Increasing access to employment for Syrian refugees in Jordan through partnerships with the private sector
Good Practices


Increasing access to employment for Syrian refugees in Jordan through partnerships with the private sector
A close up photo of a woman looking into the camera

"I was able to start a job and increase the source of my family’s income. It feels good that I am working and that my life has changed"

- Young woman who found employment through Najahna’s partnership with private companies in North Jordan

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Plan International, Dansk Industri, The Norwegian Refugee Council, The Royal Health Awareness Society, Includovate in Jordan. It began in 2022 and is currently ongoing.

Najahna is a five-year programme which aims to economically empower Syrian refugees in Jordan through partnering with the private sector. The programme is led by Plan International in collaboration with Danish Industries and their local partner, the Jordan Chamber of Industries, as well the Norwegian Refugee Council, research partner Includovate and the Royal Health Awareness Society. Najahna bridges the gaps between the demands of the private sector and the capacities offered by Syrian refugees.

To link Syrian refugees, especially women, to long term jobs in a gender responsive work environment in the industry through private sector engagement.

Context: App. 7% of Syrian women are employed (14% of the Jordanian workforce are women), and few of these are working outside their home. This is due to traditional gender norms where women are expected to get married early and are supposed to stay at home, regardless of their education level. Gender based violence and discrimination in the workplace is a barrier, and so is lack of access to childcare services and safe transportation for women.

Main activities of the Good Practice

Job matching activities:

  • NGOs Preparing the Syrian refugees for the world of work (employability training, foundational and life skills training, profiling skills and aspirations for making the right match, apprenticeship/on the job training)
  • Chamber of industry preparing the companies for employing young Syrian refugees: Identifying the companies, developing guidelines for companies on how to onboard and how to create an enabling working environment (OHS, occupational health and safety), especially for women. HR networks among companies trained in OHS. Syrians in jobs mentoring unemployed Syrians, TVET institutions supported to deliver market relevant curricula in a gender friendly environment)
  • Support to employment promotion unit within the chamber to match the refugees’ profile with the companies’ vacancies

See graphic overview of job matching activities.

Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice

Collaboration across different stakeholders from the private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations facilitated opportunities and access for Syrian refugees to the labor market, which is otherwise difficult to access.

"It was a nice experience for me. I was able to know how to deal with my colleagues at work and how to behave. I am happy that I have a salary and I have become self-reliant."

- Young woman who found employment through Najahna’s partnership with private companies in North Jordan.

Partners involved

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


  1. Changing gender norms takes time and needs to be addressed not only among companies and young people, but also among communities and families
  2. The retention of the young people in the job due to companies' negative perception of youth and youth’s lack of understanding of the workplace.
  3. Collaboration between stakeholders that do not normally interact can be challenging.

How they were overcome

  1. Gender sensitization of youth and parents in camps and host communities (Champion of Change methodology)
  2. The needs of the companies are thoroughly matched with the profile of the young people. This requires human resources to make handheld job matching and not only "system” job-matching e.g. via online matching platforms etc.
  3. Prioritizing stakeholder meetings to reaching common ground and understanding, and make sure that all stakeholders gain by the collaboration (shared goals)

Results of the Good Practice

Syrian refugees, primarily women, have signed one-year contracts in industrial companies in North Jordan enabling them to sustain themselves and their families and gain economic independence and stability.

Gender norms are gradually changing. In the Azraq Camp, young people report a 19% increase in positive gender attitudes, including attitudes related to women in work, amongst their parents.

In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?

Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries

Najahna eases the pressure on host countries (Jordan) by strengthening its refugee-hosting education systems’ capacity to ensure that young Syrian refugees, and other conflict affected youth, especially adolescent girls and young women have equal access to, and graduate with relevant skills to enter the job market and finding decent work.

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Najahna enhances refugee self-reliance by facilitating access for Syrian refugees, especially young women to decent employment/self-employment, allowing them to actively engage in the Jordanian economy and labour market. More specifically it works with the private sector and education institutions to provide supply and demand side solutions to youth unemployment in Jordan, enabling both refugees and Jordanians transition to economic empowerment. The program seeks to establish an enabling environment for young Syrian refugees and other conflict affected youth to become active citizens and enact positive change in their communities.

Next steps

Najahna will be implemented until 2026 with a strong focus on adaptability and evidence-based programme design. The interventions that have currently proven successful such as the job matching with companies in North Jordan. This will be scaled from 2024 and is expected to include more companies and other locations in Jordan.

Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?

  • We ask for support for scaling up job-matching services—including 1 to 1 case management—for unemployed Syrian youth.
  • We ask for support for interventions that seek to improve attitudes held by young men towards young women participation in the job market and education.