CSP Interns Train 41 Local Partners on Effective Online Communication Tools
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, and amidst the worsening economic and security situation across Lebanon, online distance communication has become an essential tool for conducting day-to-day business. Since many municipalities in Lebanon have not digitized their operations, municipal council members were reporting difficulties in using existing and emerging technologies to conduct virtual meetings and discuss issues of concern, make timely decisions, and regularly engage with the community and other stakeholders. To overcome this barrier and improve the communication skills of its local partners, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) trained five of its graduate interns from Saint-Joseph University, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and the Beirut Arab University on effective communication through emails, Zoom, and Google Space, and built their training capacities to enable them to coach local partners.
On May 9, 2023, and following three months of in-person capacity building to local partners, CSP’s interns completed training workshops on effective online communication to 167 representatives from 41 partners, including municipalities, unions of municipalities, cooperatives, and civil society organizations. Participants were trained in developing online surveys, conducting/participating in virtual events, and communicating via emails. Following the training, a municipal council member from Al Marj, Beqaa created the municipality’s first Google Form survey to collect information on refugees residing in the village. Another participant from the Jdaidet Al Qaitea agricultural cooperative in North Lebanon sent her first email to CSP announcing the cooperative’s participation in one of the biggest agri-food events in Lebanon.
“Prior to the training, my knowledge of online communication was very limited. Thanks to the instructors, I now feel confident working on multiple platforms. I firmly believe that the valuable skills I acquired will improve my work and the municipality’s communication efforts with the community,” said Nayfeh Nicolas Elias, municipal council member in Kfar Hilda, North Lebanon.