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In-depth study of Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan

This study was set within the framework of the Refugee Working Group (RWG) in the multilateral Middle East peace process. In December 1997, Jordan and Norway hosted a RWG meeting in Aqaba to review the results of a national study of living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Jordan. The meeting suggested an in-depth study to examine why the living conditions of refugees residing in the camps were poorer than those of the refugees living elsewhere in Jordan.

Jordan and Norway decided to cooperate to produce the study, and obtained support and additional funding from the USA, Sweden and Canada. Jordan seconded researchers from Yarmouk University while Norway commissioned Fafo to carry out the project, which was coordinated by Jordan's Department of Palestinian Affairs.

The Jordanian and Norwegian researchers concluded the definition of the study in July 1998. Fieldwork was carried out during the spring and summer of 1999. While the researchers from Yarmouk University were responsible for the qualitative part of the study, collecting information using focus group methodology, Fafo carried out the quantitative element in the form of a multi-topic household survey. 2,590 households from 12 refugee camps were successfully interviewed in the survey. The qualitative component included 13 focus group interviews in two of the camps.

The findings of the in-depth refugee camp study have been presented and discussed at several occasions. One significant presentation took place at the RWG technical co-ordination meeting hosted by Jordan and Norway in Amman in February 2000.

The project report On the Margins: Migration and living conditions of Palestinian camp refugees in Jordan is the result of a long and fruitful process of discussions between the two research teams and of many valuable comments and ideas offered by all those involved in consultations and presentations. It is authored by Marwan Khawaja and Åge A. Tiltnes.

Data from the in-depth study have also been used in other projects, such as "UNRWA's Financial Crisis and Socio-economic Condition of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza".

The report has been translated to Arabic by Dr. Ali Zaghal at the Refugees, Displaced Persons & Forced Migration Studies Center at Yarmouk University, Jordan with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project is completed.




Åge A. Tiltnes

Marwan Khawaja

Akram Atallah

Hani Eldada


Fafo, P.O.box 2947 Tøyen, NO-0608 Oslo Street adress: Borggata 2B Map. Tel: +47 22088600 Fax: +47 22088700 E-mail:fafo@fafo.no
Web editors: Anne Mette Ødegård and Jon Lahlum

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