Training workshop on "Good Governance and Fighting Corruption"

Idlib, Syria, 3-6 April 2017

After more than 6 years of armed conflict, governance in Syria has almost completely collapsed. What remains is mostly driven by the needs of war rather than the needs of the population. Basic services such as food, electricity, shelter and heating, as well as security and justice, are managed and delivered throughout the country by a patchwork of different de-facto local authorities. Consequently, the governance systems and mechanisms which emerge from this patchwork are varied and operate out of sync with each other, leaving the civilian population exposed to the daily challenges of the conflict.
In areas outside the control of the Government of Syria, the governance vacuum is filled by a multitude of actors, both armed and civilian. Conditions for good governance vary area by area and are dependent on the presence of civil society, the level of civil activism, and the attitude and role of armed groups. Nonetheless, a developed culture of consultation between local councils and governing bodies on the one hand and local communities on the other is lacking. While this is certainly a legacy from the period prior to 2011, the conflict has only worsened conditions. Now more than ever, those in executive positions frequently believe they possess the authority to do as they want, yet they often lack the tools, knowledge and intention to provide good governance. Accountability of those in governance positions is usually vague and remains largely unimplemented and there is an absence of formal accountability systems for the population.
Situated in the northwest of Syria, Idlib has been a major flashpoint throughout the duration of the conflict and the events that preceded it. In the early phase of the war, as the uprising descended into armed conflict, Idlib became the focus of several military operations carried out both by governmental and armed opposition forces attempting to gain the control of the city. In March 2015, following a successful offensive against the Syrian regime forces, Jaish al-Fatah (JAF) wrested control of Idlib and have governed the province since. While relatively sophisticated services were maintained, particularly considering the challenging circumstances, the civilian population remained wary of the military control over administrative matters as both corruption and favouritism negatively influenced the city’s management. In response to continued mismanagement, the citizens of Idlib began to demand greater control over the selection of the city’s governing bodies. Reaching a head in the last months of 2016, the protests eventually forced JAF to concede to the public’s demands and in January 2017, free elections to form a completely civilian governing entity were arranged.
In light of these events, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) in cooperation with Jusoor - Training Centre organised a four-day workshop on “Good Governance and Fighting Corruption”. Held in Idlib between 3-6 April 2017, its aim was to build knowledge and increase awareness on the basics of good governance and on the tools and mechanisms that could make governance processes more effective and efficient. The workshop targeted the members of Idlib Local Council and local civil society activists.


For further information, please contact Rami Nakhla (Syria Project Coordinator) on or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on or +32-2-548-3915.