Faith based organizations in Lebanon: objectives and practices.
MetadataShow full item record
ABBOUD, A. 2017. Faith based organizations in Lebanon: objectives and practices. Robert Gordon University, DBA thesis.
The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) witnessed the prominence of the voluntary sector through the active involvement of existing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the emergence of new ones as service providers in response to the social, educational and other community needs left unattended to by the public sector. This thesis takes a comparative look at the objectives and practices of faith-based NGOs, or FBOs, currently active in Lebanon, both local and international. It considers the role of the sectarian context, and the influence – if any - of religious identity and values on the founding and mission of an FBO, and the identity of the communities where it chose to operate. It also seeks to explore the relationship between an FBO’s religious identity, the community(ies) it serves, and the expression of its faith in that particular community. The research involved qualitative interviews of a cross-section of FBOs in Lebanon representing different faiths, together with a textual analysis of the communication used by these organizations in addressing their stakeholders. The research shed light on the motivations and the historical events that led to the founding of the sample population. Also, the variance between the mandates of the different faith-based organizations, each according to its religious values, and how that is reflected in determining their programme direction, and hence, the mode of operation in the community. In the process, the interviews highlighted other factors that can equally impact the image of an organization in any particular community; as well as the position of the same-faith communities vis-à-vis the mandate of their same-faith FBO. The textual analysis of the sample population’s communication tools was equally insightful as it drew attention to factors that affect the discourse used in presenting who they are, as well as their vision and mission. Other insights gleaned from this research include the organizations’ view point and/or position with respect to the sectarian context that empowers them as religiously based organizations; an aspect that gives some thought as to the potential role for FBOs as agents of change in such a complex context. The source of the knowledge arrived at through this research is based on input received from the organizations themselves, either through the interviews with their leaders, or through their communication tools. It would be equally insightful, in another research, to consider the view point of the community, also that of secular and other faith-based organizations, of the role of religiously-based development organizations in the community as they compare with their desired role.