved in awareness and capacity-building programs in Lebanon. The junior associates’ interaction with and support to the CSO representatives completing the form helped the former enhance their communication skills and understanding of the Lebanese civil society landscape.
“We faced a few challenges throughout this process, as we came across some information that needed to be corrected, such as wrong phone numbers, wrong email addresses, or even organizations that are not functional anymore”. Lyn (Law student, Lebanese University), Elie (Engineering USJ), Michele (law student USJ), Habiba (computer and communications engineering AUB)
As a result, 114 CSOs were responsive and completed the online survey. The survey respected the highest standard of data security and confidentiality and led to the production of a policy brief offering a perspective on CSOs’ self-assessment of their organizational performance and digital readiness. Youth4governance researchers received training and support from USJ professors and alumni. On the training menu, data cleaning and consolidation for qualitative and quantitative research, analysis and visualization.
“After collecting over 100 survey responses we had to move to data cleaning, which is the most crucial part of the project. It is a delicate process that requires so much attention, which we had never worked on before. This was our first-time taking part in an actual research initiative.” Lyn Mneimneh (Law student, UL)
Additionally, Youth4Governance researchers participated in a focus group discussion gathering CSO representatives from various regions of Lebanon and covering multiple fields, including governance, environment, LGBTIQ+, democracy and elections, human rights, gender, people with disabilities and youth participation.
The focus groups introduced them to the practice of qualitative research and producing subsequent reports. The latter’s findings and the survey results were combined in a draft policy brief, which will serve as a road map for CSO digitization.