This Synthesis Paper summarizes the main findings of the full report "Perceptions of Governance – The Experience of Local Administrative Councils in Opposition-held Syria". Between May 2016 and January 2017, research was conducted on local governance structures and perceptions of legitimacy in opposition-held Syria. The research focused on the role of Local Administrative Councils (LACs) in five locations.
Over the years, the LACs have become key service delivery entities with increasing levels of formalization and recognized leadership roles within the communities they serve. The LAC experience has, however, significantly varied due to localised social and conflict dynamics, strained access to resources, and the overall fluidity of continuing armed conflict. A lack of a clear, credible, and adequately financed central authority has exacerbated this ad-hoc and uncoordinated nature of the development of the LACs. Nonetheless, the research revealed four main trends, analyzed in this paper.