FAO targeting 3,400 households in Aleppo governorate with mushroom planting kits and training. ©FAO/Syria/2018/Samer Salem

The Strategic Framework (2016-2019) is a three-year plan for cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Syria, that is centered on resilience-building. With the crisis well into its eighth year, the work of the UN Country Team in Syria has predominately focused on humanitarian response. While humanitarian response responding to assessed, prioritized and life-saving needs will continue; longer-term resilience- based interventions are needed, to restore basic social services and to revitalize livelihoods and economic recovery.

The Strategic Framework has contributed to resilience-building through the achievement of three goals: 1) capacity development and support for institutions with focus on developing and monitoring evidence-based strategies and plans; 2) Restoring and expanding more responsive essential services and infrastructure; 3) Improving socio-economic resilience of the Syrian people.

Until June 2018, the UN County Team made significant achievements under each of the strategic goals. Under institutional capacity building, 8 information management systems were developed to strengthen monitoring and evaluation, and quality service provision in education and health. Under support for basic services, the number of people accessing improved safe drinking water through public utilities reached 1 million, and number of children accessing alternate education  reached 502,000. On livelihoods support, the number of households benefiting from livelihoods opportunities and assistance reached 59,000. In 2018, the UN in Syria collectively benefited 1,300,000 people with disabilities from livelihood opportunities and 781,000 benefited from social inclusion activities.

The SF implementation is under the overall coordination of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) co-chaired by the Commissioner of the Planning and International Cooperation Commission and the UN Resident Coordinator. The JSC’s membership includes the UN Heads of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in Syria, key line Ministries, and the Planning and International Cooperation Commission (PICC). The JSC meets quarterly.

The Strategic Framework implementation is led by three Pillar Groups with membership from key line ministries and UN organisations. The UN Pillar leads are:  WHO for Pillar 1 with UNDP as the Deputy Lead Agency, UNCIEF for Pillar 2 with UNFPA as Deputy Lead Agency, and UNDP for Pillar 3 with FAO as the Deputy Lead Agency.

In implementation, the Pillars rely on regular input from the Monitoring and Evaluation Group (M&E) for evidence-based decision-making. It reports regularly to the UNCT and works closely under the leadership of the PMT.