Systems resilience in UNRWA health provision to Palestine refugees displaced by Syria crisis

Grant awarded: £335,203

Lead organisation: Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Partnering organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut; UNRWA Health

Project length: 2016-2018

Study locations: Lebanon (Tyre, Bekka and Saida), Jordan (Zarqa, Irbid and Amman) & Syria (Damascus and Aleppo)

Principal Investigator: Professor Alastair Ager

  • UNRWA Health Clinic Staff @Elyse Callahan


What are the key vulnerabilities of UNRWA health systems in the face of disruptions associated with the displacement of Palestine refugees registered in Syria (PRS)?

What mechanisms help systems withstand and adapt to such disruptions?

What lessons can be drawn to enhance the resilience of health systems in other contexts of protracted displacement?

Expected outcomes:

(1) To document the impact of the displacement of PRS on the operation of UNWRA health systems – and their adaptation to disruption - through case studies in the contexts of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria;

(2) To structure case studies using a systems dynamics methodology which models the systemic linkage of factors influencing health service functioning in circumstances of adversity;

(3) To refine models through statistical analysis to identify primary pathways of threat and potential strategies of mitigation, and track the accuracy of these models in predicting future adaptation;

(4) To synthesize learning across case studies to suggest common systems principles promoting health systems resilience in the context of protracted humanitarian crisis.


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

Web design by Teamworks