Since the start of the revolution in Syria, the number and activities of Syrian civil society organisations (CSOs) have multiplied extraordinarily. Whereas before the revolution civil society barely existed, CSOs are now involved in (i) relief and recovery, (ii) peacebuilding, peacemaking and peacekeeping, and (iii) advocacy, evidence gathering, media and monitoring. The international community is doing a lot to support Syrian CSOs. This paper benchmarks the Syrian CSO community and the international community’s engagement with Syrian CSOs against best practices.
Humanitarian Knowledge Base
Local actors experience conflicts first hand. Therefore, they have an intimate understanding of what conflict dynamics need to be addressed in order to build sustainable peace. This also holds true for the Syrian case where a number of actors inside the country are engaged in significant peacebuilding activities despite the persistence of extreme levels of violence. This study seeks to increase the understanding about these local actors, their perceptions of conflict causes, drivers of conflict, and its consequences, as well as their local peacebuilding activities.
The United Nations Secretary-General has called for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit: to reaffirm our commitment to humanity and chart a course for change. The Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity calls on global leaders to commit to five core responsibilities in the name of our shared humanity: 1. Global leadership to prevent and end conflict 2. Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity 3. Leave no one behind 4. Change people's lives – from delivering aid to ending need 5. Invest in humanity
On the 21st of May 2015, Lebanon Support organized a roundtable on the politics of humanitarian aid in Lebanon, the humanitarian principle of neutrality and the local politically engaged forms of relief provided during the July war. The roundtable was the third of a series of discussions addressing local experiences, expertise and responses to crises and conflicts in past humanitarian emergencies from 2006 and 2007.
On the 23rd of April 2016, Lebanon Support organized a roundtable discussion on local actors and global humanitarian interventions in Lebanon, taking the case of “Samidoun” during the July war as its focal point.
On the 7th of May, Lebanon Support organized a roundtable discussion on the relation between volunteerism, political/intersubjective transformations and the emergence of local expertise during war and humanitarian emergencies. The discussion was based on a paper on different volunteer-based experiences during the July war in 2006. The event was the second roundtable of a series of discussions addressing local experiences and responses to humanitarian emergencies like the July War.
This case study explores the issues of neutrality and local commitment in providing assistance during war and conflict. It aims at placing the humanitarian principle of neutrality, a global principle of humanitarian assistance that posits a specific form and stance in providing aid, in conversation with local forms of political and communal mobilization of relief, by taking as an example the July war in 2006, and its aftermath.
The Sphere Project was initiated in 1997 by a group of NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to develop a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian response: the Sphere Handbook. The aim of the Handbook is to improve the quality of humanitarian response in situations of disaster and conflict, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system to disaster-affected people. The Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response are the product of the collective experience of many people and agencies.