From Education to Employment: Youth Trajectories In Jordan And Lebanon In The Context Of Protracted Displacement


Education is increasingly being recognized as an integral component of any refugee crisis response plan. While being one of the top priority areas for donors following food and shelter, there is limited research examining the relationship between education and employment prospects for young people in context of protracted displacements. This is partly explained by the humanitarian logic focusing on short-term relief rather than development.

This collaboration between the Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) at the Lebanese American University and The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University aims to rectify this gap and contribute to a deeper understanding of the links between education and employment in displacement settings. It is conducted with support of grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada.

This research programme is based in Lebanon and Jordan, two countries with a long history of hosting refugees. It analyzes the trajectories from education to employment of youth with different legal and socio-economic statuses in various regions in each country and aims to further understand how education opportunities and experiences of refugees shape their pathways into employment and unemployment. The trajectories of Syrians and Palestinian refugees will be juxtaposed with those of vulnerable Lebanese and Jordanian youth, to examine the role of legal status, a critical but understudied dimension, since much of the discussion and research remain focused on the poor outcomes of education in protracted conflict.

With an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners and in close collaboration with local NGOs in each country this project uses a mixed-method approach, gathering data through surveys, interviews with both young refugees and nationals and their families, focus groups with youth, place-based narratives, mappings, and interviews with organizations working in the field. The Education to Employment project aims for a number of wide-reaching contributions.

  • To develop a deeper understanding of the relationship and dynamics between education and employment in context of protracted displacement, through an intersectional analysis. This project seeks to identify profiles of both typical and unusual trajectories from education to employment or unemployment, examine how legal status interacts with other social statuses such as class and gender and further understand how young people navigate uncertain and constrained environments.
  • To make young people (in various legal and social positions) voices heard through a collaborative analysis and different artistic and creative productions.
  • To better understand the ways in which assistance in protracted refugee situations can become more sustainable less geared towards relief and more oriented towards self-sufficiency and long-term planning in people’s lives.
  • To help better understand how to formulate and implement appropriate education measures in refugee settings where access to employment have restrictions.
  • To contribute to the development of more relevant policies for young people in protracted displacement through policy briefs and advocacy workshop held in collaboration with the youth.
  • To disseminate the findings and increase public awareness through different types of publications, a documentary, an exhibition, and a social media campaign.


The Role of Youth’s Legal Status for Education and Employment in the Context of Protracted Displacement in Jordan and Lebanon

New Book: From education to employment? Young people’s trajectories in protracted crisis

From Education to Employment: Youth Trajectories in Jordan and Lebanon in the Context of Protracted Displacement



Director of The Centre for Lebanese Studies

Deputy Director for Research

Senior Researcher - Fellow