UNRWA’s integrated community-based actions (ICBA) framework is an integrated, bottom-up approach to socio-economic development. Adopted by the health department in cooperation with the Agency's other programmes, its main goals are to:
- reduce poverty in camps
- improve health and environmental conditions
- achieve a better quality of life for Palestine refugees in camps
- promote the role of women in health and sustainable development
- integrate health policies and programmes in UNRWA-wide strategic development agendas.
People’s health is largely determined by factors outside the health sector, so good health cannot be achieved in isolation. ICBA projects address the social determinants of health through coordination of UNRWA’s programmes in health, education, relief and social services, and microfinance.
By working with camp communities and focusing on people, the projects help communities address their needs themselves, ensuring that projects are self-sustainable.
UNRWA’s health department has adopted the ICBA framework with the technical and financial support of the World Health Organization (WHO)/Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO). The ICBA is an adaptation of the WHO community-based initiative programme.
WHO community-based initiative
In 2009, ICBA implementation started in two camps: Souf in Jordan and Qabr Essit in Syria.
How does it work?
The ICBA approach works through the joint collaboration of the community, camp support teams, UNRWA programmes, and other stakeholders, including UN agencies, NGOs, government, donors.
All partners agree on a social contract at the start of the implementation.
The contract contains key targets, a time frame and describes the role of each partner. It keeps the partners, especially the communities, accountable for the targets and provides a broader base for programme implementation.
What are the strategies of ICBA?
The effective implementation of ICBA relies on promoting the centrality of health in development policies. This is done through:
- disseminating information
- establishing advocacy partnerships
- collaboration between different programmes
- incorporating community-development approaches in poverty reduction policies.
What is the camp’s role?
The camp community’s role is key to the success of the project. In each camp, they:
- monitor and evaluate the projects
- implement the development packages
- guarantee loans and ensure recovery is on time
- identify recipients for income-generation projects
- prioritise needs and prepare camp development plans
- motivate families to participate in community development
- manage the programme, including maintaining financial records.
Read more about the ICBA framework (PDF)
To find out more about UNRWA’s ICBA programme, please contact:
Souf Camp, Jordan
Dr Bassam Khnouf
Deputy Chief Field Health Programme
+962 6 580 9100 Ext 5282
Mobile: +962 79 600 8574
Qabr Essit Camp, Syria
Dr Anwar Sharqawi/ Deputy Chief Field Health Programme
+963 11 613 3035-42 Ext 374
Mobile: +963 11 940 888 170
UNRWA HQ, Amman
Dr Yassir Turki
Health Communication and Community Based Initiative Officer
+962 588 8309
Mobile: +962 79 525 5377