World Bank – Subnational Doing Business in Afghanistan Study
Doing Business in Afghanistan 2017 is the first report of the subnational Doing Business series in Afghanistan. It measures business regulations and their enforcement in 5 provinces. The provinces are compared against each other, and with 189 other economies worldwide.
OCHA – February Humanitarian Bulletin
Conflict, disasters, and other humanitarian emergencies have broad reaching consequences, but often lost in emergency responses are the psychosocial impacts of these events. Yet such crises can have a detrimental effect on psychosocial wellness, as demonstrated by Samuel Hall research with urban youth in Kabul. 71 per cent of youth interviewed by Samuel Hall had experienced a traumatic event, with many reporting symptoms associated with trauma. Our data shows that the mental health of these youth should absolutely be considered a priority – the time for action is now.
Overseas Development Institute – Journeys on hold
Around 5,000 Eritreans leave their country every month. They go for a range of reasons, including compulsory National Service, political persecution, and a restricted economy that offers few opportunities.
Many travel directly to neighbouring Ethiopia, where there is an open-asylum policy for refugees, including an extensive camp-based system of protection, and a variety of interventions designed to both support people’s livelihoods and deter irregular secondary migration. But despite this humanitarian and development assistance, for many people, their journey doesn’t end in Ethiopia.
Samuel Hall supported ODI in the development of this working paper that sets out to better understand whether, by providing alternative options, it is possible for policy-makers to prevent or reduce irregular migration from countries- and regions-of-origin. It looks at two measures in particular: in-country livelihood support, such as vocational trainings and loans, and refugee resettlement programming. Findings draw on qualitative interviews with Eritreans in both the northern province of Tigray as well as the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The paper finds that Ethiopia is a vital country of asylum, offering the prospect of freedom and security. However, despite better prospects relative to Eritrea, many people continue to find it difficult to pursue decent, fulfilling and relevant livelihoods.
Evidence shows that in-country livelihood support is helping people get by and meet basic survival needs. But potential impacts are being undermined by the fact that refugees living in Ethiopia are denied the right to work.
Alongside this, refugee resettlement has the effect of slowing down irregular migration, particularly as it provides people with an opportunity to move onwards safely and legally. However, this effect appears to weaken over time as people’s trust in the formal system declines, resulting in a gradual deflection into irregularity.
In addition, readers can access a scrolling webpage, featuring additional stories, photographs, infographics and a short documentary.
HelpAge – Older People In Situations of Migration In Africa: The Untold Migration Story
Older people in Africa are involved in all aspects of the migration chain: they are voluntary or forced migrants themselves, they shape the migration experience of others by funding youth migration and being involved in the decision-making process, they also benefit from remittances. Yet, they remain invisible in migration policy, as well as aid and development planning. This briefing for HelpAge tells the untold story of older people in the migration ecosystem in Africa. It highlights the importance of including older people in migration policies and practice – whether they are left behind, on the move, or returning to their country of origin. It identifies the key challenges facing this generation, explores policy options and calls for more thorough research to improve understanding of the capabilities and needs of older people in situations of migration in Africa.
Dubai Cares – Strengthening Early Childhood Education Programme Evaluation
The overall goal of this research was to conduct an evaluation of the programme considering its effects after conclusion using the OECD-DAC criteria (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability) to inform Dubai Cares’ design, development and investment in potential future programme iterations, or similar programming in the Afghan context. The research team conducted 1225 surveys with parents and children as well as 20 key informant interviews and 40 focus group discussions including also teachers and other community stakeholders, in order to gather statistically significant results and draw out the details of learning environments and behaviours. The results of this research underline a largely successful programme with strong community involvement. Positive impacts on students, parents and children can clearly be measured. The relevance of the programme is undeniable. Nevertheless, some clear opportunities to inform future programming are also highlighted, particularly in strengthening the impressive community-driven sustainability initiatives.
UNICEF – Evaluation of the Youth Education Pack Programme in Somalia
Based on the requirements of Global Outcome 5, an evaluation of the UNICEF YEP programme has been commissioned by UNICEF to understand lessons that can be learnt from providing informal education in Somalia, both in the terms of delivering relevant skills that can improve the lives of beneficiaries, and the impact a tailored curriculum can have on peace building in Somalia when drivers of conflict are taken into account. The central question of this evaluation is therefore: ‘Has the implementation of YEP in Somalia had an impact on conflict drivers among marginalised youth by reducing reliance on negative coping and strategies and improving access to sustainable livelihoods?’
ILO – Scoping Study on Public-Private Dvp. Partnerships in the Renewable Energy Sector
This Scoping Study for a Renewable Energy Skills Development PPDP Facility seeks to understand how a PPDP (Public Private Development Partnership) training initiative can successfully bridge the renewable energy skills gap in the Somali power sector while ensuring a sustainable impact on the local population.
MERCY CORPS – EVALUATION OF THE SOMALI YOUTH LEADERS INITIATIVE
Understanding what works to reduce violence, including violent extremism, is a key priority for many policymakers. Despite this need, to date there is very little research evaluating the effects of development programs on violence reduction. To address this knowledge gap, Mercy Corps undertook a rigorous impact evaluation of a 5-year stability-focused youth program in Somalia known as the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI).
This report was written by Beza Tesfaye, Mercy Corps Conflict and Governance Research Manager. Samuel Hall was in charge of all data collection, field reports and preliminary analysis.
NRC – Access to Tazkera and other civil documentation in Afghanistan
The purpose of this research is to inform future work in supporting displacement-affected persons to access civil documentation as well as accessing other rights and services connected to it. This will in turn contribute to enabling persons affected by displacement to achieve durable solutions – whether local integration, return or settlement in another part of Afghanistan.
IHDG/SDC – Adkaysi! Joint analysis of donor engagements related to Resilience in Somalia
Resilience programming in Somalia is not ineffective, but its results are still merely accumulative, and it has the opportunity to increase its capacity to a great extent. This assessment makes clear that donors are the key agents of change, emphasizing the critical nature of coordination and long-term over short-term priorities. This report provides insight into local community perspectives on resilience and will help inform discussions on the complex nature of resilience initiatives within Somalia.
DRC/UDI – Returns to Somalia: Setting Protection and Livelihood Standards
Returns to (post-)conflict and fragile settings, from Afghanistan to Somalia, are increasing. The literature is clear on the return challenges to such contexts, and the diverse array of expectations of (re-)integration that differ depending on age, gender, timing and duration of exile, and conditions in exile. What this report measures is therefore not the impact of a program, as the overall context includes this complex backdrop of hopes and dreams, caught by reality and ultimately, by unplanned outcomes. Assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes are a compromise that returnees turn to, and agree to, when other recourses have not been successful. This is where this programme intervenes: assisting returns when returns become, by circumstances, the most realistic option for migrants, and one that should be handled with sufficient care, protection and dignity for those who return. There are responsibilities to be upheld, by states and by organisations mandated to assist returns.
NRC – Thinking forward about Livelihoods for Refugees in Ethiopia
This study was commissioned by NRC Ethiopia to document lessons learned as well as to provide a strategic framework to inform NRC’s positioning on integrated programming. It examines the role of NRC in the provision of refugee livelihoods and education. The objectives were to: (a) identify key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to bring together programming opportunities in relation to education, livelihoods, resilience and migration and (b) build a strategic framework, utilising Samuel Hall’s expertise in implementation research, for NRC to position itself in terms of scalable programs on refugee livelihoods, taking into consideration donor interests/strategies and potential programme synergies. A participatory research framework was designed, employing qualitative research methods in Addis, Shire and Dollo Ado. Focus group discussions (9 FGDs with 63 respondents), key informant interviews (30) and in-depth case studies (5) were gathered in a manner to reflect the voices of people engaged at different levels and in different phases of NRC’s implementation.
DRC/ReDSS – Durable Solutions Review in East Africa
By reviewing existing initiatives, frameworks and commitments in the search of durable solutions in the region, this study conducted by Samuel Hall looks at good practices, challenges and opportunities. The objective is to have a better understanding of the current landscape in order to improve coordination and to inform a learning and capacity development agenda across stakeholders.
DRC/AAH/UNHCR – KAKUMA MARKET ASSESSMENT
This report provides an evidence-based strategy for increasing employment opportunities and skills development for protracted and recent refugees in Kakuma refugee camp. By focusing on economic integration and capacity development, it directly contributes to the durable and transitional solutions agenda.
Urban Displaced Youth in Kabul – Part 1: Mental Health Matters
Largely ignored for over 10 years, the role of Afghanistan’s youth in transition has been increasingly in the spotlight since 2013, the year of the National Youth Policy. Much more needs to be done to bring change for youth as 60% of Afghanistan’s population is under the age of 24. Taking the case of Kabul’s urban displaced youth, this study shows just how. This is the first of a three-part series that will be released between now and August 2016, ahead of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.
IOM – Assessment of Economic Opportunities Along the Afghan-Tajik Border
IOM Tajikistan has been active in the border region between Afghan Badakhshan and Tajik GBAO through its Tajik–Afghan Border Security and Community Stabilization (BSCS) programme, whose first phase came to a close in March 2015. One key finding of its final evaluation was that an important driver of instability in the region was the lack of livelihood opportunities. Phase II will thus focus on the border’s potential as a site of economic opportunity. In October 2015, Samuel Hall was contracted by IOM Tajikistan to conduct a study on cross-border economic opportunities in the Badakhshan–GBAO region. The purpose of this assignment was to identify the needs and the economic potential in border communities on both sides, and point out initiatives with the potential to be scaled up to the benefit of local residents. The research questions addressed the potential of cross-border markets and possible synergies in cross-border labor market supply and demand. It considered existing initiatives with an eye to avoiding duplication of efforts.
NRC – Regional Workshop Report on Afghan Displaced Youth
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan gathered in November 2015 in Tehran for a regional meeting on Afghan refugee issues with a thematic focus on Afghan displaced youth. At a time when displacement in and out of Afghanistan continues to rise, when the number of Afghan asylum seekers grows steadily in Europe and debates on durable solutions for Afghan refugees remain, it is all the more necessary to take stock of the profiles of the millions of Afghan youth outside of their homeland, and those who made, with their families, the decision to return. The outcome of this workshop is concrete and operational: a set of possible key objectives and indicators that can help guide NGOs in their work with Afghan refugee youth, as well as facilitate improved donor and host government understanding of key issues. The centrality of better data was voiced by all NGOs present, a priority need in Iran and Pakistan, as well as upon return to Afghanistan, to enable tailored programming that support youth’s potential and are aligned with their aspirations.
NRC – The Impact of Cash Transfer Programmes on Protection Outcomes in Afghanistan
Although cash-based interventions (CBIs) are increasingly used to deliver humanitarian assistance in support of more traditional in-kind emergency distributions, there is now a growing, global acceptance among stakeholders of the need to pay closer attention to the positive and negative impact of CBIs on key protection components. Although there have been several key contributions on this issues in recent years, including studies conducted by Samuel Hall, more research needs to be carried out in Afghanistan on the secondary effects of CBIs on protection issues for IDPs, which are often not systematically considered during the inception phase of project designs, nor as part of wider assistance program strategies. Samuel Hall has been commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to identify the effects and impact of cash-based programming on protection outcomes in Afghanistan, particularly in relation to ‘Do No Harm’ and minimising risks in terms of protection. This builds on Protection Outcomes In Cash Based Interventions: A Literature Review produced by DRC in January 2015 and which draws a number of conclusions on the impacts of CBIs on protection issues and recommends areas of further research.
NMFA – Review of Support to ACTED in Faryab
The third phase of the Faryab Sustained Rural Development Program (FSRDP), funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), began in 2013, with the primary goal of sustaining rural development in nine districts of Faryab province. Given the current worsening security situation in Afghanistan broadly and Faryab province more specifically, this evaluation is particularly timely: the identification of the success and challenges of existing of the current project are necessary to identify a realistic roadmap for the NFMA and ACTED, as this will prove a pivotal time in identifying necessary internal and external changes. While the study showed that, broadly, ACTED’s work to date has been both relevant and, given the clear implementation challenges faced, successful, it also poses serious questions around the current programme model’s applicability and sustainability moving forward.