Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
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What humanitarian need is being addressed?

The context in North West Syria is very complex. Conflict escalations arise continuously, causing sequential waves of IDPs.

People in North West Syria, especially under displacement conditions, are highly exposed to GBV risks to which many organisations are trying to respond. While seeking help from GBV services is a challenge for most community members, it is even more challenging for people with disability and older people. So, this project will try to identify barriers preventing this group of vulnerable people from seeking/receiving GBV help, and seek to find the best strategy to remove those barriers in future GBV programming in North West Syria.

What is the innovative solution and how will it improve existing humanitarian practice?

This solution is in the problem recognition stage of the innovation cycle, where the team aims to better understand and define the issues that need addressing.

Through this project, barriers hindering GBV assistance for people with disabilities and older people will be identified and disseminated. We will also build the capacity of community based organisations working with GBV survivors constitute our target population.

We will identify barriers using a mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The research will focus on:

  • Exploring the living conditions of people with disabilities and older people – how do they perceive their life in such complex context? How does their community categorise and respond to them? It is interesting to consider how these categories may or may not correspond to the formal categorizations that are used by NGOs working in this context.
  • Studying what and how specific attributes increase/decrease the risk of GBV for people with disabilities and older people – what are the barriers or enablers that prevent or facilitate the access of these groups/subgroups/categories to GBV services?
  • Exploring measures taken by humanitarian actors to overcome such barriers in NW Syria and highlighting any practices that could have innovation potential.

Expected Outcomes

The project will compile findings as an iterative process throughout the project. These will be disseminated by regular communication with the protection and GBV sub-cluster, NGOs, INGOs and Community Based Organisations and other humanitarian actors and/or stakeholders. We will present the final draft results at a Protection Cluster NW Syria meeting to get feedback, and inform organizations about the findings, and to feed into GBV programming design. This will in turn help actors move toward enhanced GBV services for people with disabilities and older people.

Ultimately, the project will issue a final report and an executive summary, which will be disseminated through all possible channels to NGOs based in Turkey and working inside Syria, and with Community Based Organisations in NW Syria.

In addition to the final research outputs, the project’s outcomes include conducting targeted training for NGO and Community Based Organisation staff and volunteers to build their capacity in responding to the GBV needs of people with disabilities and older people.

Latest Updates

Barriers facing older people and people with disabilities in accessing GBV services in Syria

18 Mar 2021

Lessons learnt when conducting research with people with disabilities and older people in north west Syria.


A grasp on our project while while getting to its end

3 Jun 2021

While looking for barriers facing people with disabilities and older people while accessing humanitarian services in general and GBV programming in particular, we shouldn't be only focusing on direct barriers, rather indirect barriers can also carry a huge effect on the accessibility of these group to humanitarian services


Related Resources

Report Gender-based Violence, Inclusion of People with Disabilities and Older People

Rapid review of disability and older age inclusion in GBV

Feature Photo: A physical therapy session for a female beneficiary with a below the knee amputation to improve deep sense and balance before attaching an artificial limb. Credit: SDI. 

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