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Community Contribution

Reflecting and Adapting to Evolving Challenges in Lebanon

Amal El Deek and Leen Habib

The Lebanon Investment in Quality (LINQ) project is implemented by Land O'Lakes Venture37 through a Cooperative Agreement funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal of the project is to increase the competitiveness of value-added agribusinesses in Lebanon leading to improved incomes and increased domestic and international sales. It is expected to achieve its goal through providing direct technical assistance (TA) and facilitating technology upgrades to agribusinesses (growers, processors, etc.) by means of investment partnerships and grants. LINQ has faced evolving and unexpected challenges since inception, which include, mass protests, economic collapse, the massive port blast in Beirut and the devaluation of the local currency in addition to a global pandemic which lead to national lockdowns.

Luckily, a CLA approach was incorporated into LINQ at the design phase which has helped the project to adapt quickly to a volatile environment, while at the same time creating solutions that are effective and respond to partner needs. Making good use of a solid M&E system, LINQ built its CLA approach upon technical evidence, Pause and Reflect sessions and open discussions. Fostering collaboration externally with partner organizations and stakeholders, and internally within project staff around what works and what does not, allowed the project to quickly address initial design limitations, adapt, and forge a way forward as new national challenges continue to unfold. This CLA approach fostered adjusting training model for agribusinesses, realigning project priorities and developing ways to increase youth and women participation in activities. Despite the multiple evolving national crises in Lebanon, LINQ is still on course to achieve and surpass many of its project targets in large part due to it's CLA approach.

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