In 2012, UN ESCWA developed the National Agenda for the Future of Syria (NAFS) programme, which established a platform for technical dialogue for Syrian experts from different backgrounds to talk about reconciliation and peacebuilding in post-conflict Syria.
With the combined work of the NAFS team, Syrian experts and stakeholders, international stakeholders, and the NAFS network of partners, the programme has produced an analysis of the root causes of the conflict and developed policy choices for the future of the country, while reflecting the voices of as many Syrians as possible.
NAFS believes that the path to sustainable peace must be inclusive and participatory, and that governing Syria is solely the right of its people, which is why the process of formulating scenarios is participatory and diversified.
To understand the complex nature of the conflict, NAFS addresses the most significant social, economic and governance factors that led to the conflict. The Programme's system-based approach was designed to consider the complexity of the conflict and to reflect its guiding principles in the policy options suggested to address the challenges in post-conflict Syria. In order to address the complexity surrounding the conflict, NAFS also implemented the creation of thematic working groups.
“You ask an economist and they will pinpoint things on the economy, ask a politician they will talk about governance […] Syria is complex and when you start pulling at the seams many things came apart. The Agenda is a platform to explore these issues”. (Expert)
To better capture the interlinkages and interdependencies and go beyond a sector-by-sector approach, the sectoral policy alternatives were restructured, revised and reshuffled according to a nexus-based approach, which was inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals agenda and which relied heavily on the inter-relationship matrices.
The nine-nexus developed by the Programme were tailored to meet the requirements of the conflict. They were also sequenced according to what the key priorities will be during the peacebuilding and state-building phases. The nexus reflect the direct link between peace and security on one hand, and economic and social development on the other, taking into consideration the likely volatile and interactive context. This approach allowed the NAFS Programme to design the different policy option in a chronological yet overlapping order. Click here to learn more about NAFS' Nexus Approach.
Please click on the diagram to learn more about each individual nexus.