The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. In recent years, forced displacement has increased in scale and complexity. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2019 there were over 79.5 million forcibly displaced persons, of whom 30.2 million were refugees and asylum-seekers. Eighty-four percent of the world’s displaced are in developing countries and more than half are women. As displacement has become increasingly protracted, responses are focusing more on durable solutions backed by more dignified, inclusive and comprehensive programmes for refugees and the communities that host them. The aim is to enhance self-reliance, facilitate empowerment and strengthen social cohesion.
These responses need to be rapidly consolidated through significant international support built on a foundation of robust and effective partnerships that maximize synergies and leverage comparative advantages. With this in mind, a new Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS) has been formed.
The Partnership is spearheaded by the Government of the Netherlands and brings together the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank. PROSPECTS is targeting forced displacement situations in eight countries in East and North Africa and the Arab States: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan and Uganda.
The Partnership is the concrete expression of the consensus that has emerged around the need for displaced persons and host communities to enjoy enhanced economic opportunities and for children on the move to have effective and inclusive access to protection and education (New York Declaration, 2016). Benefiting from a four-year time horizon (2019–2023) and financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Partners, together with national and local institutions, will join efforts to develop a new paradigm in responding to forced displacement crises, particularly through the involvement of development actors. The Partnership hopes to transform the way governments and other stakeholders, including the social partners and the private sector, respond to forced displacement crises, by:
fostering an enabling environment for socio-economic inclusion;
improving access to education and protection for vulnerable children on the move; and
strengthening the resilience of host communities.
The Partnership will also be grounded in results-based and country-led approaches. It aims to develop and implement evidence-based solutions, tailored to each context, as well as to test and learn from innovative operational solutions. The Partnership focuses on three critical areas of intervention that enable forcibly displaced persons to overcome their specific vulnerabilities and host communities to pursue their own development efforts in transformed environments. These are: education and learning; employment with dignity; and protection and inclusion.
In this partnership, ILO brings significant expertise and experience in supporting enabling environments to underpin inclusive socio-economic growth and decent work, strengthen labour markets and promote access to improved working conditions and fundamental rights at work, including through the involvement of its tripartite national constituents. The ILO stimulates labour market demand and immediate job creation through employment-intensive investment, local economic and business development and promotion of specific value chains and market systems. It provides targeted support to labour market institutions, services and compliance and monitoring mechanisms that facilitate the integration of refugees into the labour market in accordance with its strong normative foundation of international labour standards. The ILO brings also expertise on technical and vocational education and training and on the recognition of prior learning for certifying the skills of refugees to better ensure access to the labour market, and methods for assessing labour market demand to provide the right skills to refugees needed by employers.
To ensure coherent and mutually reinforcing action, the ILO connects its work under each of the threepillars through cross-cutting interventions implemented in close coordination, collaboration and complementarity with the other Partners.
Sudan has a long history of hosting refugees and asylum seekers, with over 1.1 million individuals (including 78% women and children)estimated to be living (as of 30 November 2019) with the large majority originating from South Sudan. Refugees in Sudan are living in camps (about 30%), with the remaining 70% residing in rural out-of-camp settlements and urban areas in a more integrated manner with host communities. Many out-of-camp settlements are in remote and underdeveloped areas, where resources, infrastructure and basic services are extremely limited, as in the targeted areas in East Darfur and West Kordofan.
While the political context in Sudan witnessed a historical shift in 2019, the humanitarian and economic context has been subject to a continuous decline. Owing to decades of economic sanctions and violent conflicts, especially in the Darfur states, Kordofan states and Blue Nile state, support from financial institutions and development funding is limited. There are key challenges undermining access to quality and relevant education and skills development, socio-economic opportunities, protection and social inclusion of forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) and vulnerable host community (HC) members:
a significant need to improve the quality and infrastructure of basic and secondary education, including vocational training;
a lack of the most basic infrastructure and intermediaries on the labour market that could facilitate transition into employment with dignity and enforce fundamental rights at work;
an underfunded response and a limited capacity to respond to the protracted needs of millions of FDPs experiencing incidences of discrimination, abuse, exploitation and child labour, violence and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
Against this backdrop, the PROSPECTS Partnership in Sudan aims to enhance the enabling environment for the socio-economic inclusion of FDPs, to enhance access to education, training and protection for host, displaced children and young people, and to strengthen the resilience of HCs through inclusive socio-economic development that also benefits FDPsin the targeted states of East Darfur and West Kordofan.
Within this Partnership, the ILO will work collaboratively with UNICEF, UNHCR to enhance the provision of quality education and training programmes aiming to promote the acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge for school, life and the transition to decent work among forcibly displaced and host community children, adolescents and adults, with a special focus on women and girls, and efforts to include persons with disabilities. Jointly with IFC, strategies to promote the organization and formalization of economic activities, value chain development and public and private investment, to expand access to finance and business development services, as well as decent working conditions, will be pursuedin the targeted intervention areas. Finally, UNHCR, UNICEF, and ILO will collaborate to increase access or coverage of overall protection and inclusion for FDPs and HCs, while implementing specific strategies to address and respond to the specific needs of women and girls, youth and adolescents, and persons with disabilities.
The consultancy entitled, “The National Policy, Legislative and Regulatory Frameworks and Practice Review”, aims to establish baseline situations in four countries in East Africa-Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan-in the area of relevant policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks and current practice in terms of implementation in relation to the access of refugees to the labour markets, employment, livelihood and training opportunities, including self-employment and business development. This will provide ILO PROSPECTS programme teams a clear understanding of the current status (or not) of these frameworks and how they are being applied (or not).
Before the Partnership can begin planning its interventions around policy advocacy and supporting government and other efforts to develop or reform relevant frameworks on access to education and training, active labour market programmes, the right to work and rights at work, including social security and protection and freedom of association, an understanding of the current political, legal, and regulatory environment in regards to those with refugee status is required for each of the targeted countries.
Importantly, it will also provide a comparison on national policies and legislation against what actually happens in practice thereby revealing the capacities and abilities of government ministries, institutions, social partners and non-government actors to enact and implement and inform further capacity-building interventions.
The consultant/service provider, in close collaboration with and under the technical supervision of IMPACT Initiatives, an NGO with expertise in designing and conducting research for actors in the humanitarian and development sector, will be required to:
Identify relevant policies, legislation and regulations and analyse them in regards to the refugees’ access to employment, livelihood, and training opportunities, and to rights at work.
Identify and review literature and secondary data sources on policy, legislation and regulations, and assess their actual implementation on the ground, thereby avoiding duplication of existing legal reviews and studies and leveraging these sources where relevant.
Conduct a Gap Analysis against the assessment framework that highlights implementation gaps, and needs and expectations.
Conduct key informant interviews of identified national and international actors to assess the practical application of policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks and identify challenges that will need to be addressed.
Conduct KI interviews with refugees and host communities, and also focus group discussions, to better assess knowledge and understanding of these policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks.
Conduct validation exercises in Sudan to ensure the establishment of key recommendations going forward in terms of identifying gaps and challenges that can be addressed through the PROSPECTS and related programmes, including policy advocacy and supporting either policy, legislation and regulatory development and/or reform as appropriate.
Develop the Sudan report that summarizes the main findings and possible recommendations for the PROSPECTS programme at the country level.
The consultant/service provider will be expected to conduct these activities only for Sudan, however, it is important to note the research and subsequent report will be expected to follow a predetermined assessment framework that will allow for their findings to be comparable against other countries identified for this study. The findings from all countries will be eventually aggregated into a global-level analysis report. Further details are outlined in the methodology section below.
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