Understanding and meeting the sexual and reproductive health needs of Jordanian and Syrian youth

Coordinator of the project:
Dr A. Langer, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Consortium partners:

  • Dr A.O. Othman, University of Jordan
  • R.F. Alzaban, Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development

Summary of progress

The project seeks to identify ways to improve the social environment in which youth live, in order to influence the demand for, access to, and provision of youth-focused SRHR services, while simultaneously identifying opportunities to empower youth, their families, and service providers. The study focuses on four major areas 1) the current policy, programmatic, and service delivery landscape, 2) the SRHR needs, concerns, and norms as expressed by youth, 3) the ways parents and 4) service providers can better support youth SRHR.

In the first year, the research team has made excellent progress against key benchmarks. The comprehensive landscape analysis, including a literature/program review and key informant interviews, has been completed. These results come at a critical time to inform the development of a new reproductive health strategy in Jordan.

The project is currently awaiting ethical approvals for Research Objectives 2 and 3. It is estimated that related field data collection for Objectives 2 and 3 will begin in September and finish by November.



Syrian refugees in Jordan face unprecedented challenges with regard to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Early pregnancy, child marriage, gender-based violence and sexual assault have become significant problems as a result of changing economic pressures, community dynamics and social norms.

Using participatory qualitative methods and rigorous quantitative data analysis, our study will respond to some of the most critical SRHR needs facing young men and women living in Jordan, with a focus on Syrian refugees and members of their host communities. The main research objectives of this study focus on 1) the policy, regulatory, and service delivery infrastructure, 2) the factors that influence demand for and utilization of SRHR information and services, 3) the quality of existing services targeting youth, and 4) the development of strategies for improving youth SRHR services.

To ensure that our research not only meets the most pressing SRHR needs in Jordan, but also that it is translated into policy and programs, the research Consortium proposed comprises the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, The Center for Women’s Studies at the Jordan University, and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development will facilitate a dynamic transfer of knowledge and research capacity.

The findings of this study will be utilized to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young men and women living in Jordan by informing the design of multi-level interventions to create a more equitable social environment that enables youth to access the quality SRH services.


Scientific article

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public


Project number

W 08.560.012

Main applicant

A.L. Langer

Affiliated with

Harvard University, President and Fellows of Harvard College

Team members

Q. Al-Tarawneh, Prof. J.M. Gausman, I. Hamad, A.L. Langer, Dr. A.O. Othman


01/09/2017 to 31/08/2019