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The Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS) was developed by the ILO in collaboration with the UNHCR. This website presents the work of the ILO-SME Unit on promoting market system development for entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises in forced displacement settings.

AIMS applies the "Making Markets Work for the Poor ” (also known as M4P or market systems development) and the Value Chain Development for Decent Work Approach to forced displacement settings with the aim of developing holistic and market-based livelihoods strategies for refugees and local hosting communities.

The ILO works using the “push-pull approach” that seeks to work on both the demand and supply sides of the labour market. AIMS offers a holistic and market-based framework for livelihoods strategies.

The approach is based on the assumption that, in order for anyone to build sustainable livelihoods, two conditions must to be fulfilled:

  • There need to be opportunities in the market, either for self-employment if a certain good or service is demanded on the market, or for salaried employment if employers are looking for employees
  • People need the necessary skills and competencies to access such existing market opportunities.

As part of its Integrated Livelihood Promotion Plan, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR is partnering with the ILO to implement market systems analyses in selected countries.

The objective of the ILO-UNHCR cooperation is to integrate the results and recommendations of an ILO market systems analysis into UNHCR livelihoods programming in order to inform and strengthen the impact and sustainability of UNHCR livelihoods interventions for refugees and host communities. The strategic goal of livelihoods programming in UNHCR is to enable the self-reliance of refugees.