Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas: Managing the Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas: Managing the Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas: Managing the Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas: Managing the Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

Synopsis

This report focuses on identifying ways to improve coordination of international and national entities managing the Syrian refugee response in urban areas in Jordan and Lebanon, particularly in the legal, employment, shelter, water and sanitation, health, and education sectors. This report makes several contributions to the existing literature on this topic. First, it assesses the management model of a complex emergency response in urban areas in middle-income countries; most existing literature about humanitarian responses focuses on camps in weak states. Second, it brings together views of a broad spectrum of stakeholders to provide a comprehensive, multidimensional analysis of management of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and Lebanon in particular. Third, this study presents a new framework for planning, evaluating, and managing refugee crises in urban settings, both in the Syrian refugee crisis as well as other such situations going forward. Fourth, it provides concrete recommendations for how to better support the needs of Syrian urban refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and for how to rethink refugee-assistance coordination around the world for improved effectiveness in the future. This study drew on multiple methods: a literature review; interviews in Jordan and Lebanon with officials from donor countries, UN agencies, host governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); telephone interviews with international experts; and focus groups with refugees.

Excerpt

The Syrian civil war has displaced about half of Syria’s population; many have fled either within Syria or abroad. Syria’s neighbors— particularly Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt—have, to varying degrees, opened their borders to the refugees, and the international aid community has responded with assistance. How well is this assistance working, and how effective is the humanitarian assistance community (a wide variety of donors, host-country governments, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders) in providing services to refugees? This report analyzes coordination of provision of services to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon and provides recommendations on improving coordination strategies and practices. Because the vast majority of Syrian refugees live in urban areas (as has been increasingly the case in refugee crises overall), not camps, this report focuses on coordination of aid to refugees in urban and other non-camp settings. The report should be of particular interest to donors, policymakers, and practitioners concerned with the provision of assistance in the Syrian refugee crisis and in other urban refugee crises as well.

This research was sponsored by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration within the U.S. Department of State and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD). NSRD conducts research and analysis on defense and national security topics for the U.S. and allied defense, foreign policy, homeland security, and intelligence communities and foundations and other nongovernmental organizations that support defense and national security analysis.

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