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Syria Programme Evaluations 2019

Last updated:
21 January 2020
Concern Worldwide

Concern has implemented two multi-sectoral interventions in Syria, the first funded by The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) which ran from October 2018 to September 2019 and the second funded by ECHO covering 15 months from June 2018 to August 2019.

A rehabilitated water station in Syria, 2019
A rehabilitated water station in Syria, 2019. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

OFDA-funded programme

The OFDA-funded programme focused on supporting the restoration of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, providing shelter and non-food items (NFI) assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in informal camps and settlements, and providing Safe Learning and Healing Spaces (SLHS) for children and adolescents.

Under the OFDA grant, WASH activities aimed to reach 337,500 unique beneficiaries with 125,000 individuals directly utilising improved water services. It aimed to reach 60,000 with emergency water trucking, 60,000 with improved solid waste management services, 80,000 with vector control activities, 30,000 with rehabilitation of drainage/sewage systems, 5,000 with access to emergency sanitation facilities and 30,000 to recieve WASH NFI assistance. The initial target has been surpassed, with 503,000 individuals benefitting from improved access to water through rehabilitation of water stations and installation of chlorination systems. The other targets have also been reached, and surpassed.

The grant included activities to address vector control through indoor spraying, indoor fogging campaigns and solid waste management in locations where there had been hundreds of cases of Leishmaniosis. Concern provided solid waste removal activities and draining of waste water in 10 urban areas or IDP camps for three months, after which the responsibility for this service was handed over to the local authorities.

The installation of a generator to ensure communities have continuous access to water
The installation of a generator to ensure communities have continuous access to water.

Concern has distributed 3,524 hygiene kits but have faced challenges in terms of their appropriateness. Another challenge was to provide these in a regular manner to beneficiaries, as Concern targeted recently displaced households with one-off distributions. Another component of our work is to distribute NFI kits and vouchers, Winterization kits and stoves. Over 3,700 households have received either a Winterization kit or NFI voucher, while 2,031 households received stoves for heating and 3,574 beneficiary households received support under the cash or voucher for fuel element of the programme.

Concern’s protection work was predominantly focused on the support of Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) offering structured Psycho-social Support (PSS) with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with elements of play and creative activities, strengthening the psycho-social resilience of children and adolescents. Under OFDA funding Concern has established eight CFSs, reaching 742 children. However, referrals and transition pathways between Child Friendly Spaces, non-formal education and formal schools have not been formalized and cases have not been rigorously documented, even though there are some ad hoc examples of efforts illustrating the links and likely transitions. Qualitative data shows caregivers can identify many aspects of behavioral changes observed in the daily life of children including the introduction of healthy routine and hygiene practices as well as elements of recovery from trauma.

This page is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Concern and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Concern staff distributing hygiene kits in Syria
Concern staff distributing hygiene kits in Syria. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

ECHO-funded programme

The ECHO-funded intervention focused on the improvement of WASH services by rehabilitating water supply systems. Food security was also strengthened through assistance to the most vulnerable IDP and host community households through food vouchers or food baskets.

Under this programme, WASH activities aimed to reach 80,000 individuals with the rehabilitation of water system, 60,000 with emergency water trucking, 12,000 with hygiene kit distributions and 24,000 with vector control activities, in addition to the installation of 100 prefabricated latrines. All the targets were met and surpassed, with water systems rehabilitation reaching 172,300 individuals alone.

Concern staff deliver a hygiene promotion session to children in Syria, 2019
Concern staff deliver a hygiene promotion session to children in Syria, 2019. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

The ECHO funded intervention also included the provision of emergency food security assistance in three forms to those in need, though in practice this has revolved around using food vouchers, where markets are functioning and providing food baskets in areas were markets are not working. The third approach planned, providing ready-to-eat rations to IDPs in transit through the areas, has not been necessary and budgets allocated to this have been reprogrammed. Between the food baskets and food vouchers the programme has reached well over the targeted 2,000 households.

Another key element of the intervention has been the distribution of NFI kits and vouchers, Winterisation kits and stoves. Over 9,000 households have received either a Winterisation kit or NFI voucher while over 4,000 households received stoves for heating and an estimated 5,000 beneficiary households received support under the cash or voucher for fuel element of the programmes.

Water distribution point in a camp in Syria, 2019
Water distribution point in a camp in Syria, 2019. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

Concern’s approach to having strong locally-based teams, many of whom come from the area, also means we have a good understanding of the local context.

Overall, in the evaluation both interventions have been scored as being "3 - Satisfactory" in terms of their relevance and appropriateness in that they have addressed the immediate needs identified at the time of programme start-up and have sensibly adjusted their approach as the situation has changed. For example, with the increase in food vendors, the programme was able to shift towards using more food vouchers, and in establishing clean water supplies, we were able to move away from emergency water trucking activities.

Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Evaluation Scoring

  • 4 - Outstanding: outstanding performance (above expectations)

  • 3 - Satisfactory: performance in line with what would be expected of a well-functioning organisation (in line with expectations)

  • 2Acceptable: generally acceptable performance but with some clear, and documented, shortcomings

  • 1 - Minimal: barely acceptable performance with some major shortcomings and reservations

  • 0 - Unacceptable: totally unacceptable performance or insufficient data to make an assessment


This page covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO). The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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