Capacity Assessment Report for Syrian Civil Society Organizations:

Since the uprising in March 2011, numerous young men and women found the opportunity to establish civil society movements in a disorganized fashion, where thus so far, hundreds of youth-led initiatives, movements, and organizations have sprung up across Syria.
On one hand, the government has brutally cracked down on these young and peaceful activists. On the other hand, bodies of the Syrian political opposition have been neglecting the civil society and youth issues while only concentrating on their political activities. Consequently, the image of the Syrian civil society has been portrayed as fragmented, weak, and non-influential in the eyes of the International Community. All the above-mentioned factors have led to a rather inexperienced and amateur structure of civil society groups.

Baytna Syria was launched to bridge this gap and provide full support to the Syrian civil society, to prosper and contribute to the process of democratic transition, and to defend the rights and interests of people and reduce the authorization nature of people in power.
One way to provide support to the Syrian civil society organizations is to share knowledge through a capacity-building program, which aims to develop these organizations' structures and to which extent they are being able to achieve their proposed goals.
Before starting with our capacity-building program, it was necessary to assess the needs of these organizations and the extent of their capacity to reach their goals.

Hence, the Capacity Assessment Report was synthesized to reveal some important findings:

  • The most noticeable gap amongst Syrian CSOs is the lack of basic organizational elements in regards to having in-place structured and documented work procedures that ultimately serve the vision and values of the organization.
  • “Scarcity of financial resources” is a major challenge and could threaten the existence of the organization
  • “Dealing with donors” is a challenging task for them, especially “the imposed bureaucratic procedures” and “following donors’ agendas”.
  • Most of respondents participated in advocacy activities or are planning to engage in them, but they lack the proper knowledge and experience to do it effectively
  • Most of respondents stated that “influencing the policy-making” is included in their long-term vision, but they lack the technical support to do it in an effective manner.

For more information about the assessment findings, please download the full Capacity Assessment Report