Building Resilience in Syria: Fragilities and coping mechanisms

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Building Resilience in Syria: Assessing fragilities and strengthening positive coping mechanisms

Authors: Dr Rim Turkmani, Zaki Mehchy and Mazen Gharibah

Communities across Syria are struggling to find a pathway out of fragility, despite decreasing levels of violence and a decade of international humanitarian response. As a result, policymakers and practitioners are increasingly looking to resilience-building and humanitarian early recovery as a way of reducing both immediate and protracted basic needs, and to enable communities to cope with prospective future shocks.

This report uses a resilience capacities framework to identify dominant fragilities, risks, and crises across Syria, and to assess political and practical obstacles to delivering principled aid. The aim of the research is to explore the coping and resilience mechanisms that communities are enacting. We draw on extensive primary and secondary data from the LSE-based Mapping Syria project across three main areas of control in Syria: the northeast, the northwest, and government-controlled areas. This approach enables us to analyse economic, social, security, and ecological dimensions of fragility, as well as communities’ resilience capacities – within the context of local power dynamics – and includes granular analysis for selected districts.

The authors present framework for a theory of change to strengthen resilience in Syria, along with comprehensive recommendations for operational and programmatic area-based activities to support and transform resilience capacities.