Model on integrating conflict sensitivity and social stability into services provision

This note summarises the Conflict-Sensitivity and Social Stability Model developed by International Alert and tailored in partnership with Amel Association International’s (Amel) staff and programmes in Lebanon.

The model was used to mainstream conflict sensitivity into the services provision of Amel’s community-based centres providing medical, protection and social services in the country.

Over a period of four years, Alert provided training, accompaniment, guidance and other support to Amel staff to integrate ways of working and activities to address tensions and support social stability in their work.

Tensions between host communities and Syrian refugees remain high in Lebanon and a potential threat to the country’s social stability, especially under a rapidly changing context, including increased pressure on services and resources, the October 2019 protests all over Lebanon and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in February 2020.

According to a regular perception survey on social tensions, the most cited cause of tensions for both Lebanese and Syrians is competition over lower-skilled jobs or over services (such as healthcare) and utilities.

While it should be noted that a number of significant challenges to service provision predate the Syrian crisis, from 2011 onwards, the presence of refugees began to take its toll on different sectors in Lebanon, including health, education, water and infrastructure. The health sector is among the most important sectors that have been impacted by the increase in demand on services.

In 2019, this demand rose further as more families became vulnerable due to the economic crisis and increased unemployment, with more Lebanese households falling below the poverty line. The recent crisis related to COVID-19 is putting even more strain on such services and further exacerbating tensions.