Are municipalities in Lebanon delivering? Survey results on solid waste management, public safety, and citizen outreach at the local level

Fouad Gehad Marei

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Since the reopening of municipal elections and the reinstatement of the role of local authorities in 1998, the relationship between local governance and service delivery has grown in importance. With the influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon, policy priorities and humanitarian and crisis response interventions have been increasingly focused on municipalities and unions of municipalities. But the creation of more than 350 new municipalities since 1998 has made municipalities smaller, weaker, and more dependent on the central government and foreign funding to fulfil their duties. It has also made the elected municipal councils more prone to the interference of political parties and the influence of sectarian patrons to receive technical guidance and access funding opportunities.

Municipalities and municipal unions therefore face long-standing structural and institutional challenges, many of which have a direct bearing on their ability to effectively and successfully deliver public services. In 2018, Democracy Reporting International (DRI) surveyed 11 central government administrations and 209 municipalities across Lebanon’s 24 districts and 8 governorates, to identify and assess the challenges facing local service delivery in three policy areas and service sectors, namely: solid waste management (SWM); public safety and the role of municipal police; transparency and citizen participation. These sectors were chosen in view of the municipalities’ growing responsibility for managing their waste and addressing security concerns and environmental degradation in the wake of the 2015 “waste crisis” and the protracted refugee crisis. Furthermore, the government’s enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) Law in 2017 raises the question whether it is being implemented and used.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDemocracy Reporting International
Commissioning bodyDemocracy Reporting International
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Marei, Fouad G. 2019. Are Municipalities in Lebanon Delivering? Survey Results on Solid Waste Management, Public Safety and Government Transparency. Berlin: Democracy Reporting International. July 2019.


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