Municipal Responses to Syrian Refugee Inflow to Lebanon: Studying the impact of religiopolitical affiliations on policy responses
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In a country where politics and religion are far from being separated, policies fall victim of stagnation and biases. The Lebanese government’s response to the Syrian Refugee inflow is not an exception. With the new challenge enforced by large numbers of refugees and the lack of clear response policy from the central government, local governments find themselves improvising their policies and responses. In this piece conduct two of types of analyses. One is quantitative comprising a simple regression analysis comparing religious affiliations within districts to the flow of refugees to these districts. The other is qualitative where I base my reflection and analysis on interviews I conducted with 9 local government leaders of different religio-political affiliations. I look at the responses of these officials and the reasoning they follow in generating and implementing them. The purpose is to hear their perspective, analyze their responses with respect to their religio-political backgrounds and learn from their experiences. As both analyses show corresponding results of differences in responses based on religio-political affiliations, interviews reveal more about the challenges these local governments share, their relation to refugees and aid providers and the refugees’ living conditions. Therefore, I divide my analysis based on four points 1) infrastructure and competition challenges, 2) types and levels of security control, 3) shelter and 4) the relation with INGOs and GOs. Finally, I conclude in a list of 5 takeaways from the municipalities’ diverse experiences. These experiences are an important asset for understanding what works and what doesn't in the relief world. They are also informative of the abilities as well as the needs of Lebanese municipal governments, which can advise a more effective distribution of tasks among the different institutions.
planning, refugees , local governements, lebanon, syria
dissertation or thesis