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:
https://www.un.org/ar/events/youthskillsday/
https://www.unicef.org/jordan/ar/الشباب
http://dosweb.dos.gov.jo/ar

https://www.instagram.com/Amman00962/

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
الأطفال

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 

info.Jordan@lebanesestudies.com


[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