Every year, the Syrian Government releases merchandise trade data broken down, destination or country of origin, value, quantity, and commodity type, making it a valuable resource for analysts. This research tool pulls the scattered data together for easier access.
United Nations agencies procure many commodities and services from Syria to support their aid operations in the country. In 2020, for example, $245 million was spent on procurement, which constitutes nearly 10% of the UN’s overall spending in Syria. In this research tool, we illustrate the data in an interactive dashboard, enabling those interested to make better sense of it.
Despite a significant increase in rainfall across Syria this year, an improvement in the health of crop land is nowhere to be seen, and a tipping point might have been reached. In this study, Karam Shaar and Nicholas Lyall detail the impacts of this looming crisis and its potential implications on the nature of the conflict.
In this study with Space of Hope, we explore the relationship between Syrian youth and the public sphere. Data collected from 1,000 respondents living across Syria’s control areas and Syrian communities in Turkey indicates that more than half are still somewhat interested in public affairs. But several factors currently limit their ability to match that interest with participation.
Despite the slowdown in military operations in Syria, other acts of violence and human rights violations remain the norm, making the whole-of-Syria unsafe for return. Published in collaboration with the Middle East Institute, this summary recaps on a recently published research project aimed at understanding the scale and types of violations experienced by Syrian returnees.
Using expert interviews and a sample of 700 respondents from all control areas within Syria, this joint study with VDSF evaluates the safety, security and economic conditions in Syria to establish whether it is suitable for refugees and internally displaced persons to return home. The evidence strongly suggests that Syria is not yet safe for return.
Published in collaboration with the Atlantic Council, this policy brief by Samy Akil and Karam Shaar provides answers to what is “early recovery” aid and how is it different from reconstruction, and who will benefit from the recent easing of regulatory restrictions by the US Government on early recovery in Syria.
In this op-ed, Prof. Steven Heydemann and Dr. Karam Shaar argue that the Geneva process for ending the Syrian conflict has become little more than zombie diplomacy, and call for abandoning Syria’s constitutional committee.
In this study with COAR, we investigate the impacts of family separation due to the conflict on those left behind. The data we collected from three neighborhoods in Damascus indicate that two-thirds of Syrians have relatives abroad, and nearly one-fifth have relatives displaced to non-Government areas. We examine the social, economic, and mental health impacts of this separation.
OPC has obtained a line-by-line breakdown of the 2020, 2021, 2022 budgets. To make a more digestible and useful research tool, OPC has visualized the data in an interactive dashboard.
In this study we sought to understand the creation and distribution of podcasts in Syria. Its scope includes not only the characteristics of current producers and content, but also the demographics, habits, and preferences of the audience. Such a broad scope helps provide both current and future podcast producers with the necessary feedback to develop production and marketing strategies.
Syria is headed toward a famine due to three factors: The severity of the ongoing drought, which is compounded by the water management policies of neighboring Turkey; the unprecedented level of food insecurity, compounded by the rise in global food prices; and the decline in donor humanitarian funding. We propose three policy responses to pre-empt the looming crisis.
Syria’s regime-controlled areas witnessed several economic crises in late 2019 and 2020, leading to an exceptional deterioration in living standards. Operations and Policy Center (OPC) surveyed 600 respondents in three Damascus neighborhoods to assess Damascenes’ main economic activities: work, consumption, and spending.
This study outlines how Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is taking over Idlib’s economy since its transformation from the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda to the de facto authority in the area. While the takeover is incomplete, the extent to which it will continue is primarily determined by Turkey’s tolerance of the group.
Using a sample of 600 respondents, this study attempts to identify attitudes among residents of the Syrian capital, Damascus, toward emigration and the context surrounding it, conducted at a time when the areas under the Syrian regime’s control are witnessing an exceptional deterioration in living standards. (Read in Arabic)
This comprehensive report, published by the Day After in collaboration with OPC, gives a panoramic view of housing, land, and property (HLP) rights in Syria. It studies informal housing, access to documentation, institutions for real estate development and how they operate, and the HLP measures taken in areas outside the regime’s control. (Read in English, Read in Arabic)
As China’s engagement in the Middle East continues to rise, its role in the Syrian conflict remains largely unaddressed. This study provides an overview of China’s interests and objectives in the conflict while simultaneously assessing its potential involvement in any reconstruction process.
Seven years on, the situation in al-Rukban displacement camp is growing increasingly desperate. This study provides an overview of the humanitarian and medical conditions in al-Rukban, as well as the public services available.
Previous analyses have often misunderstood the intricate tribal structures in Syria, drawing false links between tribalism and terrorism. This interactive research tool, co-published by the Middles East Institute and the Operations and Policy Center, aims to shed light on the tribal structure in ar-Raqqah governorate, making it accessible to anyone interested in understanding the current state of affairs there.
Despite the Russian and Turkish de-escalation and ceasefire agreements, the Assad regime continues to attack NW Syria, especially areas to the south of the M4. Here we map out potential military conflict scenarios for the near-term future of NW Syria, in light of the volatile Turkish-Russian dynamics.
Explore our data-driven interactive tool to understand how Syrians feel about the Syrian Constitutional Committee, relying on a 2,966-people survey conducted in the summer of 2020.
As the Constitutional Committee met in Geneva, OPC analyzed the opinions of Syrians on what they want a new system of governance to look like. Their answers, unsurprisingly, were varied.
The 2021 budget is the smallest to date. However, a deeper analysis of the 2021 budget reveals core structural problems with Damascus’s finances.
In mid-2020, OPC was commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the drivers and implications of the sharp depreciation in the Syrian pound. This report reviews the functions of money (both in general and in the Syrian context), presents a timeline of the value of the pound in relation to relevant events from 2011 to 2020, and showcases public attitudes on the topic using a survey.
In mid-2020, OPC was commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the Dynamics of Politics and Power Among Northeast Syria’s Kurds and people’s attitudes regarding the possibility of a Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue. This report relied on interviews with influential and informed personalities from the region and a sample survey of 600 of the region’s residents.
In mid-2020, OPC was commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the attitudes of people in northeast Syria regarding the US Caesar Act sanctions. This report showcases general attitudes regarding both the overall effectiveness and specific local effects of the Caesar Act, extrapolated from a 600-participant sample, surveyed by OPC’s field researchers during 18-27 August 2020.