Our team supports holistic approaches for communities to regain their vitality and build better in the aftermath of conflict, natural disasters as well as urban decay. We excel in designing inclusive and socially adaptive programs and processes. From historic cities to informal settlements, to post-war and post-disaster situations, we help local and international actors to assess conditions, negotiate priorities, develop strategies, design financial and institutional instruments, and establish accountability frameworks. We also help develop the preparedness of stakeholders to meet future risks and set up contingency plans and early warning systems.

Our services in this field include:

Research & Analysis 

Scenario Development 


Stakeholder Engagement 

Capacity Building 

Monitoring & Evaluation

Related Works

Date:  June 2024

Publisher:  Friends of Aleppo

A chapter in the yearbook “Aleppo Journal 2023” emphasizes the need for realistic economic strategies that balance heritage preservation with economic viability to rehabilitate the historic core of Aleppo. It proposes demand-side investments to empower residents and offset the externalities of supply-side investments. Leveraging local resources incrementally and adopting a new spatial approach should replace the old Development Plan.


Date:  04 June 2024

The Brussels conference marked a shift towards early recovery in Syria, focusing on empowering communities and revitalizing the local economy. This approach requires leveraging local resources, changing donor mindsets, and fostering new local leadership. Effective early recovery hinges on balancing humanitarian aid, political reforms, and practical, inclusive solutions for long-term stability.


Date:  23-24 May 2024

We speak at the "Economic Empowerment and Sustainability Conference in Syria" in Istanbul, emphasizing the importance of microfinance in fostering economic resilience and sustainability in Syria, highlighting its role in early recovery and in creating employment and leveraging local resources.


Date:  21 May 2024

An article explores how to enhance Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes during the early recovery of war-torn countries. It emphasizes the need for transparency, inclusivity, and sustainability, advocating for TPME to evolve from evaluators to partners in development, ensuring aid effectiveness and meaningful community engagement


Date:  08 May 2024

We speak at a closed regional consultation held by UNDP. The presentation focused on the role of post conflict recovery in ushering development and stability in the Arab region. The regional consultation event aimed to inform the upcoming Arab Human Development Report 2025, focusing on sustainable development through improved governance, regional cooperation, and equitable policies.


Date:  02 May 2024

We facilitate an event at the UN House in Brussels that discusses the dual roles of Syria's private sector in economic recovery and civic engagement. Organized by the UNDP, London School of Economics and partners, this gathering aims to enhance the sector's impact on Syria's societal and economic development.


Date:  16 April 2024

An op-ed outlines ethical principles for "early recovery" in Syria, debunking misconceptions about its novelty and political neutrality, emphasizing the need for national unity, economic integration, community-led initiatives, and decentralized implementation to ensure sustainable recovery and support political reconciliation.


Date:  2 April 2024

An article examines the role of urban centrality in economic accumulation and its impact on urban-rural divides, highlighting how these dynamics contribute to civil unrest and complicate post-conflict recovery. It advocates for decentralized governance and economic inclusivity to bridge these divides and foster sustainable peace and development.


Date:  19 March 2024

An article examines the unintended humanitarian impacts of sanctions and the phenomenon of overcompliance, highlighting the challenges it poses to non-sanctioned entities, particularly in conflict zones like Syria. It emphasizes the need for a nuanced approach to mitigate these impacts, advocating for clearer guidance and dialogue between sanctioning bodies and affected stakeholders.


Date:  27 February 2024

An op-ed discusses the shift towards integrating humanitarian aid, development, and peacebuilding (the triple nexus approach) to improve early recovery in conflict zones. It highlights the need for innovative financial instruments and strategies that support community resilience, sustainable development, and peace, based on lessons from the limitations of traditional humanitarian aid.


Date: 27 September 2023

At a workshop in Berlin celebrating the Syrian Heritage Archive Project's decade-long efforts, Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj from LUGARIT started the opening session, discussing the challenges in rehabilitating the old city of Aleppo. The event included diverse sessions on heritage recovery, traditional architecture, and community outreach, aimed at preserving Syrian cultural heritage.


Date:  13 June 2023

A discussion on "Effective Early Recovery in Syria and the Role of Civil Society" was held in Brussels, organized by NAFS at ESCWA. We join key figures to discuss rebuilding Syria, alongside the Brussels VII Conference, focusing on humanitarian aid and political solutions for the Syrian conflict.


Date:  16 February 2023

We join a policy meeting in Brussels, titled "Enhancing EU Stabilisation Practice." Organized by EPLO, the event focused on improving EU stabilization efforts in conflict areas, emphasizing transparency, inclusive civil society engagement, and adaptable, human-centered strategies, with key recommendations from global experts.


Date:  18-20 January 2023

The EuroMed Feminist Initiative hosted a three-day meeting  in Paris, reviewing guidelines for gender-sensitive reconstruction in Syria.  We joined with participants to advise on economic reforms. The meeting focused on integrating gender mainstreaming in Syria's reconstruction, covering economic, legal, social, and political aspects, setting a precedent for future initiatives.


Date: July 2019

An op-ed critiques the idealization of Japan by some Arab reformers, examining Japan's complex transformation post-World War II. It contrasts Japan's successful modernization and national identity formation with the Ottomans, highlighting Japan's adaptation, war-time experiences, and post-war rebuilding into a peaceful, economically robust nation.


Date:  8-9 April 2019

At the UN-hosted EGM in Beirut, we participate in a session to discuss fostering peace and development in the Arab region through inclusiveness, empowerment, and equality. The session focused on post-conflict rebuilding, social cohesion, and addressing challenges in conflict-affected areas like Yemen and Palestine.


Date:  1-3 April 2019

The 2019 City Debates Conference, organized by the American University of Beirut, focused on urban recovery at the intersection of displacement and reconstruction. Chaired by Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, the Special Session on Syria featured discussions on women's roles, heritage, and city development, highlighting interdisciplinary perspectives on displacement and urban reconstruction.


Year:  2016 - 2017

Client:  EU - European Union

A research project evaluates urban conditions in Syria using the City Prosperity Index. Covering 41 cities, it assesses aspects like productivity, infrastructure, and governance. Thematic papers delve into economy, governance, housing rights, and gender, highlighting challenges and suggesting post-conflict recovery and unification strategies.


Date: 29 June 2017 

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj's lecture at IUAV University of Venice focused on the reconstruction challenges in Syrian cities. It highlighted economic disparities, governance issues, housing sector dynamics, and the cost of rebuilding. Emphasizing the need for balanced strategies, the lecture delved into political, economic, and infrastructural aspects of post-conflict reconstruction.


Date:  25 March 2016

The “Scales of Syria” symposium at Harvard Graduate School of Design, co-sponsored by notable organizations, focused on the Syrian crisis and refugee displacement. Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj and others discussed the impact on the Syrian diaspora and countryside, highlighting the need for global attention and collaborative recovery efforts.