Evidence on the impact of psychosocial support for Syrian refugee and Jordanian adolescents
Humanitarian and development actors are recognizing the need to provide targeted support to young people in Jordan and the region to tap into their ambition and potential, and mitigate negative individual and societal impacts. However, little credible evidence exists on which to base the design of such interventions aimed at ensuring adolescents' safety, social ties, and emotional well-being. To fill this evidence gap, Mercy Corps undertook a rigorous impact evaluation of its Advancing Adolescents program in Jordan, which is designed to "strengthen the resilience of host community and Syrian refugee young people through equitable access to psychosocial support, protection and informal learning opportunities."
Between July 2015 and April 2016, Mercy Corps conducted a randomized impact evaluation of the Advancing Adolescents program in Jordan. This evaluation is the first ever rigorous evaluation we are aware of to examine the impact of a program applying a Profound Stress and Attunement framework. Specifically, the research analyzed the effects of the suite of skills trainings, workshops, psychosocial support, mentoring and community projects supported through the Advancing Adolescents program. The Advancing Adolescents program had positive impacts on Syrian and Jordanian adolescents' social networks, including trust between Syrians and Jordanians; perceptions of safety and protection in their communities; and confidence in their future, including employment prospects.