Evidence from an Evaluation of Humanitarian Development Cooperation
The project in brief
The project was implemented by UNHCR Evaluation Office. It began in 2018 and ended in 2023.
It is a video summarising the results of an Evaluation of UNHCR’s Engagement in Humanitarian Development Cooperation +1 Year Follow-Up Report
The project aims to support UNHCR in deepening its engagement with development partners by tracking how UNHCR has followed up on the evaluation’s recommendations in 2022, presenting new evidence on lessons learned, good practices, and the effects of the use of nexus approaches on refugees.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Five years ago, the UNHCR Evaluation Office commissioned a longitudinal evaluation of UNHCR’s engagement in humanitarian-development cooperation, spanning the period from 2018 to 2021. The evaluation was intended to support UNHCR in an institutional change process that put more emphasis on supporting the inclusion and self-reliance of refugees and on cooperating with development actors in this endeavour. The evaluation generated various analysis to encourage reflection and support learning.
Following on from the original evaluation the Evaluation Office commissioned an extension of the evaluation to track how UNHCR had followed up on the evaluation’s recommendations in 2022 and to present new evidence on lessons learned, good practices, and the effects of humanitarian-development cooperation on refugees.
Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice
The evaluation highlights the important steps UNHCR is taking to engage with development partners as well as the importance of an development actors and donors willingness to contribute to inclusion in forced displacement settings. The evidence shows that engaging with host governments, refugees and development partners on inclusion based approaches has significant positive effects on key protection outcomes for refugees.
Results of the Good Practice
In Jordan, the original evaluation had already demonstrated that enabling Syrian refugees to get work permits had significant positive effects – not only their protection situation. Households with work permits were significantly less likely to have specific legal or physical protection needs. Holding a work permit also significantly decreased the prospects of having to accept risky, degrading, exploitative or illegal jobs to meet basic needs as well as of having to send children to work. New data collected after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate that these effects remain robust in the event of a profound external shock like the pandemic.
In Kenya, data collected from various groups of refugees demonstrate that it is not the camp or settlement type as such that determines how self reliant refugees are. Rather, the strongest drivers of refugee self-reliance in this context are access to services (especially to electricity, credit, and communication). Such enabling factors also have a positive effect on the refugees’ sense of well-being, as does the quantity of aid they receive. The quantitative analysis also shows that gender matters. Living in a female-headed household has a significant negative effect on economic self-reliance and particularly on the chances of being employed.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
This evaluation demonstrates how UNHCR, development actors and States can enhance refugee self reliance through deepened cooperation, and demonstrates the effects policy shifts can have on refugee self-reliance