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The territorial dimension of health crisis – DITES

The TErritorial DImension of Health crisis

Territorial systems and modalities of cooperation between territorial levels

In scientific works as well as in political arrangements, resilience has become an inescapable qualifier to describe the resistance capacity of the Lebanese to the different crises that have impacted Lebanon. Few studies have focused on activating the territorial dimension of these crises, particularly the health crisis. However, it is in the multi-scalar territorial deployments that the socio-economic dynamics are played out and that the implementation of an effective and sustainable risk management system is required. <br />DITES project takes a systemic approach to the question of resilience, to grasp all levels of governance, from the State to citizens. Its objective is to reassess and propose methods of cooperation between the territorial levels in order to define modes of governance that would allow us to anticipate and adapt to different crises. Governance is understood here as the roles and responsibilities of actors at different levels of action, state or non-state. <br />DITES thus aims to grasp the complex partnerships of state governance with that of ordinary practices, between public norms and their accommodation with other actors for greater efficiency and legitimacy in everyday life. <br />The first step is to highlight the effective relationships between territories through the prism of mobility, which is an indirect indicator of efficient socio-territorial links and solidarity between populations and of resilient networks for accessing resources (food, healthcare, etc.). The second step is to identify the scales of sub-national cooperation that exist or that have emerged during the crises, whether they are the product of local institutions and elected officials or of private and informal governance actors involving the participation of populations, in order to provide relevant information on the systems of governance between localities. These data will make it possible to draw up a map of territorial systems, i.e., the effective networks of mobilities and links between the territories that emerged or persisted during the crisis. These organizations of territories into systems of relationships will be crossed with data on contamination at a fine scale of localities as well as with local containment measures in order to concretely grasp both the impact of measures taken at the national level and the differentiated adherence of populations according to the regions and localities concerned. A detailed analysis of these processes in the four field of study allows us to support the findings and recommendations locally. <br />The territorial systems that the DITES project proposes to identify constitute an essential basis for reflection in order to propose territorial organization schemes in their articulations and no longer in an isolated manner in order to re-evaluate the existing multiscalar governance systems and to make them more inclusive through cooperation and networking.

DITES initiates a mixed method of analysis
- Unprecedented identification of the mobilities that take place between territories, which have endured or emerged during the pandemic, on the scale of the whole of Lebanon thanks to the Facebook Data for Good and to fieldwork based on interviews with local actors (traders, politicians, citizens).
- Survey of public policies in the establishment of associations and networks between territories to understand the complex partnerships of state governance combined with that of ordinary practices.
- Collection of Covid data over a period of 2 years and cross-referencing with implemented strategies and mobility data to capture the effectiveness of measures.

During this first phase of the project, DITES collected unprecedented quantitative and qualitative data, at different territorial levels, concerning the populations, the mobility of the populations and the measures taken by the national and local authorities to manage the health crisis.

- Database listing the location of 400,000 people throughout the Lebanese territory, for 2 years -from April 2020 to May 2022- at a very fine territorial scale (2 km squares) thanks to Facebook Data for Good. In a country without an official census since 1932, these data will allow us to draw up an unprecedented map of the distribution of the population and its evolution during the period of the health crisis and the explosion of August 4, 2020.
- Database of daily mobility of 200,000 people over 18 years old every 8 hours from April 2020 to May 2022 - at a very fine territorial scale (2 km square) thanks to Facebook Data for Good. In a country without an official census since 1932, this data will allow us to draw up a new cartography of territorial systems of individual mobility and the links between territories.
- Identification of the wide range of official authorities in charge of disasters and risks at the national level and studying public policies (decisions, decrees...) taken by each. Three bodies of documents were collected: a) about a hundred decisions, circulars and memorandums (in Arabic) regulating the management of the COVID-19 crisis at the national level; b) scientific literature on the logic of the organization of decision-making in response to the health crisis; c) press archives allowing to reconstruct interviews with political actors and to identify the effective actions of the commissions in charge of managing the health crisis.
- Interviews with 13 political actors at different territorial levels in three study areas, Damour, New Sehaily and Beqaata: 2 district (caimacan) level officials; 6 for municipalities; 2 for the federation of municipalities; 2 for sub-prefectures; 1 NGO. These interviews will allow for a mapping of the territorial systems of governance and cooperation between the different territories during the crisis.

1. Public policies:

- The in-depth analysis of the measures taken will be the subject of a specific study to be carried out from September 2022. The aim is to draw up a detailed assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the decisions with regard to the territorial levels concerned and involved in the process
- The detailed analysis of the interviews conducted with the official actors will be crossed with the interviews conducted with the informal actors

2. Informal mechanisms

- Semi-structured interviews will be conducted in the three study areas with informal actors from the medical and paramedical sectors, political parties and NGOs, as well as with stakeholders (residents)

3. Populations, Mobilities and Covid Data

- A mapping of the populations of 400,000 people and the mobilities of 200,000 people will be developed in the coming months to highlight connected territorial systems and the evolution of the networking of territories during this period.
- Interviews will be conducted in the three study areas with inhabitants (25 people), with people who regularly visit the area (25 people), and with new inhabitants who have recently moved in the last two years (25 people) in order to determine the adherence of the populations to the measures taken by the authorities.

In scientific works as well as in political arrangements, resilience has become an inescapable qualifier to describe the resistance capacity of the Lebanese to the different crises that have impacted Lebanon. Few studies have focused on activating the territorial dimension of these crises, particularly the health crisis. However, it is in the multi-scalar territorial deployments that the socio-economic dynamics are played out and that the implementation of an effective and sustainable risk management system is required.
The DITES project takes up the issue of resilience in a systemic approach to grasp all levels of governance, from the State to citizens. Its objective is to reassess and propose methods of cooperation between the territorial levels in order to define modes of governance that would allow us to anticipate and adapt to different crises. Governance is understood here as the roles and responsibilities of actors at different levels of action, whether state or non-state, at national and local levels, to ensure the smooth running, continuity and sustainability of activities.
To this end, DITES will initiate an unprecedented identification of the mobilities that take place between territories, which have last or emerged during the pandemic. DITES will also explore public policies in the setting up of associations and networks between territories. DITES thus aims to grasp the complex partnerships of state governance with that of ordinary practices, between public norms and their accommodation with other actors (municipalities and civil society) for greater efficiency and legitimacy in everyday life.
It is the role of planners, geographers, architects and urban planners to draw attention to the challenges of taking into account the way territories function in order to better understand the facts in times of crisis. These professionals are the best placed to propose inclusive modes of governance so that the recommendations made by elected officials are as close as possible to the fieldwork and lead to greater support from the population for the measures implemented. A guide document will be developed to propose an action plan for resilient cities and territories.

Project coordinator

Madame NADINE CATTAN (Géographie-cités)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

UMR 8504 Géographie-cités
Université Libanaise
AUSSER UMR AUSSER

Help of the ANR 95,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2022 - 18 Months

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