Evaluation of the Harim Network in Northwest Syria


Northwest Syria is a complex and extremely fragile operating environment with more than 4 million residents, of whom an estimated 2.8 million need humanitarian assistance. To support a common standard of care delivery and enable coordination among the multiple providers in the region, the World Health Organization (WHO) Gaziantep office developed an Essential Health Services Package (EHSP) in 2016-17 and subsequently supported a facility network model to deliver the EHSP.


The Harim Integrated Services Network aims to integrate the operations of health facilities and ensure the coordinated and comprehensive delivery of care services in the city, with a specific focus on referrals. It has an ultimate aim of increasing access to health services for displaced and host populations in the region and ensuring efficient service delivery.


This research study evaluated the network (over its first six phases of operation, 2017-21). The specific objectives were:

• To identify how the Integrated Health Service Delivery Network in Northwest Syria has evolved.
• To identify opportunities for strengthening the network’s integration and effectiveness, with particular focus on tracer conditions/ services (ANC and NCD).


Professor Sophie Witter said of the study:


‘In a world in which crises have been proliferating and becoming more protracted, the question of how to provide accessible and appropriate health care in conflict-affected settings, working with different actors, could not be more urgent. In this article we present and assess one such model, based on a standardised package of care and support to a networked set of NGO-run facilities in North West Syria. It adds to a very scare literature on this pressing topic and provides important insights into resilience in these settings’.




About the research team

This study was a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO) Gaziantep Field Office [opens new tab] and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh with support from ReBUILD for Resilience and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO HQ [opens new tab].


Image: Adobe Stock [opens new tab]


"ReBUILD for Resilience brings together partners to share experiences, to discuss our contexts, and to create an appropriate model that helps build resilience in health systems across the country and beyond"

Sushil Baral, HERD International