Tahdir for Syria is a training programme made up of three rounds and aims to provide Syrian professionals with the tools to take an active part in the rebuilding of their country and be the agents of change of their own lives. It is designed to build capacity in three fields widely considered as fundamental to post-conflict reconstruction.
Through a blend of e-learning and face-to-face interaction, the programme delivers three courses on Security Sector Reform and Justice, Local Administration and Decentralization, and Architecture, Urban Development – Sustainable Reconstruction.
Course leaders are professional experts or scholars in their fields and have designed these courses, in Arabic, specifically for this programme, combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience.
The courses are accredited for 15 ECTS (European Credit and Transfer and Accumulation System) on an advanced level by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University, Sweden.
In addition, the programme includes common courses on psycho-social support, project management, citizenship, gender and conflict, transition, local community engagement through cultural heritage and democratic decision-making. It also provides online group English language courses that are managed and certified by the British Council.
The project will select 210 participants over the three rounds. In the first round, lectures were in part delivered face-to-face, while in the second and third rounds (January-August 2017 and August 2017 to January 2018), the training is given remotely on a part-time basis through the Tahdir for Syrians web-platform over a period of 30 weeks. This distant learning solution makes the training accessible to Syrians regardless of their location and enables more women to participate.
The course management team selects nine projects from each field to receive seed funding. At the end of the programme, 12 trainees from each field will be selected to participate in study visits to countries where they can gain relevant experience.
The programme, set up in 2015 and implemented since early 2016, is managed by the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) in collaboration with the Olof Palme International Center (OPC), and in partnership with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University (CMES) and Ila Souria*. The programme is funded by the EU and the Swedish International Agency for Development Cooperation (Sida) until March 2018.
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*Ila Souria has a large network of scholars and experts on Syria. In this context, they provide experts for the Urban Planning for Sustainable Development course and advise on the sites of study centres.