WASHINGTON, D.C.- In a move that will help civil society and opposition authorities work together to improve local level governance and education in Syria, the Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) and Syrian Interim Government (SIG) signed Memorandums of Understandings to formalize their cooperation.
“This is a prime example of how the Syrian pro-democracy business community is playing a crucial role in helping Syria find a way forward in the current crisis,” John D. Sullivan, Executive Director of the Center for International Private Enterprise, said today.
Under an MoU with the SIG’s Ministry of Local Administration, Relief and Refugees, SEF will provide the SIG with real-time economic data including prices of essential goods and services, energy supply, humanitarian conditions, and population displacements. SEF’s analysis and recommendations will enhance the SIG’s use of economic data and statistics to improve conditions at the local level inside Syria.
SEF has also signed a MoU with the SIG’s Ministry of Education to integrate a civic education curriculum developed by SEF in all schools administered by the Ministry inside and outside Syria. SEF has successfully piloted a civic education program for displaced Syrian students in Kilis, Turkey. The curriculum focuses on economics and business skills as well as citizenship and democratic participation. It is designed to give Syrian youth the skills they need to be active participants in the reconstruction of their country.
The SIG was formed in March 2013 and is an alternative government to the regime in Syria. Improved local service delivery is key to strengthening the SIG’s legitimacy as a viable alternative to the Assad regime and extremist groups. Cooperation with civil society organizations like SEF provides the SIG with needed economic expertise and concrete solutions to service delivery challenges.
CIPE has supported SEF since 2011 as an independent think tank that provides accurate information, economic analysis, and evidence-based policy solutions needed for immediate relief in Syria and longer-term reconstruction and recovery. SEF gathers the information through a network of liaisons inside Syria.
CIPE is a core Institute of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.