MICA Qatar: Qatar Initiatives for Syrian Refugees (2015)
In 2015, the Vision Center for Strategic and Development Studies conducted a project called “Qatar Initiatives for Syrian Refugees” in accordance with MICA Qatar Consulting Services. The refugee issue is critical to Jordan’s development because in an already resource-scarce country, the influx of over half a million refugees has placed additional strain on infrastructure and aid supplies. Given the ongoing situation in Syria and the fate of refugees from past conflicts, it is probable that the majority of refugees will become permanent residents of Jordan. If these development issues are not addressed, it is likely that they will grow and pose significant problems for Jordanian society and institutions.
The immediate goal of this project is to raise awareness and encourage action on the human rights issues raised by the most recent influx of refugees into Jordan. The long-term goal is to create a network of organizations who are actively engaged in addressing these issues. The qualitative objectives of the workshops are to assess the interest of various local NGOs in refugee projects, provide reliable information and resources to these NGOs in order to contextualize recent trends, and encourage them to commit to an action plan. The quantitative objectives are to conceptualize 10-20 specific action plans to present to the NGOs which address the identified human rights issues, to motivate 10 NGOs to commit to one of these plans or a similar project, and to actively oversee the implementation of at least 10 initiatives and projects.
The project was a two phase action and awareness campaign, comprised of six workshops designed to educate local non-governmental organizations about Syrian refugee issues within Jordan, followed by the implementation of refugee-related projects. Each workshop focused on one of the issues affecting Syrian refugees in Jordanian camps and cities. These issues were presented through guest speakers, panel sessions, and discussions. Guest speakers were selected based on their expertise or experience in one of the core issues of Education, Public Health, Labor Rights, Women’s Rights, Human Trafficking, and Psychological Impacts. The workshop series will disseminate accurate information and encourage positive action through the inclusion of extensive research in the presentations. Numbers and statistics were taken primarily from the United Nations and related UN organizations and entities (UNICEF, UNWomen, UNHCR, UNESCO Amman, ReliefWeb). Supplementary research was also taken from educational institutions (Georgetown University, University of York), newspapers (Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian), and other humanitarian organizations (Amnesty International, Women’s Refugee Commission, World Health Organization).The final phase was to engage with these NGOs on a series of projects and programs related to Syrian refugees over the course of six months, with the expectation that these NGOs will later take over and expand upon the projects.
The short-term outcomes for this project include providing frameworks for NGOs to commit to refugee projects and increasing awareness on refugee human rights issues by including Syrian and international contributors. The medium-term outcome involves NGOs taking action in regards to the refugee crisis through the implementation of new programs, as well as the strengthening of existing programs. Long-term anticipated outcomes of the project include the end goals of improving infrastructure and living conditions in Syrian refugee-dense areas of Jordan. These initiatives will aim to build upon existing educational institutions to expand educational opportunities for refugees, to provide public health resources in camps and refugee-dense areas, to protect women and children, who often suffer the most in refugee crises, to combat human trafficking, to guarantee labor rights to all individuals, and to help Syrian refugees overcome their severe psychological trauma. Addressing all of these issues will serve the long-term goal of facilitating the integration of Syrian refugees into Jordanian society.