Neighbourhood Profiles

Assessments of disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Lebanon containing original multisectoral,
multicohort, spatialized data that is analysed within an area-based framework.


Since the beginning of the Syrian refugee crisis in 2011, Lebanon has hosted a large number of Syrian refugees, many of whom are located alongside other vulnerable non-Lebanese and poor Lebanese in urban settings that were already stressed before the crisis onset. In a long-standing national context of scarce data, combined with ever-growing pressure to maximize efficiencies in intervention funding, there is an urgent need for reliable multisectoral and spatialized information. Such holistic data can support municipalities and other state and non-state entities to mitigate cross-cohort vulnerability. To offer such a springboard for moving towards sustainable development, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have jointly undertaken 28 neighbourhood profiles

Adopting an area-based approach to data gathering and synthesis, where a defined territorial unit is the point of entry rather than a particular sector or beneficiary cohort, profiles can inform integrated programming for neighbourhoods in ways that benefit all residents in the long term. Organizationally, profiles can serve as a framework for coordinated actions between partners to the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), United Nations Strategic Framework (UNSF) for Lebanon, and local authorities to improve the response in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in complex urban settings.


The UN-Habitat and UNICEF neighbourhood profiling approach comprises two phases:

Phase 1: This involved the national selection and geographical delimitation of areas to be profiled. The 498 identified disadvantaged areas were ranked nationally. For top-ranking identified disadvantaged areas selected for profiling, neighbourhood boundaries were drawn in the field.

Phase 2: For the selected neighbourhoods, the second phase encompasses data gathering, analysis, validation, publishing and dissemination.

● Neighbourhood profiling involves a mixed-methods approach. Primary quantitative and qualitative data is gathered participatively through field assessments, household surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. Information is collected from both Lebanese and non-Lebanese residents of the neighbourhood of different gender and age groups. Secondary quantitative and qualitative data is captured to contextualize and complement the primary data findings.

● Data from all mapped, quantitative and qualitative sources is analysed holistically to ensure data integration across all issues and sectors, spanning governance, population, safety and security, health, education, child protection, youth, local economy and livelihoods, buildings and housing, basic urban services, access, and open spaces.

● Data and analysis are validated with a range of local actors before profile publishing. Out of the 28 profiles, 4 were published in print format and the remaining will be published in this online portal on a rolling basis as data collection and analysis are completed.

You can also read this toolbox, to learn more about the Lebanon neighbourhood profiling methodology and how it relates and compares to the extensive urban profiling experience UN-Habitat has in the region (including in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen) in relation to the Urban Recovery Analysis Framework developed by UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Arab States.

To learn more about how to read and use a neighbourhood profile, download the English toolkit. A shorter version of it in Arabic provides information about the content and data sources of a neighbourhood profile. You can also watch a tutorial video to learn how to navigate the portal:


Neighbourhood profiles contribute to building a national database of comparable data that can be used for better understanding and monitoring of dynamics in the most vulnerable urban pockets that cadastral, municipal and district averages can be blind to, and how these relate to their wider urban contexts.

Neighbourhood profiles promote a data-led approach to decision-making, hence transparent and accountable governance. As area-based statistical and mapped data sources, profiles can be used by local authorities and non-state actors for context-sensitive targeting and sectorally integrated programming. They serve as a framework for coordinated actions between state and non-state partners involved in addressing vulnerabilities, hence enhancing efficiencies in intervention funding and implementation. The new knowledge baseline provided by the profiles helps inform sectoral and stakeholder planning and coordination with the aim of mitigating vulnerabilities, especially through the enhancement of assistance and service provision to those in need, whether through strategies or projects.

More specifically, profiles are used by UN-Habitat, UNICEF and/or other stakeholders active in the profiled neighbourhoods to design and implement various types of projects. Besides alleviating immediate needs, profiles can also be used for longer-term sustainable urban development planning and policy development, taking into account the neighbourhoods’ embeddedness in their respective wider city.

To promote uptake of data in the neighbourhood profiles and use of the online portal by local authorities, United Nations agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society groups, UN-Habitat and UNICEF held a series of 16 training sessions in 2020 and 2021 for different profiled neighbourhoods. The sessions presented the main findings of the profiles and took participants through the many functionalities of the portal. They also promoted the use of the data for evidence-based programming and coordination within an area-based framework.

The video to the left features an array of testimonials from individuals representing municipalities, international and national NGOs, academia, and others, who explain the benefits and uses of the neighbourhood profiles. It includes individuals who participated in the training sessions, among others.

You can also read a press release (in English and Arabic) and a web story published about the profiles and the training sessions.

UN-Habitat and UNICEF acknowledge the cooperation of national authorities and municipalities in the production of the profiles. The field data collection effort was expedited with the direct involvement of staff from the Regional Technical Offices of municipalities or unions of municipalities (where present) as well as from local and international non-governmental organizations, and various universities in Lebanon. In a few neighbourhoods with access challenges, local teams of community mobilizers facilitated field data collection. The funding support of donors is gratefully acknowledged.

UN-Habitat Lebanon   |   Project methodology development: Ali Saad, Dani Haraki, Riham Kowatly, Suzanne Maguire, Synne Bergby. Project management: Nanor Karageozian. Project officers:  Ali Saad (GIS information management); Dani Harake (field preparation and data collection); Riham Kowatly (analysis, visualization, and communications). Profiles production and design: Georges Abi Sleiman, Julie Brun, Rena Abou Chawareb, and Samar Al-Skaff. GIS data processing:  Christelle Bercachy with Mohammed Abou Daher and Racha Serhal. Graphics: Khouloud Hijazi. Website development: Ali Hamad Ameen with design support from Riham Kowatly. Editing: Nanor Karageozian; Suzanne Maguire. Field coordination: Lady Habchy, Mazen Mahfouz, Mohammad Sayah, Samer Chinder, and Wael Sinno. Field enumeration: Ali Ghazal, Danielle Hayek, Fouad Tabikh, Lea Hanna, Nisreen Khalifeh, Sarah Kassem, Thierry Khalil, and Vanessa Chamilian. With contributions from: Amanda Kassab, Aya Assouma, Christelle Rabil, Dahlia Zain, Danielle El-Masri, Dina Hanna, Esmaeel Adrah, Farah El-Katerji, Inji El-Bakry, Jonathan Sawaya, Maria Rajha, Massa Mrad, Norma Azzam, Razan Jawad, Robin Fraiture, Yara Roumieh, Yasmine Murtada, Zainab Chamoun, and Zeina Serhal.

UNICEF Lebanon   |   Georges Haddad; Jamil El-Khoury; Lama Ghanem; with Connecting Research to Development (CRD).