The Lebanon Humanitarian & Development NGOs Forum (LHDF) was established in January 2014 by a group of local and national organizations active in the humanitarian and development sectors in Lebanon, mainly within the framework of the response to the Syrian crisis.
The main purpose of this platform was to strengthen local and national humanitarian NGOs in order to transform them into an essential tool for crisis management. In November 2017, a group of 40 local and national NGOs gathered, in a workshop, to discuss the roles and the objectives of the LHDF Forum. They acknowledged the importance and the added value of having such a Forum to strengthen the coordination between local NGOs themselves and with external stakeholders.
At present, LHDF is an independent entity composed of over 85 local and national NGOs active in the humanitarian and development fields in Lebanon and operating across a wide range of sectors, being the largest and most recognized network of local and national NGOs in the country.
The LHDF administration is composed of a Secretariat and a Steering Committee which includes 7 elected NGO members, with elections held on a yearly basis.
The LHDF is an independent entity composed of local and national NGOs operating in Lebanon that facilitates the coordination between them and other relevant stakeholders to have an efficient response to the humanitarian and development needs in the country. The coordination role of the LHDF entails building consensus among relevant LNGOs in Lebanon and actively facilitating cooperation among them, with public entities, donors, international community and persons of concern.
The role of LHDF is to facilitate coordination, capacity-sharing and advocacy with relevant stakeholders to ensure an efficient, principled, accountable and localized response to both humanitarian and development needs in the country. With coordination and representation at its core, the LHDF entails voicing out the challenges and needs of its members while building consensus amongst them, mainly through facilitating inter and intra-cooperation and collaboration including, but not limited to, public entities, donors, international community and affected populations.
In particular, LHDF aims at facilitating the improvement, rationalization and optimization of the response to humanitarian and development needs in Lebanon through:
The LHDF administration is composed of a Secretariat and a Steering Committee which includes 7 elected NGO members, with elections held on a yearly basis. The current Steering Committee Members, elected in September 2022, are:
ABAAD, Al Majmoua, AMEL, Akkar Network for Development (AND), Fair Trade Lebanon, Nusaned and Himaya-Daeem-Ataa (HDA).
The Plenary Assembly is composed of all LHDF members. The Assembly decides on the strategic orientations of the Forum. Each member must nominate one staff member as main representative to the LHDF Plenary Assembly, as well as one alternate. Both designated representatives must be staff with decision-making power within the organization they represent.
Steering Committee members or Secretariat members will only make public statements (written or oral) on behalf of the LHDF members based on discussions, positions and issues pre-agreed with the Plenary Assembly.
The Plenary Assembly meets on a regular basis, upon an established calendar. There are two types of meetings:
1- Regular meetings to be held on a monthly basis, unless not possible due to specific circumstances;
2- Ad hoc meetings, upon the request of the Steering Committee, the Ethics Committee or no less than three members to discuss pressing matters in need of swift action from the Forum. Proactive positioning of LHDF on issues pertaining to its agreed priorities through formal branded documents requires non-objection from the majority of the members. Reactive positioning of LHDF on specific and topical issues through formal branded documents requires non-objection from two thirds of the Plenary Assembly.
Composition of the Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is a body composed of seven LHDF members elected on a yearly basis by the Plenary Assembly. The Steering Committee is mandated to serve the strategic orientations of LHDF as agreed by the Plenary Assembly, and has the primary responsibility for external representation of the Forum.
The Steering Committee has specific Terms of Reference that define the tasks, responsibilities and standards of behaviors associated with the role. The SC members should abide by:
Purpose and composition
The Secretariat provides strategic, technical, and logistical support to LHDF’s mission and vision. Generally, the Secretariat reports to the Steering Committee with respect to the LHDF’s activities and initiatives. The Secretariat reports to the host agency, as for operational management.
LHDF Forum Coordinator
• Manage and provide strategic and technical expertise on coordination and operational initiatives agreed on by Forum members.
• Support the SC in representing the Forum on different Fora and meetings in Lebanon and abroad.
• Facilitate and ensure consistent forum engagement in response leadership and planning mechanisms, such as the LCRP, HCT, 3RF, EOC and ERP.
• Lead the Forum Secretariat, including management of activities, staff, administration and finances.
LHDF Advocacy Consultant
One of the major components of LHDF’s mandate is to advocate with its members on key and common topics of concern (aid effectiveness, localisation, accountability, coordination etc). Supporting this component, the Advocacy consultant is responsible for the analysis of the context, socio-economic and aid trends in Lebanon, and coordinating collective advocacy initiatives for LHDF which reflect member-identified priority issues. The Advocacy consultant is also responsible for ensuring timely and effective coordination with key external stakeholders including other NGOs, fora and networks, UN agencies and national authorities. Finally, the Advocacy consultant facilitates the internal LHDF Advocacy Working Group and supports the strengthening of LHDF member’s capacities in terms of advocacy, including through training.
The Lebanon Humanitarian and development NGOs Forum is hosted by Himaya Association (and previously by Lebanon Support)