ARDI Current and Past Projects

Syrians Promoting Reconciliations & Inclusive Governance

(Northern Syria, April, 2019 – Ongoing)

ARDI is leading efforts to conduct a survey on the needs of and challenges faced by women and men from Northern Syrian communities, as well as local organizations operating within the same target locations. ARDI and two local Syrian women-led civil society organizations held dialogue sessions focused on addressing intercommunal disagreement and conflict within their communities, using data from the initial survey, local organizations’ own observations, and experience from past conflict mitigation work. For each dialogue session, diverse members of the local community, influential social leaders, members of marginalized populations, all with a balance of female and male participants, are brought together to discuss conflicts and build positive relationships across intercommunal divisions. Following dialogue sessions, community-based awareness raising activities are conducted to provide another dimension for cross-community dialogue through hands-on experiences aimed at building common ground.

Amplifying Diverse Voices into Syria’s Political Processes

(November, 2019 – Present)

 Building upon two years of past support, ARDI provided support to the NAWAT Group, a political advisory group of diverse Syrian activists who are currently expatriated and living across Europe. ARDI’s activities with NAWAT support their internal political movement building, developing internal structures and external engagement and communication efforts. We also facilitate networking opportunities across Europe and the Middle East to help advance NAWAT’s aims to foster an inclusive, secular, and democratic political future for Syria.

Amplifying Syrian Voices:  Leadership and Political Inclusion

(Dresden, Germany, January – April, 2019)

Building upon previous programming to support the NAWAT Group, a political advisory group of diverse Syrian activists who are currently expatriated and living across Europe, ARDI led efforts to amplify the voices of NAWAT’s Syrian activist members through a multifaceted project. ARDI supported NAWAT through, (1) multimedia campaigns that highlight the needs, challenges, threats, stories, local realities, and developments affecting the lives of Syrian minorities; and (2) political participation capacity building and empowerment to increase and strengthen political engagement among female and male Syrian leaders who represent the unique voices and secural political perspectives of their communities across Syria.

Capacitating CSOs in Eastern Syria

(Eastern Syria, September 2018 – January 2019)

ARDI, operating locally under another name, developed and implemented a civil society capacity building workshop series to empower and strengthen local organizations working on social impact projects and humanitarian efforts across the province. Based on an initial assessment of local organizational needs and challenges, as identified by CSO leaders and Local Council members, the two 5-day workshops, training components focused on project cycle management, proposal writing, and project design, project implementation and M&E, and negotiation and collaboration skills-building. In addition, ARDI developed a monthly Atmospheric Report highlighting local news, social updates, political and military concerns, and local council/CSO information from Raqqa via our local network and field team.

Gemeinsam für Dresden – “Together for Dresden”

(Dresden, Germany, September – December, 2018)

ARDI implemented a series of workshops for Germans and Arabic-speaking ‘new Dresdeners” with migration backgrounds. The workshops are focused on human rights, gender equality, democracy building, and social acceptance, and will be held in Friedrichstadt, Johannstadt, and Gorbitz. ARDI and its partners aim to help build lasting bridges among participants with diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and experiences. ARDI is working in partnership with long-established and highly-regarded local associations, to provide expert training, contextualization of materials and methods, and workshop hosting.

Supporting CSOs in Eastern Syria

(Eastern Syria, May – October 2018)

ARDI, operating locally under another name, builds upon initial capacity building efforts established through the “Capacitating CSOs in Eastern Syria” project to provide small grant funding and technical support to four local organizations. ARDI selected high-performing and ambitious organizations from among the pool of CSOs initially trained by ARDI and who have submitted high-potential project proposals that uniquely meet local needs/challenges. The selected organizations were provided with small grant funding, technical support, and oversight to enable them to realize their programmatic vision to make a positive, lasting impact at the local level.

Empowering Syrian Women: Peacebuilding & CVE

(Northern Syria, December 2017 – March 2019)

ARDI is leading efforts to build the capacity of CSOs through a small grants program supporting local initiatives that address peacebuilding and CVE in northern Syria. The objective of the project is to support civil society organizations led by women, youth, and minorities to become more effective at service provision and enable CSOs to be a vehicle for women to advocate for their needs among and Local and Provincial Councils. The program focuses on opposition-held areas, with an emphasis on areas with mixed ethnic and religious groups and provides small-grant funding for activities that increases CSO and Local Council coordination over shared peacebuilding, CVE, and/or service-provision objectives.

Capacitating Women Leaders in Syria

(Northern Syria, November 2017 – May 2018)

ARDI led efforts to increase the political representation of women among Local and Provincial Councils in northern Syria by supporting women leaders and women-led CSOs with technical political training and providing small grants to demonstrate their leadership and service provision capacity on-the-ground. Through this project, ARDI developed and led a series of complementary services, programming, and grants for women professionals, leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs to address needs within their communities and by doing so, increase their social standing and enable their increased participation in local governance and decision-making.

Women’s Empowerment in Idlib & Aleppo: Peacebuilding and CVE

(Northern Syria, September 2017 – March 2018)

ARDI led efforts to build the capacity of local civil society organizations operating in Idlib and Aleppo by bringing together CSOs that are run by both men and women, with an emphasis on highly ambitious women-led organizations. The program provided a series of complementary capacity-building trainings, support in designing community-based projects to address unique local challenges
, small grants to fund these activities, and ongoing coaching and technical support during the implementation processes. Through this multifaceted support, ARDI supported civil society strengthening and the implementation of projects that directly or indirectly targeted peacebuilding and CVE efforts. Simultaneously, local organizations were empowered to strengthen their local efforts. Additionally, numerous female project beneficiaries benefited from the CSO-led activities in ways that enabled them to increase their social standing and  increase their participation in local governance, decision-making, and civil society.

Amplifying the Voices of Syrian Minorities

(Northern Syria, July 2017 – January 2018)

ARDI led efforts to amplify the voices of Alawite, Druze, Ismaili and Christian communities in Syria. The purpose of the project was aimed at support minorities in articulating their needs and vision for the future, separate from Assad Government’s narrative that paints the regime as the ‘protector of minorities, by (1) understanding the social, economic and political situation among minority groups and what their actual hopes, needs, and fears are, (2) amplifying the hopes, fears, and concerns of Syria’s ethnic and religious minorities via an online platform, (3) and empowering female and male leaders among Syria’s minority communities and to support their coordination between each other and with the Syrian political opposition.

Inclusive Peacebuilding in Syria

(Northern Syria, 2014 – 2016)

ARDI, then operating under a previous name led efforts to implement advocacy and peacebuilding projects in the Syrian Governorates of Sweida, Damascus, Aleppo, Deraa, Al-Hasakah, Idlib, Tartuos, and Lattakia. Through the project, ARDI conducted numerous workshops and provided and managed small-grant funding for workshop participants, which included local activists, civil society organization leaders, and respected community leaders.

Sarkha – “Speak Out” and Amplifying Alawite Voices Projects

(Southern Syria, 2013 – 2015)

ARDI, then operating under a previous name, designed and implemented several successful projects focused on understanding and amplifying the needs of specific Syrian minority groups, including the design of in-depth qualitative and quantitative surveys to better understand the viewpoints of the Syrian Alawite community located in Damascus and along the Syrian coast. The goals of these projects were to identify the fissures between Alawite community and the Assad regime in order to help separate their base of support and highlight the group’s genuine perspectives of the regime using their own words and perspectives.