Training of trainees program for municipalities

Training of trainees program for municipalities


A Training of Trainees programme on “GIS for Municipal Strategic Planning” was launched by MASAR Programme and the GIS center at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Balamand (UOB). MASAR for Local Governments is a programme funded by the European Union implemented in Lebanon by VNGi (Association of Municipalities of the Netherlands), PCPM (Polish Centre for International Aid) and ACCD (Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation). The MASAR programme is being implemented in three areas of intervention across Lebanon Akkar, North Lebanon and the Bekaa and Baalbek-Hermel working with municipalities and unions of municipalities most affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.

The training was held from the 13th till the 16th of December and was led by Dr. Amal Laaly, the National GIS and data governance expert for the MASAR consortium, and Ms Corinne Sakr, MASAR’s Coordinator for Municipal Strategic Planning.

Under the GIS for Strategic Planning ToT, trainees from different regions in Lebanon came together to share experiences, learn from each other, and get capacitated to pass on their training on smart surveys development, data collection management, and grant proposals writing. This training will contribute to enhancing municipal management and planning capacities leading as well as increasing their opportunities to attract investment and projects.

The GIS Center has been actively engaged on the GIS component of the MASAR programme, which is dedicated to strengthening the capacities of local governments in light of the demographic and economic pressure caused by the massive influx of refugees. By bridging humanitarian aid and long-term development, MASAR focuses on municipal planning, public service delivery and local economic development.

Commenting on the occasion, Professor Rami Abboud, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Vice President of internationalization and engagement, stated: “I am proud to see the GIS Center at UOB contribute to the training and capacity building of Lebanese youth at these difficult times. The University of Balamand will continue to place its expertise, skills, and resources at the service of building resilience in local communities. I commend our GIS Center for their efforts and look forward to further collaboration with MASAR.” The closing ceremony of the training was attended by Mr Stefano Panighetti, Programme Manager for Local Development at Delegation of the European Union in Lebanon as well as by representatives of the MASAR programme from VNGi, PCPM and ACCD.

The University of Balamand strongly maintains its status as a center of excellence with the GIS center leading the way at the heart of digital transformation. The GIS center actively collaborates with various NGOs and civil society organizations to create programs that will enhance the skillset and capabilities of the Lebanese youth and worldwide. ​