Rana Hajjar is an Executive Masters in Cities Alumnus (Class of 2017-2019) where she received a distinction. The following story looks at the impact that her consultancy work has had on the refugee shelter sector in Lebanon.
Rana’s consultancy was written for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) who are actively working in Lebanon to assist with the shelter needs of Syrian refugees. The NRC was specifically interested in the outcomes of single- parent female led households. Through in depth interviews with nearly 20 households, the consultancy provided key recommendations to the NRC to improve gender mainstreaming to deal with issues of discrimination and other challenges these women faced in the private rental market.
Upon completing the consultancy, Rana presented her work in a number of conferences including one of the UNHCR national shelter working group meetings in the region that brought together organisations such as UN-Habitat, Save the Children, the NRC and the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs. The consultancy received great traction with one of the key donors attending the conference asking Rana to consider expanding her work to include the outcomes of women in two-parent households.
The NRC has since used Rana’s consultancy in global shelter conferences, including the Middle East Shelter and Settlements Forum (Amman, Jordan, July 2019) and the NRC Global Shelter and Settlements Seminar (Berlin, June 2019).
The NRC recently published Rana’s entire work as a key reference point in the shelter sector within its website:
Rana is a senior Project Manager who has been managing and delivering construction projects for the past twelve years across various cities in the Middle East region; mainly in Beirut, Dubai, and Doha. Prior to completing her Executive MSc in Cities, her experience had been mostly in private sector projects, predominantly with the multinational consultancy firm AECOM.
Rana has effectively used her recent LSE degree as a bridge to transition to the Development sector starting with her 6-month consultancy project with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) which tackled gender-related challenges faced by Syrian refugees in Lebanon while accessing the housing market. The consultancy findings received wide acclaim by NRC and the key shelter sector actors in Lebanon and beyond. Subsequently, Rana has secured a project management role on an environmental project with a local NGO in Lebanon. The project, funded by the EU as part of a nationwide programme, involves an array of partners (e.g. unions of municipalities, American University of Beirut, specialist consultants etc) and aims at developing an innovative solid waste management solution primarily focused on the 3R’s principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).
Rana also holds academic qualifications in Civil Engineering (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Project Management (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), and Sustainable Development (SOAS, London).