Every Action Counts: Determinants of young people’s trajectories from education to employment in protracted displacement

A young boy walks across an empty square, carrying a football. 4 roads lead in different directions from the square.
Sabra Camp, Beirut. Photo by Joelle El Dib

By the Centre for Lebanese Studies and the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice

Saturday 20th June 2020 is World Refugee Day.  This year’s theme is “Every Action Counts”, highlighting refugees’ contributions to their societies, and the importance of creating a more just, equal, and inclusive world in which no one is left behind. The Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) and the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice’s (CENDEP) research programme “From Education to Employment” – funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) – works with young people living in protracted displacement in Lebanon and Jordan, seeking to understand their trajectories from education to employment.

Education is seen as a crucial aspect in young people’s lives, affecting and reflecting their chances in life, their aspirations and dreams, their security, and their place in society. Insights into the impact of financial crises on youth transitions from education and into employment have advanced our thinking on the increasing uncertainty and precarity facing young people – an uncertainty that is now inherent in the ‘new normal’ following the COVID19 pandemic. However, there are still gaps in our knowledge when it comes to different groups of young people. Refugees are often not seen as a relevant group in research on school to work trajectories in the Middle East, and the Global South, more generally.  

One of the main questions that we are grappling with in our work is how young people’s different social positions – their legal status, their gender, and their family background – and the inclusions and exclusions associated with these positions influence their trajectories from education to employment. In this blog we reflect on the results from our survey on the meaning of these social positions for young people’s education outcome, employment outcome and employability. The survey collected information from 1442 young persons (aged 15 to 29 years old) with different nationalities (Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, and Lebanese), legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds, in both Lebanon and Jordan1

Legal status

In the survey we use two broad categories of legal status: being a citizen of the country where you live or being a refugee. One of the key findings of our research is that legal status is a significant determinant of young people dropping out of school.2 While nationals are less likely to drop out of school than refugees in both countries, the effect was much greater in Lebanon. Legal status also strongly effects educational outcomes in Lebanon where nationals are almost 20% more likely to reach higher levels of schooling, as compared to refugees. However, the same effect was not found in Jordan. In both countries, nationals are more likely to have a higher net monthly earnings than refugees, to be in a job relevant to their education, and to be satisfied with their job.


Gender is a determinant of educational outcomes in Lebanon where males are more likely to drop out than females. However, we do not find the same differences in Jordan. In contrast, males in both Lebanon and Jordan are more likely to be employed as compared to females: These findings demonstrate the weak link between education and employability. Our results from both countries indicate that completing post-secondary or vocational training has no significant effect on the probability of being employed compared to those who only completed primary level or received no education. In Lebanon, completing secondary education may even reduce the probability of being employed, as compared to individuals who completed primary level/no education. Results from Jordan reveal that secondary education is not a significant determinant of employability.

Family Background and place

Family background and place of residence are significant factors in understanding young people’s education and employment. Three key findings stand out in our research:

Firstly, that parents’ education has an important role in determining the likelihood of dropping out and educational outcomes. Mothers’ education seems to be of greater importance compared to father’s education over all educational levels in both countries. For instance, having a mother with post-secondary education reduces an individual’s dropout probability significantly compared to having a mother with primary education/no education. Similarly, our results indicate that the higher the mother’s educational attainment (secondary/post-secondary) is, the more likely it is that a young person will have better educational outcome. 

Secondly, place is a determinant of employability and employment outcomes with individuals residing in urban areas being more likely to be employed in Lebanon and Jordan. A young person living in an urban area such as Beirut is more likely to be employed compared to a young person residing in a semi-urban area such as the Bekaa.

Finally, in Lebanon, single young people are more likely to be employed compared to married/divorced young people, but the same effect on employability is not found in Jordan

Towards a more inclusive understanding of young people in protracted refugee situations

The results presented show that legal status is an important determinant of education and employment outcomes, and that refugees continue to have lower outcomes than peers who are nationals of their host state. While this has important ramification for refugee education, and employment policy in both countries, it is important to recognise that legal status is not the sole determinant of education and employment outcomes for young people living in Lebanon and Jordan. Gender, parental education background, and place of residence all have significant effects on young people’s trajectories. The results also show important differences between young people’s outcomes in Lebanon and Jordan.

These results highlight the importance of taking an intersectional approach to understanding young people’s trajectories from education to employment and to understanding how their different statuses shape their trajectories within their national and local context. In order to work towards a more just, equal and inclusive world where no one is left behind, the lived realities of young people across social positions must be reflected. As we continue our research, we will be paying attention to how young people understand, explain, and navigate these influences on their trajectories from education to employment.

The full report will be published on CLS and CENDEP website next month.

1 The overall study adopts a mixed-method approach. It combines a face-to-face survey of youth schooling and employment experiences with in-depth narrative interviews with young people (aged 15-29 years old) and their families. The face-to-face quantitative survey collected information pertaining to the young person’s legal status, socio-economic profile, household living conditions, education and employment. It was conducted between August 2019 and October 2019. The selection of the sample was representative of the different legal statuses of the overall population in the areas where we worked, according to available statistics. The study covered three areas in Lebanon, Beirut, the South and Bekaa and nine districts in the governorate of Amman, Jordan. Hence, when referring to Jordan here, all cases are in the governorate of Amman

2 Dropout: include any person who did not obtain an educational certificate that qualifies him/her to compete for a non-labour intensive job market.


Education in the Time of COVID-19 in Jordan: Reflecting on Priority Short Term Responses

In this piece, Education to Employment researchers Dina Batshon and Yasmeen Shahzadeh offer insight into the current education situation in Jordan, and reflect on the short term education response needed for COVID-19. This blog was originally published by the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), at the UCL Institute of Education: Blog Series #016: Education in the Time of COVID-19.

In Jordan, more than 2 million students across public, private, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) schools have had their education interrupted since schools closed in mid-March. With the spread of COVID-19, Jordan took the quick decision to implement lockdown but to continue with education, albeit delivering its content remotely. Learning from previous emergency situations, the government took note of the importance of maintaining education to provide a sense of normalcy as well as preventing the risk of student dropout from learning interruptions, and developed a quick plan of action.

In this blog, we reflect on the current education system response to COVID-19 in Jordan, and envision further priorities around short-term interventions, based on emerging global resources and knowledge from education in emergency situations.

Photo by Amjad Ghsoun

Roadmap for short-term responses

In the short-term, a sequenced, multimodal, and multi-pronged approach is required. This necessitates the active involvement of a number of stakeholders, including government authorities, NGOs and the private sector.

Maslow before Bloom

It is important to appreciate that parents and guardians, teachers, and school leaders are concerned  about their own safety and physiological vulnerability, whilst they are adapting to new ways of maintaining education for young learners.  The Jordanian government in partnership with NGOs is beginning to provide financial support to those who have been affected by the lockdown. However, a rapid assessment of the impact of COVID-19, particularly on vulnerable populations, has revealed that individuals who are in especially precarious employment may not be eligible for the government’s social protections. The limited supply of essential goods and services, including food and medicine, has jeopardized the livelihoods of families across the Kingdom, many of whom do not have the necessary tools to support their children’s distance learning.

At the time of crisis, access to education might be of least concern for refugees and other vulnerable communities: another rapid assessment confirms that access to food, healthcare, and cash assistance are crucial in the short-term, in order for education interventions to be considered or adopted. It is important for MoE to work closely with other relevant ministries and agencies to identify and support the most disadvantaged students and their families.

Maximize Access

The decision of continuing education must accompany necessary support particularly to those who are most marginalized, the disabled, and refugee students. MoE has launched both low-tech and high-tech solutions to education during the pandemic, introducing Darsak online platform and TV channels to share educational contents covering core subjects to all grades.

However, it is important to ensure that new educational provisions do not exacerbate any inequities that existed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thousands of students still do not have access to this educational content, due to unreliable internet connections, lack of smartphones or laptops, or other challenges faced at home. In this instance, maximizing access requires understanding and addressing the barriers to current interventions, in addition to introducing new interventions to ensure maximizing access. A one size fits all approach never worked for education in ‘normal’ situations, and cannot work in a crisis such as the one in which we currently live. For example, MoE can consider other low-tech or no-tech interventions, such as distributing textbooks and other printed learning materials where the TV/online solutions are not accessible or feasible. In any case, regular assessment of accessibility of these provisions is crucial, tracking specific students in need for support which can be done through schools directly contacting families and students.

Partnerships with the private sector and not-for-profits can be leveraged to identify and respond to the barriers to online learning through a number of interventions. These interventions need to consider availability of digital infrastructure such as smartphones, tablets and laptops as well as Internet connectivity, particularly in areas that are hard to reach. Furthermore, providing stationary is important to enable different learning processes. Equally important is to provide relevant information about how to access and use different platforms (including how to download new channels onto their TV), as well as basic information around digital literacy.

Throughout this process, it is important to ensure that the most marginalized, including refugee students in camps and host communities and students with disabilities, are able to access digital learning platforms. Any content that is developed needs to be adapted to be inclusive for students with visual or hearing impairments. At the moment, only one stream of 12th Grade content has been made available in sign language. Furthermore, understanding and addressing the barriers faced by refugees inside camps is important because they have limited access to electricity and interrupted Internet connections. It is important for MoE to clarify in its communications how their interventions seek to target these different marginalized groups.

Identify and communicate education outcome priorities

During this unprecedented heath crisis, it might be counterproductive to aim for the same educational outcomes as originally planned for the school year. It is highly recommended that MoE identifies priority educational outcomes for every subject, and to clearly communicate these to students and their parents and guardians. Attempting to go on with business as usual is both unrealistic and could lead to frustrations on the part of students and parents. By focusing on fewer priorities and learning contents and providing extra time for learning, students might still be able to engage in education meaningfully.

It is critical for MoE to maintain clear, open, and consistent lines of communication about expectations and education outcomes with all stakeholders, including students and parents, throughout the pandemic. Communicating possible scenarios in a timely manner and perhaps consulting the students and parents could help decrease anxiety.

From passive to active learning

Asynchronous learning is not inherently bound to passive learning. Simple steps can be gradually introduced into each lesson in the current state to enable further interaction and active learning. With regards to Darsak, a good place to start is by providing content in a variety of formats – text, audio and visual (image and video) – rather than only video. Furthermore, video content should be segmented into multiple 15-20-minute clips. Additionally, adding a few summaries of key points and an exercise to test students’ learning and reflective questions after each lesson would make the distance learning exciting and productive, and are easy to introduce into the current platform. The already available online classroom management platform, Noorspace, should also be further developed to be more user friendly with extra features that enable students to engage with the educational contents, share comments, raise questions, and co-produce new content.


Countries around the world have postponed or cancelled examinations, citing challenges in conducting them online fairly and accessibly. However, regular assessments in various formats both formative and summative can be helpful to keep track of students’ learning and help teachers identify gaps to develop better learning activities. Formative assessment and constructive feedback from teachers can promote learning for life rather than just to pass examinations.

The move to online learning can be an opportunity to develop new types of assignments and assessments, such as project work, learning logs and journals, eventually developing more self-directed and motivated learners. Nevertheless, the question still remains for how to conduct the least flexible milestone examinations such as, ‘Tawjihi’, the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination.

Expanding relevant and timely content and access

It is important to capitalize on the strengths of online learning, especially those that are not possible in traditional educational environments. Educational material being developed and offered on Darsak should be made available and accessible for a longer period so that students are able to go back to it and repeat the content to enhance learning. However, at the moment, educational materials are only available for one week on Darsak.

On another front, the rapid development of online learning platforms and content can address the limitations of present curricula. For instance, content can be developed around COVID-19, focusing on physical and emotional well-being as well as personal hygiene. Other relevant topics include media and information literacy and how to deal with emergencies, all of which are relevant and timely topics. These topics can be covered with fairly easily accessible educational materials, many of which can be adapted from available global resources to suit different age groups and backgrounds.

Additional support to parents and guardians

As the provision of teaching and learning has shifted to online platforms, parents and guardians have had to step into new roles as facilitators of learning. In addition to this, they have had to assume a large role in supporting their children’s emotional wellbeing throughout this crisis.

This new role that parents and guardians have to play is often challenging: adults who are required to continue working (whether remotely or in person as frontline support staff) have had to perform multiple duties such as caretaking, supporting children’s learning, and working full time. Others are unable to support children’s learning due to their own educational level or are unable to accommodate caring for several children at different grade levels.

MoE should work alongside other relevant ministries, organizations, and stakeholders to create or compile simple and accessible tips and guidelines for parents on how to take care of their psychological and mental health needs while being involved in supporting their children in education.

Several nonprofit organizations have published tips and guidelines, suggesting a new routine, allowing children to discuss how they are feeling, and creating distractions and activities to provide some form of relief and entertainment. UNICEF recommends that adults be mindful of their own behavior and mental health, as it can transmit to their children and ignite fear or anxiety. There are also resources for parents to support their children’s learning at a distance. These resources for parents and guardians can easily be translated and communicated to the wider community.

Additional support to teachers and school leaders

MoE has developed a platform for teachers with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that aim to develop online learning skills and relevant pedagogical approaches. In order for teachers and schools leaders to engage in digital platforms and adapt them in their teaching, many will also require appropriate hardware as well as reliable Internet access. Teachers also need tips and guidelines to support themselves and students during this crisis, recognizing that many are also parents and guardians themselves. Additionally, MoE should establish a mechanism to engage with teachers and school leaders in relation to the medium and longer term responses, to better prepare them for the next steps in returning to a ‘new normal’.

As the situation continues to change in Jordan, MoE is responding rapidly to ensure that basic educational needs are met for the current school term. In this blog post, we envisioned several critical short-term approaches that should be considered in the coming weeks and months. It is equally important for MoE to develop a parallel process for medium-term and long-term interventions.

Education Response(s) to COVID-19 in Jordan: Ongoing Education at all Costs

Researcher Dina Batshon writes about the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the provision of education in Jordan. This blog was originally produced for the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) network, based at Carleton University.

2,372,736 learners in Jordan from pre-primary all the way to tertiary education, nationals and non-nationals, are affected by the nationwide closures of educational institutions [1] as the country comes towards the end of its second week under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. This past March has had continuous updates and drastic daily changes for learners, starting from the Ministry of Education (MoE) arguing in the second week of March that there is no need to disrupt education (since there is only one COVID-19 case in the country), to now having the entire country in its third week of school closures with focused attempts by all relevant actors to move to distance learning.

After just one case of COVID-19 on the 2nd of March, the number increased to a total of 13 on the 15th of March, which was announced as the first day of school closures. On the 17th of March the National Defense Law was activated and on the 21st of March a full lockdown was initiated. The first few days of closures for schools and meant that the students were home, and some teachers and administrators were still working within their institutions to continue providing classes through the use of online tools. But as the full lockdown came into place, individual responses from schools were no longer viable and the MoE rolled out a number of interventions in which it aimed to ‘continue with education’. Within this context, it’s important to note that refugees in Jordan enroll in formal education within the national public system and hence would, to an extent, benefit from the same interventions MoE undertakes.

Darsak was launched on the 22nd of March as a distance learning platform to host recorded videos based on the Jordanian curriculum for students from the 1st to 12th grade covering Arabic Language, English Language, Maths, Sciences, and additional subjects for 11th and 12th grades based on the stream. The platform was launched as a collaboration between the MoE, The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, developers Mawdoo3, and content providers: Edraak, Abwab, and Jo Academy, perhaps one of few education interventions in the country involving public, private, and not-for-profit partners. To ensure maximum accessibility, the platform was made free to access between 6am and 4pm. In addition, 3 national TV channels started broadcasting these videos, one of which was specifically for 12th graders who would at some point be sitting for the general secondary education certificate examination, Tawjihi. This step reflected an understanding that the majority of households in Jordan have TV units, as opposed to computers/laptops or students each owning their own smart phone.

MoE interventions are continuously being rolled out, with a new platform for ongoing training for teachers launched on the 31st of March, to enable teachers to facilitate distance learning processes. The platform currently offers 6 free MOOCs covering distance learning tools, education technology, blended education, flipped classrooms, teaching pedagogy, and reflective teaching.

Other actors seem to directly and indirectly further support the reach of MoE interventions to the most vulnerable learners, for example the Jordan Electric Power company announced that they will not be disconnecting electrical power from any households that have not paid their bills and will reconnect it for those it had previously disconnected the power from [2], and The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced the extension of the electricity supply hours in both Azraq and Zaatari camps for Syrian refugees [3].

In addition to the MoE efforts, the Jordan Education Sector Working Group has conducted a mapping of education response to COVID-19 identifying a number of on-going and planned activities by NGOs and UN agencies all over the country and within Syrian refugee camps. Activities ranged from offering distance learning covering non-formal education, remedial education, and learning support services and more, using diverse modalities such as Whatsapp, SMS, Zoom, Facebook Live and Facebook closed groups, YouTube videos, and even printed workbooks to the most vulnerable with limited access to hardware, all the way to UNICEF providing financial, in-kind, and technical support to the MoE.

A number of interventions are either on-going or will be launched soon, but many things remain unclear and pose questions to reflect on. How many of the learners in the country are these interventions reaching? Are the issues faced by the most vulnerable being addressed, or will the education inequality gap grow bigger? Are parents being engaged properly to enable the learning of their children? What is the quality of the interventions being offered? How is being socially disconnected affecting the learners? And how will this period affect the future of education in Jordan? At this stage, it is not clear how much longer the country will remain under lockdown with schools closed (and how much longer humanity will fight this battle), and what the costs of continuing or not-continuing education are or would be, but what’s clear is that both state and non-state actors in Jordan have decided to keep the education system ongoing at all costs.

[1] Enrolment data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics as per https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse

[2] https://menafn.com/arabic/1099869377/الاردن-الكهرباء-الأردنية-تعلق-قطع-التيار-وتعيده-للمفصول-عنهم

[3] https://www.almamlakatv.com/news/تمديد-ساعات-تزويد-الكهرباء-في-مخيمي-الزعتري-والأزرق-36045

World Youth Skills Day and Our Research in Jordan

Today, July 15th, is World Youth Skills Day! According to UNESCO, youth make up 18% of the total global population. However, they are disproportionately impacted by unemployment and vulnerable employment opportunities. This event aims to shed light on how to “operationalize lifelong learning”.

According to UNICEF, 63% of the Jordanian population is below the age of 30. In the capital, Amman, there are approximately 1.254 million individuals between the ages of 15-29, as of the end of 2018, including in urban, rural, and industrial gatherings. Official unemployment rates in the country are at 19% (Department of Statistics, March 2019), but unofficial unemployment rates for youth in particular in Jordan are as high as 45%. In light of this, it is essential to work to support youth aspirations, whether through education (formal, non-formal, and informal), hobbies, skills, employment, or more.

It is important to support youth in order to allow them to pursue their dreams. In our research, we look at youth and the ways they are voicing their needs through local initiatives, including venues which nurture their human capital (whether through education or vocational training or through their hobbies and skills). We celebrate World Youth Skills Day because it recognizes the need to support youth mobilization by refining their skills and seeking better opportunities in education and employment. 

In our project, we research the journeys Jordanian, Syrian, and Palestinian youth take from education to employment. This is part of a joint research with colleagues at the Centre for Lebanese Studies at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Development and Emergency Practice

Our research project aims to collect and formulate narratives of Jordanians, and Syrian and Palestinian refugees between the ages of 15-29. It will look at how different statuses (legal, social, cultural, political, economic) influence the ways young people negotiate restrictions and opportunities as they move from education to employment, and unpack how young people in the contexts of displacement mobilize, plan, and engage in initiatives that shape their trajectories. It aims to empower young people to develop their own voice for advocacy through action research, community training, and artistic exhibitions that investigate and express their own needs and aspirations regarding education and employment.

To pinpoint our research target group, our research started by mapping existing organizations, initiatives, and platforms by and for youth. We are currently in the process of starting our surveying research (quantitative research approach) covering nine liwa’a (districts) of the capital Amman in order to identify trends among youth in Amman regarding their education and employment trajectories. We are collecting basic data to understand the dynamics used by youth to attain education, and their desired level of higher education, while exploring their ability to accomplish their own aspirations afterwards. In the third phase of our research, we will interview young people (qualitative approach) in their spaces in order to unpack their life trajectories, aiming to analyze the challenges and opportunities they encountered in the most significant events in their lives so far.

In exploring youth trajectories from education to employment, we will analyse the role of three drivers: family, institutions, and young people themselves. Therefore, our research involves interviewing youths’ parents and main stakeholders and actors in order to understand the role they play in supporting or challenging the life trajectories of youth.

Given the growing vulnerabilities youth face with regards to education and employment, and in recognition of World Youth Skills Day, we hope that our research can advocate with and for youth of all statuses to better their transitions from education to employment.  

Photo of Amman by @Amman00962

اليوم العالمي لمهارات الشباب وبحثنا في الأردن

اليوم، 15 يوليو/تموز، هو اليوم العالمي لمهارات الشباب! وفقًا لبيانات اليونسكو، يشكل الشباب 18٪ من إجمالي سكان العالم. ومع ذلك، الشباب متأثرون بشكل غير متناسب مع عددهم ونسبتهم بالبطالة وفرص العمل الهشة. يهدف هذا الحدث إلى تسليط الضوء على “تفعيل مفهوم التعلم مدى الحياة“.

وفقًا للبيانات الصادرة عن اليونيسف، فإن 63٪ من الأردنيين تقل أعمارهم عن 30 عامًا (اليونيسيف). يوجد في العاصمة عمان حوالي 1.254 مليون فرد تتراوح أعمارهم بين 15 و 29 عامًا، وذلك اعتبارًا من نهاية عام 2018، بما في ذلك في التجمعات الحضرية والريفية والصناعية. تبلغ معدلات البطالة الرسمية في البلاد 19٪  (دائرة الاحصاءات العامة، 3/2019)، إلا أن معدلات البطالة غير الرسمية للشباب بالتحديد تصل إلى 45٪. في ضوء هذه النسب، العمل لدعم تطلعات وطموح الشباب أمر جوهري، سواء من .خلال التعليم (الرسمي وغير الرسمي) أو الهوايات أو المهارات أو التوظيف أو غير ذلك

من المهم دعم الشباب لمساعدتهم في العمل على تحقيق أحلامهم. نقوم في بحثنا بالعمل مع الشباب لاستكشاف الطرق التي يعبرون بها عن احتياجاتهم من خلال المبادرات المحلية، والتي تشمل العمل في مساحات مختلفة لتنمية رأس مالهم البشري (سواء من خلال التعليم أو التدريب المهني أو من خلال هواياتهم ومهاراتهم). لذلك، نحتفل باليوم العالمي لمهارات الشباب اليوم لأنه حدث يدرك الحاجة إلى تناول موضوع حشد الشباب من خلال تحسين مهاراتهم ودعم مسارات حياتهم للوصول الى فرص . أفضل في التعليم والعمل

يبحث مشروعنا في الرحلات التي يقوم بها الشباب الأردني، والسوري، والفلسطيني من التعليم إلى العمل، وذلك كجزء من بحث مشترك مع مركز الدراسات اللبنانية في الجامعة اللبنانية الأمريكية في بيروت، وجامعة أكسفورد بروكس

يقوم المشروع بجمع وصياغة سرديات وروايات الأردنيين واللاجئين السوريين والفلسطينيين الذين تتراوح أعمارهم بين 15 و 29 عامًا. سنبحث في كيفية تأثير الحالات المختلفة (القانونية والاجتماعية والثقافية والسياسية والاقتصادية) على الطرق التي يتغلب بها الشباب على القيود والفرص أثناء انتقالهم من التعليم إلى العمل، وتفكيك كيفية قيام الشباب في سياقات النزوح بالحشد والتخطيط والانخراط في المبادرات التي تشكل مسارات حياتهم. يهدف هذا البحث إلى تمكين الشباب من تطوير مهاراتهم وإعلاء صوتهم في مجال المناصرة من خلال البحث العملي والتدريب المجتمعي والمعارض الفنية التي تعبر عن احتياجاتهم وتطلعاتهم فيما يتعلق بالتعليم والعمل

لتحديد المجموعة المستهدفة للبحث، بدأنا بالعمل على تحديد المنظمات والمبادرات والمنصات التي تعمل مع الشباب والتي طورها وبناها الشباب. إضافة الى ذلك، نحن الآن بصدد بدء العمل على مسح (منهج البحث الكمي) من خلال استبيان سيغطي الألوية التسعة في العاصمة عمان من أجل تحديد الاتجاهات بين الشباب في عمان فيما يتعلق بمسارات التعليم والعمل. من خلال الاستبيان سنجمع البيانات الأساسية لفهم الديناميات التي يستخدمها الشباب للوصول الى التعليم، وتحديد مستوى التعليم الذي يسعون له، إضافة الى استكشاف قدرتهم على تحقيق تطلعاتهم بعد ذلك. تسعى المرحلة الثالثة من البحث إلى إجراء مقابلات مع الشباب (منهج البحث النوعي) في مساحاتهم من أجل تفكيك مسارات حياتهم، وذلك بهدف تحليل التحديات والفرص التي واجهوها خلال أهم الأحداث في حياتهم حتى الآن

نحاول من خلال هذا البحث تحليل دور ثلاثة محركات والتي تؤثر في مسارات الشباب: الأسرة، والمؤسسة، والشاب/الشابة ذاتهم وطاقتهم الشخصية. لذلك، تضمن جزء من بحثنا إجراء مقابلات مع أهالي الشباب، وأصحاب المصلحة، والجهات الفاعلة الرئيسية من أجل فهم الدور الذي يلعبه كل منهم في دعم أو تحدي مسارات حياة الشباب

بسبب الهشاشة المتزايدة التي يواجهها الشباب فيما يتعلق بالتعليم والعمل، وتقديرًا لليوم العالمي لمهارات الشباب، نأمل أن يتمكن بحثنا من أن يناصر مع ومن أجل الشباب من جميع الخلفيات، من أجل تطوير وتسهيل انتقالهم من التعليم إلى العمل.

المصادر – Sources:


What can Education do for Children on the Street

ما الذي يمكن أن يقوم به التعليم للأطفال في الشارع ؟

Cyrine Saab, Community Researcher, Centre for Lebanese Studies

The phenomenon of children on the street, instead of attending school, is rapidly
growing as a result of an intersection of different factors. These children engage in different activities such as begging, shoe shining, selling small goods, etc., and have limited access to the basic needs of their lives. Some sleep on the streets while others live with their parents.

Scholars disagree over who qualifies as a “child on the street.” This lack of clarity in
definition, along with the high mobility of these kids, makes it difficult to quantify the size of the problem. In my research, I have adopted the simple criterion that a child who spends a portion or majority of their time on the street, when they could be at school, is“a child on the street.” Although we do not have precise numbers, there are hundreds of thousands of children in Lebanon who meet this criterion who engage in different forms of labor on the street (ILO et al., 2015

Having children on the street is against the Lebanese law. At the same time, the
Lebanese government is unable to execute its laws because of its weak infrastructure and lack of dedicated funds. The Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA), for example, lacks the necessary shelters to provide for the needs of children on the street. The Internal Security Forces (ISF) refrains from withdrawing children from the street because there is no place to house them. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) does not have enough capacity in schools in areas where the number of children on the street is greatest. In addition, there are not adequate protective measures to prevent school dropout. As a result, the efforts taken by the Lebanese government have not proven sufficient; many children do not seek school enrollment, others are denied admission due to limited capacity, and enrollees continue to drop out (World Bank, 2016). Only a few NGOs have designed sustainable intervention programs that produce efficient outcomes for children on the street. However, there is currently no comprehensive national project in Lebanon designed to reduce or resolve the issue of these children on educational, economic, psychological and political levels.

Research suggests that the development of better-quality education can play a
significant role in limiting the number of children on the street. Proposals for improving the quality of education in the Lebanese cultural context include incorporating child-participative approaches, organizational collaboration, individualized teaching techniques, child protection, and motivational pedagogies. One of the aims of our research project “From Education to Employment: Youth trajectories in the context of protracted displacement” is to produce a substantial dataset based on lived experiences of youth which, in turn, can contribute to the development of effective education programs

An equitable solution for the challenges facing children on the street in Lebanon
requires research and study that is sensitive to the Lebanese context and provides children on the street a vehicle to include their voice in the discussion. We have designed our project with this in mind; including collaborative analysis with participating youth, focus group discussions, and the opportunity to share the stories of youth through the production of a play, artistic exhibition, and documentary.

The bottom line is that providing for the needs of the population on the street in Lebanon is beyond the capability of the Lebanese government. Therefore, we must all work together as local and international community to provide a better education, and a better future, for these children

إنّ ظاهرة الأطفال في الشارع، بدلاً من الذهاب إلى المدرسة، تتزايد بسرعة نتيجة تقاطع عوامل مختلفة.
وينخرط هؤلاء الأطفال في أنشطة مختلفة مثل التسوّل، تلميع الأحذية، بيع السلع الصغيرة وغيرها، مع
الحدّ الأدنى من حصولهم على حاجاتهم الأساسيّة. ينام بعضهم في الشارع في حين أنّ بعضهم الآخر يعيشون مع أهلهم

يختلف العلماء حول مفهوم “الطفل في الشارع”. وهذا الافتقار إلى التعريف الواضح، إلى جانب التنقّل الكثيف لهؤلاء الأطفال، يجعله من الصعب قياس حجم المشكلة. في بحثي، اعتمدت المعيار البسيط بأنّ الطفل الذي يقضي جزءاً أو غالبية وقته في الشارع، في حين يمكن له أن يكون في المدرسة، هو “طفل في الشارع”. وعلى الرغم من أنّه ليس لدينا أرقام دقيقة لحجم ظاهرة الأطفال في الشارع، إلّا أنّ هناك مئات الآلاف من الأطفال في لبنان الذين يستوفون هذا المعيار
. (ILO et al., 2015) وينخرطون في أشكال مختلفة من العمل في الشارع

إنّ وجود الأطفال في الشارع يتعارض مع القانون اللبناني. وفي الوقت عينه، فإنّ الحكومة اللبنانيّة غير
قادرة على تنفيذ قوانينها بسبب ضعف بنيتها التحتيّة ونقص الأموال المخصّصة لها. فوزارة الشؤون
الاجتماعيّة، على سبيل المثال، تفتقر إلى الملاجئ اللازمة لتوفير احتياجات الأطفال في الشوارع.
وبالتالي تمتنع قوى الأمن الداخلي عن سحب الأطفال من الشارع لعدم وجود مكان لإيوائهم. ولا تملك
وزارة التربية والتعليم العالي القدرات الكافية في المدارس الواقعة في المناطق التي يكون فيها عدد
الأطفال في الشوارع كبير. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، لا يوجد تدابير حماية كافية لمنع الأطفال من التسرّب
المدرسي. ونتيجة لذلك، لم تكن الجهود التي بذلتها الحكومة اللبنانيّة كافية؛ فكثير من الأطفال لا يلتحقون
بالمدارس، ويحرم آخرون من الدخول بسبب القدرات المحدودة، ويواصل بعض الملتحقون التسرب
(World Bank, 2016)

وتشير البحوث إلى أنّ تطوير تعليم ذات جودة، يمكن أن يؤدّي دوراً هامّاً في الحدّ من عدد الأطفال في
الشوارع وتشمل المقترحات المتعلّقة بتحسين نوعيّة التعليم في السياق الثقافي اللبناني إدماج نهج مشاركة الأطفال، التعاون التنظيمي، تقنيّات التدريس الفرديّة، حماية الطفل، والتعليم التحفيزي. ويتمثّل أحد أهداف مشروعنا البحثي “من التعليم نحو العمل: مسارات الشباب في ظلّ أزمة اللجوء” في إنتاج مجموعة كبيرة من البيانات، استناداً إلى تجارب الشباب التي عاشوها، والتي بدورها يمكن أن تساهم في تطوير برامج تعليميّة فعّالة

ويتطلّب الحلّ العادل للتحدّيات التي تواجه الأطفال في الشارع في لبنان إجراء البحوث والدراسات التي
تراعي السياق اللبناني وتوفّر للأطفال في الشارع وسيلة لإدراج صوتهم في النقاش. لقد قمنا بتصميم
مشروعنا مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار التحليل التعاوني مع الشباب المشاركين، مناقشات المجموعات
المركّزة، وإتاحة الفرصة لمشاركة الشباب قصصهم من خلال إنتاج مسرحيّة ومعرض فني وفيلم وثائقي.
إلّا أنّ الخلاصة هي أنّ توفير احتياجات السكّان في الشوارع في لبنان يتجاوز قدرة الحكومة اللبنانية.
ولذلك، يجب علينا جميعاً أن نعمل معاً كمجتمع محليّ ودولي لتوفير تعليم أفضل ومستقبل أفضل لهؤلاء

Beirut-What future awaits our children on the street?
بيروت- أيّ مستقبل ينتظر أولادنا في الشوارع؟
Photo Credit: Joêlle El Dib – Centre for Lebanese Studies

Beazley, H. (2003). The construction and protection of individual and collective identities by
street children and youth in Indonesia. Children Youth and Environments, 13, 105- 133
ILO, UNICEF, Save the Children & MOL. (2015). Children living and working on the streets in Lebanon: Profile and magnitude. Lebanon: Consultation and Research Institute
World Bank (2016). Support to reaching all children with education (race 2) program-for-results (Report No. 108014-LB).
UNICEF. (2005). The state of the world’s children 2006: Excluded and invisible

Introducing the Lebanon context

Lebanon has a long history of migration. The country has successively and over time been both a place of refuge and a place to leave for a better and safer life. The Lebanese Civil war (1975-1990), numerous Israeli attacks, and socioeconomic and political instability have generated multiple migrations from Lebanon, whilst the country has received many refugees and migrants.

Lebanon today hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, relative to its population. There are about 175,000 Palestinians who are mainly the descendants of the 1948 refugees who fled historic Palestine with the establishment of the Israeli State [1]. More than half of Palestinian refugees live in the 12 official UNRWA camps [2]. Since 2011, due to the uprising that turned into a global war in Syria, about a million Syrians and 32,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria [3] have taken refuge in Lebanon. Syrians are scattered all over the country, but are mainly concentrated in North Lebanon and Bekaa districts. UNHCR did not open official camps as it did in other countries because the Lebanese government opposed such a measure fearing, among other reasons, a repeat of the past Palestinian experience.

Our aim in this project is to understand what shapes the trajectories of Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian youth in Lebanon from education to employment. For that purpose, we will take into consideration socio-economic and legal statuses, gender, social and familial capital, migration history, religion and other potential factors that will be identified during the first stage of the project.

Formal schooling in Lebanon takes place in public and private schools and there is some access to vocational training. The Lebanese education system, however, is dominated by the private sector. Informal schooling includes preparation for formal education, Syrian schools, informal vocational training or other skills development, religious schools and apprenticeships. Non-Lebanese students have access to the public education system in Lebanon. However, this is subject to restrictions and regulations that are yearly defined by the Minister of Education and Higher Education [4]. Palestinian pupils are mainly enrolled in the 69 schools run by UNRWA while Syrians tend to attend second shifts in public schools or informal schooling and are predominantly segregated from Lebanese children. For both groups the drop-out level is high. Poorer Lebanese students have lower dropout rates, but tend to attend public schools of low standard.

Over the past two decades, higher education has experienced an important expansion in Lebanon. This expansion, as well as the increased availability of highly-skilled people in the economy, however, was not met with an increase in job creation and labour-market demand. Unemployment at the national level has increased to approximately 20 per cent, with youth unemployment estimated at 34 per cent. Educated and skilled youth are more likely to leave the country in search for jobs while the less educated youth work in the informal sector. According to the World Bank, the informal sector is estimated at 36.4% of GDP [5] and more than half of the workers are either informal wage employees or low-skilled self-employed individuals who have no access to social insurance and labour regulation[6]. The refugee population in Lebanon suffer the most under these conditions[7], because they are also subject to legal restrictions on access the formal labour market. Since their exile in the late 1940s, Palestinians have been deprived of several basic civil rights. They are thus barred from working in most skilled professions. Syrian nationals in Lebanon are only permitted to be formally employed in the agriculture, construction and environment sectors in Lebanon.

In order to capture a more global view of youth trajectories in Lebanon, we will conduct research in urban and rural areas, Palestinian camps and informal Syrian camps, considering each location’s own specific socio-economic, political and demographic profile. In Beirut, the research will take place in Ain el-Rummaneh, Bourj el-Barajneh, Sabra and Shatila, and Tariq Jdideh. In Saida, we will focus on the old city, Ain el-Hilwe camp and Majdelyoun. Lastly, in the Bekaa, we will go to Bar Elias and Chtoura.

View across Bourj Al-Barajneh (Paul Adams, BBC)

[1] LPDC, Population and Housing Census in Palestinian Camps and Gatherings in Lebanon 2017.
[2] Chaaban et al., Socio-Economic Survey of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, Beirut, American University of Beirut (AUB)-United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near-East (UNRWA), 2010.
[3] UNWRA, PRS in Lebanon
[4] LPDC, 2019, The Palestinian Student in the Lebanese Education
[5] World Bank. 2012. Republic of Lebanon Good Jobs Needed: The Role of Macro, Investment, Education, Labor and Social Protection Policies. World Bank Report No. 76008-LB. Accessed 020417.
[6] Abou Jaoude, H. 2015. Labour Market and Employment Policy in Lebanon. European Training Foundation (ETF). 2017). 
[7] ANND. 2017. Arab Watch on economic and Social Rights 2016 – Informal Employment

Introducing the Jordan context

مقدمة لسياق البحث في الأردن

Our research on young people in Jordan and Lebanon in the context of protracted displacement poses the main question of: What shapes the trajectories of young people in Jordan from education into employment? 

The geostrategic location of Jordan has made it a safe-haven for people running away from neighbouring conflicts. Recently, Jordan has been identified as the second largest refugee-hosting country in the world when compared to the size of its population: as of 2019, Jordan had a population of 10.4 million of which 30.6 percent (2.9 million) are non-Jordanians. Because of its stability, it has been inviting for labour migrants consisting mainly of Egyptians, who are estimated to be 61.6 percent of the economic labourers in Jordan[1], added to domestic workers. Since its creation, Jordan has received three major influxes of refugees: Palestinians, Iraqis, and Syrians. Fourty two percent of registered Palestinian refugees in the region live in Jordan, dispersed in cities and in their 13[2] official refugee camps served by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Iraqi refugees have arrived since the early 1990s, as a result of wars, economic sanctions and political /religious clashes. Their numbers varied between 500.000 in 2008[3] and 54,586 after fighting came to an end[4]. As a result of the Syrian crisis in 2012/13, many seasonal /economic labourers from Syria who used to commute between Jordan and Syria for work opportunities could not go back home, and were added to the mass dispossession of Syrians who sought a safe shelter in Jordan. The registered Syrians with the United Nations currently stands at 660,393[5], while they numbered 1.265 million in the 2015 census, making up 13.2 percent of the total population. 

Amman, the capital, hosts 42 percent of the population according to the 2015 official census where 37.5 percent of the city’s residents are non-Jordanians and 62.5 percent are Jordanians. 49.7 percent of all non-Jordanians residing in the country live in Amman, and 38.6 percent of Jordanians. Conflicts in the region since the beginning of the millenium doubled the population of Amman to make it more than 4.2 million. With the highest concentration of Syrian refugees being in Amman (29.6%), the city is the geographical scope for our research. Within the borders of the capital, urban, rural, and industrial areas are present, with a diversity of host communities as not only Jordanian nationals but also Palestinian refugees (both holders of the Jordanian citizenship and non-holders of the citizenship). 

Amman has a population of 4.3 million (2018), of which 29 percent are youth between 15 and 29 (2018). Out of this youth population 93 percent (2018) finished basic education (age 6-15 years old), 47 percent (2018) finished secondary education (age 16-17 years old) and 31 percent are in higher education (as per 2015 census). The unemployment rate in Jordan at large currently stands at 18.2 percent, with the unemployment rate in Amman at 17.4 (year 2018), with 35 percent of those in Amman being economically active.

This research aims to understand the impact of the different statuses of youth (be it legal, gender, socioeconomic..etc.) on their trajectories from education to employment. The lens onto which we will look at both education and employment will be a wide lens that acknowledges various conceptualizations of education, be it formal or informal or non-formal, and various conceptualizations of work and employment, be it entrepreneurship or other various ways in which youth maneuver their way around livelihoods in the context of displacement, vulnerability and marginalization.

During the coming 16 months, we’ll be working with youth, initiatives, organizations and official bodies to answer our questions. We’ll be based in Liwan Youth Space in Jabal Al Luweibdeh. If you would like to learn more about the project, or would like to contribute, feel free to drop in for a visit or reach out to us through email at info.jordan@lebanesestudies.com.

يطرح بحثنا عن الشباب في الأردن ولبنان في ظل أزمة اللجوء الطويل السؤال الرئيسي التالي: ما الذي يشكل مسارات حياة الشباب في الأردن من التعليم إلى العمل؟

موقع الأردن الجغرافي الاستراتيجي جعل منها ملاذاً آمناً للهاربين من النزاعات المجاورة. في الآونة الأخيرة، تم اعتبار الأردن ثاني أكبر دولة مستضيفة للاجئين في العالم بالمقارنة مع حجم سكانها: في عام 2019 أصبح التعداد السكاني 10.4 مليون نسمة ، 30.6 بالمائة منهم من غير الأردنيين (2.9 مليون). بسبب استقرار الدولة النسبي كانت الأردن مقصد للمهاجرين العمال والذين يتألف معظمهم من العمال المصريين (تقدر نسبتهم بـ 61.6 بالمائة من العمال في الأردن[1])، بالإضافة الى عاملات المنازل. 

منذ نشأة الأردن، تلقت الدولة ثلاثة أفواج كبيرة من اللاجئين من فلسطين، والعراق، وسوريا. 42 في المائة من اللاجئين الفلسطينيين المسجلين في المنطقة يعيشون في الأردن في المدن المختلفة والمخيمات الرسمية البالغ عددها 13 [2] والتي تخدمها وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (الأونروا). بعد ذلك بدء اللجوء العراقي الى الأردن في أوائل التسعينيات نتيجة للحروب والعقوبات الاقتصادية والنزاعات السياسية/الدينية. تراوحت أعداد اللاجئين العراقيين بين 500.000 عام 2008 [3] و 54.586 بعد انتهاء الأزمة [4]. نتيجة للأزمة السورية في 2012 و 2016 لم يتمكن العديد من العمال الموسميين السوريين والذين اعتادوا التنقل بين الأردن وسوريا للحصول على فرص عمل من العودة إلى ديارهم، وانضموا الى موجة اللجوء الجماعي للسوريين الذين سعوا إلى الأردن بحثاً عن مأوى آمن. يبلغ عدد السوريين المسجلين لدى الأمم المتحدة حاليا 660393 [5]، في حين بلغ عددهم 1.265 مليون في تعداد عام 2015، وهو ما يمثل 13.2 بالمئة من مجموع السكان.

تستضيف العاصمة عمان 42 بالمائة من السكان حسب الإحصاء الرسمي لعام 2015، حيث 37.5 بالمائة من سكان المدينة من غير الأردنيين و 62.5 بالمائة من الأردنيين. 49.7 بالمائة من غير الأردنيين المقيمين في الأردن يعيشون في عمان، إضافة الى 38.6 بالمائة من الأردنيين. أدت النزاعات في المنطقة منذ بداية الألفية الى ازدياد عدد سكان عمان ليبلغ أكثر من 4.2 مليون نسمة، ومع وجود أعلى تجمع للاجئين السوريين في عمان (29.6 ٪) فإن العاصمة هي النطاق الجغرافي لبحثنا. توجد مناطق حضرية وريفية وصناعية داخل حدود العاصمة، إضافة الى تنوع في المجتمعات المضيفة والتي لا تتكون فقط من المواطنين الأردنيين ولكن أيضاً من اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (حاملي الجنسية الأردنية وغير حاملي الجنسية على حد سواء).

يبلغ عدد سكان عمان 4.3 مليون (2018) ، منهم 29 بالمائة من الشباب بين 15 و 29 عاماً. من بين هؤلاء الشباب أتم 93 بالمائة (2018) التعليم الأساسي (من سن 6 إلى 15 عاماً) ، وأتم 47 بالمائة (2018) التعليم الثانوي (من سن 16 إلى 17 عاماً)، و 31 بالمائة منخرطين في التعليم العالي (2015). يبلغ معدل البطالة في الأردن 18.2 بالمائة، بينما يبلغ معدل البطالة في عمان 17.4 بالمائة (2018)، حيث 35 بالمائة من السكان في عمان نشطين اقتصادياً.

يهدف هذا البحث إلى فهم تأثير أوضاع الشباب المختلفة (القانونية، الجندرية، الاجتماعية.. إلخ) على مسارات حياتهم من التعليم إلى العمل. ستكون العدسة التي سننظر إليها نحو كل من التعليم والعمل عدسة واسعة تعترف بمفاهيم التعليم المختلفة، الرسمية وغير الرسمية، ومختلف مفاهيم العمل والتوظيف، من ريادة الأعمال الى الطرق المختلفة التي يناور بها الشباب مساراتهم حول سبل العيش في سياق اللجوء والهشاشة والتهميش.

خلال الستة عشر شهراً القادمة سنعمل مع الشباب والمبادرات والمنظمات والهيئات المختلفة للإجابة على أسئلتنا البحثية. سنتواجد في مساحة ليوان الشبابية في جبل اللويبدة. إن كنت ترغب في معرفة المزيد عن المشروع أو ترغب في المشاركة في البحث لا تتردد في زيارتنا أو التواصل معنا عبر البريد الإلكتروني على 


[1] Ministry of Labour (2015), Annual Report 2015
[2] Ten refugee camps are officially recognized by UNRWA (in Amman: New Amman Camp/Wihdat, Talbieh/Zizya, Jabal Hussein. In Balqa: Baqaa Camp. In Irbid: Husun /Azmi el Mufti and Irbid camps. In Jerash: Gaza/Jerash camp and Souf) and three created by the government of Jordan (Madaba camp, Hay El Amir Hassan in Nasr area/Amman and Sukhneh/Zarqa).
 تعترف وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (الاونروا) رسمياً بعشرة مخيمات وهي: في عمان: مخيم عمان الجديد/الوحدات، مخيم الطالبية، مخيم جبل الحسين، مخيم البقعة، في الزرقاء: مخيم الزرقاء، مخيم حطين/ماركا، في اربد: مخيم الحصن/عزمي المفتي، مخيم اربد، في جرش: مخيم غزة/جرش، مخيم صوف. إضافة الى ثلاث مخيمات أخرى تشرف عليها الحكومة الأردنية وهي مخيم مادبا، ومخيم النصر، ومخيم السخنة
[3] DoS and FAFO, (2008), Iraqis in Jordan: Their number and characteristics 
[4]UNHCR, (2016), Registered Iraqis in Jordan (31st March 2016)
[5] UNHCR, (2019), Syria Regional Refugee Response: Jordan. Total Persons of Concern (accessed May 10, 2019)

Meet the team!

Maha Shuayb has been the director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies since 2012. Prior to that she was a Senior Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Maha has a PhD in education from the University of Cambridge. Maha’s research focuses on the sociology and politics of education particularly equity and equality in education and the implications of the politicization of education on marginalized groups. Over the past five years, Maha has been occupied with the education response to the Syrian Refugee crisis in Lebanon.

Bill Merrifield completed his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from George Fox University. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Religious Studies from Trinity International University. Merrifield’s research interests focus on the role of social, cultural, political, and linguistic contexts in the development of critical thinking.

Cyrine Saab has a BS in Pure Mathematics from Haigazian University. She also earned a Teaching Diploma and an MA in Educational Psychology, School Guidance and Counselling from the American University of Beirut. She has worked as an elementary, middle and high school teacher in different schools in Beirut and as a researcher at the Department of Education at the American University of Beirut. She is passionate about topics related to motivation, guidance, and finding purpose in learning.

Hamza Saleh holds a BA in English Language and Its Literature and a MA in Education from the Lebanese American University. Hamza has nine years of experience as an English language teacher. His passion for education is what inspired him to become a researcher in the field.

Oroub El Abed is the principal investigator on the Jordan team. She has a PhD in Political economy of Development Studies from SOAS. Her research work has been focused on refugees and vulnerable communities in the Middle East. She has taught several courses on development, livelihoods and forced Migration issues at AUC/Egypt, SOAS/London and CIEE/Amman. She has consulted for several UN and international NGOs and written in the area of development (education and employment) and forced migration in the Middle East.

Dina Batshon is a field researcher in the Jordan team. She is a practitioner focusing on education, refugees and migrants, and youth and community development. She has an MA in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education at University College London. She has experience working with local NGOs and CBOs in Jordan, as well as conducting multiple consultancies, project management, and research work with INGOs and universities.

Israa Sadder is a field researcher with the Jordan team. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan. She has volunteered and worked with local and international NGOs in Jordan working on education for Syrian refugees. She has also worked on several research projects with refugees in urban areas.

Nasr Qandeel has a PhD in Statistics.  He is in charge of the quantitative methodology for Jordan and the sampling in the district of Amman.

Cathrine Brun is Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University. She has worked for 20 years on forced migration as a result of conflict and disasters. Currently she is working particularly on humanitarianism in protracted displacement and chronic crises. As a human geographer, she is interested in how, in chronic crises and displacement, the relationships between people and places change due to displacement. Her work often emphasises how people who experience crises deal with adversity – especially how they strategise and manoeuvre in the course of encounters with institutions and regimes.

Hala Abou Zaki has several years of experience in studying conflicts, forced migration and refugee camps in the Middle East. She got a PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in France. Her doctoral research focused on the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in the southern suburb of Beirut, in Lebanon. In parallel, she worked on the entry and dwelling of refugees from Syria in Palestinian camps in Lebanon after 2011. In 2018, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut during which she developed her work on Palestinian families’ dispersal in conflicts context.

Zoe Jordan is completing her PhD at CENDEP, and holds an MSc in Public Policy and Human Development (UNU-MERIT/Maastricht). Her research focuses on forced migration and humanitarianism, particularly humanitarian practice in protracted contexts and urban environments, refugees’ and other forced migrants’ strategies in relation to changing humanitarian and government policy and practice, and the response of humanitarian actors to mixed migrations in terms of refugee status, nationality, and gender. She has experience working with NGOs on humanitarian response to urban displacement, working on livelihoods, shelter and community-based responses to displacement.

From education to employment?

A new research programme on young people in Jordan and Lebanon in the context of protracted displacement.

Projects awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (GCRF),Inequalities and skills acquisition in young people, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, the MENA Youth Consortium

In displacement settings, what shapes the trajectories of young people from education into employment? This is the main question we ask in this programme which is a collaboration between The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University and the Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) at the Lebanese American University.

We seek to analyse the trajectories from education to employment of young refugees and nationals in different regions of Lebanon and Jordan. Our starting definition of young people is the age group between 15 and 29 years old in line with official definitions. However, we aim to develop a more qualitative understanding of young people through the project. We will work with young Palestinian refugees, young Syrian refugees and young Lebanese and Jordanians. 

In Lebanon and Jordan, refugees cannot automatically work: formal work can only be accessed through a work permit, and there is a high degree of separation between poorer groups of Syrians, Palestinians and Jordanians/Lebanese. Hence, trajectories from education and into employment must be understood in complex interaction with political, economic and social development at local, national and global scales. 

Currently, there is limited research examining the relationship between education and employment prospects for young people in the context of protracted displacement and conflict, particularly from the perspective of youths themselves. The project seeks to rectify this gap in knowledge by focusing on how young people move from education to employment.

With an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners, we will be examining how education opportunities and experiences of refugees affect and shape pathways into employment and unemployment. Jordan and Lebanon are highly relevant examples because the trajectories of refugees in varying displacement contexts may be juxtaposed with trajectories of Jordanian and Lebanese young people who may have experienced exclusion or marginalization in the labour market, but nevertheless have a legal status that allows formal employment.

We will analyse individual’s trajectories by understanding how young people navigate uncertainty and strategise according to the possibilities they identify and may be able to negotiate. In order to capture power relations and the understanding of constraints that people may face, we adopt an intersectional analysis to understand how the role of social statuses and identities such as gender and class impact trajectories in the local and national contexts. We combine these individual narratives of young people’s families and how their histories interact with place-based and institutional narratives. The young people we interview will be understood in the context of their family histories, including where their families came from, their migration histories, and education and employment histories of parents and other family members.

Once the narratives have been collected and transcribed, we will design profiles of both typical and unusual trajectories from education to (un)employment. From that analysis, we will formulate typical profiles that represent some of the main trends we have identified in the material. When the profiles have been formulated, the young research participants will be invited to focus group workshops (FGW) to discuss and nuance the profiles and to add additional layers of explanation in a process we term ‘collaborative analysis’. The FGW will be run in collaboration with our local collaborating organisations. The profile-trajectories will become part of an archive jointly managed by the partners and used to create new programmes for young people. Finally, research participants will be invited to come together and produce a play, an exhibition and other artistic expressions based on the material.

This blog post marks the beginning of our dissemination from the project. Please get in touch and follow us on: 

We look forward to engaging with you