Twenty Years Since the Establishment of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression

Dear SCM Partners,

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for your steadfast support of SCM, its work, and its pursuit of defending human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout its long journey filled with successes, setbacks, and sacrifices, which we take immense pride in. This journey has equipped us with vast knowledge and experience that we now look forward to sharing with other organizations as we endeavor to enhance our role, increase our impact, and transition from focusing solely on Syrian issues to working at the regional level in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

At this juncture, we aim to develop SCM’s operational strategy based on accumulated experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, and taking into account the challenging circumstances currently faced by human rights movement and civil society organizations in general. This entails elevating the standard of our work, refining our focus, and sharing our expertise with regional organizations that, like us, aspire to achieve justice, fight impunity, and advance democracy and the rule of law.

Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that we will commence a comprehensive and governance-led review of SCM this March, spanning several phases until the end of 2024. Throughout this process, we will draw upon external expertise in addition to the expertise of our Board of Directors, staff members, and contractors. This review will encompass several key areas:

  1. Organizational and Administrative Structure: reviewing the administrative structure for its flexibility and responsiveness to future needs and challenges. This may involve creating new positions, modifying, merging, or making existing roles redundant, and adjusting tasks, roles, and job titles accordingly.
  2. Programs and Projects: reviewing all programs and projects undertaken by SCM since 2004, particularly after 2016, based on their relevance, feasibility, added value, and impact. This review aims to rebuild the core programs with a different approach that aligns with developments, and may involve establishing, modifying, merging, or discontinuing certain projects.
  3. Policies, Mechanisms, and Work Tools: reviewing all adopted policies at SCM and enhancing them based on maximum transparency, along with assessing the workflow and cycle in departments and programs. This review aims to adopt more professional policies aligned with the professional and ethical framework we aspire to achieve, as well as to increase automation and utilize suitable software to achieve these goals.
  4. Visual Identity: reviewing all elements of SCM’s visual identity and developing SCM’s platforms and tools to adopt a more suitable identity for the upcoming stage, enhancing accessibility, communication with the general public, and their awareness of SCM’s activities and goals.
  5. Vision and Strategy: reviewing the vision, mission, and strategy of SCM, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses, reviewing its action plan, and reproducing short-term and long-term objectives. This review aims to outline SCM’s framework for the upcoming period, including developing a new strategy and action plan that acknowledges the growing regional role of SCM, in addition to its leading role in the Syrian context.

We aspire for this process to effectively contribute to SCM reaching the highest professional standards in all aspects, enhancing our performance, ensuring high professionalism and the ability to confront challenges and changes, increasing our impact, maintaining sustainability, seizing opportunities, and transferring knowledge.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Mazen Darwish

Founder and General Director