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Jordan: Vulnerability Assessment Framework - 2017 Population Survey Report, Sector Vulnerability Review

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Introduction

The VAF Sector Vulnerability Review represents the Vulnerability Assessment Framework’s (VAF) multidimensional approach to measuring vulnerability. The main objective of this document is to present a vulnerability review for each sector, showing the distribution of all vulnerability indicators and disaggregating by sex, family size and location (an update to the 2015 Baseline Survey report). Secondly, is to highlight the changes from the original indicators that were created in 2015 following the VAF sector vulnerability review workshop.

The Vulnerability Assessment Framework

After the onset of the Syria crisis, by the beginning of the VAF project in late 2013, considerable amounts of data on Syrian refugees were being recorded and used by many humanitarian partners. However, the tools used to analyse and collect this data varied significantly. The use of different vulnerability criteria meant that data was not fully comparable or able to be combined into a comprehensive picture. The VAF created a harmonized definition and measurement tool for vulnerability.

In 2014 the VAF Steering Committee defined vulnerability as:

The risk of exposure of Syrian refugee households to harm, primarily in relation to protection threats, inability to meet basic needs, limited access basic services, and food insecurity, and the ability of the population to cope with the consequences of this harm.

The VAF is a collaborative initiative developed with the engagement of donors, UN agencies and INGOs operating in Jordan. The development of a standardized data collection tool, criteria for vulnerability and the different thresholds allows for humanitarian actors to talk about relative vulnerabilities in equivalent terms, to track those vulnerabilities across the refugee population and both map and respond to the vulnerabilities identified.

By using the VAF questionnaire as the standard and agreed tool within broader assessments, data collected by different agencies for different purposes can become more comparable, contributing to a greater store of knowledge and analysis of the refugee population. Through sustainably pooling household assessments by different organizations the VAF expands operational response and coverage in terms of reaching those that are the most vulnerable. Coordinated data collection and vulnerability assessments can create more cohesion between humanitarian actors by:

  1. Informing strategic decision making for humanitarian partner organizations through coordinated assessments, gap analysis and prioritization.

  2. Planning and strategy development including sectoral plans, adherence to standards and funding needs.

  3. Advocacy to address identified concerns on behalf of Sectors and affected population.

Using the VAF Home Visit data collection tool, the UNHCR office in Jordan continues to collect comprehensive data on Syrian refugees living outside of formal camp settings that allow for UNHCR and partners alike to better identify the needs and vulnerabilities of the population of concern and prioritize cases in need of urgent assistance.

The VAF puts in place an observation and reporting system that supports the humanitarian community to:

  1. Establish a profile of vulnerability among Syrian refugee cases and enable monitoring of changes in vulnerability over time.

  2. Target assistance in a more efficient and equitable manner, based on the application of common vulnerability criteria.

  3. Strengthen the coordination and decision-making of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

In 2017 UNHCR conducted over 60,000 assessments, and VAF data collection partners contributed nearly 10,000 more. Through the Refugee Assistance Information System6 (RAIS), the VAF vulnerability indicators were made available.