Background Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) is a program designed to support the transition of men and women in rural or semi-urban areas to decent work using a community-based approach to income generation and skills development. skills. By linking employment and income generation opportunities to training and post-training support, with the engagement of relevant institutional partners, TREE serves as a vehicle for the promotion of sustainable rural livelihoods. In addition, the focus on disadvantaged groups, such as women, youth and people with disabilities, ensures inclusive growth.
As part of a strategic cooperation on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and employability programs in Lebanon, the ILO and UNICEF, together with eight local partners, adapted the approach TREE research and implemented it in seven regions of Lebanon: Chtoura and surroundings; Halba and surroundings; Oued-Khaled; Minieh and Donnieh; North Beqaa (Hermel, Qaa, Labweh); Saida; and Marjeyoun and Hasbaya. These seven geographic areas were selected based on their known vulnerability status. It was also important that a cooperation framework was already in place between UNICEF, ILO and local partners to link findings to implementation. Fieldwork was conducted in 2020 and early 2021, and analysis was completed in 2021.
The TREE methodology assesses market needs and opportunities, and data was collected at three levels:
• at the community level, using a community profiling tool;
• at household level, using the Consumer Demand Survey (CDS);
• at company level, using the Market Opportunity Survey (MOS).
The Community Profile (CP) tool was administered to local key informants, including members of city council, social activists, TVET curriculum designers and trainers, chambers of commerce and private businesses. On average, between 9 and 12 interviews were carried out in each region for a rapid mapping of the local community and its economy. The PC informed the selection of sectors to be included in the CDS and MOS. Four sectors with potential for employment and entrepreneurship for young people have been prioritized: accommodation and catering, food manufacturing, construction and repair of houses and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Cross-functional retail services were also taken into account. In order to address COVID-19 restrictions, the CDS and MOS were conducted by telephone, and the sampling involved a snowball approach.
A total of 2,998 CDS questionnaires were administered, with an average of 428 surveys per geographic area. The sample comprised 52% men and 48% women. About 20 percent of the respondents were young people and 37 percent had attained a university level, including higher technical education.
A total of 1,792 establishments were surveyed for the MOS across the seven regions. Respondents included business owners or managers, 88% of whom were men. The women interviewed tended to be better educated than the men; 59% of them have completed university studies compared to 24% of men. About 87 percent of establishments were sole proprietorships, 9 percent were partnerships, 3 percent were LLCs (limited liability companies), and about 1 percent were joint stock companies (SALs).