Possible Research Projects

The Special Hardship Cases: A Poverty Analysis
In the future UNRWA intends to computerize all information about Special Hardship Cases (SHC) collected by the Social Study Reports. At present this scheme has been implemented in the Fields of Syria and Jordan. Due to its uniform system for data collection, the Social Study Report provides an unique possibility for direct comparison of the situation for SHCs in UNRWA's Fields of operation. According to progress in computerization of the Social Study Report, one could, in Syria and Jordan:
  • Investigate living conditions of "Special Hardship Cases" (SHC) and/or
  • Evaluate effects of policy for self-reliance of these households

A study of (SHC) based on the Social Study Report could answer questions related to SHC living conditions over time, and differences in living conditions for various groups of SHC at a point in time. The study could improve understanding of basic problem which lead to poverty by revealing the main causes for becoming a SHC, as well as reasons for loss of status as a SHC. Research could examine the degree of applicability of the SHC programme and evaluate its usefulness so far. Do the SHC programme preserve social differences, or is it successful in reducing these? The study could provide recommendations for the improvement of the programme.

SHC constitute 6% of the UNRWA registered refugee population. The population is well defined and (to our knowledge) a computerized population lists exist or will soon exist with UNRWA. Using information collected by the Social Study Report, quantitative analysis of UNRWA's Social Study data base could either be conducted on basis of all UNRWA SHC, or through selecting a random sample from this population of families. With the necessary permissions from UNRWA, such a project would not require local field work.


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