Project description / objective
This one year pilot project tested the Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS), jointly developed by ILO and UNHCR, in the Jijiga region of Ethiopia.
The aim of the project was to employ market systems development principles in order to improve access to livelihoods opportunities among refugees and local host communities.
The project focused on the livestock sector. It worked on improving linkages between livestock herders and a local abattoir and regional livestock markets. It also focused on enhancing market organising, and thus bargaining power among livestock traders
Market systems focus
Livestock (small ruminants) sector
Based on a sector selection and value chain assessment the livestock sector was selected since refugees and host community were already engaged in it yet growth opportunities created by a newly opened abattoir were not yet being seized by the target population.
1. Improve linkages between (refugee and host community) livestock herders and local export abattoir/regional markets
Livestock herders had limited knowledge and information about additional livestock sales channels, relying on local traders as primary off-takers. The project worked to link local livestock herders to additional regional traders as well as to the traders of the abattoir. As a result, livestock herders had additional sales channels, allowing them to sell more livestock and achieve better profit margins.
2, Improve market organising among (refugee and host community) livestock herders to enhance bargaining power vis-à-vis traders
A key constraint for (refugee and host community) livestock herders was that they did not fulfill a key requirement in order to sell to regional markets and the abattoir, namely the aggregation of minimum numbers of animals for bulk sale. The project worked with livestock herders to improve their understanding and organising of livestock sales.
3. Improve entrepreneurship and business skills among refugee and host community members
An overall constraint among refugee and host community members was their limited business skills, particularly linked to stock-keeping, business planning and finance thus inhibiting their potential to grow sustainable businesses. The project deployed the ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme to improve such skills among the target population.
Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)
Given the short project duration (15 months), systemic change could not be measured. However, evidence shows that livestock herders are now selling their animals to regional markets (intervention 1) and have improved their market organising (intervention 2).
Roughly 60 refugees and host community members have benefited from the SIYB entrepreneurship training programme (intervention 3) and 600 are expected to receive training by end 2019.
[uploaded July 2019]