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Syrian Civil Society: A closing door report

This report seeks to give a truer view of Syrian civil society, giving a voice to people who have often been mentioned only as a footnote to atrocities, as aid workers killed in a shelling, or vilified as terrorists in the narratives of the government and its allies. Since March 2011, Syria has experienced one of the bloodiest and cruellest conflicts of recent times. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands more injured.  But while these grim figures have been repeated in the western media frequently, less often told is the story of the Syrians who did everything in their power to counter this.  Against the backdrop of conflict arose an active Syrian civil society – Syrians on the ground who, more often than not, had no previous experience in this sector. Syrians who came from a society whose government allowed no space for civil society to grow: and yet it did. But as civil society’s space is being squeezed worldwide, to grasp the potential for Syrian civil society we must act now. The door is already closing and it will slam shut, returning the country to the pre-2011 hostile environment where civil society groups faced being shut down and their members and volunteers risked being arrested or imprisoned if they were perceived to challenge the state. This report is an appeal and a challenge. Will the international community support the Syrians who recognise the difficulty of the task they face?

Resilience Results: BRACED final evaluation report

Using evidence provided by implementing partners, this latest evaluation report from the BRACED Knowledge Manager examines the following central synthesis evaluation question: How, where, when and why do BRACED interventions work, and what can be learned/how can good practice be replicated? This paper finds that BRACED projects have made considerable progress towards building and strengthening resilience despite the short time-frame of the programme (3 years). The evidence presented in the BRACED project final evaluations which fed into this realist analysis highlight a number of valuable insights into how good practice, demonstrated by the projects, can be replicated. Read the report here

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire (Part 2)

A debilitating drought may bring riots and social unrest in one country, but in a neighbouring country, the same problem may be dealt with by citizen mobilisation towards collective action solutions. To a large extent, governance capacity and community resilience explains the nature and structure of the response. In this report, three case studies – from Angola, Mali, and Honduras – of actual responses to climate change and conflict are presented.

Challenges in the Sahel: Implications for peace and development

A ‘perfect storm’ - an extraordinary combination of poverty, violent conflict, corruption, criminality, and climate change - is blowing over Mali and across the Sahel. Within this storm, some unusual actors have emerged. Politicians are known to be corrupt but still get elected and smugglers are criminalised by authorities but are also the only providers of employment in disintegrating local economies. This report is part of a series that Christian Aid is producing to understand what ought to be done differently in tackling violence and building peace.