Building Skills of Refugees and Host Communities in Northern Uganda
The project in brief
June 2016-September 2020
This ongoing EU-supported project skilled over 2,500 (young) people, including over 60% refugees and over 50% girls and women. 1000 more are currently being trained.
- Objective 1: The project is financially and/or technically supported by a range of humanitarian as well as development partners, thereby easing pressure on the host country.
- Objective 2: The project facilitates skills development and entrepreneurship adapted to the specific needs of refugee communities and market opportunities, thereby further easing the pressure on host communities and enhancing refugees’ self-reliance.
Main activities of the Good Practice
The objective is to strengthen youth, women and girls from the refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda to obtain the skills needed to create a job in the settlement economy or in preparation of the economy back home. This contributes to the wider objective of the EU Support Programme for Refugee Settlements in Northern Uganda, which is to ensure a peaceful co-existence between refugees and host communities, improve their livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and their level of education, skills development, and to develop medium and long-term economic opportunities– especially for youth and women.
VIDEO: Support Programme for Refugee Settlements in Northern Uganda
- European Union and BMZ (donors)
- Ministry of Education and Sports
- Office of the Prime Minister
- District governments and administrations
- International and national NGOs
VIDEO: Instant Skills Training
Challenges and how they were overcome
The majority of challenges were pre-existing and inherent to the development context of rural northern Uganda, such as high youth unemployment and the limited availability of formal jobs within an agriculture-oriented area. These were exacerbated by the influx of refugees. The vocational training provided within the area lacked relevance hindering refugees and youth in host communities to develop the skills required to sustain their lives, and find or create jobs. Women, girls and people with special needs encountered difficulties accessing vocational training, let alone market opportunities. Moreover, with most formal jobs available in cities in the centre of Uganda, limited mobility is an additional challenge in accessing jobs.
How they were overcome
- The project helped address some of those challenges through adapting skills development for refugees in Uganda to their specific context and needs. For example training formats were adapted through shortening training while increasing work-based learning and entrepreneurship training; training contents were adjusted so as to develop skills responding to local market needs and opportunities; start-up kits were provided for young entrepreneurs. The project actively promoted inclusion of vulnerable youth (including NEET and PWD) and of girls and women, e.g. for the latter childcare was provided at the training venue.
- Partnerships were essential to addressing multiple challenges in a coherent and efficient way, mutually reinforcing impact of each actor’s interventions. Skills development and entrepreneurship training for refugees in Uganda were part of a comprehensive multi-partner approach funded by the European Union aiming to support food security, nutrition and livelihoods. Partners within the EU-funded programme contributed to WASH, conflict management and education. Within the skills development project, skills and entrepreneurship training was linked to activities implemented by other partners as well active in the areas of agriculture, agri-business, tourism, construction et al.
Results of the Good Practice
Over 2,500 (young) people, including over 60% refugees and over 50% girls and women have already been equipped with relevant skills to sustain their livelihoods and/or find or create jobs and an additional 4000 are being trained, thus supporting livelihoods and access to jobs, and contributing to the beneficiaries’ self-reliance.
Additional funding has been received from the EUTF and BMZ to help equip additional numbers of beneficiaries with the skills needed to sustain their livelihoods and improve their economic integration.
Raffaella Greco Tonegutti, Migration and Development expert, Enabel
Iris Uyttersprot – Expert Education, Training & Employment, Enabel