Our work revolves around causes we believe in, whether in relation to research or to capacity building and raising awareness. Our subject areas focus on components that leave an impact, which is sustainable, and consequently lead to long-lasting change. Our commitment pushes us to strive to conduct our work to the highest standards, utilising international expertise from across the world to ensure diversity. We believe that diversity is an essential component for creating change, and we believe that collaboration and cooperation is key to ensuring that efforts are coordinated rather than duplicated and wasted. We realise that transparency enables us to maintain long lasting relationships with partners and beneficiaries, and we remain open to discussing all details of our project design and work.
We believe that research should be the first step in designing and implementing projects. While we integrate and mainstream research activities in all our initiatives, we also carry it out as an independent stand-alone activity. CTDC has conducted a number of research projects for a number of clients, including the Arab Foundation for Development and Citizenship (AFDC) and CoordinamentoDelleOrganizzazioni per ilServizioVolonotario (COSV). For AFDC, CTDC has delivered three research papers, evaluating the work of organisations working in the fields of education, development and humanitarian affairs from the perspective of beneficiaries. The research used qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, and covered more than six governorates in Syria, and a total of more than 100 interviews and around 1500 questionnaires. CTDC utilised a team of researchers based in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
CTDC has provided a rapid baseline assessment exploring the livelihoods of Syrian refugees in the south of Turkey, to inform the design of a COSV project. The research was based on interviews with a number of stakeholders, including national and international organisations, community centres and refugees themselves. In addition to that, CTDC has carried out research in Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Turkey.
Our research is designed utilising our pool of international subject matter experts and methodologists, to ensure highest standards during the research process. We believe that rigorous and innovative methodologies are important, particularly in conflict areas, and to ensure that we abide by the ‘no harm’ principle, we make sure that native speakers, who are culturally aware and sensitive, carry out our fieldwork. We follow flexible methodological approaches in different countries, depending on the context and the problem in question, according to the following process.
We often combine different data collection methods, including:
- Interviews (structured, unstructured, semi-structured),
- Focus Groups,
- Anecdotal Evidence,
- Archival Data,
- Social Media,
- Documentary Evidence,
- Ethnographic Data,
- Participant Observation.
CTDC adopts the British Sociological Association’s (BSA) Statement of Ethical Practice, which takes into consideration the following main points:
- Participants safety,
- Research integrity,
- Researchers’ safety,
- Participants’ informed consent,
- Anonymity, privacy and confidentiality.
We believe that education is an important tool to create sustainable change. Our educational programs target different audiences and beneficiaries depending on their needs and the geographical location. Education and subject matter experts design our modules. We believe that learning is a process rather than a collection of information, therefore, we adapt our teaching styles to best fit the audience’s preferred learning methods. Our educational training programs are usually based on both passive (20%) and participatory (80%) learning methods.
In the MENA region, we can deliver the following educational programs in Arabic:
- Communication Skills,
- Time Management,
- Organisational Development,
- Making Decisions,
- Leadership Skills,
- Team Working Skills,
- Training of Trainers,
- Conflict Resolution.
We are currently developing educational programs targeting individuals aspiring to become practitioners in the MENA region. The program will aim to equip those interested with the practical skills and lessons learnt from working in the field. The program will include the following modules:
- Intersectional Approaches to Development Work in the MENA,
- Gender and Women’s Rights in the MENA,
- Sexuality and the Construction of Gender in the MENA,
- Cultural Sensitivity and Country-Specific Sensitivity,
- Methodological Approaches to Working in the MENA.
Advocacy and Awareness Raising
Our advocacy and awareness raising efforts have utilised different mediums, including workshops, conferences, the production of audio and visual material, and delivering trainings on advocacy in relation to gender, women’s rights and migration.
We have designed training and capacity building in the development of advocacy and policy dialogue actions in favour of gender equality in the MENA region. The training consists of sessions on gender concepts in advocacy, language adaptation to context, advocacy cycles and tools, holistic approaches to advocacy, first steps to advocacy action plan, fundraising for advocacy and advocating for fundraising. The training is aimed for organisations starting advocacy work and can be developed into a training of trainers.
In collaboration with Hope Projects in Birmingham, Anti-Type Films and the Twelve 01 Project, CTDC has produced a short documentary film exploring the experiences of women asylum seekers in the UK, and aiming to raise awareness of the difficulties women asylum seekers face. The film has also been screened, during a CTDC-Open University organised conference in London. The conference offered a pressing critical reflection on the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe. In light of recent heated debates and widespread coverage of Europe’s border controls and the flow of refugees, the event offered a space to critically think through the gendered politics of refugee and forced migration, and its intersections with nationalism, geopolitics, and global patterns of inequality. In exploring the gendered dimensions of refugee and migrant life, and the differential experiences of women migrants, this event aimed to facilitate a pertinent conversation between feminist activism and refugee struggles transnationally, while highlighting the existence and experiences of refugees outside of Europe.
CTDC has also participated in the 16 Days of activism campaign aiming to raise awareness about violence against all women, including trans and lesbian women. 1morecup in collaboration with Mosaic and in partnership with Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beirut, Intersos, Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration, Mawjoudin We Exist and Mesahat for Sexual and Gender Diversity, produced two video products narrating the stories of two women, who experiences sexual and gender based violence in Lebanon.
CTDC has also delivered a UNDEF-funded training course to Syrian women in the south of Turkey, along with its implementing partner MANDAT International. The workshop aimed to raise the awareness of Syrian refugee women of their legal, social and political rights within the context of Turkey. The workshop resulted in the development of the Syrian Women’s Committee in Reyhanlı, which works on raising awareness about Syrian women’s issues, including child marriage, second wife marriages and sexual and gender based violence.
We strive to develop the capacity of individuals, communities, organisations and governments. Whereas we specialise in the fields of gender, sexuality and minority rights, our capacity development work also provides organisational capacities and mentorship, through which gender equality, diversity and anti-discrimination are mainstreamed.
CTDC is working in collaboration with Physicians for Human Rights to develop a group of doctors and lawyers working in aid and human rights documentation inside and outside Syria. CTDC has been leading the organisational development of this group of Syrians who are based in four main locations, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Europe. The organisational development is focusing on decentralizing decision-making, power sharing and internal communications between group members located in various locations. We are currently developing a complex organisational model, which can overcome the challenges of various geographical locations. The group’s work in advocacy has massively improved over the past year, and the information they have collected has been published in the New York Times and other international media platforms.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Using our rigorous approach to research, we have delivered a number of monitoring and evaluation activities, and we are able to monitor and evaluate projects in conflict and crisis settings using innovative methodologies. In 2013, we have authored three major research papers looking at the educational, development and aid sectors, whose beneficiaries are Syrians outside of regime control, within Syria and in refugee hosting countries. The research utilised a number of researchers inside Syria for data collection purposes, and has aimed to evaluate the work carried out within those sectors, from the perspective of beneficiaries. We have also harmonised the use of common monitoring and reporting tools for al-Rafah Social Care in Palestine. Our consultants include qualified country-experts of M&E and quality assurance, covering a wide range of locations.
We, at CTDC, favour partnership over competition, and therefore, we partner with different organisations to design and implement projects. For example, we have partnered with Tsamota Good Governance Group on designing projects in relation to women and girls’ access to justice in Palestine, countering radicalisation of women in Tunisia, and supporting dialogue and engagement on women, peace and security. CTDC has also partnered with Sisterhood is Global Institute in Jordan (SIGI) on a project to end violence against women through raising awareness of sexual and reproductive health rights. We have also worked closely with Women’s Studies Centre (WSC) and the Association of Women Committees for Social Work (AWCSW) in Palestine to design a number of projects. CTDC is currently designing a research project with Coventry Universityexploring experiences of migration and refuge.
CTDC has provided different types of consultancy services on various topics to several organisations including CoordinamentoDelleOrganizzazioni per ilServizioVolonotario, Physicians for Human Rights, al-Rafah Social Care, Arab Foundation for Citizenship and Development, Faisal Husseini Foundation, MOSAIC, Syrian Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights, Coventry Refugees and Migrant Centre and MANDAT International. We undertake consultancies in different geographical locations. We reserve the right to refuse consultancies that are not in line with our values, principles and ethics.