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Vulnerability Assessment Framework - Population Study 2019

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Executive Study

The 2019 Vulnerability Assessment Framework (VAF) population study explores different types of vulnerability dimensions across multiple sectors from a representative sample of registered Syrian refugees in Jordan. This study provides information about vulnerabilities within the targeted population and contributes to reflection within UNHCR on how to interpret their multisectorial Home Visit assessments. By exploring relationships between vulnerability indicators and other data collected, the report outlines key trends and relationships. The report details predefined VAF indicators and then provides an in-depth descriptive analysis for each sector. The concluding section suggests links these results to make a series of recommendations on how to improve the identification of vulnerability within the Syrian refugee population in Jordan.

Universal Indicators


On average in the sample, expenditure exceeds income. Indebtedness is necessary to meet this gap. 55 per cent of debts in sample have been accumulated to pay for basic needs such as rent, health care and food. The difference between the mean expenditure per capita (135 JOD) and the median (85 JOD) indicate that although most respondents fall below the poverty line of 68 JOD per capita, there is a small proportion of respondents with high expenditure which raises the overall average.

Household structure and gender are determinants of welfare ratings and spending levels. For every additional person in a case, monthly expenditure per capita declines by 7.50 JOD. There is a strong relationship between the proportion of females in a case and the expenditure level. As the ratio of women and girls increases, spending per person falls.

A reduction of eight per cent in the percentage of the population identified as highly or severely welfare vulnerable was recorded, from 86 per cent in 2017 to 78 per cent in 2018.

Coping strategies

The most frequently adopted negative coping strategies are buying food on credit, accepting socially degrading, exploitative, high risk or illegal temporary jobs and reducing essential nonfood expenditures. There is a strong correlation between children being withdrawn from school, early marriage and child labour. The relationship between emergency coping strategies and expenditure per capita is weak. Child begging is associated with the total number of negative coping strategies and the proportion of nonautonomous adults within a household.
A ‘Weighted Livelihoods Coping Strategy Index (Weighted LCSI)’ was created for this study that included more coping strategies than the standard LCSI. On average, respondents use two and half out of a possible 14 coping strategies over the last 30 days.

An increase of three per cent of the population were recorded as being highly or severely vulnerable, from 73 per cent in 2017 to 76 per cent in 2018. Within those found to be vulnerable, a higher proportion were identified more severely vulnerable than in 2017.

Dependency ratio

There is a high proportion of economically inactive to economically active people within the sample. Nearly half of the individuals surveyed have a severe dependency ratio rating: 49 per cent of respondents have more than 1.8 dependents per non-dependents in their case.

The dependency ratio also varies according to region. Mafraq cases have a high proportion of economically inactive people. On average, the region also has the greatest number of disabilities per household. Amman is the region with the lowest dependency ratio and the largest proportion of cases with a single individual. Larger case sizes tend to have high dependency ratios and live in households with more reported disabilities.

The VAF dependency ratio vulnerability indicator has been relatively consistent since it was first recorded in 2015 with around 66 per cent of the population identified as being vulnerable.