Civil Society in North East Syria: A closer look

A collection of papers giving a closer look into some of the factors that shape the civic space in Northeast Syria, the structures , main stakeholders and human capital. These papers are based on data from a cross-sectional perception gauging survey of members of active Civil Society Organizations in NES

Civil society in Northeast Syria has a long history that predates the uprising of 2011, or what is widely considered the rebirth of Syrian Civil society. Major shifts in political and security over the last decade have contributed to the creation of a unique operational context for civil society actors. 

A growing number and bigger engagement of local organizations, an increased interest from international stakeholders in the region, and a variety of external contextual factors shape the civic space and necessitate a closer look into these dynamics to achieve a better understanding of the context and hence engage in more relevant programming.

More specifically, it is imperative to understand how does the civic space look today in Northeast Syria? what is the relation between organised civil society and civic activism in this context? And how does this space relate and respond to motives, aspirations, and concerns of  individuals with it? 

This collection of papers aims to answer these questions by looking into the individuals within this space, analyzing their perceptions and opinions on topics related to civil society role and space, the current operational context, activism, wellbeing and duty of care as well as future prospects and personal motivations. The papers are based on data from a cross-sectional perception gauging survey of members of active CSOs in NES, which was carried on by IMPACT through its Civil Society Support Centers in April 2022.

As contextual background, this research collection is also supported by a research paper produced by IMPACT-Research in 2021, which focuses on analyzing the funding trends and dynamics of relations between stakeholders in NES, including Local CSOs, International NGOs, Donors and local authorities; and provides recommendations for increased localization of aid.

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