1.1 Organizational Background
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a private, independent, humanitarian organization working
on all aspects of the refugee cause in more than thirty countries throughout the world. The aim of
DRC is to protect refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) against persecution and to
promote durable solutions to the problems of forced migration based on humanitarian principles
and human rights. DRC has been operating in the Middle East (ME) region for over a decade,
running a combination of emergency, livelihood, protection and advocacy programmes through
Country Offices in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen and a Regional Office in Amman.
1.2 Project Background
About the Durable Solutions Platform
In November 2016, the DSP was created as a joint initiative of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC),
the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). The
objective of the DSP is to generate knowledge and promote strategic dialogue and program
approaches to the long-term future of displaced Syrians based on international best practices and
principles. The platform acts as a convener to stimulate forward thinking and policy development
on durable solutions for displaced Syrians.
Section 2: Background, Terminology & Areas of Research Focus
2.1 BACKGROUND AND TERMINOLOGY
The Syrian displacement crisis is entering its ninth year, with around 5.5 million Syrian refugees
residing in the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. AsSyrian refugees
in host countries experience increasingly protracted displacement, the search for durable
solutions for these individuals has become increasingly central to policy and programming related
to the Syrian context.
Adurable solutionis achieved when displaced persons no longer have any specific assistance
or protection needs that are linked to their displacement, and can enjoy their human rights without
discrimination on account of their displacement. Durable solution processes for refugees may
take one of three forms: voluntary repatriation/return to one’s home country, local integration, or
resettlement to a third country.
According to UNHCR,local integrationis comprised of three key dimensions, namely legal,
economic and socio-cultural integration. First, the legal dimension includes refugees being
granted a wider range of rights and entitlements by the host state, in a manner that is equal or
almost equal to the rights of citizens. Those include for instance freedom of movement, access to
education and the labor market, access to public services and assistance, including health
facilities, the possibility of acquiring and disposing of property and the capacity to travel with valid
travel and identity documents. Second, the economic dimension means refugees become less
reliant on aid and humanitarian assistance and have the ability to pursue sustainable livelihoods
and achieve self-reliance. Third, the socio-cultural dimension includes refugees having positive
relations communities. In addition to local integration – where refugees find a durable solution to
their displacement – some host countries may elect to provide otherlocal solutionsto refugees,
which could entail interim legal stay and the facilitation of appropriate economic, social and
cultural inclusion of refugees.
Self-reliance, or the ability of an individual, a household or a community to meet its essential
needs in a sustainable manner, can be a crucial stepping-stone for a displaced person to achieve
durable solutions. A conducive legal environment, economic opportunities and positive social
relationships can promote self-reliance for displaced persons. Self-reliance should not equated
with durable solutions but rather be seen as a step towards achieving progress towards them.
While self-reliance is a positive outcome for some displaced people, it remains unattainable for
others due to pre-existing or displacement-related vulnerabilities (e.g. chronic health conditions,
young or old age, household size, disabilities etc.).
Resiliencerefers to the ability of displaced people, host communities and national systems to
prevent, absorb and recover from shocks, while continuing to function and adapt in a way that
supports long-term prospects for sustainable development. Responses to displacement that
support pathways to durable solutions enable displaced communities to support themselves and
strengthen the capacities of their host communities. For example, host communities can be
supported to become more resilient through predictable and sustained support to local education
and healthcare systems, which can simultaneously benefit displaced people.
Increased self-reliance and resilience among the displaced and their host communities can
contribute to the development of markets, lead to better services in remote areas, and support
social cohesion. Both concepts have become key in better linking the nexus between
humanitarian and development programming.
During consultations with response actors for the DSP’s research projects on medium-term
approaches to protracted displacement of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan (e.g. UN,
INGOs, and national NGOs) several requests were made for the DSP to generate evidence from
other host country contexts on best practices that enable pathways to durable solutions, moving
past the effects of displacement. Best practices shall encompass local integration and local
solutions, with a focus on resilience and opportunities for supporting self-reliance. Further
requests were expressed during DSP’s strategic evaluation to look for case studies in topics
related to refugees’ integration.
For the purpose of this study,best practicesare defined as approaches, processes or
interventions by hosting governments, operational response actors (e.g. international and/or
national NGOs), local-level communities, private sector and International Financial Institutions
(IFIs), that have been proven to work well and can be replicated elsewhere. Specifically, this study
will consider best practices that involve techniques and methods effective in contributing to
pathways to durable solutions,1 as well as processes or methodologies proven to work well in
achieving their objectives.
2.2 AREAS OF RESEARCH FOCUS
This research study aims to support the discussion around transition from humanitarian to
development response by proposing and identifying best practices in policies and programming
that can support achieving self-reliance of refugees and broader resilience.
The best practices can be drawn from any country globally that has a refugee caseload and fits
the criteria outlined in the Terms of Reference. Case studies highlighting best practices may in
part focus on countries hosting Syrian refugees in the Middle East, but mainly focus on other
refugee caseloads (this is to be confirmed by the study’s Research Reference Group). The best
practices should be relevant to the following countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq (Kurdish Region of
Iraq, KRI) and Turkey (see ToR for more information).
A number of thematic areas are identified as most relevant for this study because of DSP’s
assessment of priority areas for the Syrian refugee response that may benefit from global best
practices. A crosscutting aspect to examine is equal access to service provision.
Livelihoods are considered key toward achieving self-reliance. International human rights law
recognizes the right to work as key to the dignity, survival and security of refugees during
protracted displacement. However, refugees in hosting countries face structural barriers to
accessing livelihoods opportunities. For example, the governments of Jordan and Lebanon limit
employment for Syrians to a small number of occupations and sectors (i.e. construction,
agriculture, manufacturing, cleaning), which are characterized by a lack of decent work conditions.
Additionally, weak business environments in both countries are limiting Syrians’ contribution to
the economy. This study will focus on generating best practices on livelihoods and economic
opportunities, in ways that have improved self-reliance of refugees and supported resilience of
2.2.2 Social assistance
This study defines social assistance as public and private initiatives providing income or
consumption transfers to the poor, protecting the vulnerable against livelihood risks and
enhancing the social status and rights of the marginalized. This section will include cash-based
and in-kind assistance transfers, but can also encompass a broader definition, including
healthcare or education subsidies and similar schemes. The need to for best practices in social
assistance is critical for Syrian refugees in the region, as around 70 percent of Syrians live in
poverty, with their income insufficient to meet basic needs and a high reliance on negative
financial coping mechanisms including debt.
Lack of protection has extended implications on Syrian refugees, for instance restrictions on
freedom of movement, more limited access to livelihoods opportunities, risk of abuse and arrests,
limited access to justice among other things. Access to documentation is critical in facilitating or
hindering refugees’ pathway to durable solutions. Syrian refugees in host communities, and in
Lebanon in particular, still face obstacles in obtaining critical documents such residency permits.
While countries hosting Syrian refugees have made tremendous progress in absorbing a record
number of children into the public education systems, many school-aged Syrian children and
youth are currently not enrolled in formal education: 43% of the 1.7 million school age Syrian
refugee children are out-of-school, with some 2.5 million Syrian refugee children in neighboring
countries overall. Public education systems face a number of pre-existing challenges, including
outdated curricula, heavy focus on subjects rather than skills, limited infrastructure among other
Refugees often have complex medical problems including physical injuries and psychological
trauma and often face poor housing and sanitary environments, difficult labor conditions,
inadequate nutrition, and inaccessible medical care. While Syrian refugees’ access to public
health facilities, especially primary healthcare, is generally possible in hosting countries, but a
number of challenges remain in access and scope of services, which could lead to tensions
between host communities and refugees.
The purpose of this request for proposal is to receive proposals for services to conduct a study
on “Global Best Practices on Pathways to Durable Solutions: Lessons for the Syrian Refugee
Context”. This research study aims to support the discussion around transition from humanitarian
to development response by proposing and identifying best practices in policies and programming
that can support achieving self-reliance of refugees and broader resilience in the Syrian
How to apply
The complete RFP package can be downloaded fromhttps://drc.ngo/relief-work/procurement-in-drc
or download directly from :https://drc.ngo/media/5699022/rfp-ro02-0018-2020.zip