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Knowledge.  Leverage.  Impact. 

LUGARIT is a small think-and-do tank that facilitates the interaction of stakeholders involved in international development processes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


In the volatile and complex eco-systems of the MENA region, decision makers are no longer able to rely on classical and time-consuming research, analysis, and strategies.  They need real-time deep understanding and advice - on the rapidly changing local contexts, risks, and opportunities - to enable them to make and adjust their plans.  

We are here to provide this timely, tailored, and high-quality knowledge to support communities and institutions in leveraging their resources and ingenuity to consolidate “real” development on the ground.

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Year:  2022 - 2024

Client:  UN Women 

A research, facilitation, and outreach project aims to empower Syrian women in peace processes by enhancing the Women’s Advisory Board's capacity, expanding outreach to women leaders, and developing research for evidence-based policies on women's issues in Syria.

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Year:  2022 - 2024

Client:  Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

A project aims to improve track 1.5 and 2 negotiations in the Syrian peace process using a digital tool for dialogue facilitation. The project focuses on scenario simulation and consensus building among political actors and mediators, producing policy papers to facilitate peacebuilding. The project targets local and national reconciliation, emphasizing early recovery.

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Date:  May 2023

Publisher:  EU - European Union

A Roadmap outlines strategies for EU collaboration with Syrian CSOs, focusing on their historical evolution, community legitimacy, legal challenges, and donor relations. It emphasizes the need for inclusive, sustainable approaches, and highlights four priority areas: representation, democracy, public wellbeing, and self-constitution.


Date:  September 2022

Publisher:  LSE - London School of Economics

A research report investigates the complex history of Syria's administrative divisions post-independence, examining political, economic, and social factors influencing the creation and renaming of governorates. It highlights how demographic, service, and political motives, including centralization and regional influences, shaped these changes, with specific case studies illustrating broader trends.


Date:  9 July 2024

An article explores the Syrian Constitutional debate, highlighting the tension between identity and citizenship. It argues that both principles are essential for a cohesive state, discussing religious and linguistic diversity, and illustrating how respecting identity and guaranteeing equal rights can coexist within a constitutional framework.


Date:  2 July 2024

An article presents a framework to analyze the drivers behind the transition from highly centralized to decentralized governance, focusing on power balances, legitimacy, economic challenges, peripheral uprisings, and external factors, illustrating through global case studies the complexity and context-dependence of effective decentralization.


Date:  25 June 2024

The Syrian refugee crisis is a complex issue entangled in political, economic, and social challenges. With no immediate solution in sight, stakeholders either lack the will or capability to address the crisis. Political agreements and localized solutions are crucial to improving conditions and facilitating refugee return.


Date:  20 June 2024

An article discusses the challenges of "reconciliation" in Syria, critiqued as synonymous with surrender. It advocates for an inclusive, Syrian-led dialogue addressing justice and integration issues, essential for preventing further fragmentation and fostering national unity under the complexities of current political and social divisions.


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:  25 May 2024

An op-ed argues for reconciliation in the Arab region, both within states and with external neighbors, to end internal conflicts and begin true reform for stability. It critiques the prolonged conflicts fueled by political naivety, external influences, and lack of mature political dialogue. The piece calls for embracing community recovery, rule of law, and democratization through dialogue and reconciliation, rather than awaiting external intervention or victory in conflicts.


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:  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:  26 March 2024

Decentralization in the MENA region emerges as a crucial pathway for addressing systemic issues of marginalization and uneven development exposed by the Arab Spring. It offers a framework for enhancing local governance, fostering stability, and reconciling divided societies by decentralizing power, thereby laying the groundwork for 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:  05 March 2024

An article explores the impact of gender dynamics on societies at war to derive a deeper understanding of how the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda can reflect its focus on women to shape a more nuanced analysis of conflict drivers. Analyzing territories from a gender lens, it argues for a more nuanced approach to peace negotiations to address the complex dynamics of conflict.


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:  20 February 2024

An interview critiques the traditional approach to heritage preservation as disconnected from modern societal needs, arguing for a more inclusive and dynamic model. We highlight an approach to blend heritage with daily community life and economic incentives to ensure it remains relevant and preserved within the fabric of modern urban life.


Date:  13 February 2024

An op-ed discusses the imminent youth bulge in the Arab region, pointing to past unrest and highlighting the complex interplay of factors like governance, economic crises, and demographic shifts. It stresses the urgency for regional actors to de-escalate conflicts, foster economic-security cooperation, and improve governance to mitigate future crises. 


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:  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:  29-30 April 2024

We speak at the UN ESCWA workshop addressing strengthening public governance in post-conflict Arab regions. We discuss effective local governance frameworks, drawing on case studies from conflict situations, and emphasizing the critical role of bottom-up reforms and municipal empowerment in service delivery.  


We work with international organisations, institutional donors, NGOs/NFPs, think tanks, research institutes, universities, and the private sector.  

Here are some of the organizations our team members are proud to have worked with over the years:

The European Union

The United Nations

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs