Seminar report: Syrian civil society demands better inclusion in responses on Syria

Key note speaker Ms. Helen Clark (on the left) emphasized the importance of social cohesion and supporting the Syrian’s own plans and actors in Helsinki on January 23, in an event organised by civil society organisations . In the middle Mr. Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj (Common Space Initiative) and on the right Mr. Sami Lahdensuo (CMI). Photo: Ville Nykänen.

The civil society in Syria should be recognized as an important actor for change instead of a mere service provider. Read the full report from the NGO seminar How to support bottom-up community resilience in Syria.

Syrian civil society demands better inclusion in planning and implementing responses on Syria. That was one of the main conclusions of the seminar organized by Crisis Management Initiative, Felm, Fida International, Finn Church Aid, Kehys, Kepa and Save the Children Finland in Helsinki on January 23rd 2017.

The event took place one day ahead of UN’s launch of the 2017-2018 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) and the key humanitarian priorities in Syria.

The genuine inclusion of Syrian civil society in all phases of aid programming was seen as not only the right thing to do, but also as a vital prerequisite for success in building local resilience, long term development and sustainable peace.

It was noted that the multiple roles of Syrian civil society have to be recognized: instead of being a mere service provider it is an important actor both in building social cohesion and in interacting with local governance. Participants agreed that it is important to learn from the past experience and to ensure that aid to Syria doesn’t polarize further along the dividing lines of the conflict, but instead creates incentives for cooperation.

Read the full report in pdf-format by clicking on this link.