Sustainable Reintegration and Alternatives to Irregular Migration of vulnerable Afghans

Displaced Afghans engage regularly in regional and international migration, and they do so for reasons that have to do mainly with trade, labour and security. The lack of employment and income generation opportunities leads to dissatisfaction; the lack of employment is one of the main reasons why Afghans tend to leave the country. The causes of unemployment are linked to both the overall contraction in the national economy, and to the lack of marketable skills. Youth migrating from rural to urban areas, within Afghanistan, lack skills required in urban economies; those returning from Pakistan urban areas, and who acquired skills abroad, are unable to transition such skills to the Afghan urban context; eventually, there are skilled workers who are still unable to access the labour market or to start-up businesses.

Four international NGOs - with longstanding involvement in the area of Technical and non-Vocational Education and Training (non-TVET) - Danish Refugee Council (DRC-), Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR) and Mercy Corps (MC), have joined together to form a Consortium. This joint venture, funded by European Union, is carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA), aims at addressing the lack of suitable skills and the lack of access to markets, in order to support sustainable return and reduce drivers of migration among Afghans. The Consortium intends to improve the economic and social status of potential migrants and returnees, while contributing to their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan. This goal is pursued by providing them with demand-driven training and by strengthening community resilience and social cohesion. The action focuses on providing marketable skills, but also on supporting (self) employment following the completion of the courses; the intervention targets micro-level markets in order to ensure maximum effectiveness and impact for the beneficiaries.  It will also reinforce macro-level improvements by engaging with state actors and liaising with existing national and provincial forums to maximize synergies. As a result, at least 7,200 youth and adults from displacement-affected communities and among those who are likely to migrate will be directly provided with access to post-graduation support to improve their income generation potential, including small grants to set up businesses and work placement in partnership with the private/public sectors. Ultimately 43,200 family members of TVET graduates will benefit from the program as indirect beneficiaries.

 

Basic program information:

Name of the program: Sustainable Reintegration and Alternatives to Irregular Migration of vulnerable Afghans

Project Duration: 1 Jun 2017 – 31 May 2020

Project Locations: Central (Kabul, Parwan, Bamyan); South (Helmand, Kandahar), North (Badakhshan, Takhar, Balkh), East (Kunar, Laghman, Nuristan, Nangarhar)

Overall Objective: To reduce incentives for future migration and promote inclusive reintegration of vulnerable individuals.

Specific Objective 1: To ensure that youth from returnee, IDP and potential migrant communities have enhanced market driven skills and knowledge for improved employability, income generation and resilience. This specific objective aims to take a comprehensive and market driven approach to improving employability that responds to existing and emerging vocational skills’ needs. By focusing on skills needed in the market, and providing post-graduation support, the action aims to ensure a smooth transition between training and employment.

The objective will be achieved through 5 results:

Result 1: To undertake Labour Market Assessments in order to identify the skills required by the public and private sectors. The Labour Market Assessments will also identify economic drivers of migration and a potential for curbing push factors. On the basis of this analysis, and in close consultation with MoLSA, demand driven vocational and professional training courses are developed and tailored to the context in order to cover both existing and newly identified skills.

Result 2: To ensure that vulnerable youth from returnee, IDP and potential migrant communities graduate from market driven vocational trainings which are also consistent with the needs of the new development initiatives, including the Citizens’ Charter and other National Priority Programmes. The Labour Market Assessment informs the choice of courses that will increase employability and improve business skills for beneficiaries which can respond to the demands of the public/private sectors. Consortium members implement standardized approaches that include MoLSA’s official National Occupational Skill Standard (NOSS) curriculum.

Result 3: To ensure that vulnerable youth from returnee, IDP and potential migrant communities have improved employability through access to post-graduate support mechanisms including (self) employment opportunities. Upon successful completion of the training program, each graduate will receive a MoLSA approved graduation certificate and will be registered in the MoLSA national database for skilled workforce. Graduates will receive post-graduation support which aims to transition them to long-term income generation improvement. This will consist of access to employment service centers, business start-up support, provision of toolkits, establishment of women’s markets, sales outlets for products, work placements and internships and value chain and business networking events.

Result 4: To involve private sector and community based subnational structures to support TVET graduates. This result will be mainstreamed through the process, with private sector and Community Development Councils involved in the project from the assessment phase. The project will support private sector businesses to provide internships, coaching/mentoring, and job placements for TVET graduates.

Result 5: To standardize monitoring, evaluation and learning tools and techniques.