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Local Governance Inside Syria - Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations

Governing bodies known as local councils have emerged throughout Syria from the chaos of three years of war. The councils fill a critical need for social and governmental organisation in areas where the President Bashar al-Assad's administration has lost control.

This report analyses and evaluates several of these local councils and related structures in terms of their origin, effectiveness, needs and potential. The findings and conclusions of the report are based on interviews with members of six councils, three of which are examined in detail.

Local councils face many challenges since they operate in areas suffering the ravages of war, including ongoing bombardment by Assad's forces. Yet there are many opportunities to enhance their effectiveness.