Lebanon as a country, emerging from conflict, faces a set of threats and challenges that are unique to its socio-economic, cultural, and political context. There exist many development initiatives by local and international actors in Lebanon, so much effort is deployed, but there is little coordination, limited synergism, and minimal search for "value added" through collaborative actions. There is a lack of replicability, little attention to cumulative experience, and minimal sharing of what works and what does not. Moreover, the making of decisions and the formation of policy seldom draw on the full range of relevant knowledge, critical resources, and overall capabilities. ESDU sees the potentials for synergism among all development actors. To this end, it has launched a Capacity Building Network for community development (CBN) through a workshop in May 2002. The workshop brought together scientists, policy makers, development actors and donors in an effort to formulate integrated R&D strategies.
The workshop was a good opportunity for AUB faculty to gain exposure to community development efforts and strategies by the government and major donors, and to highlight AUB contributions to community development in different fields.