Summary and Recommendations

Results of the second phase of mapping Syrian civil society actors

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  • Raising the level of governance: Syrian CSOs are required to raise the level of transparency, accountability and representation on all echelons of their administrative entities. All of the aforementioned requires that the CSOs in question undergo basic training in drafting hierarchies, policies, procedures and mechanisms of enacting them. Most important of all is the separation of powers in these organizations by keeping the board of directors separate from the executive branch in order to raise the level of accountability and transparency.
  • Increasing the level of transparency by developing departments for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL), all of which was not paid proper attention in the organizations that were sampled in this study. This requires awareness programs that stress the importance of such departments and provide training in their respective fields. Additionally, a policy of transparency must be emphasized through the publishing of financial reports or by stating organizations’ intervention policies.
    Increasing the level of representation for women in a way that mirrors Syrian diversity across administrative bodies on all levels, in addition to thoroughly investigating the reasons behind the low levels of participation of women in managerial levels in Syrian organizations.

Increasing the level of independence for Syrian CSOs that largely rely on governmental and international grants, and emphasizing the need for these organizations to launch profit-oriented programs that increase their financial independence and pushes them to engage in charitable work instead of pro bono activities. Additionally, the position of Fundraising Officer is almost nonexistent in most organizations, reflecting a mentality of total reliance on donors for designating funding resources.

For organizations working in the fields of development and relief:

• Raising awareness of civil work culture and the principles of humanitarian intervention, in addition to promoting a human rights centric approach when designing and executing projects.