Support Programme to Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU)

Good Practices

Support Programme to Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU)

A woman is sewing a garment

The project in brief

The project is implemented by Enabel and the European Commission, Directorate General for International Partnerships in Uganda. It began in July 2016 and is ongoing until November 2024. 

The SPRS-NU project, supported under the EU Trust Fund for Africa, targets 4,400 youths and women in north-western Uganda (Adjumani, Arua, Yumbe, and Kiryandongo Districts).

The project provides ‘instant’ courses based on identified skills gaps. It also supports short-and medium-term training by developing new and upgrading existing “Business, Technical Vocational Education and Training” (BTVET) courses and providing scholarships and grants to BTVET training institutions. This is followed by entrepreneurial skills coaching and start-up kits to beneficiaries in order to support the creation of employable skills and competencies relevant for the national transformational labour market.

This project aims to enhance livelihoods and labour market-relevant skills for refugee and host communities in northern Uganda, through vocational training and entrepreneurship support.

This has been the first project to implement the Skilling Uganda Strategy in refugee-hosting districts. The project’s assessments show that it has been successful in enhancing labour market-relevant skills and livelihoods for youth and women in refugee hosting areas.

Main activities of the Good Practice

Private sector involvement in skills training: The implementing agency Enabel systematically engage BTVET training institutions and private sector employers in the provision of training, apprenticeships and business coaching to the beneficiaries.

Action is informed by relevant studies: The trainings offered by the project are informed by labour market assessments and stakeholder mappings conducted in the target areas, which contributed to the positive results reported.

Mutually reinforcing interventions: BTVET graduates are either linked to the private sector for apprenticeships after the training or are provided with start-up kits to ensure that they apply the learnt skills to generate income. 79% of the graduates who received start up kits from the project after training have found employment or are engaged in IGAs (a higher percentage than for those who did not).

Partners involved

  • Enabel

  • Other partners include: Edukans Education services, Windle International Uganda, World Vision International, Welthungerhilfe, AVSI, and Palm Corps.

What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?


Access: Although instant trainings are offered within the refugee settlements, TVET institutions offering regular trainings are not easily accessible due to their distance from the settlements.

How they were overcome

The project’s evaluation in 2020 recommended that, in the future, some of these institutions could be established within and around the settlements to increase beneficiary access.

Results of the Good Practice

  • The proportion of regular Business, Technical Vocational Education and Training's trainees supported by the project who were in wage employment or self-employed increased by 28% (65% after the training up from 37% prior to the training).
  • Of those in wage or self-employment after graduation, 78% reported that their income improved as a result of the trainings.
  • For ‘instant’ trainees, 56% of them established new or improved their existing IGAs after the trainings.
  • 68% of the female beneficiaries of the project’s regular BTVET trainings were engaged in employment or IGAs after the trainings (a higher percentage than for men).
  • According to surveys conducted by the project, 90% of the respondents said that the trainings supported by the project were relevant to the local skills and labour market needs, and likely to improve beneficiaries’ employment prospects.
  • In addition, 86% of the private sector employers in the project’s implementation areas were satisfied with the quality and relevance of the trainings provided by the project (against a target of 60%).

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

The programme meets the second objective of the GCR ‘to enhance refugee self-reliance’ by supporting measures to foster self-reliance by pledging to expand opportunities for refugees to access, as appropriate, education, and labour markets. It contributes to building human capital, self-reliance and transferable skills to refugees.

Next steps

Enabel will implement the EU-funded €24.9M Green and Decent Jobs for Youth programme in eastern Uganda, Kampala and northern Uganda, continuing some activities implemented by SPRS-NU Enabel. Refugees and their host communities will be targeted, among others.

Submitted by

Anna ROPERS BERGEOT, Team Leader Forced displacement, DG INTPA G6 unit Migration and Forced displacement, European Commission