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Fostering local partnerships in remote management and high-threat settings: emerging lessons from child protection programming in Syria

Research report

Written by Sara Pavanello, Larissa Fast

Research report

This study documents lessons from child protection activities focusing on psychosocial interventions in southern and central Syria that have been implemented through a partnership between an INGO and a network of Syrian organisations, using remote management modalities. It makes key recommendations to international actors, both INGOs and donors, engaged in remote programming and child protection.

Partnerships with local actors are at the core of remote management arrangements, and are the only viable option to deliver child protection interventions in many parts of Syria. Since the beginning of the Syrian humanitarian operation, INGOs have invested significant effort and resources in strengthening the technical and organisational capacities of Syrian partners. Efforts have been primarily aimed at ensuring that Syrian partners can more effectively, safely and accountably deliver child protection activities and increase their reach, better collaborate with INGOs and meet donor requirements for transparent reporting.

International actors continue to grapple with how to provide adequate duty of care to Syrian partners, particularly around strengthening their capacities to better manage the multiple risks that they routinely face when delivering child protection services in conflict-affected areas, and providing predictable funding to cover security-related costs. Despite being at the frontline of the response, local partners receive inadequate levels of financial support.

Sara Pavanello with Larissa Fast and Eva Svoboda