Client name: Confidential

Duration: 2012-2013

Location: Syria


Coffey and its American operation, Management Systems International (MSI), have trained Syrian civil society professionals to help them take an active role in assisting their communities and in resolving conflict peacefully.  

Situation

Decades of authoritarian governance under the Assad regime have impeded the ability of civil society in Syria to play an active role in promoting democracy and human rights. The majority of civil society initiatives launched in response to the current conflict are limited in scope and scale due to restrictions imposed by the regime that hinder any significant delivery of humanitarian assistance.

In the absence of a legitimate governing authority to act as a neutral arbiter in local conflict, many community leaders in this emerging sector recognise the need to strengthen the role of Syrian civil society to lay the groundwork for a Syrian-led democratic transition. However, most NGOs lack the basic managerial, technical, and financial structures, thus inhibiting their ability to operate in an effective and sustainable manner.

Solution

Train civil society – The initial phase of this project involved the delivery of a series of workshops to respond to the growing need for capacity building in the Syrian NGO sector. These workshops focused on stabilisation, recovery, transitional justice, conflict mitigation, strategic planning, project management, monitoring and evaluation, and community mobilisation.

Build capacity of local partner organisations – This involved intensive capacity building for three main partner organisations to build their internal capacity to serve as hub organisations that can efficiently implement service delivery projects within their own communities, but also share knowledge and skills with smaller NGOs and communities throughout Syria.

Disbursement of grants – As part of the second phase of this project, numerous sub-grants will be given to three NGOs to implement service delivery projects via community initiatives within Syria. We worked with each organisation to develop grant applications, budget and implementation skills.

Result

More than 30 staff members from three partner NGOs have received intensive training and mentoring, enabling them to effectively design, disburse and manage grant funds reaching all Syrian sects and sectors.

The partner NGOs learnt to manage the disbursement of grants in accordance with international standards, providing reliable partners for bilateral and multilateral donors.

Additionally, 30 small service delivery initiatives were implemented by the NGOs to support Syrian people, reaching hundreds of distressed individuals across the nation.

“We benefited from this training several ways, especially the civil society training...from learning how to mobilise civil society institutions, how to communicate with others, and the tools that civil society institutions can utilise to create progress in society.”
Participant in Phase One of the project