Deficient Participation

Community Participation in Local Administration in Northeastern Syria – Deir Ezzor as a Sample

Many questions are raised about the administration of areas in the northeastern Syrian. The narrative of the ruling local powers is talking about a new and promising sample of administration that is inclusive in an effective and diverse manner. On the other hand, there are counter-narratives by the civil society and local civil groups that say there is an intended exclusivity towards the acting powers and disengagement for the local communities as the representation is a pro forma and fruitless one.

Out of the raised questions is; What are the applicable solutions that keep the area stable and ensure that the area is not groining through an unknown destination in the light of a current administration system with more organized manner?, and at the same time this system involves effectively the local communities in managing their affairs?.

Following the US president’s second decision of withdrawing the US troops from Syria, the populations’ demands have grown more vocal to work in a joint way in order to secure interests and protection of civilians, and a sole party should be singled out for managing the area and holding its fate in their hands. This what was expressed by the populations in their weekly demonstrations and intensified meetings with top officials within the autonomous administration, including those who are not Syrians.

Through research papers, Justice for Life seeks for having a closer look at the most important problems of the local community and searches for the applicable ways, especially when it comes to the right of the local community in participation and dignified life.

In partnership with Syria local civil society organizations, JFL implemented a survey that targeted a sample of 355 respondents in Al Kasra sub-district in west of Deir Ezzor, and in Hajeen sub-district in the east. Thirty per cent of the sample was females, and thirty per cent was youth aged between 18 and 30.

With the objective of having a clear and in-depth view, JFL held 15 key informant interviews with civil activists, community notables, and staffers of the autonomous administration. JFL also held four focus group discussions. The respondents varied in terms of gender, age, and residency classification as 126 IDPs responded to the survey.

Out of the basic answers by the respondents about the role of the local staffers in the Administration institutions, 38% confirmed that they have no role at all, 24% said that they have a role in decision making mechanism, whereas 39% said they have no information if the local staffers have a role or not.

This paper focuses on Deir Ezzor province as a sample under the control of the Administration in the northeaster Syria. Out of the most important conclusions of this paper is that we can see many factors that resulted in unsuccess of the local councils experience, that were formed before the control of “Islamic State” group control,  are present now in the current Administration experience such as lack of communication with the local community, poor administrative and professions expertise and competences, and not selecting the Administration staffs in a democratic manner.

Justice for Life recommends the following:

Building connectivity between the local community and the Administration institutions in accordance with clear mechanism that enable those who enjoy the community trust to reach out to the decision-making centers and scaling competence and integrity on the top of the standards. Working on adopting democratic mechanisms that govern the selection and work of civil councils in order to reflect the locals needs. This also lead to promote the culture of democracy, which is one of the most important reasons behind the local administrations. Equitable distribution of the oil resources and supervision of independent civil parties that are up to the standards of competence and integrity. Ensuring the independency of the civil councils from any political party in order to ensure that they play their service-based role.

For reading the full research paper, please contact us via: [email protected]

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