Oxfam has worked with two regional research institutes, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) and the Phenix Center, to determine how regional governments and donors can take stock of lessons from the past and make aid to Lebanon and Jordan more effective. Primary and secondary data were collected by both institutes through desk research; key informant interviews with donor agencies, aid-recipient public institutions and sectoral experts, and former government officials; and focus group discussions with civil society representatives. 

This briefing note presents a preview of key findings and recommendations, and concludes that for assistance to succeed in its aims – including addressing the pre-existing structural challenges and the limitations of inclusive development in these countries – integrating democratic ownership, transparency, and accountability into donor and governmental aid policies is necessary. In other words, even a fully funded humanitarian response, paired with long-term assistance and development financing, will not lift refugees and poor hosts out of poverty. Humanitarian and development challenges can be effectively addressed when both donors providing aid and receiving governments adopt a rights-based approach, including a focus on respect for refugee rights and tackling inequality. This means the participation and consultation of all groups is actively sought, there is adequate local ownership, and mechanisms are put in place to hold donors and governments accountable.