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Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi

2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.7. Labour market analysis to determine types of education/training provided 

Recommendation: 4) Enable sub-grantee partners (local NGOs, local authorities etc.) to participate in conducting these market analyses themselves. This can even encourage new contacts between partners and stakeholders that may potentially lead to economic opportunities.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A., 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Livelihoods Programs for Refugees in Ethiopia, Final evaluation, Social Impact Inc., Washington, DC, projects: 1) International Rescue Committee (IRC) Livelihoods project; 2) Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) Livelihoods project; 3) Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Livelihoods project in Ethiopia.

Evidence sample: the evaluation noted that projects should conduct thorough market analyses and prepare feasibility plans for all proposals that include vocational skills training with the objectives of employment and income generation. Proposals should include a clear and detailed explanation of the support graduates will receive to both secure and maintain employment. IPs that are not technically positioned to undertake a rigorous market analysis should sub- contract a team or another firm to assist with this key step of the program design phase.

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2.3 DIRECT ACTIONS IN COMMUNITIES

2.3.7. Labour market analysis to determine types of education/training provided 

Recommendation: 8) Consider limiting the variety of vocational skills training provided in the context of support for refugees. Projects should particularly limit those that do not have a clear local market. Instead they should focus on small business creation and skill development that can actually support refugees with small, odd jobs, such as food preparation, and which do not require such a substantial investment in equipment and resources.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A., 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Livelihoods Programs for Refugees in Ethiopia, Final evaluation, Social Impact Inc., Washington, DC, projects: 1) International Rescue Committee (IRC) Livelihoods project; 2) Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) Livelihoods project; 3) Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Livelihoods project in Ethiopia.

Evidence sample: in the context of refugees, the evaluation concluded, projects should consider limiting the variety of vocational skill trainings they provide, particularly those that do not have a clear local market. Instead they  should focus on small business creation and skill development that can actually support refugees with small, odd jobs, such as food preparation, and which do not require such a substantial investment in equipment and resources.

Project should explore income-generating activities that are more dynamic than the standard tailoring, wood-working, and hairdressing skill training programs that are repeatedly implemented in camps. Such ideas might include developing high-value, globally-marketable products with natural, local ingredients that are readily available in Ethiopia, such as honey. Given the current awareness of the plight of the honey bee, products helping to preserve the bee while supporting local honey production could be quite valuable on the international market, or even among high-end shoppers in regional capitols like Addis, Cairo, and Nairobi. Other products that are more basic, but are in high demand on a national level could be produced in the camps and marketed in regional capitols. In speaking with ARRA officials about these ideas, the team found that ideas such as these would be within the legal right of refugees to pursue.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.1 Social dialogue and IE

Recommendation: 12) In programs with refugees, involve refugees and the host population well in advance of designing livelihoods programs with people dependent on the IE.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: the evaluation noted that, as advocated by UNHCR, contextual understanding will be much improved through consultation with refugees and the host population, and should happen well in advance of the design of livelihoods programs.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.3. Social protection

Recommendation: 15) Ensure that there is clarity with regard to conditions under which cash or food is provided in projects that include livelihoods (IE) support in emergency situations. That is, ensure that the conditionality criteria and extent to which they are being met are clear to all stakeholders.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: the meta evaluation notes that UNHCR recommends: “Cash/food / rental assistance provided by UNHCR and partners should be short-term and conditional and gradually lead to self-reliance activities as part of longer-term development.” However, making assistance conditional, i.e. where assistance is contingent on certain criteria being met (e.g. graduation from a loan program), and what these conditions should be, is controversial and difficult to implement. There is lack of guidance about what is meant by UNHCR in this sentence, and how to implement conditionality. What conditions should be attached to assistance?

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.10. Strengthening IE with attention to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons

Recommendation: 1) Implement good practices that are well established in all programming and which should also be used in livelihoods programming with refugees dependent on the IE. These include:

  • Regular consultation and interaction with refugees and local communities in program design. This should include the participation of refugees in assessing livelihood challenges and needs and analysing internal and external factors influencing livelihoods.
  • Liaise closely and organise coordination with relevant ministries and other national and local authorities, partner agencies and other stakeholders aiming at joint advocacy and programme planning to integrate livelihood services for refugees into the public system
  • Through advocacy activities, promote the productive and creative potential of refugees, their skills and talents
  • Regular monitoring and impact evaluation
  • Testing and pilots of programs, especially those that are designed in headquarters and imported into field settings.
  • Adapting and customising for all such programs to be fully specific to the situation settings and should be piloted and revised before full funding is allocated.
  • Providing clear explanations of the length of the program, related benchmarks, and the planned exit strategy.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: the evaluation noted that good practices that are well established in all programming should always be used in livelihoods programming with refugees as well. These include:

Regular consultation and interaction with refugees in program design

Regular monitoring and impact evaluation

Testing and pilots of programs, especially those that are designed in headquarters and imported into field settings.

Adapting and customising for all such programs to be fully  specific to the situation settings and should be piloted and revised before full funding is allocated.

Providing clear explanations of the length of the program, related benchmarks, and the planned exit strategy.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.10. Strengthening IE with attention to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons

Recommendation: 

2) Include in a contextual assessment in refugee camps prior to design of development actions the following information:

  • How are camps used?
  • What was done before in this context?
  • What will/will not work based on past experience?
  • Note specifically:
  • What kinds of economic capacity building activities are already in place (or were tried before);
  • How both the refugees and the local host population view new or proposed livelihoods programs with refugees who are dependent on the IE;
  • Whether the wider market context is appropriate and conducive to the promotion of refugee livelihoods;
  • Whether the host government policy context is appropriate and conducive to the promotion of refugee livelihoods.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample

The evaluation noted that a contextual assessment in a refugee camp situation should include the following information:

How are camps used?

What was done before in this context?

What will/will not work based on past experience?

Note specifically:

What kinds of economic capacity building activities are already in place (or were tried before);

How both the refugees and the local host population view new or proposed livelihoods programs;

Whether the wider market context is appropriate and conducive to the promotion of refugee livelihoods;

Whether the host government policy context is appropriate and conducive to the promotion of refugee livelihoods.

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.10. Strengthening IE with attention to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons

Recommendation: 8) When analysing livelihoods support options with refugees dependent on IE settings, determine the most appropriate option for camp settings by considering a range of aspects:

  • Cash for work (CFW) or cash transfers are more effective and easier to implement than other common livelihoods activities such as vocational training
  • If the goal is to promote small business enterprise, a mentoring program or partnership creation might be more useful (and take fewer resources) than a training.
  • Exploring alternatives as part of a broader contextual assessment should occur before designing the program, that takes place prior to the design of refugee livelihoods programs (whether in or outside of camps).

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: Depending on the goals of the program, some livelihoods activities might not be appropriate or the best option for camp settings. If the goal is simply to improve household income, it might be that programs such as cash for work (CFW) or cash transfers are more effective and easier to implement than other common livelihoods activities such as vocational training. If the goal is to promote small business enterprise, a mentoring program or partnership creation might be more useful (and take fewer resources) than a training. Exploring alternatives as part of a broader contextual assessment should occur before designing the program, and as part of a larger package of assessments that take place prior to the design of refugee livelihoods programs (whether in or outside of camps).

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2.4 APPROACHES TO ENHANCE LIVELIHOODS, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

2.4.10. Strengthening IE with attention to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons

Recommendation: 16) When designing livelihoods projects with refugees dependent on the IE, take into account the potential of livelihoods strategies developed in asylum settings to be transferable on repatriation.

Reference: Holzaepfel, Erica A.; Jacobsen, Karen, 2015, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOS/PRM Livelihoods Programs in Ethiopia and Burundi, Meta-analysis of evaluations, Social Impact Inc, Washington DC.

Evidence sample: The evaluation noted several important points to consider regarding livelihoods support with refugees. The argument is frequently made that refugees who can build and protect their livelihoods assets in asylum countries (and thus become more self- reliant) are more able and likely to return to their home countries when it is safe to do so. This belief is widely held but the evidence base is rather weak. The few studies of the sustainability of repatriation suggest that returnee livelihoods are difficult to rebuild because livelihood strategies developed in the asylum setting are not easily transferable. While increased economic capacity could increase 1) the likelihood and 2) the sustainability of return, there is little hard evidence that this is the case, and the argument could equally be made that self- reliant refugees are more likely to stay in their host environments.

 

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    Alessio Lupi
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    25 June 2018

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