Understanding the Underlying Causes of Poverty in Jordan

Project Name


Project for CARE in Jordan: Understanding the Underlying Causes of Poverty in Jordan


Start Date April 2016
End Date


July 2016
Client Name


Care International in Jordan

–        Identify the underlying causes of poverty, vulnerability and disempowerment in Jordan.

–        Identify the populations most impacted by these causes.

–        Assess the development environment in Jordan. Provide an in-depth understanding of the effectiveness of aid and its impact on society; the desired role of INGOs vis-à-vis other stakeholders; as well as funding trends and donor priorities.

–        Examine CARE’s reputation and capacity given past experience and program quality, and provide practical recommendations for follow-up actions.

Methods Used  

–        Desktop review of relevant resources as specified in the project Terms of Reference.

–        Semi-structured qualitative individual interviews with key informants and women exposed to gender-based violence.

–        Semi-structured qualitative focus group interviews with vulnerable Jordanian and refugee women and men.

Key Findings  

–        Experiences of poverty and vulnerability were associated with a range of social markers such as family size, health condition and educational level of head of household, gender and marital status, employment, citizenship status and area of residence. These conditions are shaped by the social, economic, political and legal environment in which people live.

–        Opportunities for the abject poor to overcome poverty remain week. Moreover, negative coping strategies such as early marriages and child labour have been used, particularly by male heads of households, as a means to deal with poverty.

–        Women’s economic participation plays an important role in enabling them to better negotiate with power relations in both the private and public spheres. Although greater spaces have been created for women to engage economically, they remain in vulnerable positions because their roles are subordinate to males during decision-making processes, at both micro and macro levels.

–        Study findings highlighted population groups in Jordan at greater risk in terms of vulnerability and disempowerment. These include women and girls experiencing gender-based violence, homebound girls, divorced and widowed women, orphans born to unknown parents, and marginalised groups of refugees (e.g. Sudanese).