Enhancing affected communities’ resilience through value chain intervention

Enhancing affected communities’ resilience through value chain intervention

WANTAN beneficiaries receive training

Women receive training

Contact details 

Submitted by: Alaa Baa, FSL program manager

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://watan.foundation/Home



Introduction to the project


Syrian Arab Republic


2016- 28th of Feb 2020.

Project extension will depend on funds available and the adoption of Resolution 2165 (on cross-border operations in Syria) by the United Nations Security Council.


The project consists of supporting oil pressers and workers, as it is one of the most important pillars of the regions’ economy. WATAN Foundation offers, amongst other things, materials and tools in order to obtain high quality olive oil.

Our intervention aims to ensure food security and sustainable development by improving the lives of targeted communities and promoting the sustainable use of available resources, including the exchange, access and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the conducted project.

Our project contributes to the livelihoods of affected households, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from Iraq in the targeted communities by restoring, supporting and creating income-generating opportunities.

Sustainable development being one of the main targets of the project, several activities were implemented in order to identify the obstacles in place to achieve sustainability in the area concerned. The project adopted a new intervention matrix, set up targeted advocacy plans and implemented an efficient risk management strategy for enhancing value chain components’ integration. Green energy solutions were put in place, using biogas for cooking and heating, as well as recycling olive oil by-products through processing it in firewood machines.

Our project also served the families through value chain system, applicable, in our case, for two chains:

1. Olive value chain, which consists of three main components: production, processing and marketing. WATAN implemented a full integrated olive management (IPM) through the provision of the following services to the selected farmers:

  • Plowing services.
  • IPM integrated pest management for olive trees.
  • Harvesting and oil extraction.
  • Extension services and filed farmers' schools.
  • Rehabilitation of mills.
  • Establishment of home-based production by women groups.
  • Pruning services. 
  • Marketing assistance.
  • Olive cooperatives creation.
  • Biogas initiative implementation and firewood provision.
  • Distribution of organic fertilizers.

2. Livestock and dairy production chain, where WATAN implemented the following activities:

  • ToT sessions for veterinaries.
  • Mobile clinic establishment and clinic services.
  • Raising awareness of chronic diseases through “information education and communication” (IEC) material distribution.
  • Vaccination campaign for livestock “cows, sheep and goats”.
  • Dairy production through the establishment of women groups.
  • Creation of hydroponic rooms for animal fodder production.
  • Apprenticeship and linkage with labor markets.

Through our intervention we are rehabilitating the damaged infrastructure in the main sectors of the economy, educating the community on best practices of olive management, enhancing social cohesion in targeted communities, and strengthening the infrastructure to host and encourage returnees to go back and to help in rebuild their communities.

Our beneficiaries were carefully selected to include all groups (men, women, boys and girls), and their roles in the project were allocated using an age-gender marker.

The project provided protection services such as transportation from the place of origin to the activity place, training about referral mechanisms and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and provision of child-friendly space services. People with disabilities were prioritized through inclusion either directly (in cash for work activities such as data entry) or indirectly through supporting their families.

Project aims

The project’s aim is to enhance the resilience of conflict-affected populations in Northern Syria, as well as to encourage the return of Syrians abroad, by supporting income-generating opportunities through value chain modalities and ensuring access to green energy solutions.

Two women are pitting olives

Resources used

  • Financial resources - this project is funded through a generous contribution from DFID and EU.
  • Material resources – videos and graphics produced and owned by WATAN.
  • Technical resources - WATAN applied its own developed value chain system in cooperation with IMAP, DFID.
  • Policy change – farmer association policy.


  • Ministry of Agriculture, Turkey
  • Municipality of Gaziantep Province, Turkey
  • Kilis City Municipality, Turkey
  • Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock of Kilis Governorate, Turkey
  • Bab Alsalama Check-point Crossing Administration
  • Azaz City Local Council, Syria
  • Field olive cooperatives, Syria

How challenges were overcome 

Challenges faced include:

  • Security conditions in the targeted areas.
  • Bad weather conditions during project implementation.
  • Fluctuation of exchange rates.
  • Securing the goods locally from Syria.
  • Marketing the products.

These challenges were overcome by:

  • Putting in place an evacuation plan and providing the team with the necessary equipment, including walkie-talkie devices.
  • Suspending the project during bad weather, a small climate station unit was established and farmers were linked through a WhatsApp group.
  • Dealing with all applied prizes in USD to avoid fluctuation.
  • Purchasing material from Turkey.
  • Developing a coaching program on marketing and exhibitions skills.

Results of the Good Practice

  • Farmers support: 2,050 olive farmers received full integrated management and achieved an income of 852$.
  • Extension services: 3,171 trainees through 14 farmer filled schools acquired technical skills. This also improved social cohesion.
  • Infrastructure rehabilitation: 29 olive mills were upgraded to improve oil quality.
  • Enhancing processing capabilities: 134 women achieved an average income of 143.5$.
  • Livestock support: vaccination campaign and mobile clinic served 300,000 cattle.
  • Sustainable impact of marketing: 118 representatives of olive market stakeholders received 22 coaching sessions.
  • Green energy: 2,050 farmers benefited from firewood and biogas initiatives. 
  • Local-level reconciliation and economic recovery: 3 olive cooperatives were established comprising 1,000 members.
WATAN olive jar

Next steps

To scale up the project in order to reach out to and help more people in Syria by:

  • Expanding the target areas to include more lands of olive trees and improve Syria’s performance on the export market.
  • Applying artificial insemination services in regard to cows.
  • Circulation of value chain modalities to cover more areas including: wheat, pistachios and vegetables.
  • Developing the current olive and livestock chain by including nursery, organic fertilizer production and feeders blocks from olive by-products.
  • Establishing the olive cooperatives union. 
  • Using the existing lessons learned for further intervention, analyzing the collected feedback from our beneficiaries, responding to the request of assistance issued by Syrian local councils.
  • Establishing a climate station unit.
  • Establishing a soil analysis laboratory.
WANTAN training