Middle East and Northern Africa

Syria 2018

Enhancing Lawful Arbitration

Free Syrian Lawyers Association


To promote conflict resolution in conflict-riddled areas. The organization will run an arbitration center that provides legal services, holds consultations, and resolves disputes consistent with local law on civil, commerce, religious law, and real estate issues, while also raising awareness of available legal mechanisms through awareness sessions and local media exposure.

Enhancing Objective Reporting

Freedom of Information


To promote objective reporting on southern Syria. The grantee will provide independent and fact-based news coverage on a wide array of issues in southern Syria, with a focus on security-related incidents and human rights violations.

Enhancing Transparency in a Closed Society

SADA for Opinion Polling


To raise awareness of public attitudes on important challenges facing Syrians, and to enhance the skills of a nascent polling group to obtain, verify, and analyze credible data and to make relevant policy recommendations. The organization will use its 50-person team to design, conduct and publish six polls to identify Syrian priorities during the ongoing crisis.

Free Journalism Academy

Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently


To enhance the role of media as a tool to expand democratic thought and assist in the reconstruction of a post-conflict society. The organization will lead a series of half-day workshops on media and its roles in a post-conflict environment. Topics will include forms of alternative media and their purposes, the role of media in protecting societies from extremism, advocacy campaigns, women in post-Da’esh society, rehabilitation of children influenced by extremist thoughts, and rule by social contracts.

Informing Citizens During Conflict

Freedom of Information


To provide fact-based, real-time public knowledge and assessment of events affecting civilian life, in a population center where state-controlled media routinely fail to provide citizens with basic information about the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis. The team will provide independent coverage of news critical to ordinary citizens, with a focus on security, economic, and social developments.

Justice during Conflict

Accountability and Governance


To support citizen engagement on local priorities during a period of conflict. The project will include a youth-centered initiative to identify citizen priorities in critical fields through a series of focus groups that address transitional justice, civil peace, local administration, women’s empowerment, and education. The findings will be presented in a one-day conference, and publication of a roadmap.

Local Leadership for Social Change

Syrians for Truth and Justice


To enhance youth engagement in, and contribution to, reform initiatives that emphasize civilian control of governance. The organization will lead four three-day workshops for a core group of diverse young civic activists from varied backgrounds and mentor them in the production of a minimum of six reports on community-based priorities for reform.

Promoting Responsive Governance in Newly Liberated Territories

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To emphasize that decision-makers have meaningful information about immediate governance and stabilization needs in newly liberated Raqqa. The institute will conduct public opinion research to gauge citizens’ perspectives on governance processes and policy priorities. In addition to sharing findings with Syrian opposition leaders, provincial and local council members, and civil society activists, the institute will conduct policy forums in Syria, using the research findings as the basis for identifying priority issues and assisting governance entities in developing proposals that address citizens’ most urgent concerns.

Schools of Politics and Local Governance

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To improve the capacity of Syrian democratic leadership at the local and national level. The institute will enhance the ability of Syrian democratic actors to develop, articulate, and implement policies that address the needs of Syrian citizens. It will also work to facilitate the adoption of a unified structure to connect local and national opposition leaders. These activities will enable local and national leaders to govern in coordination with each other and to better represent their constituents.

Strengthening Independent Media

Enab Baladi – Turkey


To enhance the emergence of free, independent media. A weekly newspaper and daily online news service will provide independent public-affairs journalism as an alternative to state-controlled and sectarian media sources. The outlet will focus on professionally reported coverage of local political, military, economic, social, and cultural developments.

Supporting Tolerant Media

Vision Association


To enhance the emergence of free and independent media. The organization will produce and air 45 episodes of a weekly hour-long radio program that addresses topics of tolerance and pluralism through stories of accomplished and inspirational activists who have used their expertise for peacebuilding and community development in Syria and the Middle East.

Syria Thought Forum

Syrian Bright Future Association


To promote civic values through open dialogue among youth on their and their country’s future, and to build the capacity of emerging community leaders. The grantee will facilitate dialogue forums for youth in three diverse regions and will also lead capacity-building workshops for youth leaders.

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