The Syrian Refugee Life Study

Last registered on August 15, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

The Syrian Refugee Life Study
Initial registration date
July 13, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 13, 2020, 3:33 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
August 15, 2023, 6:03 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

UC Berkeley

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, the international community has struggled to respond to the resulting refugee crisis in a way that provides for refugees’ and host communities’ long-term needs. As a result, many non-profits and intergovernmental organizations have begun implementing programs that support both the refugees and host communities. As part of a larger study on Syrian refugee livelihoods in Jordan, our team is conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) that evaluates the effectiveness of one such program.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Urban Shelter Program subsidizes housing for Syrian refugees through the renovation of Jordanian-owned properties in exchange for lower rents for refugees. Our study will use a broad range of outcomes to discern the mechanisms by which providing stable shelter access may improve recipients’ economic welfare, as well as their physical and mental health. These findings could have major implications for the design of similar programs, and of public policies that foster refugee integration and reduce persistent socio-economic and health inequalities.

This RCT will also be paired with a panel dataset, which will be among the first systematic efforts to survey a large, representative sample of refugees and follow that sample over time. This comprehensive and representative data will provide policymakers with important insights into the long-run effects of various responses to the refugee crisis, and offer credible insight to guide future policymaking.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Miguel, Edward, Sandra Rozo and Emma Smith. 2023. "The Syrian Refugee Life Study." AEA RCT Registry. August 15.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will consider a wide range of outcomes, including labor market earnings, hours worked, sector of employment, self-reported health status, consumption, migration, fertility, marriage, and respondents’ children’s health and education.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS) will evaluate the effectiveness of NRC-Jordan’s Urban Shelter

Flexible Shelter Support Program: Refugee households selected into the program receive approximately
2,200 Jordanian dinars, which cover the refugee household’s rent, usually for approximately 12 months. A
refugee household is responsible for finding its own apartment, negotiating a two-year contract with the
landlords, and deciding how to split the 2,200 dinars among renovation and rent-reduction.

There will be ~ 2,500 households who participate in the experiment. Of those, ~1,250 (50%) of the households were randomly assigned to one of the treatments and ~1,250 (50%) of the households to control. We also use a saturation design whereby households in certain randomly selected localities (neighborhoods) will have a higher probability of treatment assignment.

NRC will then implement the intervention according to the randomization assignment. The intervention lasts between 6-12 months, depending on modality and amount of assistance determined by NRC. Once randomization is complete and the intervention is being implemented, NRC will share the contact details of the selected program applicants with the survey firm. The firm will administer the survey after the intervention’s conclusion to consenting participants. Proceeding the RCT endline, which will act as the initial panel survey, a follow up survey will be conducted within two years.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
List randomization
Randomization Unit
household and locality
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
334 localities
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,500 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1,250 households treatment, 1,2500 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of California, Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
King Hussein Cancer Center
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

S-RLS Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 68397c7172608e545617ca86a9f7603e

SHA1: 3c76d5957d965283cae841415be6e7a2b1ac701f

Uploaded At: August 17, 2020

S-RLS PAP Amendment 2

MD5: 2000cd535a5c34c03b47bd90ff47b941

SHA1: 5ba8d5f7613a4e2e28efbf4186bd4fe47565f029

Uploaded At: April 10, 2023

S-RLS Data Management Plan (in lieu of PAP)

MD5: 8bd23d350dadb03693dbe81b97c9a918

SHA1: fe57a20ac876857c2d0d60bcac54ff6fcb4edea4

Uploaded At: July 10, 2020

S-RLS PAP Amendment 1

MD5: f1b81584662a1cc3bb09ea37caca87d5

SHA1: 6e8a899a3339f1cb1498db3288c30997a88e181e

Uploaded At: November 29, 2022


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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials