The Analytical Framework draws its design and indicators from the IASC Framework on Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons, the ReDSS Solutions Framework, JIPS Durable Solutions Indicator Library, the INGO Durable Solutions Indicator Framework, and UNHCR’s Protection Thresholds and Parameters for Refugee Return to Syria. Its purpose is to put forth a framework that is specific to the Syria displacement context, and can be used to assess progress towards durable solutions for displaced Syrians both inside and outside the country.
This framework is an analytical tool that helps researchers, monitoring and evaluation teams, and other actors to better incorporate a durable solutions lens into their methodologies, research tool design, report writing, and other efforts aimed at increasing knowledge on displacement in the Syria context. It is appropriate for use both inside Syria as well as in nearby states hosting Syrian refugees. By creating a shared set of indicators by which organizations can collect data on and assess progress towards durable solutions, this framework is intended to not only increase the analytic rigor of individual research efforts, but also contribute to an information landscape where evidence on durable solutions is being gathered in a meaningful and mutually intelligible manner. As more organizations collect and share durable solutions data according to a shared framework, the more data can be combined to monitor progress towards durable solutions for displaced Syrians.
This framework can be utilized by both research and programming specialists, and may be of use throughout both research and project cycles. Below are some suggestions for incorporating aspects of the framework at each step of these cycles, should actors choose to do so:
Using the framework
The framework has two columns of indicators: one for assessing conditions inside Syria, and one for assessing conditions in neighboring host states such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, or Egypt. While the majority of indicators are the same in both contexts, some are context-specific. For example, while the prevalence of refoulement is assessed in host states, it is a cross-border phenomenon and therefore not relevant inside Syria.
If one is wishing to conduct a holistic assessment of durable solutions conditions for a given area or population, it is suggested that all indicators are utilized so as to obtain a full picture of relevant physical, psycho-social, material, and legal dimensions affecting a target population. However, in the case of a specific project, or more targeted thematic research, it is possible to only utilize the indicators, survey questions, and proxy indicators that are relevant to the task at hand. For example, a livelihoods researcher wishing to add a durable solutions lens to their work may focus on indicators related to material safety. Similarly, the M&E team of an education intervention may wish to measure indicators related to education only, and choose to monitor these indicators over the course of their project’s lifespan.
Conducting research on durable solutions in the Syria displacement context can often be sensitive, particularly if collecting information from displaced Syrians themselves. In all cases, it is essential that researchers assess the protection risks of collecting information on a given indicator in their given context. In some cases, in order to minimize protection risks, it is suggested that data on an indicator be collected through key informant interviews and literature review rather than from the target population itself.
The word target population is used throughout this framework, and means the total population living in a displacement-affected community – both displaced (IDPs or refugees) and non-displaced households. Progress towards any one durable solutions indicator can be calculated by comparing measurements for displaced Syrians against their non-displaced counterparts. The discrepancy (or lack thereof) between displaced and non-displaced members is the primary measure by which progress towards durable solutions can be assessed.
When the displaced population experiences equal physical, psycho-social, legal, and material safety conditions as their non-displaced counterparts, as defined by the indicator matrix below, a durable solution to that population’s displacement can be assessed to have occurred. However, it is important to note that both inside and outside Syria, conditions may occur where both displaced and non-displaced community members are experiencing similar levels of vulnerability, where they are unable to achieve key safety thresholds. In such cases, even if both displaced and non-displaced populations are assessed to be experiencing similar conditions, a durable solution has not been achieved.
Displacement status is the key level of disaggregation when assessing progress towards durable solutions. However, when possible to do so, gender and age disaggregated data should also be collected and assessed, along with other demographics as needed. Where relevant, other disaggregation may be advisable, such as ethnic, religious, place of origin, or other dimensions.
This framework is a tool for organizations to generate data that can be cross-analyzed across organizations and research initiatives. To maximize data interoperability, the framework includes suggestions for survey questions, additional proxy indicators, and other complementary measurements.