From the 19th to the 21st of January, 2015 among the activities of the CCSDS organizational development program, was a workshop about strategic planning in the Turkish city of Urfa. Seven Kurdish organizations, working in several different areas (education, rights preservation, women’s rights, youth rights, and civil society) gathered to provide training to 15 participants, four female and 11 male, from various organizations.
After completing a strategic analysis and discovering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of their organizations, the participants were tasked with developing a vision and a special message from the gathering:
“Syria becomes civil, pluralistic, democratic, secure, just, filled with equality and dignity, and free from all forms of exploitation and racism”
In pursuit of their vision, the participants defined a special message regarding how they would seek to manifest their vision: “a group of Syrian, independent, non-profit, civil-gatherings working to spread civil, human, and environmental education in the society as well as enforce the values of freedom, justice, dignity, law and order, and civil peace by building communication bridges to strengthen the relationships between Syrian people in all aspects”.
In accordance with their vision and message, the participants planned programs to lead to the manifestation of their newly defined view for Syria’s future. They also selected three new programs (The Rule of Law, Human Development, and Civil Peace) and a group of projects for every program. For “The Rule of Law” program the group selected a transparency project. For the “Human Development” program they selected a project to activate civil society. Then lastly, for the “Civil Peace” program, they decided upon a project for conflict resolution. The participants were then able to select activities related to those projects, establishing a cohesive work plan for the next year.
The participants were able to interact with each other immensely during the training days. After such a successful workshop, they decided that they wanted more of these types of trainings, as well as some that focus on project-writing, fundraising, and the concepts of transparency, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
Workshops such as these are of substantial importance, seeing as they interaction between organizations is strictly Syrian to Syrian. By transferring one organizations expertise to others through training, as well as helping them to develop their structure and set their strategic plans, they endow them with the ability to set their own plans in the future.
center for civil society and Democracy | CCSD