Inside Syria: What are local Actors doing for Peace?

TitleInside Syria: What are local Actors doing for Peace?
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
Institutionswisspeace, Conflict Dynamics International and

Local actors experience conflicts first hand. Therefore, they have an intimate understanding of what conflict dynamics need to be addressed in order to build sustainable peace. This also holds true for the Syrian case where a number of actors inside the country are engaged in significant peacebuilding activities despite the persistence of extreme levels of violence. This study seeks to increase the understanding about these local actors, their perceptions of conflict causes, drivers of conflict, and its consequences, as well as their local peacebuilding activities.

The report is based on 143 interviews conducted by Syrian researchers inside Syria. Two focus group discussions were also held in Lebanon with Syrian NGOs that have networks inside the country. Key local peace actors that were identified include community leaders, women initiatives, youth initiatives, civil society organizations, local councils, and the Ministry of Reconciliation and its committees. The activities that these actors are involved in vary between those working on negotiations for the release and exchange of detained and abducted persons, conflict resolution and mediation, promotion of peaceful values and countering of sectarian rhetoric, relief and development work, and human rights activism.