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Humanitarian Assistance

Project Name: Refugees Act and Communicate for Health (REACH): Using Technology to Increase Health Literacy and Health Care Access for Refugees in Turkey
Project Description: Turkey has the highest number of refugees in the world, with 3.6 million Syrian nationals due to the protracted Syrian crisis. In Turkey, health care services in the public sector are freely available for registered refugees. However, there are numerous obstacles that decrease refugees’ access to and utilization of available services, such as geographic accessibility, languages barrier and financial capability, etc., To address above mentioned issues, the project aims to assist refugee youth, local youth, health authorities, non-governmental organizations and academia in Turkey to increase awareness, willingness and collaboration to improve refugees’ health literacy and health care access via mHealth technology.
Overall, the project components include:

1. Photography exhibitions, panels, media news and policy reports are produced to advocate for refugee health rights and to promote communication among refugee youth, local youth and different stakeholders in Turkey, and as a project website in English, Turkish and Arabic is developed to increase awareness on using health technologies in humanitarian settings.
2. An mHealth application prototype is developed in Arabic and Turkish to increase access to health information and health services among young refugees and local youth in Turkey.
3. International scientific publications on using community based participatory approach and mHealth to promote refugee health are submitted for publication.


Implementation Start Date: 2019/8/1
Implementation End Date: 2020/7/31
Source of Funding: TaiwanICDF
Project Objectives: Refugee youth, local youth, health authorities, non-governmental organizations and academia in Turkey have increased awareness, willingness and collaboration to improve refugees’ health literacy and health care access via mHealth technology.
Executing Agency: Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), Columbia University
Implementation Arrangement: The TaiwanICDF dispatches a volunteer to assist in the implementation of the project; CSD implements the proposed activities and liaised with local NGOs and government offices.
Current Progress: To the end of January 2020, the following activities have been completed:
1.Relevant documents to apply for conducting the household survey with young refugees and the qualitative interviews with the service providers and policy makers who work in public institutions were submitted to the Governorship of Istanbul.
2.A field training for quantitative and qualitative data collectors was conducted.
3.Four groups of young people aged 15 to 24 were formed in order to take part in the photovoice study to share and discuss what they have been through in terms of healthcare accessibility and the difficulty that their communities are facing.
4.Preparation for the photo exhibit in March was underway.
Project Coordinator Name: Yu-Chien Chang
Project Coordinator Phone: (02)2873-2323 #314
Project Coordinator E-mail: yu.c.chang@icdf.org.tw
Sector: Humanitarian Aid
Sector Item: Humanitarian Aid (Excluding Reconstruction Relief and Rehabilitation)
Cooperating Country: Middle East, Turkey
Cooperating Organization: Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University(CSD)
Themes: Public Health, Information and Communications Technology
Project status: Projects under implementation
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  • Date:2019/8/15
  • Date Updated:2020/3/2