Scaling up sustainable energy in Jordan’s public buildings

The case for greening schools and hospitals in refugee-hosting countries
Research paper Updated 17 July 2023 Published 5 April 2023 ISBN: 978 1 78413 533 1 DOI: 10.55317/9781784135331
A solar panel installation on a school in Jordan, 13 October 2016.

Public buildings in refugee-hosting countries are on the front line in managing human displacement crises. With the majority of refugees ending up in urban settings, public facilities such as schools and hospitals are under severe pressure. Retrofitting these buildings with sustainable upgrades can boost the ability of states to achieve welfare targets.

Jordan has received an estimated 1.3 million people from Syria since 2012, and the country hosts several other refugee communities. The resulting rapid population growth has had a significant impact on fuel and energy use. Sustainable energy and other green building upgrades offer a way to accommodate the needs of both refugees and the local population. However, there are a number of challenges ahead, such as poor collaboration between ministries and agencies; inadequate incentives and provision for maintenance; and a lack of transparency.