Integrated social protection programme for children with disabilities - Aleppo Governorate

Key highlights - Post-distribution monitoring survey, Aleppo Governorate, July 2022

Girl studying on floor whit crutches next to her
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Danielle Deeb


This report provides the key findings of the post-distribution monitoring survey, which was conducted in January 2022 among families of children with disabilities who benefitted from the Integrated Social Protection Programme for Children with Disabilities in Aleppo Governorate.

The programme aims to improve the well-being and social inclusion of children with disabilities through an integrated response combining regular and unconditional cash transfers with referral and case management services. It is the largest social protection intervention for children with disabilities in Syria, which is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MOSAL) through a network of specialized national non-governmental organizations.

The survey was conducted among a representative sample of families who were enrolled in the programme in July 2021 in Aleppo Governorate. These families were enrolled for a period of two years, i.e. they will continue to receive cash assistance and referral and case management services until June 2023. Thus, the survey highlights the status and impact of the programme following 6 months of implementation.

The survey confirms the high level of poverty and exclusion among beneficiaries of the programme:

  • The monthly expenditure of families was about SYP 407,000 or equivalent to US$ 163 at the time of the survey. This was much lower than the monthly Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB) required by a family to meet its basic needs. The per capita average monthly expenditure was about SYP 77,000 (US$ 31 or about US$ 1 per day). This covered only 63 per cent of the estimated per capita MEB of SYP 122,000 at the time (US$ 49).
  • Higher economic vulnerability among female-headed families: 33 per cent of female-headed families had no earning members compared to only 4 per cent of male-headed families.
  • High level of education exclusion among children with disabilities: 68 per cent of CWD had never attended school or received any forms of education.

The survey highlights the relevance, value-add and early impact of the integrated approach followed by the programme. Following six months of enrollment into the programme, the combination of cash transfer and referral services for children has already achieved significant results:

  • Sharp increase in families’ expenditure to meet the essential needs of children with disabilities after the receipt of the cash transfer: expenditure on health care and educational services increased by 112 per cent and 124 per cent respectively;
  • 76 per cent of children with disabilities had been referred to essential services;
  • 28 per cent of children had received specialized health care and basic health care for the first time;
  • 9 per cent of children had gained access to specialized education and formal education for the first time;
  • The percentage of children who own a DOSAL disability card increased from 79 per cent to 94 per cent.

The survey also highlights several areas for improvements. It makes recommendations to further strengthen cash delivery and the quality of referral and case management services. Among the most pressing issues to address are (i) the need to change the frequency and amount of the cash transfer and (ii) the need to increase the availability of specialized education services for children with disabilities.

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