Youth Aspirations Versus Reality in Jordan

With the prospect of returns to Syria appearing remote, significant numbers of Syrian refugees will likely remain in Jordan for the foreseeable future. As durable options are currently out of reach for most refugees, it becomes vital to support pathways toward solutions so that displaced people are able to take a voluntary and informed decision once solutions do become available to them. Enabling the youth among Syrian refugee, vulnerable Jordanian and other refugee populations to live full and productive lives, through investments in and the building of linkages between education and livelihoods will not only allow them to fulfill their potential and achieve self-reliance, but also promises wider benefits to Jordan’s economy and society. There is a continual need to identify the available options to support access to quality education and livelihoods services over the medium term.

There is a unique opportunity to advance a sustainable refugee response that strengthens national systems and supports the self-reliance and resilience of both displaced refugees and host communities through working with the Government of Jordan and its partners. This should focus strategically on the needs of refugees in development planning over the medium and longer term, while ensuring that all vulnerable youths are able to access quality education and can graduate from education into decent and meaningful work.

This research report is part of a larger research project known as Aspirations Versus Reality (AVR) –by the Durable Solutions Platform (DSP), the Jordan River Foundation (JRF), and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). This project aims to assess youth pathways toward empowerment and self-reliance in Jordan. The overarching objective of this research is to explore displacement-affected young people’s aspirations for their current and future education and livelihood options, and the reality of the choices they are faced with in Jordan today. The AVR research project aligns with the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) program of action to meet needs and support communities in education and livelihoods, with the focus on supporting the empowerment of the refugee and host community youth.