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This is a summary of the survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and of their attitudes towards civic engagement was conducted by Statistics Lebanon for the Promoting Active Citizen Engagement (PACE) program, under funding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The poll researched opinions and perceptions regarding the following:
a) Main concerns affecting their lives on both the national and community levels
b) Attitudes toward civic/political engagement
c) Level of confidence in the capacity of various institutions to represent them
d) View of CSOs
e) Sources of news and information for the public and level of trust in each
• The economic situation tops the list of national-level concerns mentioned spontaneously, followed by the political situation and security. Social concerns are less prominent.
• At the community level, the top concerns mentioned are those that strike close to home: infrastructure (especially electricity), cost of living, unemployment and social issues.
• The Lebanese demonstrate common concerns on a large number of issues, whatever their background. Amongst them are the high cost of living, poor infrastructure (most notably electricity), corruption, political instability and sectarianism.
• There are few variations linked to sex or age. Some differences appear when it comes to confessional groups or regional belonging.
• The Lebanese Armed Forces are the most trusted national institution, followed by civil society organizations (CSOs). The national government is the least trusted.
• CSOs are viewed positively but perceived as relief charities, rather than vehicles to carry the voice of citizens.
• A majority of respondents feel they cannot make a change on the topics they have identified as priorities. Youth does appear to feel more confident in its ability to impact change.
• TV is the media most consumed and the main source of information. Internet comes second.