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Challenging Child Neglect: Displaced and Conflict-affected Children in Palestine and Jordan

This project interrogates child neglect from a systemic perspective, focusing on displaced and conflict-affected children in Palestine and Jordan.

Project status



1 Oct 2020 to 30 Jun 2022

Outlined here are the project's researchers and partners, as well as the overall methodological approach taken.

Methodological Approach

This project entailed collaboration between academics, peer researchers, experts and practitioners in the field of child protection in humanitarian settings. Those who came on board for the project collaborated on the different phases including development, design, implementation, data collection, analysis, dissemination and knowledge exchange. Building the capacity of researchers who are members of the different displaced communities in Jordan and the Gaza Strip has been a key aim of the project. The core team worked with professional trainers in Jordan and the Gaza Strip to build the capacity of three groups of peer researchers. Each group received a customized training tailored to their needs and expectations.

The research activities were co-ordinated by three partners – the Tamer Institute (Gaza Strip), Sawiyan and Collateral Repair Project (Jordan). The peer researchers undertook interviews with 100 research participants (38 male, Female, 62 young people, Adults; 70 in Jordan and 30 in Gaza, Palestine) identified by the partner organisations and through a ‘snowball’ effect. The project also engaged 120 children through theatre-based workshops and focus group discussions (60) in Jordan and creative writing and arts workshops (60) in Gaza. The research activities were supported by three fieldtrips undertaken by the research team based at the University of Bath (2 to Jordan, and 1 to Gaza).

Project Researchers

Jason Hart - Principal Investigator
Jason is a social anthropologist who conducts research and teaches on humanitarianism, development and children's rights at the University of Bath. He is also Visiting Lecturer at the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva.

Much of Jason’s work has explored the experience of and institutional response to young people on the margins of society and the global economy. Themes such as protection, child rights, peacebuilding, home, militarisation and asylum have been central to this research. Much of his research has been undertaken in situations of political violence and displacement. Jason has worked in South Asia and the UK. However, his principal area of interest is the Middle East, particularly Israel / Palestine and Jordan.

Jason has been employed as a consultant author, researcher, evaluator and trainer by various UN, governmental and non-governmental organisations. These include UNICEF, Save the Children, PLAN, Care International, and the Canadian International Development Agency. He has also served as an advisor to the UN..

Mohammed Alruzzi - Research Lead
Mohammed is a Research Associate at the University of Bath. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology (University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 2019) and an MA in Childhood Studies (University of Edinburgh, UK). He is a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a Visiting Lecturer at the Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva.

Mohammed has worked with several international non-governmental organisations and UN agencies, including Mercy Corps, Terre des Hommes, the Norwegian Refugee Council, World Vision and UNICEF, in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Switzerland. His research interests include child work, juvenile justice and education policy.

Caitlin Procter - Research Lead
Caitlin Procter is a part-time Professor at the Migration Policy Centre, European University Institute (Florence). Her research focus is on youth who engage in irregular migration in contexts of protracted conflict and displacement in the Middle East. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in occupied Palestine, as well as in Lebanon and Jordan.

Caitlin earned her DPhil in International Development at the University of Oxford in 2019 and was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the EUI from 2019-2020. She has held Visiting Fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Birzeit in occupied Palestine. Caitlin has taught at the Universities of Oxford, LSE and SOAS. She is also the co-founder of The New Ethnographer, a research project designed to improve ethnographic research training.

Caitlin has worked as a consultant and advisor for UNRWA, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, European diplomatic missions and the EU Representative Office in Jerusalem. Her research on Gaza has received media attention, including reports on Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, RFI, NPR and NOS.

Project Partners - Research Institutions

a. German-Jordanian University, Amman
German-Jordanian University is a public university in Jordan, founded in 2005. It offers more than 20 programmes to over 6000 students primerly from Jordan and the Middle East. In 2018 GJU set up a Masters’ level programme ‘Social Work / Migration and Refugees’ – a unique course of study in the Jordanian context. A staff member of the GJU, Dr Rawan Ibrahim, was involved in the training and mentoring of the ‘peer researchers’, the follow-up research and dissemination of findings.

b. Proteknôn Foundation for Innovation and Learning
Proteknôn is an international consulting group of over 30 senior academics and practitioners focused on advancing the care, protection and wellbeing of children facing adversity. Proteknôn contributed one of the lead researchers, Caitlin Procter, and was involved in various stages of the project, from concept development to training, the development of outputs, recruitment of consultants for specific tasks, and in the creation of social media messaging.

Project Partners - Local Organizations

Local Organizations

a. Sawiyan
Sawiyan was established in Jordan in 2016 evolving from a volunteer organisation to a non-profit NGO focused on marginalised groups of displaces as well as impoverished Jordanians. They have been particularly active in supporting African refugees in Jordan, notably Sudanese and Somalis, as well as Yemenis. Eight members of the Sudanese and Somali communities who are active with the organisation participated as ‘peer researchers’ on the project.

b. Collateral Repair Project, Amman
Since 2006, CRP has been supporting displaced people in Jordan through their community centre in East Amman. Initially the focus was upon Iraqis, followed by Syrians and impoverished Jordanians and Palestinians in the surrounding neighbourhoods. More latterly they have expanded their outreach to Sudanese, Somalis, and Yemenis through the opening of a second community centre. In this project, CRP recruited 14 ‘peer researchers’ from the Iraqi and Syrian communities.

c. Seenaryo, Amman
Founded in Lebanon in 2015, Seenaryo specialises in participatory theatre and play-based learning. The organisation has been working in Jordan since 2018, focussing particularly on marginalised communities. For this project Seenaryo undertook a 12-week initiative of theatre workshops with two groups of young people aged 12-18 from the Sudanese and Somali communities. This process culminated in a public performance of two original pieces of theatre, written and devised by the participants themselves, based on their ideas and contributions, facilitated by professional theatre makers. Through this activity themes of safety, wellbeing and protection were explored. The organisation produced videos of the plays created by the two groups and a further video of commentary and reflection upon the project.

d. Tamer Institute for Community Education In Gaza we worked with the Tamer Institute for Community Education – a Palestinian NGO headquartered in Ramallah that has been working with children and young people since 1989. Alruzzi and Procter had collaborated with Tamer previously. The team at this organisation recruited 16 ‘peer researchers’ and a trainer / mentor. They also facilitated the research activities, including writing and visual arts workshops with children exploring themes of safety and wellbeing.

More information

Main project page