Published In

Journal of International Humanitarian Action

Document Type


Publication Date



Social work with refugees, Syria -- Civil War (2011) -- Refugees, Jordan -- Social conditions -- 21st century, Refugees -- Jordan -- Qualitative studies


The ongoing civil war in Syria created the world’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. As exile continues for many Syrians, this study aimed to explore what refugees perceive as their major needs and plans for the future in comparison to what service providers believe is needed and should be planned in Jordan. Phenomenological design and inductive reasoning were used in this study to explore refugees’ needs and future plans from the etic view by interviewing key informants and from the emic view by analyzing interviews with refugees. After coding and comparing the key informants’ interviews and refugees’ narratives, six main themes emerged: (1) gap between refugees’ expectations and reality of humanitarian services; (2) rent as a major but neglected challenge; (3) older adults: vulnerable and at the back of the queue for services; (4) mental health of adults as an overlooked need; (5) education: hard to access for extremely poor and adults; and (6) an uncertain and unplanned future. Findings suggest a need for better information sharing strategies about services, targeted programs for urbane refugees and older adults, awareness-raising about importance of the mental health and protracted exile, and long-term planning.


© The Author(s). 2020

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



Persistent Identifier

Included in

Social Work Commons