King Hussein Foundation

  • Project Contact: Hana Mitri Shahin
  • Title: Executive Director
  • Email:

  • Human Services, International Peace and Security, Economic Opportunity

  • Jordan | Lebanon | Syria | Turkey | Europe

  • Economically disadvantaged people, Refugees and displaced people

  • Public charity

  • ---

  • ---

Executive Summary

SafeHarbor2030: Youth Transforming Displacement into Sustainable Futures is a bold youth led program, a game changer in the paradigm of aid for young people displaced by conflict and socio economic fragmentation. Eight organizations with complementary expertise and interregional/global reach will apply an original conceptual framework - ETHICS4Dev (Education, Technology, Health, Innovation, Creative industries and Sustainability for Development) - to leapfrog large scale social change. SafeHarbor2030 will enable young refugees and their counterparts in host countries to be cross domain future leaders and create collective impact through newly acquired cognitive, social, behavioral and technical skills needed in a complex modern economy. This generation will also reap digital dividends for their host countries and the world by co creating technology assisted economic models infused with inclusion, solidarity and ingenuity. The entry point is the Syrian crisis ecosystem in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey followed by interregional youth led expansion mirroring the dynamics of the Syrian diaspora across the Arab region and Europe.

Watch the video

The Problem

More than 14.5 million people are displaced as a result of conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Youth in these complex political and protracted conflict situations have vastly diminished opportunities to have a fulfilling and productive life. Common challenges faced by youth populations globally - unemployment, inflation and diluted social cohesion - are greatly magnified. Survival is random, utterly dependent on unpredictable and inconsistent whims of strangers. Governments and communities in host countries carry the burden of responsibility and despite provisions of international aid, declining livelihood opportunities open up a vacuum allowing onset of stigma, discrimination and extremism. The dilemma is volatile with overwhelming personal and socio economic implications for all young people involved and the host countries. Historically, organizations have responded to the refugee crisis driven by the immediacy of emergencies. Extended situations, though, highlight the difficulties of creating large scale collective impact. Digital technologies, once heralded as the solution for leapfrogging health, education and job creation, have not yet resulted in digital dividends - the broader development benefits from using these technologies. The question is: how do we reconstruct these realities into opportunities for transformational change? Existing approaches and models are ineffective to withstand the deluge of risks and challenges faced by young people in protracted conflict situations. SafeHarbor2030 is an inclusive game changer. At the core, it will scale up proven education, health and protection programs with a new integrated approach. But it will also attempt something that has never been done before: transform refugee settings into economically viable innovation hubs.

Proposed Solution

SafeHarbor2030's proposed solution is grounded on a new comprehensive ETHICS4Dev framework co created from the resourcefulness, diversity and global experience of young people, communities, development experts and industries. ETHICS4Dev will build capacity of young, future cross domain leaders; transform refugee status into strength, with returns to host countries; and co create new economic models based on inclusion, solidarity and ingenuity for the region and the world. ETHICS4Dev is an expression of our moral duty towards humanity and to this generation. Refugee youth, young people in flux and those from host communities will be the main beneficiaries of SafeHarbor2030. They will benefit from: skills development that prepares them for careers in traditional and emerging industries; accredited education at various levels facilitated by technological platforms, innovative tools, and youth exchanges; access to entrepreneurship skills and microfinance; redesigned health and outreach services to better address needs in camps and in mobility; and from the opportunity to inform policy and decision making through strategic information from a place of leadership. These young women and men will acquire cognitive, social, behavioral and technical skills to leverage digital opportunities in a complex modern economy. At its global policy expression, SafeHarbor2030 will contribute to operationalize the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 for Youth, Peace and Security and the Jordan Response Plan to the Syria Crisis 2016-2018 (JRP2016 18); and shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process by infusing them with actionable, youth led innovation and with the perspective of youth living in and displaced by complex political, socio economic and conflict situations.

Evidence of Effectiveness

SafeHarbor2030's innovative approach is confidently constructed on research and the track record of its partners in developing evidence based solutions, programs and policies, such as: KHF: EU evaluated business incubation model improved family income up to 120%; microfinance arm is internationally recognized by Financial Time, IFC, CGAP; its pioneering Narrative Exposure Therapy for rehabilitation of victims of torture was highlighted by a Danish led external evaluation; its Jubilee Institute was the first STEM training institution in Jordan; NCCA internationally recognized for promoting social development, human rights, and cross cultural understanding through performing arts Y Peer/ICYD: Youth led training methodologies and approaches adopted in 52 countries NRC: Core partner in humanitarian response; Women's Refugee Commission's evaluation highlighted positive learning outcomes and particular impact on young women; Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre/Geneva is a global leader in monitoring, reporting on and advocating for displaced people UNFPA: UN agency lead on young people/early marriage/sexual reproductive health (SRH); census and data for policy; evidence based guidance for governments GMI: Career development in television, film and new media in close collaboration with creative capitals (e.g., Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood) and investors in creative industries (e.g., Silicon Valley); research in social and behavioral impact of messaging and storytelling ZMH: Peer recognized expertise in mental health with programs in conflict areas globally; leadership developed M&E training manuals for the Global Fund AIDS/Tuberculosis/Malaria EURC: Research in economic models for smart, sustainable growth; Glocal Network of Real and Virtual Incubators UCLab: Track record incorporating technology and cultural sensitivity when devising innovative visualization techniques through co creation design processes

Previous Performance

SafeHarbor2030 builds on the wealth of its human resources. The main field implementation partners are KHF with its 8 institutes, NRC, UNFPA and ICYD. KHF has multiprofessional staff trained and experienced in a broad scope of areas (e.g., research, pro poor business development/ financial solutions, SRH, gender based violence, psychosocial health, child protection, creative arts). KHF has linkages and partnerships with more than 200 organizations including NGOs, the private sector, regional agencies and ministries. NRC leads the humanitarian response with field staff delivering services and support to refugees, especially in education, food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and information, counseling and legal services. It is the lead partner of UNHCR in Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, the main provider of shelter solutions of refugees in Lebanon, and has field presence in Turkey and Syria. UNFPA is the lead UN agency working to ensure universal access to reproductive health and expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. It champions advocacy against child marriage. Two of its Regional Offices - Arab States and Eastern Europe and Central Asia - will be coordinating the multi country and global policy efforts of this program through their country offices and HQ. Y PEER brings the creative energy of young people capable of reaching and engaging refugee youth interregionally through their programs and network of celebrities. GMI, ZMG, UCLab and EURC support the strategic expansion if SafeHarbor2030 by harnessing the power of communications, health systems, technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Team

Team Purpose

Livelihoods and social cohesion, with their crucial linkages to education and health, are the least prioritized areas of the ongoing Syrian crisis. SafeHarbor2030 has consolidated a team of experienced institutions with the collective know how and gravitas to translate the force, resiliency and ingenuity of this generation of vulnerable young people into structural and sustainable solutions. These organizations have committed to create synergies for long term collective impact. Together they form a network of development programs in refugee settings in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey; have youth led organized access to displaced and national young people in 27 countries throughout the Arab region and Europe; can bring new partners from different industries to expand digital dividends and business practices that will result in robust innovative economic models; can mediate and influence national governments and multilateral decision making; and can build on the strengths of creative industries to change the narrative of diversity interregionally and globally.

Team Structure

SafeHarbor2030 partners/key roles: King Hussein Foundation (KHF):Principal organization and administrator of funds, integrated health services, theatre and arts for social change, financial services and social business incubators Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC): Education and links to livelihood and economic opportunities, social protection, legal assistance United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):National, regional and global policy, champions protection of young refugee girls from early marriage Y PEER International Centre for Youth Development (ICYD): Youth led activities through the multicountry Y PEER network of youth organizations Global Media Center for Social Impact (GMI)/UCLA:Mentoring, capacity development and career development in creative industries Global Health Center for Medicine and Society (ZMG)/UFreiburg:Comparative research, health systems, mental and urban health, M&E Urban Complexity Lab (UCLab)/FHPotsdam: Information visualization, social dynamics and digital information European Union Research Center (EURC)/GWU: Technology entrepreneurship and peer reviewed publications Partners will be governed by a legally binding MOU and will participate in SafeHarbor2030's governance, management, strategic guidance and implementation. A Program Management Office (PMO) will run daily operations according to international program management standards. The PMO will report to a Steering Committee headed by KHF's Executive Director and composed of partner organizations, members of KHF Board/Institutes, and international experts to strengthen independent advice and scrutiny.