Syria

Since 2015, IFIT has provided independent advice and training to a wide range of key actors seeking a negotiated solution to the country’s armed conflict. In 2019, IFIT created the Syria Resource Group (SRG): a multidisciplinary brain trust of Syrian experts and civic leaders working to develop and promote a local vision for the country’s recovery and future reconstruction and the corresponding role of international assistance providers.

Comprised of 22 Syrian experts based in the country, closely associated to it, or actively involved from abroad, the SRG works to find creative, realistic and principled solutions to Syria’s recovery and future reconstruction and the international financing of it. The SRG promotes a deliberately Syrian-led approach by providing local-level assessment, generating locally conceived proposals and solutions, and helping shape – rather than merely react to – international aid offerings. The group aims to promote inclusive assistance for the Syrian population, taking into account the diverse demographic, political, economic and security realities of the country.

Virtual Convening: Towards More Principled International Support

A Dialogue between Syrians and the International Community

Thursday 31 March, 2022

The Convening website: syriaprincipledsupport.info

The Convening Conclusions and Recommendations

In response to the manipulation, politicisation and diversion of international aid during the decade-long conflict in Syria, and the risk these pose for future recovery and reconstruction, the SRG has developed and disseminated an overarching policy framework to help realise more just and realistic parameters for international assistance in Syria. Drawing on its recommendations, the SRG holds regular dialogues with donors and policymakers.

SRG Policy Framework

International Assistance for All in Syria (June 2020)

The SRG has developed and disseminated a policy framework to help realise more just and realistic parameters for international assistance in Syria. Drawing on its recommendations, the SRG holds dialogues with donors and policymakers, seeking to encourage aid practices that create conditions for sustainable peace rather than entrenching the conflict.

The framework suggests that instead of conditioning future international assistance on a political solution to the conflict, the international community should apply a human rights-based conditionality to all forms of assistance, beyond traditional humanitarian action. 

The framework is highly operational and outlines a realistic and comprehensive set of inter-connected principles, namely: avoiding the use of compromised channels of assistanceworking incrementally on a small and local levelusing trusted Syrian intermediaries; establishing effective monitoring mechanisms; and reactivating the role of trusted private sector actors.

DOWNLOAD

Highlights

Video: SRG Brussels VI Conference Side event: Advancing the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus

Highlights from the discussion between IFIT Syria Resource Group (SRG), UN-Habitat Syria, and the Centre for Operational Analysis and Research (COAR)

Publications

POLICY RECOMMENDATION

Towards More Principled International Support to Syria: Convening Conclusions and Recommendations (March 2022)

This document outlines the recommendations from the Towards More Principled International Support convening conducted by the IFIT Syria Resource Group and its 12 Syrian civil society partners. The event called for the international community to rethink its approach to providing support to Syria, to ensure an effective and sustainable response that meets the minimum needs of the Syrian people and facilitates local communities to lead their own recovery.

Infographic

International Assistance for All in Syria (March 2022)

This infographic presents the SRG's framework for principled international support to Syria and summarises how it can be operationalised.

POLICY RECOMMENDATION (1/3)

International Assistance for All in Syria: Choosing the Right Channels (October 2021)

This publication showcases experiences of working with uncompromised channels inside Syria to deliver international assistance. Emphasising the need for innovation, legitimate payment mechanisms, and independent monitoring, it offers reflections on how these examples can be replicated and scaled up, these in order to help improve the lives of all Syrians.

POLICY RECOMMENDATION (2/3)

International Assistance for All in Syria: Going Local, Small and Incremental (October 2021)

A local, incremental approach to international support to Syria will facilitate the provision of fair and non-discriminatory access to aid for all Syrians. Working locally with smaller organisations reduces the risk of corruption and bypasses compromised channels of aid delivery.

POLICY RECOMMENDATION (3/3)

International Assistance for All in Syria: Using Trusted Syrian Intermediaries (October 2021)

Working with trusted Syrian intermediaries can bridge the divide between donors and local communities and facilitate more efficient, sustainable support. In the absence of confidence in established authorities, appropriate Syrian intermediaries could assume coordination of projects, thereby reducing costs and resolving problems of aid diversion.