In a unique achievement harnessing the most vibrant sector in Lebanon, the Global Health Institute (GHI) and the office of Regional External Programs (REP) at AUB launched the Non-Governmental Organizations Initiative (NGOi) in an effort to empower the NGO sector in Lebanon.
Launched by AUB, the NGOi is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the Middle East region. It aims at being the regional hub for NGO sector certification, development, and knowledge exchange. The initiative comes as a response to an urgent need arising as Lebanon houses the largest number of NGOs relative to its population size, estimated to exceed 10,000 NGOs.
The launching event, which featured Minister of Interior and Municipalities Raya El Hassan as keynote speaker, brought together representatives from the government and embassies in Lebanon, AUB's leadership, and NGOs, and offered a platform for further exchange and collaboration. Additionally, a message of support from Lebanese President General Michel Aoun was read at the launch ceremony in which an expression of congratulations and appreciation was stated.
Following the keynote speeches, the managing team presented an overview of the four services currently offered to the NGO community by the NGOi:
- Organizational Certification: certification to NGOs whose governance and administrative structures as well as operational principles meet the requirements of a set evidence-based criteria.
- Training and Capacity Building: includes training and capacity building programs offered to NGO staff and leadership through workshops, courses, certificates, and diplomas, using different learning approaches including face-to-face, online, and blended methods of delivery.
- Knowledge Resource Center: online center comprising relevant and reliable material that keep NGO staff and leadership up-to-date.
- Convening Platform: Interactive platform where NGOs can meet, share knowledge, and discuss relevant matters through seminars, talks, conferences, and forums