That which is measured improves. #Hope #SyrianRefugees

Pearson’s Law: “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” – Karl Pearson

Greetings Pita-Consumers!

Before you do anything: share this link with your organizations and friends working to assist Syrian refugees.  Note: there are 4.89 Million Syrian refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ office. It’s been a rough week for many (ourselves included)–considering that Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was found acquitted of the 900 protestors’ deaths during the 2011 Egyptian January 25th revolution by Egypt’s highest court: the Court of Cassation.  The fallen dictator has gone free as 60,000 political activists remain in Egypt’s jails.

Read here for Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Egyptian scholar’s (and pacifist) account of political prisoner dilemma and costs in Egypt.

Right as we think we are witnessing the fall of an authoritarian leader, we are seeing the rise of another authoritarian leader (45: #OrangeAlert) in the very country that has selectively shamed authoritarian led regimes in the Middle East and North African regions…and consistently provided international assistance to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others.

Measure to Improve: Survey of Syrian Refugees’ Experience

On a more positive note, we want to be pro-active on a dismal subject: Syrian refugee resettlement and relief efforts. If we can measure something, we increase its chances of improving.  Thus, we would like to continue using this platform to gather data to measure and promote the greater good.  (Al Mubadarah refers to this as “MENA Social Good”, which we’ll borrow again.)  To understand how Syrian refugees resettlement experience, we need to ask them.  A survey an Arabic is one data gathering tool.  Because the target population is spread throughout three continents, the data responses will vary.  So let us step away from generalizations and specifically ask Syrian refugees who are participating in resettlement programs.  Please share the link:

Survey Background

Two months ago, we sat next to a social scientist at a Syria Forum USA event in Chicago.  As we discussed the power shortages and livelihood assistance in Lebanon, we discussed the burgeoning Syrian refugee population in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq.

Registered Refugees According to United Nations Data (more Syrians could be seeking refugee in host country)

Although Gulf Cooperation Countries do not share in the refugee accommodation, the Syrian diaspora has grown in Germany, Sweden, the UK, and France (over 850,000 asylum applications received including those pending)… and across the Atlantic Ocean in Canada.  Yes, and a humble amount (10,000) in the USA.   The current U.S. president inaccurately portrayed the demographic makeup of the Syrian refugee population.  According to Politifact, about three-quarters of Syrian refugees entering the United States are women and children under 18 years of age.  Here’s a breakdown of fiscal year 2016 Syrian refugee admissions:

– Total: 12,587

– Male: 6,571

– Female: 6,016

– Boys and girls under 14 years old: 6,118 (about 48.61 percent of admissions)

The gentleman is collaborating with an Arabic speaking member from the University of Sussex to gather data from Syrian refugees who may be participating in resettlement programs.  As the social scientist stated to us, “The survey responses are confidential and they will only be used for statistical purposes only and no identifying information will be shared outside of the research group,” we would like to help facilitate their outreach efforts.

Here’s a shout out to White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) because of their Message to the United Nations Security Council:

“Barrel bombs – sometimes filled with chlorine – are the biggest killer of civilians in Syria today. Our unarmed and neutral rescue workers have saved more than 78,529 people from the attacks in Syria, but there are many we cannot reach. There are children trapped in rubble we cannot hear. For them, the UN Security Council must follow through on its demand to stop the barrel bombs, by introducing a ‘no-fly zone’ if necessary.” – Raed Saleh, head of the White Helmets, the Syrian Civil Defence.

Hopefully the following U.S.-based NGOs supporting Syrian refugees and human development will be able to circulate the above survey.

  • Syrian American Medical Society (@SAMS_US):  Founded in 1998 in Chicago, the national network mobilized in 2012 to upgrade its medical care services to Syrians after the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime transformed into crisis mode in 2013.  SAMS launched the “Save Syrian Lives” campaign to focus on medical relief activities directed to help Syrian patients, healthcare workers, administrators and hospitals to deal with the multi-faceted consequences of violent conflict impacting all affected areas of Syria.
  • Syrian American Council (@SA_Council)
  • Syria Forum USA (@SyrianForumUSA): Description previously highlighted by PITAPOLICY
  • Syrian Community Network (@SCN_Network):The Syrian Community Network (SCN) was established by a diverse team of community members with intentions to aid and to assist in easing the resettlement of Syrian refugees. SCN is prepared and organized to support the anticipated influx of Syrian refugees scheduled for resettlement in the Chicagoland area.  SCN is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that will supplement efforts on helping the refugees adjust to their new home. What distinguishes SCN from other organizations is that it wants to facilitate building the bridge for mutual support between the newly arrived Syrian refugees with local Chicago communities.The following are SCN goals:To partner with refugee resettlement agencies in providing support to the newly-arrived Syrian refugees
    To connect refugees with appropriate services and community resources available
    To foster a relationship between the Syrian refugees and the larger Chicago community
    To establish cultural competency for staff working with Syrian refugees as well as for Syrians who need to learn about their new culture in the US.

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Filed under Analysis, PIDE (Policy, International Development & Economics), Politics

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