This report highlights the intensified efforts of the Stabilization Committee reach three main objectives;
• To unify the work of local councils in the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo throughout in-depth meetings and workshops, and come up with good governance form in the target areas.
• To achieve a high-transparency community engagement throughout meetings and workshops with local councils, local community, local civil society organizations, women actor in order to sort out the actual priorities of the target communities depending on multi-perspective vision.
• Women empowerment and engagement in order to enable women in the target areas to play their essential role at the best manner.
“It has been said that good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law”1
Proceeding from this definition, the Stabilization Committee held lots of meetings and workshops to achieve the ultimate level of good governance in the newly liberated areas of the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo.
The main discussed topics came as follows;
It is a well-known fact that the terrorist group of ISIS not only deprived people from their freedom, but also destroyed and stole all structures of basic and vital utilities such as bakeries, hospitals, water pumps, and electricity gensets.
Many projects were implemented to recover this loss and reactivate the public utilities and facilities.
These meetings and workshops2 were attended by the representatives of local councils, police, judiciary, specialists and key stakeholders.
The main outputs of the workshop came as follows;
• Holding meetings and workshops among the financial offices of the local councils to discuss the methods and mechanisms of fee collection.
• The importance of identifying the executive power that should support the fee collectors.
• The importance of adopting a unified system of fee collection.
• Transparency and Accountability.
• Involving the local communities is an essential factor.
On the other hand, the committee employed 59 fee collection coordinators and fee collectors within the projects of provision of operational support to water pumping stations and waste management equipment.
Unifying Visual Identity of the Local Councils
In an effort to emphasize the role of the Syrian Interim Government and the organizational and political subordination of the local councils toward the SIG, the Stabilization committee held two workshops3 to discuss the mechanism of unifying the work in the area. The workshops were attended by 35 local councils, Aleppo provincial council, and Dr. Jawad Abo Hatab, head of SIG.
The Syrian Interim Government’ logo is adopted as official logo by all local councils as it is considered as the official and institutional umbrella of those councils. The Stabilization Committee’ Media Office designed logos of 41 local councils along with the official templates.
Accordingly, a regulation was issued by Aleppo Provincial Council to implement the outputs of the meeting in unifying the logos.
In order to unify efforts and develop the capacities of media professionals in the area, the committee held a meeting and invited media officers of local councils, media professionals, agencies and television stations.
Role of Local Councils and Provided Services in Countering Terrorism and Extremism
A workshop4 was held under the above title with participation of the Syrian Interim Government and local councils in the target area.
Among the points discussed were the following:
• Fighting terrorism in schools and the role of education, vocational training and community awareness in countering extremism and preventive measures to be adopted.
• Creating safer and more positive environments for the community members in the newly liberated areas.
• Countering violence and extremism through the provision of services and job opportunities and providing moderate alternatives to governance.
• Combating terrorism through community integration and the participation of people, other actors, and stakeholders on the ground in decision- making and seeking to increase people’s trust and confidence in their government.
• Empowering women and youth and working on their participation in the society more efficiently and effectively.
Highlights of the workshop’s outcomes included:
• Equality in the distribution of services between regions and populations and the creation of employment opportunities for young people.
• Providing sports and other recreational activities for all ages.
• Increasing the role of women in society.
• Community integration and enhancing the role of society in decision-making through all available means like surveys and public meetings with people as well as transparency.
• Consolidating patriotism and promoting countering extremism as the goal of work and services.
Based on the spirit of participatory and partnership with the local communities, the committee held several meetings in many cities and towns in order to achieve improved confidence, legitimacy, and transparency in the local councils and governance actors.
Following meetings and sessions that adopted Fragility Resilience Assessment Method with local communities that lasted for thirty days, the results came as follows;
• Lack of confidence between local authorities and populations.
• Lack of experience of local councils’ offices such as the finance office, project management and administrative affairs.
Following consultations, the recommendations were as follows;
• Holing meetings and sessions with local communities and local actors.
• Conduct training courses for the local councils’ offices
The first recommendation5 started to be implemented in many areas such as Qabbassin, Bz’a, Sawran, Dabiq, Htaimlat, and Turkman Bareh. The attendees of those meetings were local councils’ members, teachers, physicians, judges, educators, religious scholars, police, Civil Society Organizations representatives, lawyers, tribal figures, and notables.
The aim of such workshops and meetings is to raise awareness of the local councils, communities, and authorities of their rights and duties where each one of them will realize the concrete role within their specific competencies.
The second recommendation will be implemented on February 4th 2018 as forty-one local councils will be trained on three main topics;
• Project Management
• Human Resources
The training sessions will be held in Al Bab, Jarabulus, Sawran, and Azaz.