Consultancy Assignments: Evaluation of Regional Development and Protection Programme
The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.
Now in its sixth year, the armed conflict in Syria has resulted in a humanitarian crisis inside Syria and throughout the region. The most recent figures indicate that over 5 million Syrian refugees in neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that 654,903 refugees were registered in Jordan.
Working in coordination with the humanitarian community and the Government of Jordan, the IRC provides assistance for Syrian refugees in both camp and urban settings. The IRC’s assistance programs are focusing on providing health, protection and economic empowerment services at the urban areas in Mafraq and Irbid governorates and inside the two camps.
The Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) is a three-year initiative managed by Denmark to support Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq to better understand, plan, mitigate and, where possible, maximise the effects of Syria refugees’ forced displacement into their countries. In addition to this, it works with national and international actors to provide better protection to those displaced by the Syrian conflict and create socio-economic development opportunities for the most vulnerable. The RDPP is a platform of eight donors (EU, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK, Norway and Czech Republic) joining up humanitarian and development funds to support host countries from a long-term perspective, acknowledging the reality that refugees will be displaced for a long period of time; that the humanitarian approach, while necessary, has to be complemented with development-led strategies; and recognizing the need to support hosting communities and refugees to better face these challenges.
In response to the Syria crisis and resulting displacement, the IRC project “Supporting Economic Opportunities and Livelihoods in Jordan” works in coordination with national and international partners to provide employment and self-employment opportunities refugees and vulnerable Jordanians in Mafraq, Irbid governorates and East Amman. Building on existing capacity and the IRC’s bundled service model, this program provides employment and financial management training, as well as employment support services and micro-enterprise support. The IRC is implementing the action directly, and through support to the local partners Ruwwad for Development through a training of trainers on the IRC’s financial literacy and business management curriculum. The IRC also is signing an agreement with Microfund for Women (MFW) to refer refuges to access to credit and loans through a signed MoU. IRC is partnering with Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) for legal services, to provide beneficiaries with legal information about the right for work and business registration.
The Overall Objective of the project is that refugees and vulnerable host communities impacted by the Syrian conflict and resulting displacement crisis have improved livelihood opportunities and economic resilience. Both Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians face high unemployment with limited opportunities to build safe, sustainable income. These populations will achieve improved livelihood opportunities through the Specific Objective: Vulnerable host community members and refugees have increased access to employment and self-employment and livelihood opportunities. The following results contribute to achieving the specific objective:
Result 1: Vulnerable Syrian refugees and Jordanians are prepared for employment and supported for self- employment.
Result 2: Safe employment and self-employment opportunities are created.
Result 3: Existing and new businesses are supported to grow.
Result 1: Vulnerable Syrian refugees and Jordanians are prepared for employment and supported for self- employment. The IRC’s training courses implemented by IRC in Mafraq, Irbid and Amman governorates and by Ruwwad for Development in East of Amman provides beneficiaries the opportunity to choose one of two training tracks: to start or expand a business (home-based or other), or for developing employability skills. Women and youth who choose self-employment complete “Financial Literacy and Business Skills” trainings. Those who choose the employment track attend the employability training and have the opportunity to be placed in apprenticeships or direct job placement. Through the apprenticeship component, participants are matched with local businesses for on-the-job training, where they will build the skills, experience and relationships that will help them increase their chances of being employed. Beneficiaries interested in entrepreneurship will have access to advanced business management training, where they will acquire skills to develop achievable business plans. Given the vulnerability of the target population and their increased risk of abuse and exploitation in the workplace, all beneficiaries have access to protection services through the IRC’s community centres and awareness sessions, and additional support through referrals for legal services provided by partners NRC and ARDD. In parallel, the IRC continue to advocate and coordinate with local actors and authorities to address legal and regulatory barriers faced by Syrian refugees when trying to access employment and self-employment opportunities. In March 2017, the IRC conducted rapid market assessments and private sector mapping in Amman, Ramtha, Irbid, and Mafraq, in order to identify the local labor needs and skills gaps, and to shape program design in each location where programs are implemented in a highly contextualized way. Overall, under Result 1, beneficiaries will be better prepared for employment and self-employment through improved skills and networking, as well as improved access to legal and protection support services.
Result 2: Safe employment and self-employment opportunities are created, Syrians and vulnerable Jordanians will also have access to safe employment opportunities through. This is achieved by providing beneficiaries and potential employers with the skills, experience, networks and capital necessary to support the creation and further development of new employment and self-employment opportunities. Through partnerships with local private sector companies, the IRC is supporting beneficiaries to develop and access both paid apprenticeships and employment opportunities. For beneficiaries interested in starting their own businesses, they have an opportunity to pursue self-employment through targeted entrepreneurship support, including business mentoring and capital. Overall, under Result 2, throughout the mentoring and capital support process these new businesses will also be supported to create new job opportunities where possible.
Result 3: Existing and new businesses are supported to grow, through the IRC in partnership with Ruwwad for Development and Micro-Fund for Women (MFW) new and existing entrepreneurs are supported to access to finance and business development services needed for their growth, and to ultimately support the growing MSME market in Jordan and contribute to increased employment opportunities (further reinforcing Result 2 as well). Through these partnerships, Ruwwad is trained to provide trainings on business management and development, start-up grants, and links to financial service providers to eligible clients. In addition to capital support and business development services, Ruwwad will also provide one-on-one coaching and mentoring for entrepreneurs. Research with youth entrepreneurs in other contexts has shown that businesses are 75% more likely to succeed if the entrepreneur has guidance from a business mentor. The initial findings and beneficiary feedback from the “Financial Literacy and Business Skills” trainings pilot suggest that entrepreneurs may benefit from additional mentoring to support in tackling both business and personal challenges, and to help their start-up businesses to succeed. Through this project, the IRC started piloting the developed mentorship programming for a duration of 6 months after entrepreneurs receive their business grants in order to improve outcomes for business effectiveness and income generation in the long-term.
The Evaluation framework and Evidence Research Scope:
The IRC see this evaluation as an opportunity to gain a fuller and a deeper understanding about the effect and the broader impacts of the first comprehensive livelihood project implemented by the IRC Jordan, to assess the complementarity in achieving the desired outcomes and to verify the linkages and the used pathways of the theories of change to generate an evidence on livelihood programing.
The aim of the final evaluation for the mentioned project is to:
- Assess the achievements of the desired project outcomes and the impact to the lives of the people served by the project with a specific focus on the women and youth entrepreneurs who received business grants from IRC and it partner.
- Assess the unintended outcomes occurred as a result of the project interventions.
- Identify learning and recommendations to maximize future programming outcomes.
- Generate evidence on livelihood approach and interventions that contribute to the related theory of change.
The evaluation will cover the full project implementation period and all project’s interventions that is delivered by IRC directly and by IRC’s partner organization in all of the project’s locations to be able to answer the evaluation’s questions and to achieve its objectives.
Application to be submitted on: https://rescue.csod.com/ats/careersite/jobdetails.aspx?site=1&c=rescue&i…