In partnership with Democracy Council and CSOs International, the Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria (CCSDS) held two successive workshops for its field staff in nine provinces inside Syria. The workshops, titled “Organizational Development, Civic Leadership and Transparency”, took place in Gaziantep over the course of ten days in mid-November 2013, under the supervision of a team of experts in management and capacity building.

After the core CCSDS staff gave short bios of their personal experiences, the structure, values and programs of the center were described in order to put the workshop in context. The veteran staff talked also about their experiences with the center and common challenges members have faced regarding implementation of the program inside Syria to give their new colleagues a better understanding of the work.

New trainees were divided up by job description and given specialized information about their role within CCSDS. Kamal Sidra, the center’s marketing expert, spoke about the concept and variations of civil society organizations, the characteristics of those organizations and their role in society. Further, he discussed the methodology behind reporting, the concept of open communication and the skills required to be successful and overcome common difficulties within the field of marketing. Trainer Majid focused on civic leadership and the importance of teamwork, speaking of the main principles, challenges and numerous rewards. Dr. Said Issa introduced concepts related to transparency, specifically corruption and good governance. Following his lecture, there were discussions about the massive spread of corruption and the absence of law and security.

Trainees gained a thorough comprehension of program topics through extensive discussion, debate, and practical exercises that required planning, skills application and knowledge garnered during the workshop in order to best be prepared to implement programs on the ground.

The CCSDS trainees felt actively engaged with the center, capable of employing their new skills, and ready to train up and coming activists across select cities and provinces within Syria.

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