SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY     CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC                  ENGAGEMENT8 July 2012This ...
Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..........................................................................................
Table of Graphs and Figures1. Major Problems at the National Level ..........................................................
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThis report from a survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civicengagement i...
Main concerns expressed by the citizens, regrouped in general categories                                          84%     ...
B. Main concerns, disaggregated per sub-groups of population.The Lebanese demonstrate common concerns on a large number of...
•   While 48% show confidence at some level in the local government, only 10% view it as       one of the institutions tha...
D. Civic engagement                                            Making a difference              61%     53%               ...
E. Media Usage       89%               87%        Daily   Moderate use        Don’t use / Rarely use                      ...
INTRODUCTIONThis report was produced by the Promoting Active Citizen Engagement (PACE) program,funded by the United States...
CITIZEN CONCERNS1. Challenges and Problems for the Country and Community1.1 National challenges and problemsThe survey’s f...
The table below lists all issues spontaneously mentioned by at least 5% of all respondents (seeAnnex B for full details).1...
Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionDifferent confessions 2 rank national challenges in a simila...
1.2 Community challenges and problemsIn contrast to what they saw as the major problems and challenges faced by the countr...
Infrastructure-related issues are by far people’s main concerns for their communities, includingeveryday issues such as th...
ranking of social issues based on how intensely the Lebanese feel about different issues and thesalience of these issues a...
being very important). Large, nearly equal shares of all groups mention corruption in society, publicinfrastructure, drugs...
Other notable variationsUrban citizens tend to be more concerned in general by social issues than rural citizens. The poor...
Other notable variationsThe views of employed vs. unemployed persons tend to mirror those, respectively, of men and women,...
Some variations appear in the relative ranking they give to other issues. Shiites appear to rank higherthan other confessi...
Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionAll confessional groups agree on the three most important po...
RegionAs would be expected given the lack of differences in intensity of feelings among confessions, there arefew differen...
Gender & AgeAs with the other types of challenges, there is general agreement between men and women on whichchallenge is m...
concerned about high fuel prices and electricity supply and are thus concerned with alternative energysources.12. Most Imp...
ATTITUDES TOWARDS INSTITUTIONS, CITIZENSHIP, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT6. Vulnerable GroupsRespondents were asked to name from a lis...
organizations (CSOs) are the second most trusted institutions, after the Armed Forces, which seems toshow that the Lebanes...
have a higher degree of confidence in the security institutions that are perceived to be dominated bytheir sect (LAF for C...
only mentioned by very few respondents, although most of them would have been recognized if theyhad been cited by name in ...
11. Cross-confessional relationsWhile sectarianism in society and confessionalism are seen as a major issue confronting th...
MEDIA USAGE12. Media Use and Information SourcesLebanese are mostly consumers of television, with 89% watching TV daily. O...
As can be seen from the graphs below, the almost unique source of information about national or localmatters is television...
26. Media Outlets used for Local Information     22%          22%                                                Regional ...
SAMPLE DEMOGRAPHICS AND SURVEY METHODOLOGYAge            65 and                             Age Group            above,   ...
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
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This 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
Main findings:
• 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

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SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

  1. 1. SURVEY OF LEBANESE CITIZENS’ PRIORITY CONCERNS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT8 July 2012This document was produced by Management Systems International for the United StatesAgency for International Development (USAID). 1 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  2. 2. Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................ 4INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................................... 10CITIZEN CONCERNS ................................................................................................................................... 11 1. Challenges and Problems for the Country and Community ............................................................. 11 1.1 National challenges and problems................................................................................................ 11 1.2 Community challenges and problems........................................................................................... 14 2. Social Problems and Challenges........................................................................................................ 15 2.1 Very Important Social Problems and Challenges .......................................................................... 16 2.2 Most Important Social Problem or Challenge ............................................................................... 18 3. Political Challenges ........................................................................................................................... 19 3.1 Very Important Political Challenges .............................................................................................. 19 3.2 Most Important Political Challenge .............................................................................................. 20 4. Economic Challenges ........................................................................................................................ 21 4.1 Very Important Economic Challenges ........................................................................................... 21 4.2 – Most important economic challenge ......................................................................................... 22 5. Environmental Challenges ................................................................................................................ 23 5.1 Very Important Environmental Challenges ................................................................................... 23 5.2 Most important Environmental Challenges .................................................................................. 23ATTITUDES TOWARDS INSTITUTIONS, CITIZENSHIP, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT .............................................. 25 6. Vulnerable Groups ............................................................................................................................ 25 7. Making a Difference .......................................................................................................................... 25 8. Confidence in Institutions to Solve Problems and Representativeness of Institutions .................... 25 9. Political parties and elections ........................................................................................................... 27 10. Civil Society Organizations .............................................................................................................. 27 11. Cross-confessional relations ........................................................................................................... 29MEDIA USAGE ........................................................................................................................................... 30 12. Media Use and Information Sources .............................................................................................. 30 13. Usage of internet ............................................................................................................................ 32SAMPLE DEMOGRAPHICS AND SURVEY METHODOLOGY ........................................................................ 33 14. Survey Methodology ....................................................................................................................... 36ANNEX A – SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ....................................................................................................... 39ANNEX B – List of major problems at the national level ........................................................................... 49ANNEX C- List of major problems at the community level ....................................................................... 51ANNEX D-REGROUPING OF TOPICS .......................................................................................................... 53ANNEX E – Cross-tabulations .................................................................................................................... 57 2 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  3. 3. Table of Graphs and Figures1. Major Problems at the National Level .................................................................................................................. 122. Major Problems at the National Level, Regrouped ............................................................................................... 123. Major Problems Facing the Community ................................................................................................................ 144. Major Problems Facing the Community, Regrouped ............................................................................................ 146. Very Important Social Challenges ......................................................................................................................... 167. Most important social challenge........................................................................................................................... 188. Very important political challenges ...................................................................................................................... 199. Most Important Political Challenges ..................................................................................................................... 2010. Most Important Economic Challenge .................................................................................................................. 2211. Very important economic challenges .................................................................................................................. 2312. Most Important Environmental Challenges ........................................................................................................ 2413. Vulnerable Groups .............................................................................................................................................. 2514. Making a Difference ............................................................................................................................................ 2515. Degree of Confidence in Institutions ................................................................................................................... 2616. Representativeness of institutions ...................................................................................................................... 2617. Degree of Confidence in Institutions per region .................................................................................................. 6818. Civil Society Organizations’ Success and Effectiveness ....................................................................................... 2819. Type of Support for Civil Society Initiatives ......................................................................................................... 2820. Types of Cooperation across Confessions ........................................................................................................... 2921. Basis of Cooperation across Confessions ............................................................................................................ 2922. Media Use ........................................................................................................................................................... 3023. Frequency as a Source of Information ................................................................................................................ 3024. National-Level Sources of Information ................................................................................................................ 3125. Local Sources of Information............................................................................................................................... 3126. Media Outlets Used for National Information .................................................................................................... 3127. Media Outlets used for Local Information .......................................................................................................... 3228. Connecting to the Internet – Uses ....................................................................................................................... 3229. Social Media Sites ............................................................................................................................................... 32 3 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThis report from a survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civicengagement is produced by the Promoting Active Citizen Engagement (PACE) program underfunding by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The survey was carried out by Statistics Lebanon Ltd in March and April 2012, covering bothurban and rural areas and all governorates. A nationally-representative sample of 2,000Lebanese people aged 16 and above was interviewed with a face-to-face questionnaire mixingopen and closed questions. The data are disaggregated by age, sex, district, income level,employment status and confession. The poll researched Lebanese citizens’ opinions andperceptions regarding the following: a) Main concerns among the Lebanese public relating to political, economic, environmental and social issues on both the national and community levels b) Attitudes toward civic/political engagement c) Level of the public’s confidence in the capacity of various institutions, including civil society organizations (CSOs), to represent them d) The public’s view of CSOs e) Sources of news and information for the public and level of trust in each f) Frequency of internet and social media usage.The survey’s main findings are: A. Main concerns:When asked to provide, unprompted, up to three issues they consider as main national andlocal concerns, respondents cite:Top 5 concerns at National and Community Level- Uncategorized National % Community % High cost of living 31.5 Electricity 36 Political situation 29 High cost of living 31.5 Economic situation 23 Unemployment 22 Security situation 22 Poverty 13 Electricity 20 Water problems 11.5In % of responsesBecause the Lebanese name such a large number of major challenges both at the national andcommunity level, many of which overlap, such as the high cost of living, cost of education, costof housing, high fuel prices etc., this report regrouped the spontaneous responses into sevengeneral categories, providing a sufficient number of cases for more in-depth analysis: 4 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  5. 5. Main concerns expressed by the citizens, regrouped in general categories 84% National Community 59% 55% 50% 47% 44% 45% 45% 36% 23% 18% 16% 16% 11% Political Social Infrastructure Economic / High Security Political Economic / Institutions cost of living Outcomes GeneralIn a country plagued by political and economic instability, it is not surprising that the economicsituation topped the list of national-level concerns mentioned spontaneously by therespondents, followed by the political situation and security. Social concerns are lessprominent, particularly at the national level, while the environment is mentioned only once,with pollution being at the very low end of the hierarchy of community concerns. At thecommunity level priorities change markedly. The top concerns mentioned are those that strikeclose to home: infrastructure (especially electricity), cost of living, unemployment, and socialissues. Politics and security were not cited as main community concerns. When they arementioned as a community challenge, this is in reference to national politics. This suggeststhat the March 8-March 14 polemic so pervasive at the national level may be less relevant atthe local level.A further exploration of people’s views on a given list of issues provides a betterunderstanding of what lies behind those broadly-defined top concerns: SECTOR TOP 3 MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES Social • Drugs (27%) • Corruption in society (16%) • Sectarianism (11%) Political • Security and safety (23%) • Political stability (18%) • Corruption in government (14%) Economy • Poverty (24%) • Finding job opportunities (23%) • Cost of living (18%) Environment • Alternative energy sources (24%) • Quarries (18%) • Deforestation (17%)Those guided responses are consistent with respondents’ unprompted choices. There is oneexception: although public infrastructure was the topic spontaneously cited most often, itdoes not belong to the top three most important social issues cited. This might be because,when it comes to social issues, respondents prioritize those that affect as much their values astheir lives. 5 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  6. 6. B. Main concerns, disaggregated per sub-groups of population.The Lebanese demonstrate common concerns on a large number of issues, whatever theirbackground. Some differences appear when it comes to confessional groups or regionalbelonging. When they exist, socio-economic variations seem to be mainly explained bygeography, showing often a divide between the North, Mount Lebanon and Beirut on one sideand Nabatieh, the Bekaa and the South on the other. The Bekaa appears often to be the mostatypical amongst governorates. When they exist, socio-political variations seem to beexplained by confessional belonging, with the Shiites often apart from the views of otherconfessions. Nevertheless, many issues show a high level of consensus. Amongst them are thehigh cost of living, unemployment, poor infrastructure (most notably electricity), corruption,political instability, and sectarianism.This is also evident when looking at other categories of population. There are no majordifferences in the hierarchy of priorities between urban and rural populations save for somepredictable topics such as the cost of housing. The same can be observed when data aredisaggregated by gender, although differences appear on very specific issues linked towomen’s rights, such as gender-based violence or a women’s quota in parliament. There is novisible generation gap. All age groups share the same concerns, except for unemployment, towhich youth give a higher priority. Youth do not appear more “progressive” than earliergenerations, even on social issues such as the place of women in political life, drugs, theenvironment or political issues. Poor people are more likely to mention issues related to thehigh cost of living or infrastructure but are less concerned about social challenges or security. C. Attitudes towards institutions and civil society 82% Degree of Confidence in Institutions Great deal of confidence No confidence 60% 54% 54% 46% 44% 45% 39% 34% 20% 20% 18% 11% 14% 12% 10% 8% 4% Lebanese Civil Society General Police/law The Judicial Local/city The parliamentPolitical parties Government Armed Forces organizations Security enforcement System government (NGOs) • The institution that enjoys the highest level of confidence from a majority of the population is the Lebanese Armed Forces, largely perceived as non-partisan. Other institutions related to security enjoy also a fair level of confidence, suggesting that the Lebanese have general confidence in the security services to protect the people, considering that security was cited as one of their main concerns. • Civil society organizations (CSOs) are the second most trusted institution, scoring above 80% (when adding responses “great deal of” and “some degree of” confidence). This level of trust is highest amongst Christians and Sunnis and lowest amongst Shiites. They are mostly seen as relief providers. This seems to show greater Lebanese confidence in and reliance upon CSOs to provide services that the national and local governments cannot or do not provide effectively. 6 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  7. 7. • While 48% show confidence at some level in the local government, only 10% view it as one of the institutions that best represents their interests. • The level of distrust is particularly high for national, political institutions such as the parliament, the government and political parties, which should be the institutions in charge of responding to citizens’ other main concerns: the economy, infrastructure and political stability. This appears reflected in the fact that 58% of respondents consider that no political party represents their views and in the decrease in their intention to vote in the next parliamentary elections (59.6%), in comparison to the 78.6% who voted in the last parliamentary elections in 2009.All of this suggests both a growing disconnect and dissatisfaction between the citizenry andthe institutions responsible for responding to their concerns and an overall disillusioned viewof citizens’ capacity to bring change through elections, possibly due to the high level ofpolitical polarization in the country. Such findings are consistent with those from the ArabBarometer’s latest study, suggesting that these views are well entrenched.More specifically, respondents’ views on civil society are: • Civil society is considered effective by 81% of the population. This perception is highest among Christians and urban populations and lowest amongst Shiites and rural populations. • 16.5% are unable to mention a single CSO by name. • The Lebanese Red Cross is the only organization that enjoys a wide level of recognition and is considered to represent best the population’s concerns. It is followed distantly by charitable nation-wide organizations, then by many local religious and charitable institutions, cited only by a few persons. • The most frequently cited CSOs are those that combine a regular presence in the media and a focus on relief work. Advocacy-oriented NGOs and nation-wide, non-relief oriented organizations are mentioned spontaneously by very few respondents, although some are well-known and would most likely have been recognized if they had been cited in the questionnaire. • The main mode of support is through donations.All of this suggests a perception of CSOs as relief charities, rather than vehicles to carry thevoice of citizens, advocating on the people’s behalf for better policies on the topics thatmatter most to them. CSOs intending to mobilize citizens around changing policies will need tomake active efforts to build an effective and engaged constituency. This is particularly the casein the Bekaa, which shows the least favorable attitudes towards civil society of allgovernorates. 7 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  8. 8. D. Civic engagement Making a difference 61% 53% Community level National Level 25% 21% 16% 13% 6% 5% 1% 1% I can’t make a change I can somewhat make a I can make an average I can make a big change. Don’t know, no answer change change • 61% of respondents feel they cannot make a change on the topics they have identified as priorities, which may reflect the disconnect noted above between the citizenry and institutions. This percentage is still 53% at the community level, where one could have expected citizens would feel more involved and able to effect local change. • Youth are no more confident in their capacity to make a change than their parents or grand-parents. • Despite the fact that women equally participated in the last municipal and parliamentary elections, they are less likely to cite their will to participate in the upcoming elections (57%) compared to 63% of men.All of this points to a strong need to revive the interest of the Lebanese, and particularly thatof youth and women, in participating in the public decisions that affect their daily lives. Givenits positive image, civil society could play a role in this regard, both at the local level andthrough advocacy with national institutions. As noted above, this would require continuouseffort on its part to build and motivate a constituency.There is a strong willingness to cooperate with persons from other confessions (89%), mostlythrough dialogue (80%). People engage with other confessions based on proximity: beingneighbors, colleagues or school friends. Tellingly, only 3% would engage with otherconfessions based on shared political views. This shows a potential readiness to cooperateacross confessional lines at the community level, which could be harnessed by a non-confessional civil society, given the overall positive image of CSOs. 8 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  9. 9. E. Media Usage 89% 87% Daily Moderate use Don’t use / Rarely use 74% 57% 51% 41% 27% 16% 15% 8% 11% 8% 11% 3% 2% Watch TV Use a cell phone Use the internet Listen to the radio Read the newspaper • The Lebanese are mostly viewers of television, with 89% watching TV daily. This is also by far their primary source of information. The main channels for local or national news in terms of viewership are LBCI, New TV, and MTV. Other types of media are used much less frequently. • Although internet is used by only 50% of the population, almost two thirds of its users access information through it. • Radio is used daily by only 27% of the population and not considered as a major source of information. Printed press fares even worse, with only 11% of daily readers, out of which a mere 20% considers it as a source of information. • Social media is the most frequent usage of internet, at 86%. Facebook is the social media of choice (97%), followed distantly by MSN (24%) and Twitter (11%).This indicates strongly that any media outreach to the population should use television andweb-based media. Engaging with radio channels or print media may only be effective if theyhave also an online presence or intend to build one, particularly if they reinforce their newscontents such as with citizen journalism, a resource that most traditional media have not yettapped into. 9 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  10. 10. INTRODUCTIONThis report was produced by the Promoting Active Citizen Engagement (PACE) program,funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The PACEprogram aims at building the capacity of Lebanese civil society organizations (CSOs) to act ascatalysts for change through civic advocacy and participation that contributes to a cohesivenational identity while preserving Lebanon’s social and political pluralism. The programempowers Lebanese civil society so that it can increase civic advocacy, activism, andparticipation through grants that respond to citizen concerns.Statistics Lebanon Ltd carried out the survey. A nationally-representative sample of 2,000people was surveyed around the country. Through this survey, PACE seeks to gain a betterunderstanding of public perceptions and attitudes as they relate to social, economic, andpolitical conditions; civic participation and advocacy; and media, social media, and internetusage. This will also assist the PACE team in identifying a set of priority citizen concerns to betargeted by the program through grants, training, and technical assistance to Lebanese CSOsacross the country.This opinion poll aims at illustrating Lebanese opinions and perceptions regarding thefollowing: • Main concerns among the Lebanese public relating to political, economic, environmental and social issues on both the national and community levels • Attitudes toward civic/political engagement • Level of the public’s confidence in the capacity of various institutions, including civil society organizations (CSOs), to represent them • The public’s view of CSOs • Sources of news and information for the public • Their level of trust in the different sources • Frequency and main reasons for internet usage • Frequency and main reasons for usage of social media tools 10 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  11. 11. CITIZEN CONCERNS1. Challenges and Problems for the Country and Community1.1 National challenges and problemsThe survey’s first question asked Lebanese what the major problems and challenges are in theircountry, prompting respondents for up to three responses. Economic, security and politicalchallenges lead the list, followed by electricity. Social challenges are mentioned much less frequentlyand environmental issues do not appear. Breaking down responses by sex, age, income level, level ofeducation, or urban vs. rural shows no major differences. Different confessions view those nationalchallenges in the same order of priority, with some variations in intensity. Variations appearbetween confessional groups but the most significant ones appear between governorates.The high cost of living is foremost in the minds of Lebanese citizens, mentioned by 32% of all Lebanese,to which one can add the specific mention of high fuel prices (6%).Next on the list is the country’s political situation, mentioned by 29% of all respondents, withoutspecifying any particular aspect of it. Linked to this issue are specific politico-social challenges, such ascorruption, mentioned by 16%, and confessionalism, named by 14%.The general economic situation is third on the list, with 23%. As with the political situation, manyLebanese also mentioned specific economic problems, such as unemployment, named in 19% of theresponses, and poverty, mentioned in 11% of the responses.The fourth highest ranked major problem is the country’s security situation, mentioned by 22% of thepopulation. Unlike the general “economic situation” and “political situation” responses, Lebanese didnot frequently name specific threats with great frequency. However, two more-specific security issues,the threat posed by Israel (6%), and foreign intervention (6%) did receive some mention.After naming these multi-faceted, complex, and all-encompassing issues, the fifth most frequentlymentioned challenge at 20%, is a specific infrastructure problem—electricity. One public health issue isalso mentioned with a frequency >5%: deterioration of food and food safety 1 (5% and 2% respectively).1 “Deterioration of food” and “food safety” are listed separately in the survey results. However, given the mediaprominence of the recent food quality scandal, these separate responses are likely referring to the same issueand will be treated jointly in this report. 11 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  12. 12. The table below lists all issues spontaneously mentioned by at least 5% of all respondents (seeAnnex B for full details).1. Major Problems at the National Level Major Problems or Challenges Facing Lebanon at the National Level (Top of Mind – Volunteered Responses > 5%) % High cost of Living 32 Political situation 29 Economic situation 23 Security situation 22 Electricity problems 20 Unemployment 19 Political corruption 16 Confessionalism 14 Poverty 11 Food safety/deterioration of food 7 High fuel prices 6 Israeli threat 6 Foreign interventions 6Because the Lebanese name such a large number of major problems or challenges facing the nation,many of which overlap, such as the economic situation, the high cost of living, unemployment, poverty,and high fuel prices, this report has regrouped the spontaneous responses (including those mentionedby less than 5% of the respondents) into seven general categories, as illustrated by the graph below.They provide a sufficient number of cases for more in-depth analysis.2. Major Problems at the National Level, Regrouped 59% 55% Major Challenges Facing Lebanon at the National Level (Top of Mind - Volunteered Responses Regrouped) 45% 45% 36% 23% 18% Political Economic / Economic / High Security Infrastructure Social Political Outcomes General cost of living InstitutionsProblems and challenges to the nation that relate to political outcomes rank first in citizens’ minds(59% of respondents). These problems include topics such as the general political situation, corruption,the situation in Syria, nepotism, lack of political unity and the absence of the state. This is followed bygeneral economic problems, such as the overall economic situation, unemployment, low salaries andpoverty; and by responses that mentioned high costs, such as the high cost of living of public servicesor high fuel prices. Looking at those two topics together, it is clear that, by far, the economy is thenation’s top concern.The security situation includes issues such as the general security situation, the Israeli threat, foreignintervention, and illegal arms or border demarcation. Apart from electricity, infrastructure issuesinclude roads, infrastructure in general, and water problems. Social issues cover topics such as foodsafety, drugs, emigration, crime, and lack of morals. Political institutions include responses such asconfessionalism, political parties or electoral reform. 12 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  13. 13. Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionDifferent confessions 2 rank national challenges in a similar order of priority, from political outcomesand economic issues as their main concerns down to social issues and political institutions perceived asleast challenging. Differences are mostly variations in intensity. For instance, Sunnis and Shiites (22%)are more likely to say that the category of political institutions is a national challenge than Christians(13%), but they all share the same opinion that political institutions are the least important of the mainnational challenges. Conversely, 66% of Shiites cite the general economy, against 51% of Christians.This makes it the Shiites’ top concern but is also the Christians’ second highest concern.Some of those variations may also reflect more the respondents’ environment than their confessionalaffiliations. For instance, it is likely that economic concerns are highest for Shiites because Shiites tendto live in the governorates where where such concerns are prevalent, i.e. the Bekaa and the South (seefollowing section).(See table in Annex E for details)RegionRegional variations appear significantly more marked than confessional ones. Beirutis are most likely toname the high cost of living (60%). People from Bekaa, (106%,) 3 and South (68%) cite more frequentlygeneral economic challenges, such as unemployment and poverty than Mt Lebanon (38%).Interestingly, economic challenges are mentioned by only 52% of the population in the North, althoughthis governorate has the highest poverty rate 4 Security is of most concern to the North and the Bekaa,possibly because of the influx of refugees from Syria and proximity to the Syrian border. The upsurge inviolent incidents in the North in connection with the Syrian crisis likely accounts for the higher degreeof citizen concern with the security situation in that governorate, especially since security conditionshave a major impact on the local economy..(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeThe differences between men and women or between age groups are variations in intensity but theorder of priority remains comparable for all. Men are more likely to name political challenges, womenare more likely to name economic challenges related to the cost of living. Younger Lebanese are morelikely to name social or infrastructure problems than older generations.(See table 5 in Annex E for details)Other cross-tabulationsUrban citizens are more likely than their rural counterparts to cite social issues but less likely tomention economic challenges. Poor people are more concerned about the high cost of living orinfrastructure but less concerned about social challenges or security.2 For all of the cross-tabulations, results are only reported in the text when there are large percentage differenceand when the number of cases in each cell is relatively large. For this reason, few results on Druze or on Nabatiehare mentioned in the report text.3 Because respondents could provide 3 responses, the total can be higher than 100%. In this case, this means thatthe total number of responses linked to economic challenges is higher by 6% than the total number ofrespondents in the Bekaa, because some respondents mentioned more than one economic challenge.4 International Poverty Centre. Poverty, growth and income distribution in Lebanon. January 2008. 13 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  14. 14. 1.2 Community challenges and problemsIn contrast to what they saw as the major problems and challenges faced by the country, theLebanese, when asked about the major problems and challenges faced by their community, citedmostly issues that hit close to home,: infrastructure (most notably electricity), economic conditionsand social issues. Political and security issues are no longer amongst their top concerns, althoughpolitical corruption continues to merit a frequent mention (7% of respondents), as didconfessionalism (by 5% of respondents). One environmental issue appears on the list – pollution –albeit at 5% only. Responses per sub-category of populations show the same pattern as for country-level issues. Breaking down responses by sex or age group shows no major differences. The same istrue, to a lesser extent, of confessional groups, while the most significant variations appear betweengovernorates.The table below lists all issues spontaneously mentioned by at least 5% of all respondents (seeAnnex C for full details.3. Major Problems Facing the Community Major Problems or Challenges Facing the Community (Top of Mind – Volunteered Responses > 5%) % Electricity problems 36 High cost of living 31 Unemployment 22 Poverty 13 Water problems 12 Bad roads 10 Lack of morals 9 Security situation 9 Bad economic situation 9 Infrastructure 8 High fuel prices 8 Political corruption 7 Thefts 7 Drugs 6 Confessionalism 5 Medical treatment 5 Environmental pollution 5 Traffic 5As with national challenges, for the purposes of analysis, the long list of community challenges in thevolunteered responses are regrouped into categories in the graph below:4. Major Problems Facing the Community, Regrouped 84% Major Problems or Challenges Facing Lebanon at the Community Level (Top of Mind - Volunteered Responses Regrouped) 50% 47% 44% 16% 11% 6% Infrastructure Economic / High Economic / Social Political Security Political cost of living General Outcomes Institutions 14 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  15. 15. Infrastructure-related issues are by far people’s main concerns for their communities, includingeveryday issues such as the lack of parking space. In contrast to what they mentioned at the nationallevel, Lebanese are much less likely to name political and security issues as challenges for theircommunities. When they do, they relate them to national, not local politics. Conversely, they are muchmore likely to name a social challenge.Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionDifferent confessions 5 rank national challenges in a similar order of priority, from infrastructure, socialand economic issues as their main concerns down to security and political institutions perceived asleast challenging. Differences are mostly variations in intensity. For instance, Shiites (92%) are morelikely to say that infrastructure is a national challenge than Sunnis (69%), but this is the top concern ofboth confessions.(See table in Annex E for details)RegionMany cross-tabulations present a number of cases too small to be considered valid, which makes thismore difficult to interpret. It is obvious however that infrastructure is the top concern in everygovernorate, with the exception of the Bekaa, whose main concern is the economy, and the South,which appears much more concerned with social issues.(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeEven more than at the national level, men and women share the same priorities.A common sense of priorities also prevails among generations. The older generations appear howeverto be even more concerned by infrastructure while Lebanese under age 30 are more concerned withgeneral economic issues, such as unemployment and poverty.(See table in Annex E for details)Other notable variationsThe trend here is similar to what is observed at the national level. Urban citizens are more likely thantheir rural counterparts to cite infrastructure problems but less likely to mention economic challenges.Poor people are more likely to mention issues related to the high cost of living or infrastructure, butare less concerned about social challenges or security.2. Social Problems and ChallengesThe first, unprompted questions of the survey showed what issues are seen as most challenging bythe Lebanese at the local and national levels. In order to gain a finer understanding of their views,the questionnaire then explored their views on a series of pre-determined issues.The survey asked the Lebanese to rate a list of different social challenges by their degree ofimportance. As expected when a list of potential concerns is offered, many respondents rated all ofthem as very important. However, comparing the share of “very important” answers permits a5 For all of the cross-tabulations, results are only reported in the text when there are large percentage differenceand when the number of cases in each cell is relatively large. For this reason, few results on Druze are mentionedin the report text. 15 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  16. 16. ranking of social issues based on how intensely the Lebanese feel about different issues and thesalience of these issues among categories of population.Among the social challenges asked about in the survey (see the questionnaire in Annex A for a fulllist) two challenges that mix social and political concerns rise to the top of the list. Nearly equalshares of the Lebanese say public infrastructure (electricity, water, roads) and corruption in societyare very important social challenges, both with 95%. Both of these social challenges also figureprominently in the problems or challenges that Lebanese spontaneously named when asked aboutmajor problems in the country and in their community.When asked about what they see as the single most important social challenge, similar concernsemerge, with drugs rising as the most often mentioned (27%) followed by corruption, sectarianism,food safety and infrastructure.Resonating with observations made earlier, women feel more intensely than men about theimportance of social issues, as expressed in the percentage of individuals who consider a given topicas being very important. Men and women show, however, few differences in the relative order ofimportance they give to various social issues. This is true also of different age groups. One exceptionis gender-based violence, to which men give less importance, both in absolute terms (78% against92% for women) and in relative ranking (17th out of 21 topics while women see this as the 7th mostimportant topic).There is broad agreement across confessions on some social challenges. They are the types of issuesthat affect Lebanese regardless of their confession as a “pox on all houses” such as drugs, corruption,infrastructure, food safety and cooperation among different confessions. Cross-confessionaldifferences in perceptions are more apparent for those challenges that involve the political system,such as sectarianism in society, citizenship values, democracy, or minority rights. Whendisaggregating by governorate, the most notable fact is that Beirut, Mount Lebanon and the Northview most social issues with a significantly higher intensity than the South, Nabatieh and the Bekaa.2.1 Very Important Social Problems and Challenges5. Very Important Social Challenges 100% 95% 95% 94% Very Important Social Challenges 94% 95% 92% 91% 90% 88% 87% 86% 86% 85% 85% 80% 75%Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionThere is broad agreement across confessions on the importance of some social challenges, whenlooking at the order in which they rank the relative importance of a given list of social challenges and atthe intensity of their feelings (as expressed in percentage of individuals who consider a given topic as 16 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  17. 17. being very important). Large, nearly equal shares of all groups mention corruption in society, publicinfrastructure, drugs, food safety and health facilities as their top concerns. They also agree to seeequality between men and women, lowering the right to vote under 21, women’ quota in parliamentand smoking in public places as the things they care less about.Other issues that they rank differently but on which they care with the same intensity are gender-based violence, violence against children and child labor. Such challenges are issues that hurt socialgroups that may be perceived as more vulnerable or worthy of protection, such as women and youth.Some cross-confessional differences both in relative ranking and in intensity of feeling appear evidentfor those social problems that involve the political system: sectarianism in society, citizenship values,democracy, and minority rights -- although more than 80% of all groups view cooperation amonggroups of different confessions as being very important (see table 12 in attachment for details).(See table in Annex E for details)RegionAs with confessions, there is broad agreement across confessions on the importance of some socialchallenges, when looking at the order in which they rank the relative importance of a given list of socialchallenges and at the intensity of their feelings. All governorates mention corruption in society, publicinfrastructure, drugs, food safety and health facilities as their top concerns. They also agree on seeinggreater equality between men and women, lowering the voting age to under 21, establishing a quotafor women in parliament, and smoking in public places as the things they care less about.The main differences between governorates are in the level of intensity - as expressed in percentage ofindividuals who consider a given topic as being very important - with which they view social issues.Beirut, Mount Lebanon and the North view most topics with a higher intensity than the South,Nabatieh and the Bekaa.Some issues that involve the political system also show cross-governorate differences in opinion bothin terms of intensity and relative ranking, notably sectarianism in society, which is most worrisome toLebanese in the North (94%), Mount Lebanon (91%) and Beirut (90%), but less so in the South (77%),Nabatieh (74%) and the Bekaa (73%).(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeIn line with observations made earlier, women feel overall more intensely than men about theimportance of social issues. Men and women show, however, few differences in the relative order ofimportance they give to various social issues. For instance, 52% of men see a quota for women inparliament as a very important issue, putting it at the bottom of this list of 21 social topics, indecreasing order of importance. While 71% of women see this as a very important issue, it is thesecond before last in the way they rank those 21 topics. One exception is gender-based violence, towhich men give less importance, both in absolute terms (78% against 92% for women) and in relativeranking (17th by decreasing order out of 21 topics against 7th for women).There does not appear to be a generational gap among Lebanese on social issues. Similar shares fromthe different age groups agree on the importance of social challenges, in the same order of priority.This is true even for the right to vote for people under 21, equality between men and women and aquota for women in Parliament, perceived to be the least important of the list, whereas one could haveexpected youth to be less socially conservative.(See table in Annex E for details) 17 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  18. 18. Other notable variationsUrban citizens tend to be more concerned in general by social issues than rural citizens. The poorerpeople are, the more importance they give to sectarianism, but the opposite is true when it comes todemocracy, minority rights and citizenship values.2.2 Most Important Social Problem or ChallengeWhen asked to name the single most important social challenge from the list of social challengesincluded on the survey questionnaire, 27% of all respondents mention drugs. It is noteworthy thatdrugs were mentioned spontaneously by only 2.9% of respondents when asked the unpromptedquestions that began the survey.6. Most important social challenge 27% Most Important Social Challenge 16% 11% 10% 7% Drugs Corruption in society Sectarianism in society Food safety Public infrastructureVariations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionAll confessional groups identify the same 5 most important social challenges, virtually all in the sameorder. All groups place drugs as their top concern, mentioned by 33% of Christians, 24% of Sunni andShiites and 18% of Druze.(See table in Annex E for details)RegionDrugs is the most important social challenge in all governorates, designated by 33% of Lebanese livingin the South (33%) to 21% of residents of Beirut.There is very little regional variation on corruption in society and sectarianism in the top 5 mostimportant social problems. Variations appear for the remaining two. Rather than naming publicinfrastructure in general, Beirut and the Bekaa are more specific by including health facilities. Bekaa,South and Nabatieh all include gender-based violence and exclude food safety.(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeMen and women agree on drugs and corruption as the two most important social challenges. Somedifferences appear on sectarianism, seen as the most important challenge by 15% of men and 8% ofwomen and on food safety (8% of men and 13% of women).There are few differences between age groups on the most important social challenges. It is worthnoting, however, that persons above the age of 65 are less concerned about drugs and more aboutcorruption than younger generations.(See table in Annex E for details) 18 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  19. 19. Other notable variationsThe views of employed vs. unemployed persons tend to mirror those, respectively, of men and women,probably because of the high proportion of women amongst unemployed persons.3. Political ChallengesSecurity, political stability and corruption top the hierarchy of most important concerns for theLebanese, followed by armed political groups and internal conflicts. The Lebanese show also a highconcern for the functioning of their political system and democratic rights and institutions: over 80%of the respondents see as very important issues such as freedom of expression, politicized judicialinstitutions and apoliticized media, as well as public participation in decision making and electoralreform.Consistent with observations made earlier, men and women do not show significant differences intheir appreciation of the importance of various political issues, with the exception of security beingof higher concern to women. This is true also of different age groups. There is broad agreementacross confessions on the fact that political stability, safety and security, and corruption are veryimportant, although the attitude towards armed groups is markedly different. Cross-confessionaldifferences in perceptions are more evident for those challenges that involve the political system:confessional system, electoral reform, and public participation in decision-making.Regional differences follow a similar pattern, in line with the major confessional groups present in agiven governorate. This seems to indicate that, on political issues, confessional belonging is the maindriver behind variations in perceptions.3.1 Very Important Political Challenges7. Very important political challenges 100% 97% Very Important Political Challenges 94% 93% 95% 91% 90% 87% 86% 85% 85% 84% 84% 84% 83% 85% 80% 80% 75%Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionThere is broad agreement among confessions that political stability, corruption and safety and securityare very important. Apart from these three topics, Shiites express their views with less intensity thanother confessional groups: all 13 listed topics are viewed as very important by 82% or more of allChristians, Sunnis and Druzes, whereas only four issues are viewed as very important by 82% or moreShiites. All confessions also agree that electoral reform comes last in the importance they give topolitical issues. 19 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  20. 20. Some variations appear in the relative ranking they give to other issues. Shiites appear to rank higherthan other confessions the proliferation of small arms, freedom of expression and regional conflict,while they rank lower the politicization of media and judicial institutions. This relative ranking hashowever to be put in perspective. For instance, Christians place regional conflict as the last of the listedtopics but 86% of them still view it as very important, whereas Shiites rank it 7th, with only 78% of themviewing it as very important.(See table in Annex E for details)RegionIn all governorates, the issues considered very important by most people are the same: security andsafety, corruption and political stability. Beyond those three issues, the main differences betweengovernorates are in the level of intensity - as expressed in percentage of individuals who consider agiven topic as being very important - with which they view political issues. More than 80% of thepopulation of Beirut, Mount Lebanon and the North view all topics as being very important, whereastopics seen as very important by more than 80% of the population are only three for the South and fivefor Nabatieh and the Bekaa, mostly touching on security, corruption and political stability. The lattergovernorates appear to be less preoccupied with other political issues, such as the electoral reform,public participation in decision-making, politicized media and judiciary, etc.”, whether by nature or byreason of the main confessional groups who inhabit them.. . .(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeMen and women are in close agreement on the degree of importance of political challenges andproblems. As with gender, there are few differences among Lebanese of different age groups on theimportance of political issues. Older Lebanese are somewhat more likely to identify small arms andarmed political groups as very important political challenges than are Lebanese under age 30.(See table in Annex E for details)Other notable variationsUrban and high-income citizens are more likely than their rural and poorer counterparts to cite securityissues such as armed political groups, proliferation of small arms, and regional conflict, as well ascorruption.3.2 Most Important Political ChallengeThe ranking of issues named as the single most important political challenge mirrors the intensity withwhich the public deems an issue to be important.8. Most Important Political Challenges 23% Most Important Political Challenges 18% 14% 10% 8% Security and safety Political stability Corruption in the Proliferation of small Armed political groups government arms 20 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  21. 21. Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionAll confessional groups agree on the three most important political challenges. Differences appear onthe following priorities, where Shiites appear the least concerned by armed political groups and Druzethe least concerned by the proliferation of small arms.(See table in Annex E for details)RegionAll confessional groups agree on the three most important political challenges.(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeMen and women and all age groups agree on the three most important political challenges, as perTable 20. One can note that women (28%) are much more likely than men (17%) to name security andsafety as the most important political issue.(See table in Annex E for details)4. Economic Challenges4.1 Very Important Economic ChallengesThe Lebanese are nearly unanimous in their agreement across all types of socio-economic anddemographic divisions that the cost of living, finding job opportunities and poverty are very importantchallenges for Lebanon.Apart from other cost-related issues, it is notable that the emigration of Lebanon’s youth is veryimportant to nine-of-ten Lebanese.(See table in Annex E for details)9. Very Important Economic Challenges 98% Very Important Economic Challenges 100% 97% 97% 95% 95% 93% 92% 90% 90% 85% 85% 80% 75%Variations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionLebanese of all confessions generally share the same intensity of feeling on the importance ofeconomic challenges. All agree that the cost of living, closely followed by finding job opportunities andpoverty, are very important economic challenges, with similar levels of intensity. Christians and Sunnisappear more likely than Shiites to view the cost of housing and youth emigration as very important .(See table in Annex E for details) 21 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  22. 22. RegionAs would be expected given the lack of differences in intensity of feelings among confessions, there arefew differences when comparing Lebanese across governorates. Lebanese living in Beirut and MountLebanon are particularly more intense in their belief that the cost of housing is very important. This isnot surprising given the rise in the housing prices in Beirut and its environs over the past decade.(See table in Annex E for details)Gender & AgeMen and women also share the same intensity of belief on economic challenges. The same holds forLebanese of different generations.(See table in Annex E for details)Other notable variationsThe only notable difference between urban and rural populations concerns the cost of housing, morerelevant for urban residents. As can be expected on economic issues, variations appear betweenincome brackets. The lower the income, the more importance is given to poverty and high cost ofliving.4.2 – Most important economic challenge10. Most Important Economic Challenge 24% 23% Most Important Economic Challenge 18% 13% 8% Poverty Finding job opportunities Cost of living Emigration among youth Cost of public servicesVariations according to sub-categories of populationConfessionAll confessions share the same views of what are the most important economic challenges. One cannote however that poverty as Lebanon’s most important economic challenge is most frequently namedby Shiites at 30%, followed by Sunnis (25%) whereas it is of concern to only 20% of the Christians and15% of Druze.(See table in Annex E for details)RegionWhile the order of priority does not change, differences are more apparent between governorates.Although poverty is the most important economic challenge nationally, residents of the Bekaa (41%)and the South (30%) are much more likely than those from other regions to say that poverty is themost important challenge. Residents of the North and Nabatieh are more likely than residents of Bekaato cite finding job opportunities, while residents of Beirut and Mount Lebanon are more likely thanresidents of other regions to cite the cost of housing.(See table in Annex E for details) 22 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  23. 23. Gender & AgeAs with the other types of challenges, there is general agreement between men and women on whichchallenge is most important. Not surprisingly, younger Lebanese are more likely than older generationsto say that finding job opportunities is the most important economic challenge.(See table in Annex E for details)Other notable variationsUnsurprisingly, the poorer the people are, the higher the proportion of persons mentioning poverty astheir most important concern (from 33% down to 14% only for those in the highest income bracket).5. Environmental Challenges5.1 Very Important Environmental ChallengesFigure 11 shows, out of a list of environmental issues (see questionnaire in Annex A for a full list).,which ones are viewed as very important. While it shows that high percentages of respondents seeenvironmental issues as very important, it is important to keep in mind that this in reaction to aproposed list. The Lebanese’s unprompted views on the most important challenges facing their countryand their community did not include any environmental issues, with the exception of pollution, whichemerged as a community-level concern for 5.2% of respondents11. Very important environmental challenges100% Very Important Environmental Challenges 95% 89% 88% 88% 90% 86% 86% 85% 81% 81% 80% 75% 73% 70% Quarries Household Sewage Deforestation Loss of Beach Use of Climate garbage recycling biodiversity pollution alternative change management energy sourcesVariations according to sub-categories of populationConfession & regionThe main notable fact is that, on almost every environmental issue, Shiites appear less concerned thanother confessions. This is largely due to the geographical distribution of different confessions, as can beseen in the cross-tabulations of environmental challenges by mouhafaza.(See table in Annex E for details)There are few differences in the salience of environmental issues between men and women orbetween young and old. In general, the level of importance given to environmental issues increaseswith the level of income.5.2 Most important Environmental ChallengesWhen asked to name one most important environmental challenge, Lebanese beliefs on economic andenvironmental challenges converge even further. Nearly one-in-four Lebanese say that the use ofalternative energy sources is the most important environmental challenge, ranking first. Lebanese are 23 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  24. 24. concerned about high fuel prices and electricity supply and are thus concerned with alternative energysources.12. Most Important Environmental Challenges 24% Most Important Environmental Challenges 18% 17% 14% 14% Use of alternative energy sources Quarries Deforestation Household garbage management Sewage recyclingVariations according to sub-categories of populationThe only noticeable variations appear when disaggregating by region, which is not surprising forenvironmental topics.(See table in Annex E for details) 24 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  25. 25. ATTITUDES TOWARDS INSTITUTIONS, CITIZENSHIP, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT6. Vulnerable GroupsRespondents were asked to name from a list two groups they saw as most vulnerable. Homosexualswere included in this list, which may explain their relatively high score. Old and poor persons were notbut were spontaneously mentioned by respondents, which explains their relatively low score.Christians are less likely to cite refugees (14%) than Sunnis and Shiites (34 and 31% respectively).Whereas women were more likely than men to cite themselves as the most vulnerable group (45% vs.25%). Youth were less likely to see themselves as a most vulnerable group than were oldergenerations.13. Vulnerable Groups 60% Vulnerable Groups 53% 34% 24% 8% 8% 2% 1% People with Youth Women Refugees Old persons Homosexuals Poor persons No answer special needs7. Making a DifferenceA majority of Lebanese believe that they cannot make a difference regarding the challenges they hadidentified. They feel only marginally more confident that they can make a change at the communitythan at the national level. Age, sex, income level or region do not influence responses, while Shiitesappear less confident in their capacity to make a large difference than other confessions. It is notablethat youth does not appear to be more confident than older generations.14. Making a Difference Making a difference 61% 53% Community level National Level 25% 21% 16% 13% 6% 5% 1% 1% I can’t make a change I can somewhat make a I can make an average I can make a big change. Don’t know, no answer change change8. Confidence in Institutions to Solve Problems and Representativeness of InstitutionsAs shown in the two graphs below, the Lebanese demonstrate a very contrasted attitude towardsinstitutions. They mention security as one of their top national concerns and trust the institution incharge, namely the Armed Forces. To a lesser extent, the same is true from other institutions linked tosecurity and law enforcement: General Security and Internal Security Forces (ISF). Civil society 25 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  26. 26. organizations (CSOs) are the second most trusted institutions, after the Armed Forces, which seems toshow that the Lebanese trust CSOs to deliver what the government cannot do and only have a highlevel of confidence in one governmental institution. Indeed, they distrust to a high level the nationalgovernment, the parliament and political parties, which should be the institutions in charge ofresponding to their concerns regarding economy or political instability.When asked about the institutions that best represent their interests, only the Lebanese Armed Forcesmaintain their high score while CSOs’ score decreases markedly and other institutions are hardlyconsidered to be representative. It is striking that, while 48% show confidence to some level in thelocal government, only 10% view it as one of the institutions that best represents their interests.Citizens simply do not seem to feel that their interests are adequately taken into account. This suggestsa strong disconnect between the citizenry and the institutions meant to respond to their concerns.15. Degree of Confidence in Institutions 82% Degree of Confidence in Institutions Great deal of confidence No confidence 60% 54% 54% 46% 44% 45% 39% 34% 20% 20% 18% 14% 12% 11% 10% 8% 4% Lebanese Civil Society General Police/law The Judicial Local/city The Political Government Armed Forcesorganizations Security enforcement System government parliament parties (NGOs) (Internal Security Forces (ISF))16. Representativeness of institutions 83% Institution Representativeness 35% 17% 15% 15% 10% Lebanese Armed Civil Society General Security Lebanese elite Police/law Local/city Forces organizations forces enforcement government (NGOs)Regional variationsAll the major confessions seem to have a great deal of confidence in the Lebanese Armed Forces,however Christians were more likely to cite them (86%) whereas Sunnis were least likely to do so(77%). Shiites seem to have the least confidence in the ISF (39%) whereas Sunnis have the mostconfidence (50%). Shiites have the largest deal of confidence in the parliament (23%) and GeneralSecurity (57%) compared to 40% of Christians. Generally, it appears that different confessional groups 26 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  27. 27. have a higher degree of confidence in the security institutions that are perceived to be dominated bytheir sect (LAF for Christians, ISF for Sunnis, and General Security for Shiites).Lebanese from all governorates have a great deal of trust in the armed forces, but such trust is nearlyuniversal in the South and somewhat lower in Beirut and Nabatieh. This may have some relationship tothe fact that the Lebanese Armed Forces have been deployed in the South in large numbers since theend of the 2006 July War as part of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. Lebanese that livein the South are more likely than residents of other regions to trust political parties, the nationalgovernment and the parliament. Residents of Mount Lebanon are more likely to trust their localgovernment than are residents of Beirut and other regions. Residents of Nabatieh and South havesomewhat less trust in the ISF than residents of other governorates.Civil society organizations enjoy high levels of trust throughout the country, but this trust declinessignificantly among Lebanese living in Bekaa. It is highest in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. Druze on theother hand have the greatest deal of confidence in civil society (67%), compared to 58% of bothChristians and Sunnis, and 40% for Shiites.(See Annex E for details)Other variationsPeople living in urban areas are more likely to cite a great deal of confidence in the Lebanese ArmedForces than people living in rural areas (83 vs 76%). They are also more likely to cite a great deal ofconfidence in CSOs (56 vs 40%). The same applies to high vs. low-income populations.Age, sex or employment status do not appear to influence the respondents’ opinions.9. Political parties and elections58% of respondents declare that no party reflects their opinions. An additional 6% declined to answerthe question. It is difficult to determine whether this is due to a reluctance to share this informationwith a surveyor or whether they feel genuinely alienated from political parties. Men are more likely tocite affiliation with a political party, where 13% have cited that they are current members in a politicalgroup compared to 5% of women.Intention to vote in the next parliamentary electionsShiites are more likely to vote in the forthcoming elections at 67%, as compared to 61% of Christiansand merely 53% of Sunnis.Despite the fact that women equally participated in the last municipal and parliamentary elections,they are less likely to cite their will to participate in the upcoming elections (57%) compared to 63% ofmen.10. Civil Society OrganizationsAlthough more than half of all Lebanese say they have a great deal or some confidence in civil societyorganizations to solve the country’s major problems and more than a third say that these organizationsbest represent their interests, 16.5% of them were unable to mention a single name of a CSO.The Lebanese Red Cross is the most frequently mentioned, followed by a number of charities withnation-wide or local coverage. The most frequently cited CSOs are those that are known for both theirpresence in the media and their relief work. Advocacy-oriented NGOs and political foundations are 27 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  28. 28. only mentioned by very few respondents, although most of them would have been recognized if theyhad been cited by name in the questionnaire.The Lebanese could name many civil society organizations, but seem to either not know whichorganizations’ views and interests are closest to their own or feel that none reflect such views, with theexception of the Red Cross. All of this appears to indicate that the view of CSOs is one of worthyorganizations, dedicated to relief work but that they are not perceived or known for their capacity toadvocate on citizen’s concerns.Regardless of their lack of knowledge about exactly what these organizations believe and do, Lebaneseconfidence in civil society organizations, as noted above, is strong. They believe that their initiatives toaddress challenges in their country are successful and effective. Lebanese support these initiatives—84% say this while only 14% say that they do not support CSO initiatives.17. Civil Society Organizations’ Success and Effectiveness 53% Civil Society Organizations’ Success and Effectiveness 28% 10% 6% 3% Very successful and Somewhat successful Not very successful and Not successful and Don’t know, no answer effective and effective effective effective at allChristians have the highest share of belief that CSO initiatives to address challenges in Lebanon aresuccessful/effective (62%) whereas Shiites have the least (37%). Urban areas are more likely to cite thatCSOs are effective in addressing challenges (54 vs 47%) than rural areas.Among the 84% of all Lebanese who say that they support civil society initiatives, making a donation orproviding financial support is the most common way of showing their support—two-thirds (68%) of allwho support civil society initiatives say they do so financially. Much lower shares of the population saythat they participate in their activities (17%) or volunteer with the organizations (14%).Christians have the highest share of supporting CSO initiatives to address challenges in Lebanon (91%)whereas Shiites have the least (72%). Urban residents are more likely to support initiatives than ruralresidents (85 vs 74%).18. Type of Support for Civil Society Initiatives Type of Support for Civil Society Initiatives 68% 14% 17% 1% 0% 1% Volunteering Donation/financial Participating in Moral support Praying Don’t know, no support their activities answerThis low level of active participation, rather than financial participation, is not surprising, since only 6%say that they are a member of a civil society organization. Note that youth are more likely to supportNGO initiatives through volunteering and participation in activities (22.5% compared to 14% of adults). 28 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  29. 29. 11. Cross-confessional relationsWhile sectarianism in society and confessionalism are seen as a major issue confronting the country,most Lebanese are willing to cooperate with individuals and groups from different confessions toaddress problems on the community level (89%) and the national level (88%). Sunnis and Druze aremore likely to be willing to cooperate with individuals/groups from different confessions as comparedto 86% of Christians. However, as seen in the table below, dialogue is by far the mode of engagementthey would consider and few would go farther to participate in joint activities.19. Types of Cooperation across Confessions 80% Types of Cooperation across Confessions 16% 3% 1% 0% Engaging in dialogue to Participation in joint Money contribution Don’t know, no answer Other find solutions to activities common problemsThis willingness to cooperate across confessions may be related to the basis upon which Lebanesedevelop relationships with others. As seen in the table below, most Lebanese develop relationshipsbased on proximity: through neighborhoods, workplaces or school. Only 3% say they developrelationships based on shared political views. This is consistent with their views of political parties.20. Basis of Cooperation across Confessions 49% Basis of Cooperation across Confessions 18% 10% 5% 3% 2% 2% 2% Neighbors Colleagues at School/college Humanism Share your Depending on Share your Friendship work friends political views the treatment confession of the other person 29 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  30. 30. MEDIA USAGE12. Media Use and Information SourcesLebanese are mostly consumers of television, with 89% watching TV daily. Other types of media areused much less frequently. Interestingly, if one does not take into account cell phones, the secondmost consumed media is internet, with radio a distant third. The graph below shows how much printedpress is now ignored by the population.As could be expected, youth are more likely to cite using the internet on a daily basis as compared toolder age groups (67% vs. 25%). The same applies to phone usage (96% vs. 86%). While no significantdifference was noted across all confessions on watching television and using the internet, Shiites areless likely to listen to the radio (13%), with at least 12 percentage points difference with Sunnis andDruze and 20 points with Christians.21. Media Use 89% 87% Daily Moderate use Don’t use / Rarely use 74% 57% 51% 41% 27% 16% 15% 8% 11% 8% 11% 3% 2% Watch TV Use a cell phone Use the internet Listen to the radio Read the newspaperWhen asked about the frequency of different media sources for information, television again comesout on top, followed by internet. Radio or print media do not appear to be used significantly as sourcesof information.22. Frequency as a Source of Information 85% Daily Moderate use Don’t use / Rarely use 80% 66% 42% 37% 38% 33% 29% 24% 21% 16% 12% 10% 2% 3% TV Internet Radio stations Daily Newspaper Magazines and weekly newspapers 30 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  31. 31. As can be seen from the graphs below, the almost unique source of information about national or localmatters is television.23. National-Level Sources of Information 86% Source of information you use the most on the national level 7% 3% 2% 2% 1% Local TV Internet Regional / International TV Other Local newspapers Radio24. Local Sources of Information 70% Source of information you use the most in your region 7% 6% 6% 4% 3% 3% 2% Local TV Other Neighbours Internet People Friends Don’t know, no answer SMSThe ranking and frequency of usaege of sources for local information mirrors to a large degree that ofnational information sources.25. Media Outlets Used for National Information 23% 21% National Information Source 17% 15% 8% 8% 6% 2% 2% 1% 31 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  32. 32. 26. Media Outlets used for Local Information 22% 22% Regional Information Source 15% 13% 9% 9% 5% 3% 3% New TV LBCI MTV Other Manar TV Future TV OTV Don’t know, NBN no answer13. Usage of internetInternet users employ the internet for a number of functions, mostly social networking, research, emailand chatting. Interestingly, 60% use internet to obtain news, a share higher than for more traditionalmedia like radio or printed press.27. Connecting to the Internet – Uses For what purposes do you use the Internet? 82% 83% 84% 86% 60% 39% 12% 3.50% money shopping playing games News obtaining Chatting Email checking Research Social networks transfer/Banking28. Social Media Sites Which social networks do you use ? 97% 24% 11% 11% 4% 2% 4% Facebook MSN Twitter Whatsapp Skype Youtube Other 32 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement
  33. 33. SAMPLE DEMOGRAPHICS AND SURVEY METHODOLOGYAge 65 and Age Group above, 7% 16-29, 40% 30-64, 54%By design, the sample is made equally of men and women.Educational Attainment 6 40% 37% Highest Educational Level Attained 31% 30% 20% 17% 12% 10% 3% 1% 0% Illiterate / Intermediate High school / University degree Higher education No answer Elementary Technical degree36% of the respondents declared themselves to be unemployed. 45% Current Occupation (if employed) 39% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 15% 11% 10% 8% 8% 10% 4% 3% 2% 5% 0%6 Because the survey included Lebanese age 16 and older, the survey respondents’ level of education is lowerthan it would be if only adults over age 25 were included. This is because a share of respondents ages 16 – 25may not have completed their education. 33 Survey of Lebanese citizen’s priority concerns and attitudes towards civic engagement

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