Patterns of Refugees’ Organization Amid Protracted Displacement: An Understanding From Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey
Oroub El-Abed, Watfa Najdi, and Mustafa Hoshmand
April 18, 2023
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the ways refugees in displacement manage to organize themselves and act upon their needs. The growing recognition in the UN system of the importance of localization of aid and the potential role played by local actors has given refugee-led organizations (RLO) a space to grow. In this paper, we analyze refugee agency and solidarity through the organization of the refugee communities in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. In doing so, we examine: (1) the reasons behind the creation of these organizations and their dynamics; (2) the role of host states toward this drive to organize refugee communities; and (3) the patterns, forms, and structures that these organizations take in providing humanitarian services, as well as community support and empowerment.
The paper focuses on three countries of the Middle East: Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, and various refugee communities: Syrian, Iraqi, Yemeni, Sudanese, Somali, Afghan, and Persian. We center this work on the organizations that refugees in the Middle East region have been able to create. The findings are based on field research, conducted between August 2021 and March 2022, in the form of semi-structured questionnaires used in face-to-face interviews with RLO founders, administrative staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries.