Supporting Emergency Needs, Early Recovery and Longer-term Resilience in Syria’s Agriculture Sector

Funded by DFID, FAO Syria is implementing the “Supporting emergency needs, early recovery and longer-term resilience in Syria’s agriculture sector” programme, which delivers “emergency” and “recovery” support to rural households across Syria. The programme has two principal stages: a “baseline stage” taking place in 2018/2019 and a “midline and endline stage” taking place in 2019/2020. ISDC advises and supports FAO in both stages with knowledge building and learning activities.

FAO Syria has successfully implemented a detailed, large-N baseline household survey with nearly the full set of villages across Syria that had been sampled. This is a truly impressive achievement and reflects the strong statistical and managerial capacity of FAO Syria. In combination with the large-scale emergency and recovery intervention and the adoption of a quasi-experimental study design, based on observations of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries before and after implementation, the database provides a unique and powerful opportunity for learning in an acutely conflict-affected setting.

The setup enables critically important new insights into household livelihoods and welfare in rural Syria, the conditions these households face and how they experience them, the magnitude and channels of the causal impacts of the FAO intervention, and how these impacts vary across different types of households and conditions.

In this baseline report, we describe the adopted study design for analysing the impact of the FAO intervention, review the approach to household survey data collection, and present statistical analyses of the baseline survey data that had been collected before the implementation of the FAO intervention. The investigated indicators include socio-economic household characteristics, food security outcomes, adoption of harmful livelihood strategies, as well as negative shocks experienced by the household. We also explore whether key baseline indicators vary meaningfully by the gender of the household head.

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