Evaluation of Market Systems Development Interventions for Refugee and Host Communities in Jijiga, Ethiopia
The one-year BMZ-funded project to promote livelihoods of forcibly displaced persons and host communities focused on improving livelihoods in the livestock sector in the Somali Region of Ethiopia using the Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS) developed jointly by ILO and UNHCR. Project interventions focused on improving the access of refugee and host community livestock herders to market information, regional trader networks, and a newly opened local slaughter house as well as on improving entrepreneurial and business skills through the Start and Improve Your Business Entrepreneurship (SIYB) Training Program. Increasing fragility in the Somali region due to ethnic conflict and political turmoil resulted in a challenging operating environment and pivoting of the interventions.
The evaluation finds that the interventions contributed to improving linkages between refugee and host community livestock herders and regional traders, thus enhancing access to better economic opportunity. Furthermore, within two weeks of introducing the SIYB entrepreneurship training program, 60 refugee and host community entrepreneurs had already benefited from the training, with an estimated 600 expected to be trained by end 2019. The evaluation distils three lessons learned for the implementation of market-based refugee and host community livelihoods interventions in fragile forced displacement settings, namely recognizing and working with markets distorted by aid, the importance of enabling a high degree of flexibility during implementation, and working through host communities to improve refugee livelihoods.