How We Develop Our Strategy
The Foundation works in a fast changing context, whether it is changing charity legislation or the conflict in Syria. It is therefore crucial that we constantly adapt and develop our programming to ensure that we address changing needs in the best way possible. Our Trustees are responsible for the overall direction of the charity. They have set the vision, mission and overall objects of the Foundation, which are:
- The advancement of education in any part of the world and in particular of young people from Syria, Lebanon Palestine and the UK including without limitation by establishing and supporting schools, universities and other educational facilities, commissioning, supporting or promoting research and publishing in any media the results of that research, publishing any other educational materials, organising conferences, providing grants and scholarships for individuals, schools and universities to support underprivileged children to pursue education.
- The prevention and relief of poverty for the public benefit in any part of the world in particular but not exclusively from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK including without limitation by raising awareness about poverty, the provision of grants to organisations providing nutritional, medical, shelter and other relief items and services to young people in need who have been affected by man-made or natural emergencies and/or charities, or other organisations working to prevent or relieve poverty.
- The promotion of civic responsibility, good citizenship and community development for the public benefit in particular but not exclusively for the benefit of young people and civil society organisations from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK.
- The advancement of human rights (as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations), conflict resolution or reconciliation and the promotion of equality and diversity for the public benefit anywhere in any part of the world and in particular for young people from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK.
These broad objects are translated into our strategy and inform the work of our Programmes.
In 2017, the Foundation was 10 years old and we felt it was time to look back and see what we did well and what support partners found most useful. We commissioned an evaluation of all our work to date, and through that process, and a strategy consultancy process, we spoke to many of our former partners, alumni and consultants as well as staff and Trustees to assess what we might focus on for the five year period from 2018 to 2022. A five year strategy was developed which began to be implemented by the Foundation in 2018 and which will inform our work for the foreseeable future. The strategy paper can be seen here (Arabic).
As we implement the strategy, the Asfari team will collect data about the situation on the ground, obtain suggestions and feedback from partners through visits, reports and workshops; monitor the outcomes of and learning from our projects, and develop its own ideas and these will feed back into the strategy. We will also from time to time commission expert advisors (often from the Arab region) to conduct situation analysis research, asses new projects and programmes, and evaluate existing ones to ensure we are on the right track. All this information is collated and brought to regular Board meetings so that the Foundation’s Trustees can make decisions on whether to adjust the strategy, make changes to systems or procedures or fund particular projects. At the end of each year, plans are developed for the Foundation’s next year of work, which are approved by the Trustees and then implemented by the Foundation team.