Part 38 - - Offline

Part 38 - - Offline
A project of Volunteers in Asia
ftefucgpq Enterprise: It Can Re Done
By: Chris Rolfe, Glare Rolfe & Malcolm Harper
Published by: Intermediate Technology Publications
103/l 05 Southampton Row
London WCIB 4HH
Available from: IntermedizIe Technology Publications
103/l 05 Southampton Row
London WCIB 4HH
Reproduced with permission.
Reproduction of this microfiche document in any form is subject to the same
restrictions as those of the original document.
It can be done
Chris Rolfe, Glare Rolfe and Malcolm Harper
For all those who came for the emergency and stayed into development...
And for those who came to develop and strayed into relief......
And for those who help them, in both endeavours.
AND for *he patience and abilities of the refugees - who really do it!
We would like to thank the very many individuals and agencies that contributed
this study. Particular thanks go to the United Nations High Commission for
Refugees in Pakistan and Geneva and to the se-den orgaliizations for their case
Action Xnternational Contre la Faim
ACORD (EuroAction ACORD)
Austrian Relief Committee
American Friends Service Comr&tee/Quaker
Christian Outreach
Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammanarbeit
World Bank (Pakistan j
Peace and Service
The study itself was funded by a research grant from the Overseas Development
Administration of the British Government.
The photographs on p.46 are printed with kind permission from:
Quaker Peace and Service - “Hassan the Stone-cutter”
Austrian Relief Committee - “Abdida the Tailor”
Partnership for Productivity - “Mohammed the Dress-maker”
(PfP photographer Pirkko Tanttu)
Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd
9 King Street, London, WC2E 8HW, UK
The authors and the publishers wish to thank the Overseas Development Administration of the
British Government for its financial support of the research for this book, and its printing,
though it should be stressed that the views expressed are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the views of the ODA.
@ Intermediate Technology Publications 1987
ISBN 0 946688 59 1
Printed in Great Britain by Russell Press Ltd., Gamble Street, Nottingham NG7 4ET.
The authors’ main intention in this book is to encourage interest in Refugee
Enterprise. The book is also designed for field workers involved in starting or
running refugee income-generating (IG) programmes. It can therefore be used in two
1) As a book to read through from beginning to end. It is in fil-e parts:
- Introduction - the background of the book and the people involved.
- Framework for Thinking - setting up a theory for analysing types of
income-generating project.
- Case studies - five case studies of succesful programmes and five
case studies of refugee businesses.
- “A to Z” - practical points on aspects of “IG”.
- Appendices - the questionnnaire survey results used to support points
in the manual and other information, such as contacts
and a booklis:.
2) As a reference book, an “A to Z”, of information on IG topics. In this case, the
following two paragraphs will summarize the introductio.:, theory and appendices, so
the reader may immediately turn to the “A to Z”:
This book is concerned with income-generating
projects for refugees from
poor countries and now in poor host countries, such as Ethiopian refugees in Somalia
or Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Many of these refugees cannot return home. They are
neither allowed to become local citizens, nor can they expect a third country to take
them. As aid to the refugees is slowly withdrawn, they need to bc more self-reliant,
but there are many constraints. Taking a wide definition of income-generating
activities, outside agencies can help these refugees. Help can come from relief
agencies starting to look beyond the relief phase, or from development agencies
adjusting their regular activities to the more restricted situation of refugees.
The analysis is based on a questionnaire survey of 153 IG programmes, of
which 23 were in detail, as well as the authors’ personal experience. There seem to be
eight types of programme, all gradually changing from relief type assistance to
development style self-sufficiency, and all operating within the limits of the host
1. Relief Substitution - Refugees making relief items for themselves.
2. Development Investment - Refugees involved with infrastructural or
environmental improvements to their new location.
3. Income-adding Starters - Very simple, cheap assistance, such as chickens or
gardens, which add or save income, but are not full businesses.
4. Basic Skill Utilization - Using refugees’ skills i:~ farming or handicrafw.
5. Vocational Training and Production Schemes - Improving refugees’ skills.
6. Business Starter Schemes - Helping start businesses, e.g. providing some tools.
7. Business Assistance - Range of assistance for new and existing businesses.
8. Employment Bureaux - Helping place refugees in refugee or local businesses.
TABLE OF [email protected]
Pane number
The Study behind the Book
Objectives and Limitations
The Position of Refugees for Development
Types and Timing of Income-generating Projects
The Position of Refugees after the Relief Phase
CASE STUDIES (Five agency programmes and five refugee businesses)
Assistance to skilled refugees-Action International Contre La Faim
Expanding out of relief - Austrian Relief Committee
After relief what? - The British and American Quakers
The Business End - ACORD in Port Sudan
The Relief End - Christian Outreach in East Sudan
Agency Comparisons - of these five agencies and their work
Three Refugee Businesses and Two “Typical” Refugee Businesses
A For All Agencies
B For Relief Agencies Thinking about Development
C For Development Agencies Thinking about Refugees
D Programme Objectives
E Planning Projects
F Time-scales
G Choosing the Type of Project
H Relief Substitution - Projects by refugees for refugees
I Development Investment - Infrastructure/Environment
J Income-adding Starters - Starting Self-help
K Basic Skill Utilisation - Agriculture and Village Crafts
L Vocational Training and Production tihemes
M Business Starter Schemes - For Refugee Entrepreneurs
N Business Assistance Projects - For New and Existing Businesses
0 Employment Bureaux
P Possible Projects and Businesses - A List
Q Questions on the Selection of Participants
R The Refugees’ Viewpoint
S Women’s Projects
T First Steps in Marketing - A Checklist
U Loans and Guarantees
V Non-Financial Assistance
W What about the Hosts?
X Ending the Project
Y Evaluation
Z Concluding Comments
Contact List
Bibliography and References
Covering Letter to Questionnaire
Summary of Questionnaire Replies Questionnaire A Results - Programme Statistics
Questionnaire B Results - Qualitative factors for success
Questionnaire C Results - Refugee Businesses
Three Refugee Businesses
Figure 1 - Refugee Solutions up to the mid 1970s
Figure 2 - Refugee Solutions from the mid 1970s
Figure 3 - Income-generating projects: relief to development
Case-study Comparisons (Tables l-4)
Table 1 - Income-generating Types, Training and Skills
Table 2 - Time-scales and Staffing
Table 3 - Numbers and Costs
Table 4 - Issues of Coverage and Participation
Table 5 - IG Project Types and Costs
Table 6 - Comparing Income-adding Starters to Business Starters
to Business Assistance Projects
Table 7 - Business Problems and Assistance
- as seen by refugees
Table 8 - How refugees Assist their own Businesses
Quaker Business Analysis Form
Quaker Loan Agreement Form
ACROSS Loan Contract
Throughout the world millions of refugees remain in poor host countries. “Durable”
(long-term) solutions of repatriation (return), resettlement into a third country or
integration in the host country are as yet unclear, although the relief phase is over.
The question is WHAT NOW ?
For the refugee, who may be a peasant or a university graduate and who may
be living in a closed camp or amongst the local people, the answer is given as
Yet the topic “income-generation” with refugees can be like trying to build on
shifting sand. There are the relief agencies tentatively doing development, and there
are development agencies who complain htt refugees* dependency. There are the
political factors of land, time-scale and aid - all shifting. And, more importantly,
there are the refugees themselves who are at one moment expected to be helpless, and
at the next independent.
Looking back at the economic history of many countries it may be seen that
although the arrival of refugees always brought complications, it also brought a group
of people who had no option but to be innovative. New enterprises and new ideas
enriched the host countries. Refugees* skills and strengths did not take away from the
national effort - they added to it.
It is important to stress at the beginning that income-generation
and selfemployment projects can never be a panacea for all the problems of refugees.
Entrepreneurs are a small proportion of any population, though this proportion can
vary. Indeed, for refugees, the lack of employment opportunities may increase the
proportion wishing to try self-employment. And for refugees in and from poorer
countries, the modest level of capital and skills required may make it relatively easier
to become self-employed. Both trtese factors may increase their interest in selfemployment, but there is still a danger that income-generation may be seen as an
answer for all. It is not, and the following groups of refugees fall outside the scope of
this study:
- Refugees who have already advanced beyond the need for “aid”;
may we wish them continued success.
- Refugees for whom employment by someone else is a better option;
it may be they have the skills, but lack the determination and motivation
to make a success of a business on their own.
- Refugees whose situation does not enable them to participate in such incomegenerating projects. There is no group that can be excluded automatically,
but individual refugees may have the problems of being elderly, sick, single
parents or handicapped, and since these individuals can form relatively large
proportions of refugee numbers, they must be included in the planning of projects.
Many carefully targetted projects can and do help these groups of people.
However, income-generation
and self-employment
projects do play an
important part in helping refugees to move away from the dependency which comes
from receiving aid during the emergency or relief phases. Our intention in this book
is to examine some projects which try to help those refugees who want to help
themselves. In that situation, the refugees see these projects as an opportunity and
most such projects have waiting lists of some description.
We have identified at least 153 projects around the world, though there may
be two or three times this number. There are many project proposals and reports, but
few overviews or handbooks on this topic, perhaps because the “durable” solutions
were generally possible until the mid-late 197Os, except for the Palestinians.
We must now have “flexible” solutions, which are developmental in approach,
but accept constraints as to the uncertainties of time of stay, acceptability to their
hosts and the availability of resources. In the research, which forms the backbone of
this book, we cannot identify a model or models for IG which will work in all
situations, because there are so many and varying constraints. Instead, we give an
outline of the many factors, within a framework of moving gradually away from
relief style aid. A successful project in one part of the world would be a failure in
each new place as the conditions are different. Better to choose and mix the different
possibilities, appropriate to the people and the place.
It is not easy. We can only offer some possible hints and some success stories
and the encouragement that “It Can Be Done”.
This book came to be written through a chance meeting between Malcolm Harper,
whose experience is in enterprise development for developing countries and Chris and
Clare Rolfe, two community workers from England wrestling with “incomegeneration” in a Somali Refugee Camp. There followed a six month study, from July
to December 1986, by the Cranfield School of Management’s Enterprise Development
Centre, funded by the British Goverment’s Overseas Development Administration
We sent letters to 103 international aid agencies asking for further contact
addresses in the refugee asylum countries for a postal survey of refugee incomegenerating projects. Using these replies, we sent 79 full questionnaires of which 23
were returned.
The full questionnaire included a five page Questionnaire A. on the
background and statistics of the project or programme; a six page Questionnaire B. on
the qualitative factors for the success of refugee IG projects; and twenty copies of the
two page Questionnaire C. for individual refugee businesses, One hundred and twenty
four of the refugee business questionnaires were returned from five countries.
During this process we obtained some information on 153 IG programmes in
43 countries. We also visited agency head offices and researchers in Europe for more
information and added seven more repiies to Questionnaire B. One short visit to
Pakistan was also included to check the preliminary results and to compare the
authors experiences of Somalia and Sudan against another setting. All the information
was anclyzed on a microcomputer and the results and methodology are in the
appendices. The analysis of this study and the other information collected form the
backbone of this book.
The authors had some previous experiences of refugee income-generating
projects: Malcolm Harper was a consultant to the Euro Action Acord Port Sudan
Project and to a project in North-West Somalia for Partnership for Productivity (PfP).
Chris and Glare Rolfe worked for three years on a range of income-generating
projects in one camp in North-West Somalia, and then as trainers to the PfP business
advisors in that project. These experiences are used in the case studies and
background, but not in the questionnaire analysis, to avoid a biased result.
Because of the short time-scale we have limited the scope of the study, to the
objectives set out on the next page, but we hope others will be able to extend from
1. Little is known,
and still less published, about
businesses or income-generating activities and the
purpose of this research is to identify as many
programmes, to find out what they are doing, their
to assist others trying to do the same.
refugee entrepreneurs and their
ways they can be assisted. The
agencies as possible running IG
success, and to evolve guidelines
2. We have tried to concentrate on the decisions which have to be made in
programme design, types of enterprise and financial assistance.
Limitations of Study
1. Income-generation or “IG” is really a catch all term for anything that has not its
own “named” sector - such as Health, Education, Water, Agriculture or others. It
often includes employment, training, income-adding
schemes, self-employment,
business development, even self-help and community development. Our broad
definition retains most of this - “Any activity which -will at some time bring in
income.” Later we try and separate out the different types.
2. We included only refugees who came from and are now in the economically poorer
countries. This excludes many refugee income-generation
projects in the richer
countries, though we included these in our own background reading and some crossfertilisation seems useful.
3. We excluded “settlements”, where refugees have been given Iand and are expected
to remain and to form a permanent part of the local economy. There is already some
research and theoretical framework in this field, which formed a useful background
to our work.
4. We excluded “closed” camps, where IG is not welcome, although it may be
happening. We also excluded illegal activities such as smuggling, prostitution or drugs,
though these may be substantial in generating income. We did include, where we
found it, the informal or “black” economy, though it is not significant in this study.
5. It is clear the majority of refugees’ IG activities are self-started and owe nothing
to external assistance. However, lack of time meant the study is mainly concerned
with agencies* IG projects. Only 24 out of 124 refugee business people questioned had
started on their own with no assistance. There seemed to be no significant differences
between them and those who had been assisted - however further studies must
include work on this.
6. We did not systematically cross-check or verify the information
in the few cases where this was possible no discrepances appeared.
sent us, although
7. We concentrated on projects which were in operation in 1986 or at least since 1984.
8. For the most part we concentrated on the business or enterprise aspects of IG.
However, we did include projects (e.g. Welfare) where IG, though not the main aim,
was an important factor.
Most of this book is designed to help fieldworkers interested in income-generation
projects to be able to find quickly the sections relevant to their work. However, in
this section, we try to provide the beginnings of a theory to examine refugee
situations, as they apply to income-generation. This theory - “Flexible DeveIopment”
or a developmental approach, within the constraints around refugees who are waiting
for durable solutions, will be used throughout the book.
Prior to the mid 1970s. most refugees, except for those in Palestine, were not
in one place long enough for development activities to be necessary. Instead, after the
emergency/relief phases, the refugees were then able to go on to one of the Three
Durable Solutions (See Figure 1.)
Since the mid 197Os, those solutions have become less possible, though they
are likely to continue for small numbers of refugees in most cases (see Figure 2.). To
simplify the reasons for these changes:
- Repatriation became less likely as the cause(s) for the refugees
leaving are still present, such as from Ethiopia and Afghanistan.
- Resettlement for millions of people is on too big a scale for most
countries to contemplate and their lack of skills make the
majority difficult to integrate into other societies.
- Integration in very poor countries is recognised as being difficult
without additional resources. The International Conference on Assistance
to Refugees in Africa (ICARA I and II) has seen this and is taking steps
to assist host countries, but it is at the start of a long process.
Without these options refugees had to stay longer and move towards a more
se’f-reliant position. If this process towards “flexible development” and away from a
relief phase style is allowed, then various forms of income-generation can happen. If
not, the refugees become stuck in continuing dependency, which is not good for them
or for those trying to help them. Although impossible to simplify, the Palestinian case
seems to have remained mainly in the relief phase because of the interrelated reasons
of lack of development funds and the political will. However, some incomegenerating projects have existed or do exist for the Palestinian refugees and, though
small in relation to the numbers of refugees, seem to fit the same patterns as in other
refugee affected areas covered by this book.
Flexible development has to take into account the relationships between
refugees and their hosts, which can vary from a totally separate existance, such as
Thailand or Hong Kong, to complete integration like earlier refugees in Tanzania. For
the purposes of this manual and the study supporting it, we are concentrating on the
area, marked in Figure 2., which is in between these two extremes and which has
only arisen since the late 1970s. It varies from refugees in camps that can do some
trading to self-settled refugees in towns and cities. It includes all the major refugee
populations - in Pakistan, Somalia and the Sudan, as well as many others.
in reeka/montha,
Health Care
on food
Ration Carde,Hsalth
(in the hart country)
(to a 3rd country)
FIGURE 1. Refugees UR to mid 1970%
mostly from and to developing
ikely M too \
many, not rkilled
w hokouutry
poor - need* more renowce~
other renaone
Relief Phae.e
both mfugees
of Aid for
and poor locala
I Settlemcntr
but equaI opportunity with locale
If Stretched
Too Far
FIGURE 2. Refugees From Mid 1970%
- 7
In the flexible development phase all refugee services, such as health,
education and so on, become more dependent on the refugees themselves. Many of
the relief agencies have gone, or the relief period has finished, leaving only a few
trained workers. The refugees want and are expected to be looking more to the
future, but within some constraints. If they are in camps, they are constrained by the
available land, the opportunities to make and sell. If they are in towns, they have had
to learn the language, customs, and laws and accept whatever status is given them.
More importantly they do not know their own future - will they return or will they
be accepted here? When?
Refugees at this stage will naturally become interested in activities to earn
income. But their interest will inevitably be different from that of a local person.
They will tend to take a shorter term view, because of the possibility of moving.
And, if they can rely on rations, for themselves and their families, then they can also
take more risks than a local person. Conversely, if they receive no assistance, their
desperation may also increase the risks they are ready to take. It has been said that
refugees are psychologically both more conservative and more radical than other
people. Conservative, in that they will try to keep their old customs, even if they
were losing them in their old country, as a way of retaining their identity. And
radical, in that having survived the initial trials of being refugees, they may have a
feeling of invulnerability and hence feel able to try anything. Though different in
every case, the agency field worker must be aware of the consequences of the
particular refugee group’s attitudes and not assume they are the same as the attitudes
of other refugees or of local people.
Hence the promotion of IG projects for refugees is affected by two sets of
problems, which do not necessarily affect similar projects with local people. Firstly,
there are the constraints on the refugees set by the “new” conditions in the host
country, the environment, the land available, the laws pertaining to refugees, and
others. Secondly, there are the refugee attitudes, which may mean an emphasis on
training, as with the Afghan refugees who want to prepare for their future, or on
self-employment, rather than employment, as an expression of some control over their
own lives.
It is in this flexible development phase, while waiting for a longer term
solution, that IG programmes can play a large part in helping the refugees determine
for themselves the different directions they can take. The agency programmes
available for them should increase the options and choices that refugees have. That
means that agencies running IG programmes or projects and those supporting or
funding them should have a high degree of understanding of both the positive and
negative aspects of the refugee situation at the time. Income-generation should not be
a last resort: it should be at the forefront of policy.
As we said earlier the term “income-generation” is a catch-all phrase and is therefore
not easily defined. However it is necessary to try to separate out its various parts to
understand how it is used. In Figure 3. and in the categories below, we present our
attempt, adapted originally from UNHCR Pakistan, to separate out the different types
of IG projects. These categories wil! be used throughout this manual as a way of
moving from the question “what now?” to the more specific “what type of IG project
is appropriate now?”
The term “project” is taken to mean one assistance package, whereas a
“programme” is a group of packages. Hence the Austrian Relief Committee has health
and IG programmes in Pakistan. Within the ARC income-generating programme are
vocational training, entrepreneur starters and employment bureau projects. This gets
complicated when one project has more than one part, such as training, grant and
advice components, but in most cases, this split is useful as a starting point for
Our analysis in Figure 3. goes one step further. Having identified the eight
main types of IG project, we suggest that each has its own time-scale, depending on
how near it is to the relief phase and also the particular situation in the host country.
Some projects can start in the relief phase, others are more developmental, still others
can evolve from one to the other.
Though we see a progression to a more self-reliant position, the political
situation in the country sets the limits. In Thailand, for instance, the “Humane
Deterrence” policy does not allow self-reliance or any integration, although internal
camp relief substitution, training for resettlement or self-help activities are allowed.
In Pakistan, the tensions of having such a large and relatively skilled refugee
population, means that the Government prefers camp based activities to more
integrated and therefore competitive ones. in Somalia, the lack of good land and
infrastructure reduces the options for integration - unless there is adequate and
substantial external assistance. For the agency and the refugee, these are constraints
that have to be lived with. However, it must be pointed out, that the economic
development of the refugees can benefit the host country and not just the local
suppliers of goods.
The following list is a brief introduction to the various types of activities
which can be undertaken. Further details are given in sections H. to 0. A list of 155
sorts of businesses or projects assisted in the eight categories is given in section P.which also may help to explain the following categories:
1. RELIEF SUBSTITUTION - Refugees make or grow things to replace “relief” goods
such as blankets. They are paid by the relief agency and the goods are then
distributed to the refugees.
2. DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT - These projects aim to provide services,
facilities or equipment to assist the development process, rather than helping refugees
or refugee businesses directly. There are two types:
a) Infrastructure - making and maintaining roads, buildings, water
supply systems, and so on.
b) Environment - Growing trees, making and promoting fuel-saving
(as income-saving projects), building dams, erosion walls, and
other devices or projects to protect or enhance the environment.
3. INCOME-ADDING STARTERS - Small grants, loans or supplies to start
enterprises, which may not provide a vhoie job or business, but bring in some
income now and may expand later - chickens and small gardens are common
4. BASIC SKILL UTILIZATION - Using those skills that the refugees bring with
them to the host country. Again there are two main types:
a) Village Crafts Schemes - Adapting village crafts - items such as
handicrafts, baskets, pots, mats - for sale locally or internationally.
Often this involves providing raw materials and buying the finished
b) Agricultural Schemes - Starting with traditional knowledge,
such schemes can be anything from the simple giving of seeds and a
few hand tools to full scale irrigation, marketing, and other
assistance. These schemes are very similar to other development schemes
not involving refugees and will only be mentioned in this book if there
are special aspects relating to refugees. Often these schemes are under
a “Refugee Agriculture” section, rather than under “Income-Generation”.
- Initial
conversion to production units, businesses or employment.
6. BUSINESS STARTERS - Making small grants or loans, or giving equipment to
refugees to start businesses. This assistance is usually designed to help those with
skills return to their previous profession and because of this often omits a detailed
business analysis or skills training.
7. BUSINESS ASSISTANCE - Starting after the period of small starter grants or
loans, these schemes aim to provide loans and advice on more complex businesses,
possibly having technical and marketing assistance,
8. EMPLOYMENT BUREAU - Placing refugees in refugee and local businesses or
with refugee agencies.
Although this list of types of IG project clarifies the bewildering number of projects
which are all called “income-generating”, some further points need to be made before
using it:
- Some projects may not fit the categories well, e.g. a craft training project with a
starter grant of some equipment could fit three of the types identified above. We feel
that a careful study of such projects for their main objective - is it training or is it
handicraft or is it an entrepreneur starter? - would classify most IG projects,
certainly those in our study.
- One vital question which is not answered by placing a project in one of these
categories of IG project is who runs the projects? A handicraft project can be run by
one agency, using refugees as workers, or another agency could be supporting refugee
handicraft businesses. A training scheme can put on courses for refugees or it could
respond to refugees requests as they come up. The former are more in the relief
phase, the latter in the developmental phase; we would advocate a gradual move
towards the latter style. Indeed for a project to remain agency run does a disservice
to the refugees, who can and should take over management whenever possible.
Having identified the eight types of IG projects and the assistance they provide to the
refugees, what can be said about the time-scale of introducing and developing them?
In Figure 3. on the next page, we suggest there are five intermediate phases as the
refugees move from the relief phase to the flexible development phase.
We must remember they are still refugees awaiting one of the durable
solutions while in this flexible development phase. However, they are able to
contribute to their own lives and to their host countries.
Phase A: During the relief phase, the first steps away from relief should be planned.
Such projects need to bring in income, to be capable of being started quickly and
must not demand much understanding of the refugee or host cultures - as the
personnel involved have not had much time to investigate.
The first three types of IG projects can start at this levek-
Some relief substitution can start by making clothes, blankets or other
urgently needed supplies, if the skills and materials are immediately available.
Most development investment such as construction, erosion barriers or
planting trees can start quickly employing people in both skilled and more
importantly large numbers of unskilled jobs.
Most income adding starters such as giving seeds, tools or chickens can
begin the process of encouraging refugees to look to the future, instead of the
immediate present.
All these are similar in style to the relief phase of giving things or jobs to the
refugees. For development workers, as opposed to those familiar with emergency
relief work, this early phase of IG is difficult, as it involves very little self-help on
the part of the refugees. However there is some evidence that neither the refugees
nor the local population would willingly accept longer term thinking at this phase.
Phase B: Those projects which need a little bit more information can be started.
Knowing about the refugees* skills, the available resources and the accessible markets
means the refugees’ basic skills of farming or crafts can be used. Knowing the
differences between their existing skills and the skills needed means that training
projects can be designed.
Those projects started in Phase A can be continued, changed or extended as
more information becomes available.
l Chrhtian Outreach
-1 I
* Quakem
* Quaker0
FIGURE 3. Income-eeneratine Proiech from Relief to Flexible Develoomeat
(’ Case study detailed later)
Phase C: This phase is concerned with change. During this phase, it becomes obvious
that the refugees will be in the host country for some time. If it is allowed, it is
preferable to help refugees begin to do things for themselves, rather than remain
unemployed or even employed. Some start by themselves, others with a little starting
help can begin their own businesses. These entrepreneurs, particularly if they are not
in cities with higher starting costs, can employ themselves, a family member and
often someone else for less than $300 capital for each business.
Those IG projects which have already begun in phases A. and B. need to
change. Relief substitution projects should start to hand over management and
production contracts to the refugees. Farm and village craft projects should move
from employment to self-employment. Similarly the development investment projects,
dealing with infrastructure and environment, should begin to be run by refugees
and/or local people, perhaps becoming independent construction enterprises. The
income adding starter projects should be ending as more viable options for businesses
become clearer.
Phase D: This phase continues all the changes in phase C., whenever possible moving
from agency run to agency assisted projects, from dependency to independence. The
Business Starter projects should end and be replaced by a wider range of Business
Assistance - advice on marketing and accounting, and loans of bigger amounts, rather
than small grants or tool kits to get started.
Pbme E: The refugees reach the Flexible Development
Phase. They remain refugees,
with those constraints, but have independent businesses or are in farms, cooperatives
or production units, owned and run by refugees. They are, to some degree, selfsupporting and able to contribute to their own and the host countries’ economic life.
The time-scale for all these phases is certainly variable and indeed the host
country situation may not allow the whole process to be completed. As explained
earlier, politicai constraints may not allow the refugees to go beyond a certain phase.
At the present time (early 1987), the external and internal factors in Thailand
mean the refugees there remain in phases A. and B. For Pakistan, competition and the
large number of refugees restrict the process to Phase C. In Somalia, the lack of
development resources means most of the refugees are at phases C. and D.
This is not to say the situation will always stay the same; there is a dynamic
balance between the needs of the host country population and the needs of the
refugees. This balance will change with time and other circumstances, There may
even be a slight reversal of direction if the local people do not share in the resources
given to the refugees. It is the authors’ belief that both the refugees and the local
population will benefit eventually, if the refugees are both allowed and assisted to
become self-sufficient within the development of the whole refugee affected area.
Indeed, without encouragement refugees will continue to be dependent upon aid: a
situation of little benefit to the refugees, the host country or the international
Once the relief phase is over, some agencies leave. The remaining agencies are faced
with the dilemma that whereas before everything was set up for the refugees now the
feeling is that refugees should do things for themselves. Development agencies are
wary - there is no natural “community” to develop, the time-scale and accessible
resources are uncertain and psychologically the people are not used to a say in their
lives. Nevertheless, some self-settled refugees may have already started to solve these
problems for themselves.
Agencies involved in the changeover have few guidelines - let alone rules on which to base their ideas. Hence the suggestion of “flexible development”. It is not
durable, in that the situation may change. It is not development in the normal sense with its impli+*-”
-.L..lons of community and building a better long-term future in one
place. Rather. i? is taking people out of dependency to a degree of self-reliance and
accepting some constraints.
As far as the agencies are concerned, the split between relief and development
is a real one, and even those organizations that have some expertise in both have
often allocated the two tasks to different departments. In cases where field directors
have responsibility for both, it is rare for them to have experience of both functions
or the transition between them. This is partly because it is a relatively new situation
and partly because of the differences in outlook between those involved in relief and
those involved in development. For relief workers the idea of continuing on for many
years is difficult - particularly because they feel they are not “really needed” after the
emergency. Some more details of relief type agencies are given in section B.
Those working in development, however, see the intense pressure of relief
work and worry about the way it is done - especially if they have to take over and
start doing things with and not for the refugees. This is based on a difference in
attitudes, but other differences are shown later in sections 8. and C. on relief and
development agencies. The changeover from relief to development seems most
problematic in the area of income-generation.
In other areas of assistance the
transition seems to be better managed. Health and education workers have, to some
extent, already set up their systems to cope with flexible development: there are the
agency trainers who hand over to local counterparts and there are manuals in the local
language. The field of IG lags behind, possibly because of the political implications
such as the use of land, or perhaps because of the change needed in the style of
assistance. It must move from developing people, to helping them to develop
themselves and allowing them to do so.
Different attitudes seem to be needed at each move away from relief style
assistance. In the last section, we suggested that infrastructure, environment, incomeadding starters and relief substitution (See the Christian Outreach case study), are
suitable for starting, when it is decided by the agency that the relief phase is over.
Respondents suggested (from Question B6) this is between six months and two years
after the arrival of the refugees in the host country, so planning for these IG projects
must start very soon after arrival. This marks the beginning of phase A. The projects
all contain a high element of relief or subsidy, but they do ask for some contribution
from the refugees.
As the markets and skills available become clearer, the projects involving
agriculture (if land is availablej, training (as in the Austrian Relief Committee case
study on p.20) and village crafts start. Although very different, these projects are at
the same phase B. and are similar, at least in the sense that the refugees need to make
3 commitment to staying where they are for a period.
A little later, 3s it becomes clear what business opportunities are available, the
refugees themselves often start shops or other small businesses. Although they rarely
help these first businesses, aid agencies* projects often help the next group of
entrepreneurs - those who have the potential to start businesses, but need 3 little
assistance. Often help at this point (phase C.) does start the refugee economy and
gives an example to others who are hesitant to start. Detailed examples of these
business starters are given later in the case studies on the Quakers, ACORD and
AICF. There were 33 of the business starter programmes among the 149 IG
programmes we studied, making it the second most common type after the 39 training
In phase D., the business and employment bureaux schemes can start to offer
their professional advice. These schemes can only be planned within 3 relatively
stable time-scale and must be based on a good understanding of the political and legal
positions of refugees.
In phase E., the refugees run and own their own businesses. They have been
able to integrate, at least commercially, with their hosts, even if they have 3 separate
legal status. Many refugees have already reached phase E. informally, without outside
assistance or recognition, but they cannot be assisted politically or legally by outside
agencies. Since they have got that far without external assistance, they can probably
carry on and develop without it. Those refugees who do need help from agencies
have probably to remain at the phase allowed in the host country. This may be more
true for camp-based refugees, than for those more integrated into the local
At each transition between phases 3 political change and an attitude change
are needed. For example, in the transition between phases A. and B. the small farmers
or craftsmen or women probably need to be allowed to trade with local people.
Something which is not necessary in 3 relief substitution or development investment
project. That legal/political step to allow trade has to happen.
As for the attitude changes, both the refugees and the agencies must accept
they are to be in the host country for a period. And that to keep or develop the
refugees skills, it means developing trade and production, not more relief. For
agencies to assist these businesses, it is counterproductive for one agency to provide
everything free and another to ask for a contribution in time or commitment.
At each
from relief and
and helpless by
to rebuild their
transition, the attitude and political changes make one more step away
towards development. The same refugees cannot be treated as starving
one agency and at the same time considered able to help themselves
lives by another agency.
In this section, we givs five case studies of agencies and their income-generating
projects, then 3 comparison between them. Following that are three caSe studies of
actual refugees and their businesses, then two accounts of “average” refugee businesses
generated from the questionnaire data.
ASSISTANCE TO SKILLED REFUGEES - Action International Contre la Faim
(AICF) In Pakistan
Main Features of Programme
The AICF income generating project supplies standard tool-kits and other assistance
to skilled Afghan refugees. It started after a request from UNHCR in 1984 and 3
subsequent survey by AICF.
The French AICF team arrived in Pakistan in 1981 and was one of the first
agencies to arrive in Baluchistan. AICF started with a Primary Health Care
programme and the medical work remains their main activity. The team now feels
that their understanding of the culture and the situation of the refugees was more
important for success in starting these income-generating
activities than previous
experience of income-generation in other places.
Since 1978/9, about three million refugees have come to Pakistan and more are
arriving. The two provinces of the North-West Frontier with 2.1 million refugees in
244 camps and Baluchistan with 0.6 million refugees in 62 camps have the majority.
With the many tribal groupings from each valley in Afghanistan, and the many
political groupings, the background is complex, though Islam is a unifying feature.
The women are in “Purdah”, which means most stay within their houses and
wear a completely covering dress when outside. They had greater freedom in their
home villages, but being in camps, which are called refugee villages, next to people
they do not know, and in a foreign country, they feel they have to be more careful.
Despite this, some of the older women who led the families to Pakistan, have gained
a greater respect and authority than they had previously. The Purdah means that
although the ratio of men:women:children is nearly norm31 at 25:28:47, the men are
much more accessible and able to work.
It also seems generally accepted that the level of skills posessed by the Afghan
refugees and the availability of both materials and products in Pakistan are better
than many other refugee areas, like Sudan or Somalia.
The AICF gave assistance to 795 people in 1985, out of 1109 applicants and
this created 1129 jobs. They did not give cash, except in very rare cases, for various
reasons - both cultural (family money not seen as separate from business money) and
political (cash seen as unfair to local people). The average value of the assistance was
2,042 rupees (120 U.S.$), with a range from 400-4,000 rupees and, in total, 54 trades
and 53 tribal or clan groups were assisted.
Programme Process
The initial survey provided a full list of possible trades, an idea of the refugees’
business needs and the tools needed for each trade. Although these have now been
modified by experience and changes in suppliers, AICF chose one field officer, who
had been with their medical programme for two years and was “very quick”. The rest
of the team of five field officers have had varying times with AICF, as six or seven
previous field officers have had to be dismissed over the twci years of operation usually for tribal favouritism.
This business starter scheme began in the three biggest camps in Baluchistan, but has
since moved on to other camps. Their process varies, but includes the following
1. A purchase officer buys and keeps stocks of the various tools for the kits, which
are different for each trade. AICF buy from several Pakistani suppliers, as one would
not keep the stock amount or variety needed.
2. The refugee, preferably, or a relative
officer and have a preliminary discussion
UNHCR funded training schemes, who
completed their training. The next stage
comprehensive 25 page questionnaire with
or a chief (mallik) will approach a field
about the scheme. There are also several
pass on the names of trainees who have
is for the field officer to go througk a
the refugee.
3. In doing the questionnaire, the field officer builds up a picture of the person,
while looking for the three criteria : a) Are they Skilled? b) Are they Motivated? c)
Can the camp and/or the local market absorb the business?
4. Each field officer, all of whom are men, meets the expatriate director every two
weeks wiih his caseload. AICF would like to employ women field officers, but say it
is extremely difficult in the Afghani/Pakistani culture. As a result of the discussions
some applications are rejected: unmotivated or rich people and those whose close
relatives already receive help. If the applicants are needy, such as widowed or
disabled, or if their skills are needed, such as well-diggers, then they are usually
About 70% of applicants’ incomes are under 100 U.S.% per month, which
indicates that the kits are going to the poorest. The rejections are made mostly for the
reasons that either there is a saturated market or that there is no demand for that
5. The accepting of the grant of the kit is witnessed, though no contract is signed.
Only 12 businesses have failed and, with pressure from the malliks who still maintain
their traditional power, 311the tools have been returned. The kits are provided to 96%
of those accepted, 8% get a grant of rent for business premises for a period and 3%
get raw materials. These latter are difficult to reclaim in the event of a failure and so
are only provided in rare cases.
6. In some cases, when the kits are not ready, the applicants are put on a waiting list
and have to wait for a short period, on average two months.
7. Sometimes the field officers will also give business advice, for axample on siting or
marketing, which they can do through experience rather than training. They keep a
close eye on the market, especially on saturation levels for each trade, to answer the
question as to whether the area can the area absorb the business.
8. When one camp nears saturation, then the field officers move on to the next. This
saturation is indicated visually by the numbers of businesses having AICF signposts about 75% of the businesses put up the signposts. Or saturation can be shown by
reducing incomes from competition between businesses of the same type, such as
tailors. By November 1986, AICF had covered about 50% of the camps/refugee
villages in Baluchistan.
9. All the participants are monitored after two months and occasionally after that: It
has been found that six per cent leave the business for personal reasons and less than
one per cent for other reasons, giving one indication that the scheme is working as
This IG scheme seems to rely on the expatriate director and his field officers, with
their knowledge and experience of the culture to provide a very effective project for
the skilled refugees. They admit it is very difficult for them to help the unskilled, or
the agriculural sector, or women; these groups make up only 4% of those assisted.
The main trades are tailors 15%, carpenters 13%, welldiggers 1I%, shoe
repairers 6%. 5% each for masons, bicycle repairers, cooking stove repairers and
carpet weavers. The remaining 45 trades are all less than 4% with 20 trades having
only one person assisted - trades such as a juicemaker, a photographer, a bucket
maker and others.
For 1987, the budget will be:
Wages (about half will be expatriate-related costs, the
local field officers will be paid about $200 per month)
Administration (office, rent, transport and travel)
Assistance (costs of kits, rents or raw materials provided)
Total (for about 1,200 businesses)
us. s
Previous budgets were similar, though the cost of the actua! assistance given
was about half this, mainly because the average cost of kits was half the maximum
grant allowed in the budget. The final figures for 1985/6 were not completed at the
time of the study, but using the information available in this case study and adding
that there was a slightly higher administrative cost for the initial supplies, such as
motorbikes for the field officers, then :
Wages and administration (slightly higher than above)
Assistance cost - 795 businesses x $120 (no rent/materials)
Total cost
Cost per business (795 businesses)
Cost per job (I 129 jobs)
The administrative cost is kept low by sharing overheads with the medical
programme and no figure is included for the stock of tools bought.
1. The knowledge built up in the very different field of the medical programme
enabled the Director and the first Field Officer, without previous knowledge of
income-generating projects, to start a small scheme which grew into the present very
comprehensive project.
2. The relative availability of local resources and skilled refugees enabled a high takeup and a high rate of success for the businesses.
3. The way in which other agencies* training programmes in send their trainees into
the AICF scheme has shown that a mutually beneficial planning and coordination
process is taking place between agencies.
EXPANDING OUT OF RELIEF - The Austrian Relief Committee in Pakistan
Main Features of Programme
Early in 1980, the UNHCR and the Pakistan Government asked the Austrian Relief
Committee (ARC) for help with health services, as the most urgent need for the
influx of Afghan refugees. Since then the health programme of ARC has been
involved with curative medical care (over 30,000 cases in 1985), training community
health workers and traditional birth attendants, and running a sanitation programme.
ARC have expanded into projects giving basic business starting assistance to skilled
refugees, a multi-purpose training centre, and an employment bureau. They have also
assisted with many small, one-off activities, such as publishing a story book and
translations of “Where there is no Doctor” in local languages, and helping 51 especially
needy refugees.
At the beginning of the emergency, an Afghan-born Austrian citizen, who had spent
ten years in Austria, firstly as a student, then as an electrical engineer, returned with
the ARC to help the Afghan refugees. To gain acceptance into the strong Afghan
culture, he lived with the refugees for six months (see the previous AICF casestudy
for more details or Afghan refugees). His backround has given strength to the
running of this variety of projects and his advice has been helpful to many agencies.
There is a lot of collaboration between ARC and outside organizations and ARC is
itself funded by thirteen agencies from six countries.
The Multi-Purpose Technical Training Centres (MPTTC) began in early 1983.
A sewing project, which started in late 1983, was transferred to a Danish organization
in April 1985. The Assistance to Skilled Afghan Refugees (ASAR) began in August
1984 and is continuing. An Employment Bureau, which started after many discussions
in November 1985 had to close in Autumn 1986. These form the main incomegenerating parts of the ARC programme.
In the autumn of 1986 several bombings in Pakistan and the growth of
Afghan run businesses within Pakistan of up to 25% in some business sectors (even
more in transportation), combined with the return of Pakistani expatriates from the
Gulf States to cause political difficulties. These resulted in a Pakistan Government
request to confine the aid more to the refugee villages and thus avoid increased
resentment by the local population towards the refugees. One of the casualties of this
understandable slight change in Pakistan’s generous assistance to the worlds biggest
influx of refugees, was the closure of the ARC Employment Bureau. The Bureau was
situated in Peshawar, the capital of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and
holding the biggest refugee population. It is to ARC’s credit that they adapted quickly
and are continuing to expand with their motto “Help Refugees Help Themselves.”
Programme Process
The assistance programme to skilled refugees started as a pilot project in the last half
of 1984. The 1985 programme was designed out of this, with the following process:
1. Surveying: As each area or group of refugee camp villages is completed, that is
when most of the requests have been supplied, then a new area is surveyed. In each
survey the elders and other camp representatives are visited and asked for a list of
the names of potential skilled refugee participants. In the first area, the ARC staff
also had many discussions with the refugees to get information on the appropriate
style and sorts of assistance for each trade.
2. Identification: The refugees on the list are interviewed and have to go through a
long verbal discussion, with standard proformas (questionnaires) for their theoretical
and practical skills. If they pass, they become eligible for assistance. In 1985, 1,243
refugees were interviewed and 1,107 accepted by the four field staff.
3. Market Research and the Purchase of Tools: In the initial market research to assess
the different refugee trades, the two research officers of ARC found 67 different
trades, 60 of which were considered feasible and socially desirable and therefore
eligible. A weapons trader for instance would not be eligible. The Purchase Officer
then buys the tools as required in bulk from Pakistani town suppliers and kits are
made up for each trade, for 53 trades so far. This “First Phase Assistance” is up to a
maximum of 4,000 rupees (U.S.$237) with an average of 2,000 rupees.
4. Distribution of the tools: In 1985, the ARC staff returned to most of the 1107
refugees who had been accepted to give out the tool kits for the requested trade.
They gave tools to 608 men and 308 women. A further 124 had been accepted and
were eligible, but not at the distribution. Another 67 could not be reached in 1985,
because of lack of permission to visit or the onset of the cold season. Some camps are
in dangerous border areas or are in the mountains with snow over winter. ARC have
covered some camps in most districts in NWFP and intend to cover a total of about
200 camps. Their target is to assist 140 refugees a month.
5. First Phase Monitoring: One month after giving the assistance,
and one technical advisor return to the refugees to give advice and
needs. If a refugee qualifies for this second phase assistance (and
do), then he or she can receive up to a total value of 6,000 rupees,
phase assistance.
the field officers
check for further
only ten per cent
including the first
6. Second Phase monitoring: After six months, the field officers return to give the
final technical and managerial help and do an evaluation. In the future ARC hope to
add more managerial assistance at this point.
Before starting the Multi-Purpose Technical Training Centres , a detailed survey was
undertaken with camp authorities, elders and a representative sample of 169 refugees
to find out what sort of training was required.
There is one centre in Peshawar (which may be moved to the refugee villages
for the political reasons given above) and one centre in a camp, which is just getting
started. The centre in Peshawar has run courses in welding, machine work, electrics,
auto-repair and auto-service. They also ran a general technical course and basic
courses in literacy, numeracy, first aid, English and religion. These basic courses are
available to other agencies. Some of the trainees’ production is used by the ARC
medical teams. In 1985, 130 refugees were trained and the target for 1986 is 200.
The Employment Bureau ran succesfully for nearly a year to the end of October 1986
and placed 120 qualified Afghan Refugees in jobs, especially in the various aid
agency programmes.
ARC is always looking for new- ways to assist. Through the ASAR project, ARC
found various new needs: to help bigger businesses that need more than one person,
or to give assistance exceeding the limit of 6,000 rupees. This they plan to do with a
hire purchase component rather than cash, which runs the danger of being thought of
as like free “rations” and therefore used as the family sees fit, rather than for the
specified business. The giving of cash could also lead to further resentment by the
local Pakistani population.
ARC are also concerned about the negative aspects of just “giving” aid and
hope to introduce interviewing charges for ASAR and MPTTC, as well as other
techniques to increase participation and involvement. They accept that only IO-15%
of the population are enterprising enough to take advantage of these projects and are
worried about the rest, who are mostly from farming backrounds and who are not
active and need some other form of assistance.
In all their projects ARC are aware of a degree of unfairness in that the
refugees are getting aid and the very similar local population are not. Most of their
donors have agreed this year to Parallel Fundijg, for similar schemes run on dual
lines for refugees and local people - if such schemes can be devised, As mentioned
earlier, this dual approach is needed as there is growing Pakistani resentment over the
For ASAR about 75% of the skilled refugees are using the assistance kit fully,
the majority practising their trade to some extent. For those not making full use of
the assistance provided, the main problems are the:
limited access to the market, which is likely to continue.
need for further capital in the start-up stage.
lack of infra-structure, such as electricity supply.
lack of managerial experience.
other social or cultural responsibilities - especially domestic duties
for women.
For the training centre MPTTC, of the 130 refugees trained in 1985 :
- 22 are in ARC supervised workshops, a form of half-way stage
between training and owning their own workshops. They have to pay back
a starting loan.
- 6 are continuing as “master trainees” in the Centre.
- 20 are employed.
- The remaining 82 need tools, capital, a workshop and a supervisor to
carry on their trade. ARC are working hard to improve this situation,
perhaps with combinations of the above solutions.
Financial Details
ARC’s total budget is about 20 million rupees (1.2 million U.S.%), of which about half
is spent on the income-generating schemes. In the IG programme:
- 16% is staff salaries and wages.
- 76% on refugee materials, equipment or stipends.
- 8% on transport and administrative costs.
On the basis of the present figures available, the authors calculate that ASAR costs
about $200-300 per job, and the Technical Training Centre MPTTC costs about ten
times this sum per training place.
1. ARC have demonstrated great flexibilty in evolving and developing appropriate
solutions to the changing refugee needs, especially when no previous exoer:ence was
available. ARC carried out much of the experimenting, which others have followed.
2. The main advantage has been the excellent cultural understanding;
in Pakistan were qtiick to mention insights they obtained from ARC.
other agencies
3. ARC are constantly re-evaluating
it to changing
their programme and adjusting
4. The Afghan refugees themselves realize their situation is not short term and are
actively looking for assistance based on this longer term perspective. They prefer, for
example, to choose better courses, mosL likely to gain them employment, with no
stipends, rather than other training courses with stipends. This showed in the MPTTC
training project.
5. The coordination factor is important for the Austrian Relief Committee in Pakistan
and they have tried hard to cooperate on projects with other agencies.
Quakers in Somalia
Main Features of Programme
The Quaker programme began in July 1982, three years after the first refugees
entered Somalia. It was and is a camp-based community development programme,
concentrating on IG, though there is some extension work into the local area.
The first projects were with two income-adding starters - chickens (for
women), gardens (mostly for men) and a!so some school projects. After one year, a
more advanced business starter project was initiated, with some elements of business
advice. By July 1985, the business project comprised about one third of the work;
with three small garden projects taking another third; and other projects, mainly
appropriate technology projects, such as donkey carts, fuel-saving cookers, handpowered grain grinders and water pumps, making up the remaining portion.
The two income-adding starters and the business starter projects are described
In 1979/80 over one million refugees entered Somalia from Ethiopia. Some settled
themselves, but most went into thirty-five refugee camps. Both the American and
British Quakers (American Friends Service Committee and Quaker Peace and Service)
are religious based organizations and they cooperated to investigate and then
implement this flexible programme.
It was started, after several exploratory visits, when it was judged to be the
right time to move from relief towards development. The authors Chris and Clare
Rolfe, who had community development backgrounds in England, were sent to Daray
Macaane, a camp in North-West Somalia, where the refugees had shown a degree of
initiative by starting to build schools and shops on their own. The camp itself was in
a hilly region, six kilometres from the local town of Boroma. Both camp and town
had similar populations of between twenty and forty thousand people, and were
mostly from a similar ethnic group, with many refugees having local relatives.
Programme Process
As one of the initial projects, this had two main objectives: a) to help the
supplement their income and improve their nutrition.and b) to help the
gain acceptance in the camp while learning about the refugees, their
organizations. During fifteen months of operation and later evaluations
developed in the following way:
refugees to
needs and
the project
1. In initial discussions with the camp authorities and refugee representatives, it
became clear that both parties were expecting aid to be given in the same way that
food, clothes, tents, and other things had been given up to that time. it was also clear
that the refugees wanted chickens, The authors had expected to have time to learn
about the cultural background and study the needs of the refugees, but this was not
to be because both the refugees and authorities demanded action from the start.
2. The team therefore agreed to start a poultry project and built in some other
objectives - the chicken project would work with a total of twenty-four groups in
the six poorest sections of the camp. This would give the Quaker team some
knowledge of group processes and some more intensive knowledge of how the poorest
were living in the camp.
3. As the team had only a little experience of chickens, other projects in Somalia
were visited. These projects used the only available imported bird, the White
Leghorn, which produced a large number of eggs, but often died under camp
conditions. It was decided to cross-breed this bird and the local chickens, the aim
being to breed birds which gave more eggs and did not die. Six prime Leghorn
cockewls were brought to the camp from the government farms which were three
hours drive away, and sixty prime hens were bought in the local town of Boroma.
The cockerels and hens were then separated equally into two farms, in case disease
hit one of the farms.
4. While the cross-breeding was proceeding, the team had several discussions to try
and identify the poorest groups - as “we all are” was the usual reply to the question
“who is the poorest?” The groups, with ten women in each, were administrative
groups, that collected rations together. The final twenty-four groups chosen were
visited and those which agreed to build the chicken houses and attend a series of five
lessons, were promised twenty cross-breed chicks (eighteen hens and two cockerels).
5. Given the low egg production of the local hens, the cross-breeding process was
slow. The use of an incubator was unfortunately stopped by an accidental fire. But
this slow speed enabled more detailed group discussions to occur and the lessons to be
improved and spread out. The five lessons covered housing, feeding, disease, breeding
and cooking of both eggs and chickens. All the lessons were taught in Somali and all
the materials, recipes and other inputs were local.
Of the 480 chickens given out about two-thirds survived a big predator problem,
which included foxes, mongeese, civets, hawks and cats. About another hundred
cross-breed cockerels were swopped for local cockerels, in any condition, to improve
the local stock and to use in the cooking lessons. The refugees chosen did appear to
be the poorest as only a few had raised chickens before.
The lessons also proved successful: two years after the project more white
chickens are still around the camp and the town, with the area becoming well known
for its good poultry. The team gave no assistance in building the chicken houses,
apart from advice. Though the refugees wanted items such as chicken wire, the
Quaker team produced designs using stone and sticks, and thus avoided the problem
of importing materials, which could stop the refugees building more chicken houses,
unless external assistance is provided.
Only one third of the groups of ten women decided to keep their chickens
collectively, the rest of the groups preferred to reallocate the chickens individually.
Comparing this to the womens’ garden project, it seems that where it is practical
projects should be aimed at individuals - individual women can look after chickens,
but not gardens. This is a valuable point in deciding to avoid future group projects.
FIP8ncf8l Detdls
This project cost approximately:
For all the chickens, equipment, supply and transport
For the expatriate volunteer for two thirds of a year,
including all associated costs
For the Somali and refugee staff at exchange rates then
For administration - a proportion of total other costs
Total =
With 230 participants (one group of 10 dropped out), this gives a cost per
person of $61. In terms of benefit to the refugees, the worst valuation would be given
if all the chickens were sold, and the best if the hens were kept and the eggs sold:
Worst Case
320 chickens that survived @ $1 I each =
100 cocks swopped @ $11 equivalent each =
Total =
Best Case:
If the eggs and cockerels were sold:
3 Sh/egg, 15 eggs/month, 9 months/year, 16 Sh/ U.S.&
for 320 hens =
100 cockersls @ $11 =
Total -
Most chickens were used to lay eggs to sell, so if a median value of nearly $7,000 is
taken, the project paid for itself after two years.
From the same discussions with camp authorities and refugee representatives that
started the chicken project, it emerged that up to 1596 of the adults in the camp had
been semi-nomads and had done some maize or sorghum farming and that many
refugees had very small gardens around their huts. The team offered possible help
with seeds and tools, but again built in some other social objectives. The first
objective was to help two good gardeners in each of the twenty-four sections. Then
these refugees would help another two refugees in their section begin to garden,
giving a total of ninety-six gardeners. The team would then be able to have a little
knowledge of each section and of individual and group cooperation. It was not
specified whether the participants should be men or women.
1. First, the section leaders were visited, told in more detail about the project and
asked to choose the four people in each section. They chose ninety-three men and
three women; several of the men later proved only to want the tools and did not want
either to garden or to help others.
2. The first eight sections were visited and intensively questioned about their needs,
which were 1) land, 2) tools, 3) seeds, 4) water and 5) advice in that order. Most of
the gardeners found or extended a piece of land of an average fifty square metres.
The Quakers provided locally made tools and imported those not made locally. A
wide range of vegetable seeds was also imported to try. There were no local shops
selling seeds or imported tools.
Most farmers had grown cereals, but had not grown many vegetables before.
However, vegetables were chosen as the focus of the project because they were better
for the available land, for selling and for nutrition. Jerry cans or shared donkeys were
given to help lift the water up the hills. An experienced refugee farmer and a psrttime local agricultural student gave advice.
3. The other sixteen sections turned out to be similar and over the year’s operation
much was learned about methods, preferred crops, etc. This information enabled two
more projects to be started:
1. a womens’ gardening project, using shared gardens, because the women all
had other responsibilities and could not garden full-time.
2. a garden training project focussing on preferred plants, better spacing and
seed multiplication to obtain bigger yields and more income, without further
About half the gardeners continued cultivating their gardens, but they did not
cooperate with one another as had been planned. Although the project failed in this
respect, it at least provided a valuable lesson. The chicken project confirmed this
fact. Thereafter, assistance was mainly aimed at individuals rather than groups, and
this applied particularly to the business project.
The section leaders’ choices of people did not follow the criteria given, so
although they were always consulted, they were not asked to choose participants
again. Rather, projects were designed so that refugees could join in if they were
Over this project period, the area in the camp under cultivation increased
from about five to about eight hectares. At each harvest a farmer could make an
average profit of 10,000 shillings (then about $600). The varieties of vegetables grown
increased from an average of four to an average of eleven.
Financial Details
This project cost approximately:
For the tools, seeds and equipment
For the same other costs as the chicken project
Total With 96 participants, this gives a cost of $156 per person.
In terms of benefit, since only half the 96 participants worked: 48 refugees at
an average of $600 per year = nearly $29,000 (not counting the value of tools, etc.).
In financial terms this project paid for itself in just under six months.
In August 1983 the Quaker team had begun to think about helping businesses in the
camp, when a UNHCR team came to the camp to disburse loans. There were about
one hundred applications, but only two loans were given, as the fund was small and
covered all ten camps in the North.
The Quaker team had not run business projects before and there were no
other similar projects in Somalia to learn from. though one in Kenya (Partnership for
Productivity) gave some advice. So the initial project design was mostly based on an
understanding of the camp, rather than on business expertise.
To start to cope with the raised expectations an initial experiment for ten
businesses was agreed by December 1983 with the refugee authorities and UNHCR.
The business advisor was employed in January and the first loans given in March
1984. In June the scheme was extended as it had already reached eighteen businesses.
By July 1985 the scheme had given fifty-one loans - with each month an average of
four new businesses starting repayments and four existing loans ending. The scheme
continues with a new team, having had about four hundred applications. The refugees
went through the following process:
1. A refugee came to the Quaker camp office with or without a written application.
One of the Somali community workers discussed the idea with him or her, within the
limits of the following criteria:
a) A maximum loan of 10,000 Shillings per person (The Official Exchange Rate
went from sixteen Sh/$ to eighty Sh/$, but the black market rate changed from
forty to eighty Sh/$ in the eighteen month period). In 1985, the limit was
increased to 15,000 Sh, reflecting the equivalent increase in local prices.
b) The businesses to last longer than 12 month (maximum loan time) period.
c)The team preferred busineses which were:
- “Productive” (some shops and stalls were already set up and loans to others
would have led to unfair competition, unless there was a special need). Most
of the rejections were shops.
- Of benefit to town and camp, not just the camp.
- Individuals or cooperatives - the project did not approve loans to applicants
who proposed either to employ others in an exploitative way or not to be fully
employed themselves. As a result, all the loans were to individuals or
2. There were usually several subsequent discussions with the community worker,
until the applicants had a good general proposal for a loan or did not return. In two
special cases, grants were given to newly arrived refugees, but these were very small
and only given because they had not had years in the camp to build a
security/guarantee. They were checked later and their businesses were found to be
3. Tho community worker then introduced the applicant(s) and the proposal to the
business advisor, who went through the proposal, preparing a simple analysis form
(see copy in section U.) of the loan, repayment and estimated income and costs. This
was later made more precise by both the applicants and business advisor by checking
the costs and the possible market. For instance, the business advisor found the market
for tailoring was saturated after six loans to tailors - the existing tailors began to have
spare time in the working day.
Th? process again could take several meetings. On average a successful
proposal taok one month from the initial meeting to getting a cheque. In some cases
small expe-imental loans were approved to test the market if no examples existed
(e.g., ghee making), with the scheme accepting the risk.
4. When a final analysis form had been completed, the expatriate staff discussed the
application with both the local staff and the applicants. Again, sometimes more
discussions snd checking were necessary.
5. On reaching a satisfactory application, a simple agreement was drawn up (see this
form and another example in section U.) and checked with the camp administration
for their approval of the business and the applicants. This checking provided a
safeguard: the guarantee was any combination of returning the equipment provided,
some collateral, such as a cow, or a guarantor pledging money if the business failed,
these together made up the value of the loan. Only one person was refused, a radio
repair man, because his business was not felt to be a camp need.
6. The agreement was signed by the applicants, one of the Quaker workers and the
camp commander. Five agreement copies, including two for the police and the court.
The latter two made this condition - to get copies on signing, which meant they acted
as part of the security and could later be involved in the loan recovery.
7. A cheque was given
cooperative. The business
received their money and
Business Account, starting
to the applicant or to the main members if it was a
advisor then took them to the local town bank, where they
were told how to pay back - at the bank into the Quaker
in two months time and then every month.
8. Follow-up meetings with the advisor took place as necessary, from as many as
three times a week to once a month. Notes of these meetings were written down and
gone through in supervision and training sessions between the advisor and one of the
team coordinators.
9. If a payment
was not made into the bank at the end of the month, then the
business advisor followed up quickly in person. This helped to prevent more complex
problems from developing.
OBJECTIVE 1 - The first objective was to provide a business loan and advice service
in Daray Macaane. Fifty-one businesses, involving ninety-one men and thirty-six
women, started with loans and the two new refugee groups, with eight men,
mentioned earlier had grants. Sixteen of these business loans were to groups, the rest
to individuals.
List of Small Business Advice and Loan Scheme Businesses:
7 bakers of various breads, sweets, cakes, and pancakes
6 tailors
5 traditional pot or mat makers (these had to be special in some way
as most people knew how to make the basic types)
5 wood sellers
3 meat selling groups (the loans enabled the groups to buy large animals,
such as camels, which could easily be cut into pieces of meat as small
as IOOg, whereas before the loan, they could only buy small animals,
like goats, and these could only be cut into large and therefore
expensive pieces)
3 charcoal-making groups
3 sisal-processing groups (for ropes, mats and beds)
3 shoe makers
2 lime cooperatives (limestone is burnt to produce a simple cement)
2 stone cutting groups (for building)
2 chicken farmers (not very succesful - feed and predators make this
very difficult in the camp with more than a few birds)
2 kerosene sellers (none before in camp, all was brought from town)
1 each of: barber, donkey cart operator, irrigation pipe for a farmer, drink seller,
gheemaking group, brick-making group, tool-making group and a tie-dye cooperative
(this last received more intensive support, as a business new to N.W. Somalia)
OBJECTIVE 2 - The second objective was to provide loan capital in a revolving fund
for businesses. Nearly 470,000 Somali shillings was disbursed in loans, which was
worth about $12,000 at the then exchange rates. An average loan was 8,600 Sh
(excluding the loan to the Tie-dye business of 30,000 Sh). The lowest loan was for
3,150 Sh to a traditional pot maker, and the highest was to the stone cutters’
cooperative for 23,670 Sh.
During the eighteen months there was a continuous drought, which made
business conditions very tough for everybody, not only those involved in agriculture.
The tool makers, for instance, could not sell agricultural tools. The Somali shilling
devaluation by 400% over the period, caused problems for those business people
relying on imported items, such as tailors who imported cloth. And there was also a
cholera epidemic, which led to a ban on all movement for two months and then
further restrictions.
There was therefore a lot of loan rescheduling, but despite this 53% of
possible payments were made. Two businessmen ran away (one gave money to family,
the other tried smuggling) and two businessmen were bad repayers. Ten businesses
did not need to reschedule, the other thirty-seven reached agreements to reschedule,
and repaid as arranged.
OBJECTIVE 3 - This was to provide grants of up to 50% to businesses which
required experimentation, were new to the area, or were more risky for other reasons.
In starting this business scheme, it was felt that it would be more successful and
certainly less time consuming to the Quaker staff to use people’s existing skills. So the
only example of this objective was the tie-dye business (30,000 SF. grant and 30.000
Sh loan), which involved sending eight young women (three from the town) to the
capital Mogadishu for training. The continuous training in skills and management, did
indeed take a lot of staff time, but this was seen as acceptable, because of its wider
objective of import substitution.
OBJECTIVE 4 - This was: In the future to make the scheme as independent as
possible. The problems of supply, inflation and drought took priority over preparing
local structures for take-over, making this objective a priority for the next
Financial Details
Over the eighteen months the costs were:
The loan capital for the 51 businesses
One third time for the expatriate volunteer
Local staff costs (reduced by devaluation)
Transport, administrative and other costs
Total =
With the 127 participants and 51 businesses, this gives rough figures of $140 per job
and $350 per business, including the four failures and not adjusting for the
devaluation. Normally, the loan capital would not be considered a cost, as it would be
reused, but because of the rescheduling, the devaluation, and since the agency does
not recover the loan, it seemed fairer to treat it as a cost in these comparisons.
The income to each refugee was on average 20% of the loan amount per month remembering that all the loans were worked out on :he analysis form for one month,
and these were checked later during the visits of the business advisor.
The worst case would be that only the 53% who repaid the loans during the
drought and other difficulties actually received this income:
A total of 20% x $12,000 x I2 months x 53% success = 615,264
The “payback” time would be about fourteen months.
There is reason to believe, by doing the rescheduling, that the real success rate
is between 80-90%. If an assumption is made that the refugee business people
continued paying themselves, though not the project, during the rescheduled period,
this gives an income of:
20% x $12,000 x 12 months x 85% success = $24,480
The “payback” time would be about nine months.
All these attempts at quantitative comparisons of costs and benefits are clearly
very approximate, but they do give a rough asssesment of the relative economic
merits of such IG schemes. And they demonstrate that the project gives greater
benefits to the participants, than if the money had just been given them as cash. Such
schemes provide continuing benefits for no further cost, unlike pure relief projects.
1. Knowledge of the camp - these first two income-adding starters, the chicken and
the first garden project, enabled much better planning of later projects. The
expatriate coordinators actually lived in the camp and this meant that problems could
be dealt with promptly. For instance, this enabled the use of very simple forms as all
parties were in the camp or town. Any dispute could be followed up quickly with the
backing of the authorities, and there was no need for over-legal documents - as
would be necessary for projects giving loans, but without close contact with their
beneficiaries or local authorities.
2. Not for the poorest - The programme consistently strove to work with the poorest
refugees in the camp, and the three local community workers, one man and two
women - one of whom was a refugee, often went out into the camp to try and
improve the access to the projects. However, the poorer people usually had lower skill
levels and less available time, which meant the programme had to find ways of
increasing their available time and then train them. This proved difficult and an
acceptable process was never found, but thinking continues on this.
3. Not for the richest - we had several requests for lorries, hotels, diesel irrigation
pumps and grain grinders. We tried to refer these to other agencies if we felt they
were feasible, but none were taken up. As the only non-medical expatriate agency in
the area, and as representatives of the rich “Northern” countries, these requests were
4. Not primarily an employment scheme - all the projects were designed for the
refugees to continue the activities started, not just to create income. Even the
employed staff numbers were kept low, at ten or less, to keep the agency input as
low as possible, so the refugees would not depend on them. Hence the main objective
was not employment, and this showed when, under the loan scheme, some refugees
came with ideas for businesses to employ others and were refused loans. These
applicants were refused because either the proposed businesses were exploitative or
the applicants did not have the technical and managerial skills and experience needed.
This latter lack of skills might have been because such refugees were already in the
local town.
5. Future of the Loan/Advice Project - extensions were planned into more “new”
businesses, poorer people, more training and into the local non-camp area, as well as
making the projects more Somali run. The latter would be the most difficult as no
loan interest was charged - the project was started when it was difficult
socially/politically to ask refugees to pay anything for aid. With no income from fees,
charges or interest, the problem of covering the costs for local staff and running costs
and inflation needs to be overcome. Somalia is the sixth poorest country in the world
and any government or local group would be unlikely to take over without continuing
aid. With aid, these projects seem a very cost-effective way of moving some refugees
and/or local people towards self-sufficiency. However, the question of ending rations
for the refugee business people was never asked and could well be counterproductive.
6. Advantages of this camp - Daray Macaane is situated near a big town which has
contacts with an international port (Djibouti). It is a long way from the capital and
this may make experimentation easier, as negotiations can take place at the local
level, without added bureaucracy. 90% of the local people and the refugees were from
the same clan, so there was little friction. The local authorities, such as the bank,
police and others, were very helpful, perhaps because of the regular contact with the
agency over the three years.
7. Disadvantages - devaluation, drought and cholera have already been mentioned.
The land is also extremely poor, supporting mostly nomads, a little shifting
agriculture during the rains, and a very small area of irrigated land next to dry river
beds where water flows reliably underneath the surface all year.
In the local town, there is no medium or large scale industry and cottage
industry skills, such as blacksmithing and pottery are very basic and low caste. This
imposes great limitations - the market for anything gets saturated quickly, for
example the six tailors were the all the camp could support. Hence it is always
necessary to use the refugees’ skills and to keep looking for new resources and
markets, in any and every direction.
Main Features of Progrrmmc
The original idea of the programme was to integrate refugees into the informal
business sector of a rapidly expanding town with a mixed population of half a
million. It was soon realized that this was discriminatory: the poor in Port Sudan were
in exactly the same situation as the refugees. So the poorest of the town became the
focus, with the programme assisting refugees (30%), women (40%) and other
disadvantaged getting special attention. A deliberate social mix of staff was chosen to
provide advice, technical assistance and to supply sheltered workspace, marketing
outlets, hire purchase, short term loans and microcredit. It is run on a very businesslike basis, charging some costs and fees for its services.
Over one million refugees and displaced persons have been on the move in Sudan.
And the city of Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, acts as a magnet for many - it is
expanding at 9% a year! 75% of the population are below the poverty line (over 90%
of income is spent on food). About 13% are refugees.
ACORD, which is changing its name from EuroAction Acord, was formed
from a consortium of agencies in Europe and now includes some Canadian agencies.
It focussed initially on development in the Sahel and already had an agricultural
settlement programme for refugees in Sudan, but had not had an Urban programme
before. To investigate such a programme, ACORD sent in a husband/wife couple
with a flexible brief in May 1982 - they spent thirteen months preparing, then the
programme started in June 1984.
Programme Process
Five teams of advisors, usually two men and two women work in the poorest areas of
the town. The programme is now collectively managed by its staff, with an expatriate
coordinator. The process for their loans and advice is as follows:
1. There are five sub-offices, based in the poorer districts and each advertises its
services by visits, notices and word of mouth, when the current case load allows.
2. An applicant is charged a registration fee (fS2) after the following criteria and
conditions are explained and agreed and the first home visit is planned:
a} They must be members of a Port Sudan household and contributing
income or its activities.
to its
b) Their household income should not be more than fS80 per head per month.
c) The applicant should have been a resident of Port Sudan for more than 2
d) The applicant must accept the following conditions:
i) A full household survey
ii) Pay an consultancy fee of fSl-5, as appropriate.
iii) If a loan is agreed a charge of 1% of total value per month,
is made for administrative costs.
iv) A fine of fS5 for late payers.
e) Refugees, women and disabled are given priority by ACORD. The Sudanese
authorities do not allow licenses to any more hawkers, peddlers or mobile repair
services now, as there are so many.
3. The advisor starts visiting the home and begins a logbook to build up a written
picture of the family and the present and/or proposed business.
4. When the business and the proposal are identified clearly, the advisor reports to the
sub-office or the full team. The proposal can be anything from simple budgeting or
book-keeping advice to substantial material or financial assistance.
5. If a loan or hire purchase assistance is requested, as is usualty the case, then each
advisor gets approval from the Programme Ccordination. There is no set maximum
loan, but bigger loans are considered more of a risk and problem.
6. A contract is drawn up (in front of a lawyer, if over fSl,OOO) with
and conditions. The whole process only takes a week now for short
hire purchase. For “miniloans” of very small working capital to small
retailers, usually women, who act as guarantors for each other, it can
day. These miniloans are charged at 1% a day, for up to one month.
all the amounts
term loans and
groups of petty
be done in one
7. The advisor follows up the case, monitors repayment and enters all details in the
applicant’s log book. More details are given later of the types of loans, but there are
other important parts of the programme. There are the Industry Consultancy and
Development Centres - they each house a sub-office and include “sheltered” workshop
space, a marketing area, technical development workshops and a women’s business
area (each will hold about 40 businesses). There are also the Marketing and Supply
Services - they look for supplies of tools, machinery and materials (eg sorghum to
help the “injera” or pancake makers at a time of scarcity). They also seek bulk
for instance, Oxfam ordered 5,000 children’s
contracts and do sub-contracting,
dresses a month. A commission is charged by ACORD for these contracts obtained
for the applicants.
After the thirteen month investigation stage, the following objectives were set for the
1) To promote welfare and development, by providing equal access to the means of
producing wealth, resources for development and maximum participation in the
development process.
2) To develop the economic strength of the informal sector and widen the range of
commodities provided by it.
3) To enable clients to earn higher incomes.
4) To assist clients to create more employment opportunities.
5) To train and cultivate a cadre of local staff, who would be competent
determined enough to implement and ultimately to take over the programme.
The expatriate team, having set these objectives, began a very idiosyncratic process of
forcing staff to take decisions, rather than pass them up the chain of command. The
results at the end of 1985, after two years of operation, revealed a flexible and
questioning service which certainly acheived its aims.
Client Numbers
851 business clients (or client groups),
196 of these had successfully completed the loan repayments and
were continuing in their businesses.
72 cases were closed as failures (only taking 4% of the loan fund).
583 were ongoing.
There were also 91 home improvement loans, which had just started, for roofing
materials and other items.
Client Statistics
Hire purchase (loans up to 20 months) for tools and equipment:
676 (35% Women), 517 still active, 112 completed, 47 failures.
Short term loans (up to 2 months) for working capital:
86 (44% Women), 32 still active, 49 completed, 5 failures.
Hire purchase and short term loans combined:
21 (48% Women), 9 still active, 8 completed, 4 failures.
MicroCredit (up to one month):
64 (44% Women), 25 still active, 23 completed, 16 failures.
Consultancy Only (all clients received advice with loans):
4 (50% Women).
Employment and Income
It is estimated, through the close monitoring of the logbooks, that the incomes of the
clients had doubled from fSlO0 per month before the ACORD assistance. Of the 851
businesses that had been created, often there was more than one job in each and the
assistance total was about 1,250 families.
BusinessTypes (68% newly initiated, the rest existing businesses)
236 tailors
140 water sellers
14 butchers
10 cake makers
6 goldsmiths
6 needle-workers
5 painters
4 mattress makers
4 electricity suppliers
3 bakers
2 knitters
2 ice-cream makers
1 farmer
1 pastry maker
1 singer
120 caterers
45 goods transporters
11 milk sellers
9 shoemakers
6 soft drink makers
5 grinding mill operators
4 tinsmiths
4 spaghetti makers
4 perfume makers
3 hairdressers
2 vegetable sellers
2”shiro”beanstew makers
1 retailer
1 tilly lamp maker
(* “injera”)
52 carpenters
19 launderers
10 woven bed makers
8 tyre repairers
6 reservoir operators
5 welders
4 pancake makers*
4 builders
3 radio repairers
3 fishermen
2 photographers
1 mechanic
1 aluminium caster
1 battery charger
Updated Information
By the end of 1986, a full comparison was not available, but a further 226 businesses
were helped: 75% were new businesses, and over the year there was a failure rate of
approximately 15%. 25% were womens businesses and of the new businesses created
about 60% were production based, 30% service and 10% retail.
Financial Details
The programme ran in 1985 at roughly US$750,000/year, of which a little more than
one third went on local salaries, a third into the revolving loan and property
development fund and the remainder was spent on staff development, training, the
temporary expatriate personnel, logistic support, rents, and other costs. it now runs at
about $600,000, with decreased capital input and expatriate staff. NOTE: the average
official exchange rate of 2.45 fS per $, is used, but devaluation and inflation make
this only a guide.
In 1985,the revolving
End 1984 outstanding
Repayments of loans
End 1985 outstanding
fund statement was:
and 1985 new loans
and hire purchase installments
loans (incl. 29,124.29 Bad Debts)
Total Income (client charges,commission,rental and sales)
Expenditure (bad debts,Womens Centre purchases,expenses)
Net Income
(NOTE: Field Staff and Offices cost about fSl7,000/month)
Using the 17 month period, from June 1984 to the end of 1985, the cost of
assisting 851 businesses and 1,250 families is $1,062,500. These figures give a cost per
business of $1,250 and a cost per job of $850. The figures show a high administration
cost compared to the actual assistance given, but this level of examination and
SuPPort to businesses is justified by the number of success stories.
In terms of income to the participants, if 1,250 people have increased their
income by fSlO0 each month, this gives a total value of $612,245 per year. In other
words the assistance has paid for itself within two years, and the businesses carry on
bringing in income, without further assistance.
1. There has been constant experimentation with new strategies and structures - The
programme is operating under very changeable conditions and has to adapt itself. In
fact, the stafTs salaries are tied to achievements, and positions rotate regularly to
keep everybody in touch with the way their clients are responding.
2. This Programme has actively avoided having preconceived set rules as to who it
will help and how much it will lend. Instead it has tried to give the appropriate help,
especially to the poorest and disadvantaged.
3. For pluralism - In such a mixed town community, the ACORD programme is seen
to be fair and this is a strength to its work and to the staff. It is all too easy to help
either the most powerful groups or particular groups and so be tainted by others with
the charge of favouritism.
4. Decision-making and responsibility are favoured and indeed forced to the lowest
level of the advisory staff. The operation of the programme depends on the decisions
of the advisors, so they decide the policies and practices. Initially the staff found this
difficult, as they could be blamed for any mistake, rather than passing the blame. But
now this policy brings a competence and a flexibility, which can cope with the many
problems presented. The reporting system is very thorough and open, to encourage
discussion and comparison - and also praise and criticism.
5. Payment for services - Most Aid, particularly for refugees, is on a charitable basis.
Here, not only is the loan repaid, but fees and administration costs are charged,
though “interest” is not charged. This makes the loan acceptable to Islamic Law which
allows fees and risk capital, but not interest as that is viewed as usury.
6. Only small businesses? - The first coordinators were single-minded in using a
business approach to helping small businesses, and they produced a responsive and an
efficient service. Certainly the best answers to problems in small businesses can be
found within other small businesses and not in bureaucracies or other organizations.
The coordinators would recognize that this programme is only one attack on poverty
and there should be others, but they are critical of the “welfare” approach - it needs a
business mind not a welfare mentality to help small businesses.
Yet Port Sudan and its refugees need many services. The home improvement
loans mark ACORD’s first step away from exclusively small business activities.
7. Only individuals? - Small business is essentially an individual affair; group
activities need cooperation and clearly defined objectives - if these are not present,
then you are just adding problems to an already difficult task. The miniloan groups
were not forced, all the participants had to agree with the others about the joint
repayment responsibility, even though businesses were independent of each other.
8. Careful preparation - This avoided false starts and therefore saved money, but the
initial plan produced was not a blueprint to be followed; it was a starting point with
initial directions. The difference between blueprint and evolving methods of planning
projects is shown is section E.
9. The future of the programme - Although this programme goes further in selffinancing than any other refugee IG programmes we studied, it is not clear whether
such charges can eventually cover all the costs. The intention was for the programme
to become a fully independent, non-profit agency, however outside grants continue to
be necessary. So, at some point in the future, the programme may be taken over by
government or other semi-official bodies, as a very cost-effective service to help the
poor and to increase economic activity.
THE RELIEF END - Christian Outreach in East Sudan
Main Features
An expatriate volunteer administrator working for a medical programme saw a need
combined with an opportunity: refugee weavers could make traditional cloth for
refugee use. Between October 1985, when the local refugee commission agreed the
proposal for this short-term relief substitution project, and the end of April 1986,
when the Tigrean refugees moved on, the project produced cloth for the refugees and
In one of the camps in East Sudan with a transit
Christian Outreach set up a medical programme, from
of the refugees’ otl>:r needs. The administrator (then
permission to do the weaving project, followed by
programme, together taking about a third of his time.
population of about 20,000,
which an awareness developed
aged twenty-two) first asked
a small agricultural training
Programme Process
The programme aims were to provide an occupation, to increase incomes, to provide
training and to provide suitable clothes for the refugees’ return to Tigre, in that
order. There were no other employment opportunities, except for very menial jobs,
and the families wanted income immediately and also fur their eventual return. It was
also desirable to provide training for a few people, who were not skilled weavers and
to make suitable, traditional clothes, which were more appropriate than those
provided by donors. The “history of the problems”, to use the administrators words,
proceeded as follows:
1. Raw or Spun Cotton? - Since one of the scheme’s objectives was to provide
employment, and cotton spinning is very labour intensive, every effort was made to
obtain raw cotton, rather than spun cotton. There was also a supply problem with the
manufactured spun cotton. But the raw cotton chosen also had problems, it was dirty,
off-white, and not of a good quality, though still possible to use. A whiter raw cotton
was available, but only on the black market. Some spun cotton was bought later to
diversify production.
2. Building the Looms - luckily some weavers were skilled at this.
3. The Weavers - Twelve people were employed - ten men, of whom two were TB
patients, and two women. Their salaries were originally paid monthly, but were later
changed, with some difficulty, to a piece-rate comparable to local weavers at about
0.3 US $/metre, giving about 50 $/month, which was still above other camp and local
4. The Spinners - These were all women, and indeed most women in the camp could
spin. Their salaries started at 12 US $/kg after much discussion. After 60 kg had been
made, the price was discovered to be high - a later contract price was 3 $/kg. But
giving the cotton cloth in exchange for spinning was found to be even better - first
at 12m then 6m cloth per kg spun cotton. This had the added advantage of
distributing the cloth throughout the camp. Quality control was the supervisors’
responsibility. With all the different systems of payment or exchange, the total
number of women benefitting from the project was difficult to estimate - possibly
5. Supervision - The expatriate
checked production and carried
monthly salary, but this was
Iweavers changed to piece-rate.
perhaps to being a cooperative,
administrator and the refugee supervisor kept records,
out the marketing. The supervisor was originally on a
dropped in line with output, at the same time the
This was mostly to prepare for a future hand-over,
rather than for the sake of cost-cutting.
6. Distribution - By mid-April 1986, 4,167m of cloth had been produced, of which
2,579m was given in return for spinning, 698m was given to other refugees who did
no work for the project. 216m was sold, and the remaining 674m stayed in stock or
was used as samples for sales.
7. Marketing and the Future - At present production costs, the cotton cloth with the
traditional coloured stripe ends can be produced at one US$/metre. The cost
breakdown was:
11% cotton, 46% weaving, 38% spinning and
5% administration, supervisor, guard/watchman.
This is excluding expatriate costs, equipment or store costs, apart from the
guard, but it does give the levels of costs should a cooperative be formed.
In the future, if the new refugees coming in can work in a similar project,
then changes will be made in the marketing. There ,sem to be five possible
- Local sales look possible, but difficult as there are local weavers
and the people prefer white to off-white cloth.
- Three foreign agencies in Sudan have bought cloth for their programmes
and could employ a couple of weavers full-time.
- Sales in the camp itself have started with a small commission (less
than 5%), but while some cloth is distributed free this may be difficult.
- The cloth could be used to replace blankets, which cost $1.50 to
transport to Sudan, if agencies would buy it.
- Or production could be sold to “Western Markets” in charity/3rd World shops.
All these possibilities need to be investigated further.
As an example of relief substitution, this should be seen as only a beginning - it was
production for and by refugees, but not direct substitution and could have gone
further, such as producing blankets or substituting other clothes given to the refugees.
In terms of its objectives, the twelve weavers earned about $2,500 in six
months and the estimated 500 spinners earned $4,300, not including the cloth
exchanged for spinning. So perhaps the spinners were the main recipients of this
programme. Training seems to have been a small part, though it might be bigger with
the new refugees, in the future. Providing traditional cloth seems to have been an
important aspect, though 2,579m must represent a small proportion of the need, in
the context of the total refugee population of 20,000.
Financial Details
By the end of May 1986, the total costs were around $10,500, including about $1,000
for tools and equipment, but excluding the expatriate volunteer administrator. The
remaining $9,500 for 4,167m is much higher than the $1/m given above, because for
most months the higher rates weri paid to the weavers, spinners and supervisor.
1. The main point is that where skills, supplies and needs coincide, then a scheme
which fulfils many objectives can be started and be operational in a short time.
2 ‘-‘.ven if the refugees return home quickly, this project proves that there are
:t ,me-generating projects, which can support people, enhance or retain their skills,
r,elp others and be genuinely portable.
3. The progress of this project shows that it is difficult to “get it right” immediately.
There are too many variables - and such starting problems cannot be used to evaluate
the whole idea. This often means a costly starting period, which shows clearly in the
overpayments to weavers and spinners, resulting in a cloth cost per metre of $2.28,
instead of $1, which was the final Dfoduction cost.
4. This agency collaborated with two other agencies to sell the cloth and another two
in getting supplies. As in other IG projects, such cooperation is often essential.
5. In the final project evaluation by Christian Outreach, which proposed a
continuation, it was stated ... “if the [new] project is to be a success . .. [the
administrator coming] does not need to know anything about weaving, although it
would obviously help. What is needed is someone with ideas, energy, an eye for
colours and patterns, and a business mind.”
The following tables set out some comparisons between the five case studies. It would
have been more informative to present these comparisons for all the programmes
surveyed. However, these comparisons need a detailed understanding
of each
programme, and very few agencies record all of the statistics used below in enough
detail. As it was, a number of “educated guesses” had to be made from figures or
comments made by the case study respondents. As we said in the introduction, we
have concentrated in this book on business programmes for refugees, so business
starters and assistance schemes are more represented than other types of IG
TABLE 1 - Income Generation Tvoes. Training and Skills
IG activity
IG only?
(in descending
Skill Levela of ’
(O-5 scale)
6, ‘I
a = Activity
types, l=Relief
= Training/Advice
Skill Uti!hation,S=Vocational
’ = Skill Level Scale, l= Unskilled,
refer only to Loan/Advice
b= Majority
2= a little experience,
I= Some training,
= Figures
5= Trained
scale, l= None given, 2= Some given incidentally,
4= A main part of project,
3= Part of project,
of project.
S= Basic skill,
and qualified
Scheme, not other 10 projects,
except IG types.
Comments on Table 1 a) The first two columns support two of the conclusions from the
questionnaire analysis - that although agency programmes are diverse, the types of IG
projects can be classified into one or more of the eight types. Also only 30% of
agencies run IG programmes exclusively.
b) The amount of training given seems to correspond to how far the refugees
are from the relief phase. The further away, so the more training is given. This also
correlates with moving away from relief to flexible development - the phases A. to E.
in Figure 3. This is probably to be expected as training takes time to bear fruit, and
is only practicable to organize, once the emergency phase is over.
c) Most of the participants in the programmes have had some training or
experience. This means that neither the unskilled, nor the well-qualified are served
by these programmes.
TABLE 2 - Timescales and Staffinn
10 Tima-
Nor. E&pats in
Nor. Local Staff
IG (equivalent)
in IG
Comments on Table 2
a) Most programmes have been operating for rather longer than the IG
projects within them. The questionnaire analysis also confirms this.
b) Nothing conclusive can be said about staffing levels, other than that the
nature of the programme probably defines the number of expatriate and local staff.
TABLE 3 - Numbers and Costs
Colt in 1 yr
Ratio Assistance-
in fimt yr e,f
to lyr Return 0
795 (1,lZQ)
916 (1,107)
: = An Eatimata
made by the authon,
= See Evaluation
from the information
in the case atudieo.
Section Y.
Comments on 1 lble 3
a) The numbers assisted in each project seem higher than equivalent projects
with local people, but this may need more research to confirm.
b) More will be said about financial statistics in the Evaluation Section Y., but
it is clear that the “payback” period, or more accurately the time taken for the income
produced to equal the assistance cost is often less than a year. Alternatively, the “rate
of return” for all except Christian Outreach, which did not continue, is over 50% some bankers may envy this! And the majority of the refugees (about 80% on
average) go on generating income with no further assistance!
c) Perhaps we should have included cost per job per year, as the cost per
business per year does not include those businesses with many participants or extra
jobs created, bui we only had some figures. The Quakers helped 51 businesses, with
127 direct part r< pants over 18 months. This gives a cost/job/yr of $142, comparable
to the AICF figi -e of $151.
TABLE 4 - Issues of Coverage and Particioation
96 IG to
% Women
Chosen by
Choren by
Otmding “‘F
(O-6 da)
Quakers d
0.4 k
’ = Thin ia the percentage
of refugees
= Thie mally a&
of IG ncipientr
in the programma
other agencies
(O- 5 wale) j
with the
in the area.
the question
*doea the mfugee choose the type of aanirtance given
to him or her?”
i = Cultural
during the pmject,
the project,
Scde, l= No attempt
3= Some adaptiona
I= Cultural
S= 16 4, but including
to culture,
2= Some change*
fit project to the cultum before and during
an integral
part of project
and operation,
helping other agencier to plan for these factors.
‘= Other agenciee Connectionfl
to adapt programme
made to
Scale, l= No connections,
4= Other agencier am involved
alno acts in a coordination
2= A few connectiona,
in a part of the pmgramme,
3= Some programme
6= As well aa 4, agency
role for other aganciu.
= Only mfem to mfugee clienta from mfugee population
in Port Sudan.
Comments on Table 4 a) It is worth noting that most of these programmes deal with less than one
per cent of the refugee population. That would seem to suggest that more programmes
of this type are needed, since there are almost certainly far larger numbers of
refugees with the necessary skills and experience than those assisted. It also suggests
that more programmes are needed for those less skilled, when a comparison is made
with Table 1.
b) The columns showing whether the activities and the assistance given were
chosen by the refugees, show agreement with our theory of more “developmental
style” in the move from relief to flexible development. Christian Outreach is near the
relief style, ARC and AICF are the next nearest, with the Quakers and then ACORD
being nearer a developmental style, The amount of choice of activity or assistance
also follows the same progression towards the increased participation of the refugees.
This admittedly subjective assessment of these last two columns show that in
the field of IG at least, agencies are aware of the importance of cultural backround
and of the need to cooperate with others.
(See Photographs on P.46)
Having given five case studies of agencies* programmes, it is now time to look at
businesses from the refugees’ points of view. Below are three short sketches of real
refugees whose businesses have been assisted by agencies. There follow two imaginary
“average” refugees, whose history and businesses are the averages of all the
questionnaire data of the men or women in those countries. See also section R. - “The
Refugees’ Viewpoint” for more information from the refugee business questionnaires.
1. Hassan the Stone-cutter
In June 1984, Hassan was one of six members of a stone-cutting group that received
a loan from the Quakers in the Daray Macaane Refugee Camp in Somalia. The loan
was for 6,870 Somali Shillings, then equivalent to $430, to buy hammers, chisels,
crowbars and other tools. During the first three months the group managed to get
contracts to sell their cut stone to builders in the local town of Boroma. However,
building houses needs water for the cement or mud binding e.nd this was the
beginning of the 1984/5 drought. For the next five months, until two rainy days in
March (instead of the usual twenty), Hassan and the group went on cutting stones,
but sold none. They built up small mounds of cut stones on the hillsides instead.
The Quakers agreed to reschedule the loan - only taking repayments on the
months the group sold stones. When the normal rains came at the end of September
1985, they had paid back 5 out of 15 possible monthly repayments. They had worked
for nothing for most of that time, but the stocks meant that they were able to finish
repayments by March 1986. See the Quaker Business Analysis Form in section U. for
the stone-cutters original plans.
2. Abdida the Tailor
Abdida came from Afghanistan early in 1984, and was living in a very old tent with
many holes when the Austrian Relief Committee found her in a refugee village in
Pakistan. She was given a sewing machine and by September 1985, on a return
monitoring visit, ARC found that she had earned enough money to pay for the
building of a comparatively large mud house. Not only that, but she had bought a
tailoring table with a machine cover. She was the first woman that ARC had seen
reinvesting in her business.
(In the photograph, the rule of Purdah is observed and her face is covered).
3. Mohammed the Dressmaker
In the photograph Mohammed (on the right) is explaining his secret pleating process
to Hussein, a Partnership for Productivity Business Advisor in Somalia. He folds the
cloth on a cardboard frame and then it is steamed above an ordinary Somali charcoal
cooker in the pipe behind them. Mohammed is a self-settled refugee in Hargeisa, the
second biggest town in Somalia, and his business is thriving. Hussein taught
Mohammed how to prepare simple accounts, so that Mohammed could easily see
which items made him the most money. Hussein was then able to introduce
Mohammed to some clothing retailers, to improve Mohammed’s market and enable
him to spend more time pressing pleats and less time trying to sell his dresses.
Hassan the Stone-cutter
Mohammed the Dress-maker
Abdida the Tailor
Having given three cases of real refugees - two men in Somalia and one woman in
Pakistan, we wanted to give more typical examples of an average man and woman, in
and from rural areas. We have chosen a woman in Sudan and a man in Pakistan.
“Amina” is the average of fourteen women in Sudan and “Ahmed” is the average of
twenty-eight men in Pakistan. Both represent the average of all the examples of that
type we received in our refugee business questionnaires from the agencies, so they
may not be entirely typical. The averages of all the refugee business questionnaires
are in appendix C.
Both Ahmed and Amina have final profits rather higher than the average
refugees’ income in those countries, but they do give a general impression of the
average situation for those refugees in business.
Amina is 33 years old and has been a refugee for five years, but has only been
receiving free rations for three years. She has two adults and three children who
depend on her income. Her parents owned a teashop in Ethiopia and that is what she
started in Sudan. She received $180 loan from a agency Business Starter scheme. Her
business has a turnover of $170 each month, her income is $70 and she also pays back
$10 of the loan. She values the visits of the business advisor, as each time he suggests
something new, which brings in new customers. Last month, it was a sign at the end
of the street, because her business is not on a main road. One of her daughters works
for her when the school is closed and a cousin works at lunch-times only.
When Amina started her biggest problems were getting money to start, and
then getting customers. Now she is thinking about moving to bigger premises with
more people around. Sometimes she gets sick from cooking over a smoky fire, so she
hopes that she can do less cooking after the move, She feels she is settled and is not
thinking about returning, but wishes the troubles would end so she can go home.
Ahmed is 33 and has also been a refugee for five years, but has only had free rations
for one year, as he works as a blacksmith in the local town. He has three adult and
four child dependents. He brought a few tools with him and had saved $80 from
working for someone else. Two years ago an agency added $200 worth of equipment
as a grant and now his turnover is $140 each month. From this he takes home $60
each month. His eldest son helps his father and is learning the trade. Ahmed employs
another refugee from the same valley in Afghanistan where he grew up and where he
used to work as a blacksmith.
Before the agency grant, Ahmed’s main problems were getting enough capital
to start and finding cheap scrap metal supplies. He is now thinking about learning
better welding, which is a course offered by another agency. He thanks Pakistan for
giving him a home and although he cannot own land, housing or fixed machinery, he
thinks this is fair - anyway he wants to return to Afghanistan when the situation
changes. There seems to be more competition now as other businesses are starting,
and Ahmed wants a loan for a small welding machine so he can expand into a
business with fewer competitors.
Al. Introduction
In keeping with our intention to make this a reference book for those interested in
income-generating projects with refugees, we have divided up the topics, so that each
section is easy to find. However, as with any complex subject, some topics overlap
many sections. So, rather than duplicate these in each section, we would hope the
reader will go through it all once and then return to the parts useful to him or her.
One obvious example of this is Evaluation, which should be dealt with at the
beginning, during the running and at the end of any project. We have placed it at the
end (under section Y), in common with usual practice, but we would see Evaluation
as more important than its position in the text suggests.
Given the wide diversity of agency, political, social and environmental
contexts field workers must work with, there is little point in us providing a recipe
for action. However we would like in the following pages to illustrate the range of
possibilities and options which may be open to those embarking on an incomegenerating programme. Wherever possible we will give examples from our research of
agencies’ experiences in specific situations.
We would recommend a degree of wariness in using this material, in that each
refugee situation is different. There are different skills and cultures, different
political situations, different environments and different agencies. The reader should
pick and choose what is relevant. So, our theme is “Be wary of answers”; we will try
to give the questions that arose from the research and the answers given. We do give
our opinions, but it is up to the reader to judge from the evidence for their own
particular situation.
A2. What are the most important factors for success with IG projects?
Responses to the qualitative questionnaire B suggested that the participation of the
refugees, the opportunities allowed by the host government and the refugees’ skills
are the most important factors, in that order. From the other factors identified by the
respondents, a good knowledge of the cuLura1 backround of both the refugees and
local peoples is also essential. Whereas the educational levels and the low capital
available to refugees seem relatively unimportant.
More details on these are given later, but to interpret these comments and so
to design and run LG. projects, we have suggested that an understanding of the timescale of the refugees’ perceptions of their stay within the host country’s political
situation is also very important. That is why the “Framework for Thinking” about the
types and timing of income generating projects is at the beginning of this manual and
not in this section.
The importance of the host country situation and the time-scale is
corroborated by many respondents. In Question B9., “The Opportunities allowed by
Government”, is seen as even more important than the skills of the refugees. In fact
the failure to understand the host country situation is seen as one of the main factors
that leads to the failure of LG. projects (Q.B24). And the time-scale factor ranks just
after the refugees* cultural bat-kround in importance (Q.B6 and 23).
A3. Refugee Participation and Initiation in IG projects
Participation is identified as the most important factor, but its meaning is vague.
Refugees can “participate” by merely being assisted or can participate by running and
controlling the programme. Certainly our respondents felt that those projects or
businesses initiated by refugees should be supported and that they work better than
outside initiatives. However, most LG. projects are initiated from outside, which
suggests more factors are involved when agencies decide to initiate projects
themselves. Some agencies see the refugees as having limited flexibility or unfocussed
enthusiasm or as suffering from dependancy symptoms, arising from their new
position as refugees.
Certainly, real and psychological dependency exists at the relief phase, but
they cannot be said to be permanent. We suggested earlier that the trend from relief
to flexible development should be accompanied by similar trends from dependence to
independence and from employment to self-employment. There must be the same
trend for refugee participation and initiation. The current situation for relief
substitution projects is one where the projects are initiated by the agency, the
products and the participants are chosen by the agency and the organization
controlled by the agency. By the time refugees enter the phase for business assistance
projects the situation has changed. The business, the assistance and the organization,
at least of their own business, is controlled by the refugee, only the project is still
and run. Four of our respondents described this process as a
“developmental” style - which is also more participatory.
A4. What does “Cultural Background” mean?
Although the understanding of the economic/cultural and political background of the
refugees and the host population was given one of the highest values in the replies,
its meaning is again vague. Obviously, it means responding to the particular situation,
but an agency field worker cannot think of everything, so what are common
elements? The following list is not all-inclusive and in different situations one might
be very much more important than another:
- Balances between groups - there are very often sub-groups of refugees, which
vary in their power and wealth. A careful understanding of this can avoid bitter
disputes. Such careful balances were features of the AICF and ARC case studies.
- Balances between the sexes - more is written of this later. But, for instance, if all
the staff are men or the assistance only provided for full-Lime businesses, then the
number of women is likely to be low.
- Religious concerns - the Islamic concept of a loan is an obvious one (see p.38).
- Legal concerns - the ownership of apparently unused land has caused tremendous
problems to refugees and local people, especially farmers.
- Ecological concerns - starting many lime or charcoal-making
strain on the wood resources of an area.
businesses puts a
- Wage levels - one common dispute occurs when an agency comes in and pays more
than normal for the area, and so causes dissention throughout the refugee and
local populations. (See the Christian Outreach Case study).
- Loan or Grant levels - there is a skill in getting them at the right levels. Too low
and businesses fail, too high and the queue shows it is more important to get
the assistance, than to run a business.
A last point is that - refugees may not distinguish between the different agencies who
question them in order to “get to know them better.” This has led to some refugees
being annoyed at being asked the same questions again and still not getting any
benefits, Also the same questioning has led to whisperings of “spies”, which is not
surprising from people who have just fled one country for another. Some questions
may be particularly sensitive and it may not be possible to ask them directly.
AS. Project Type and Finance
It is complicated to get comparable figures from agencies, for many reasons - they
may have aggregate figures for a number of projects or the categories were not
defined in the same way or one particular figure needed was missing. So the
following table is only a guide:
TABLE 5 - IG Proiect Tvues and Costs
No. of organisatione
No. of partieipantr
Total coat
(56 of 149 projectr)
direct (indirect)
4,510 (112,610) 1,828,OOO
Relief substitution
2 (5)
Development investment
* Infrastructure
1 (3)
* Environment
1 (3)
Income-adding starters
2 (17)
Basic skill utilization
l Agriculture
0 (9)
+ Village crafts
2 (9)
Vocational training
l Skilled crafts
+ Simple Vocational
3 (22)
Business starters
3 (6)
Business assistance
Employment bureau
(* Percentage not separable)
cost ($) direct
405 (16)
These results represent 19 organizations, for which we have details; with one
column showing the percentages of the different IG types for the 149 organizations in
the total survey. The participants can be either employed or self-employed, no split
was possible. But what do they mean?
In Relief Substitution Projects, the main beneficiaries are the refugees that
receive the quilts, school bags or school uniforms. The workers’ wages make up only
a quarter of the total assistance cost.
For Development Investment, the Infrastructure
project was to create
irrigation canals, but no numbers were given for those who would finally benefit, so
it is difficult to analyse. The Environment project was se& up to make fuel-efficient
stoves and ovens and the main beneficiaries were the recipients of these (see case
study on P.75).
As already discussed, agriculture projects are not generally included. The
other skills that many refugees bring are handicraft skills. These handicrafts are sold
to local and to foreign markets, so most of the costs are recovered and the low figures
relate mostly to initial start-up costs.
It is clear from the above table that as the assistance moves from what we
have called income-adding starters through business starters to business assistance, the
cost per participant goes from $85 to $253 and then to $901. Gradually the average
capital costs of helping each refugee increases as each “business” becomes more
It is important to remember that most of this assistance is in the form of
loans, and loan amounts have been included in the costs. As over 90% of the loans are
repaid, the costs quoted above are substantially overstated.
rhis process of costs increasing with complexity is mirrored by the results
from the Refugee Business Questionnaire. The results show that urban refugees in
relatively developed areas, such as Nairobi in Kenya and towns on the West Bank
average $3,900 per business, whereas the starting costs for rural refugees in Pakistan,
Somalia and Sudan average $197 each.
The costs of Vocational Training varied so widely, we made two categories,
one for skilled trades like automobile engineering and one for simple trades, like
weaving, which can be done without infrastructural support or imported machinery.
The differences speak for themselves.
We only have one case of an Employment Bureau - it was set up by the
Austrian Relief Committee in Pakistan, which later closed - see ARC case study and
section 0. for further details on employment bureaux.
A6. How large should an IC project be?
As there are large numbers of refugees in poor countries, one of the aims of incomegenerating projects is to assist as many refugees as possible. But equivalent enterprise
assistance projects working with nationals in poor countries have generally been
found to be more effective when they are themselves small scale and acting in a local
context. Most refugee projects are, however, operating on a far larger scale.
On average, each of the projects in our survey dealt with 842 people over the
last twelve months, and three-quarters of them are acting in more than one site; the
average is eighteen sites each.
Does this mean that all refugee IG projects must be large? No, even in
countries with very large refugee populations, there are succesful projects with small
Is a loss of quality associated with this difference of larger projects for
refugees? Generally, these large refugee projects are well-targeted and successful, but
there is some evidence that loan repayments are reduced if the scheme is not in
regular, direct contact with its participants. The success of ARC and AICF in giving
tool kits to help start large numbers of refugee businesses, without regular contact,
did show one way how large well-targeted projects can work.
Many of our respondents did favour local area bases. Even if they dealt with
large numbers, they preferred a number of separate bases well coordinated, but
relatively independent. ACORD had six such bases in the poorer districts of Port
Sudan, as described in the case study.
Another approach was to start on a small or an experimental basis and
gradually to grow in size. Some respondents felt that increasing the size of projects,
increases the problems of communications
and transportation
and decreases
opportunities for participation. They were sure that national programmes were less
likely to be a success than regional ones, for these reasons.
One respondent wondered whether voluntary agencies or non-governmental
organizations are inherently unsuited to run large projects, as their own internal
organizations are small scale. Another respondent wondered whether governments or
large international agencies could be flexible and responsive enough for IG projects.
Size is not considered to be a major factor: both large and small projects can be good
or bad, and the key is the sensitivity of the agency to the refugees situation.
The size of the project must fit the conditions - the refugees skills, the
market and the local situation. Clearly there have been cases where too many people
have been trained in skills that have no market, or too many businesses started which
were dependent on one scarce resource material: large scale can be a problem, not
only from an organizational point of view. Having said that, perhaps particularly with
refugee projects, it is obviously necessary to help as many people as possible and this
may mean looking more closely at cost-effectiveness than is done at the moment.
There is a danger, as one respondent said, that charities feel they are automatically
doing good when they give aid, whereas the truth according to another respondent is
“give grants, you assist them [the refugees) to death.”
A7. Expatriate and Local Staff
Although the following figures need some care in interpretation, it appears that the
agencies which replied to our questionnaires have on average two and a half
expatriate staff each, of whom two are working on IG. They are on average assisted
by 70 local staff, If we exclude the big relief substitution, infrastructure and village
craft projects, we come down to two expatriate staff with one working on IG,
supported by 15 local staff. Given that for most agencies IG is only one part of their
programme, this indicates that IG takes a lot of staff time. That is certainly the case
in the IG projects the authors have known.
The costs of expatriate salaries compared to the total assistance given were not
in the questionnaire, but from the case studies and other programmes with the
information available in detail, it seems consistent at about 16%. It is possible to
reduce this figure with competent local staff, whether they be refugees or nationals
of the host country. Programmes with high expatriate salaries, such as are paid by
some American or international aid agencies, need to justify these in terms of
numbers assisted, as this causes resentment from both host nationals and refugees.
Even the relatively cheap expatriate volunteers must be careful not to be helping just
a few people.
The difficulty of obtaining competent local staff seems to be only an issue in
the poorest areas of Somalia and Sudan, where on-the-job training and internal
courses for staff are normal. In Kenya and Pakistan, more staff are already trained,
although some on-the-job training continues. The skill of the staff is one of the main
factors mentioned in the “Any other lessons learned” section of the questionnaire; the
success of IG projects is said to depend very much on the good choice and use of
local staff. Although the respondents gave few clues on how to choose staff, they did
give some questions about local staff when projects are being planned, which are
shown in section E.ll. Later, in section Q., we look at choosing the participants,
which obviously also affects the choice of staff.
Bl. The nature of Relief Agencies
Relief Agencies should be good at moving relief assistance in quickly and efficiently,
which means they have a number of characteristics:
Time-scale - they work to a short time-scale, in fact most personnel in this period
are on 6 months or shorter contracts. Their supplies must be ready within weeks,
since any day lost could mean lives lost as well.
Organization - logistics and statistics: they need to be skilled in these fields and able
to decide quickly how much is needed for how many and when. The agency must be
prepared with its own systems already set up, in order to answer these questions.
Resources - food, water and health resources have to be provided quickly, and given
the usual lack (or perceived lack) of local resources, that means that they come in
from outside.
B2. Are Relief Agencies suited to promote Income-Generation?
Despite several comments from the questionnaire respondents along the lines that “IG
needs a business-type mentality”, the answer has to be “Yes”. Only 30% of agencies
are involved in IG programmes alone, and three out of the five programmes described
in the case studies started and remain mainly Health programmes.
In fact, being already with the refugees has two main advantages. Firstly, the
refugees know and hopefully trust and understand the agency, which gives the agency
credibility to start something new. Secondly, working on any project, perhaps
particularly health projects, the agency builds up knowledge of the refugees’ skills,
organization, their cultural backround and their expressed needs, as well as their
objective needs.
Besides these two there are other advantages, which may apply in some
situations. The host government organization already knows the agency and its
personnel, which may give that agency an advantage over newly arrived agencies. If
getting registered as a legal entity in the host country is a slow process, it can save
time and money, especially for outside donors, to adapt the work of an existing
agency than bring in a new one.
83. What changes need to be made for a Relief Agency to run IG projects?
Most of the changes needed involve changing from a relief style agency to a
development style one (See section C.l). But what particular changes are needed?
Funding and Staff Contracts - Staff should have longer contracts, funding should be
assured over longer periods.
Use local resources and local people - The programmes should use iocal resources and
local people, for instance trainers should be local small businessmen or women,
whenever possible.
Use refugees - Programmes should try not to import goods, but should use their
agency buying power to get items made locally or preferably by the refugees. Of 17
IG programmes, only 7 bought from refugees:
2 handicraft or relief substitution ones obviously buy from the
2 other projects buy some refugee production.
3 buy a little, like charcoal or pots from businesses that make them.
We feel that the use of the agencies’ buying power could be increased, so that
much of the refugees* and agencies’ needs could be supplied by the refugees.
However some agencies make this difficult by international tendering restrictions one soap-making project could not compete with free imported soap! The money so
entering the refugee economy, can then help other businesses start to supply the
refugees’ needs.
Attitude and Style Changes - These are the biggest changes; refugees must be helped
to do things for themselves. The starving, helpless refugee image must give way to
the independant, proud refugee, who has overcome the difficulties. Most people have
heard of the old Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish, you feed him for one day,
teach a man to fish you feed him for life”. Many development agencies have gone one
they have helped people to decide what they want to do, and what they
want to learn and then to take control over their own destinies. When pollution or
fishing quotas stop the fishing, then he or she can plan and decide what to do and yet
another assistance project is not needed.
The management style of the project has to change. What started as relief for
the starving must move towards flexible development of people who are in charge of
their own lives. The refugees were starving, they are poor, they need assistance, but
not charity. We hope that the change will be gradual and progressive. The agency
must try to aim to “put itself out of business”, rather than to continue running the
We cannot claim that such a process will be smooth or can be completed, but
it does seem to match the major trends in several countries with refugees awaiting
one of the durable solutions (see p.4 and p.8).
Dependency - This is a complex topic, but as one respondent said, “it is a visible
factor”. About half the respondents felt that dependency arose from the loss of the
refugees’ former lives, the other half felt that much of it came from the relief
process itself, where everything is done for them. A few respondents likened refugees
to people who are colonized, and who wait for things to happen to them. Whatever its
reasons, everybody felt dependency is an important problem, and can cause
depression and inertia.
Workers in income-generating projects need to be aware and actively plan to
avoid dependency. The main ways of doing this included “having a built-in
withdrawal”, a “self-sustaining aspect” and involving refugees “in the decisions and
self-help of camp life”.
Cl. The nature of Development Agencies
Agencies which are involved in ‘ordinarylC development, among people who are not
refugees, have a number of characteristics which enable them to try to help the
people in an area improve their situation:
Time-scale - they work on as long a period as they can rely on funding,
staff for two years or more and making programme plans for longer.
Organization - people and participation; the agency must ask itself who is doing
what, why and how? The agency must be prepared to negotiate and to compromise,
to learn from its failures and to experiment with new directions.
Resources - if the people who are being assisted, are to continue on their own, they
must rely on local resources or local organizations and the development agency must
therefore work to make itself redundant from the very beginning.
C2. What changes need to be made for a Development Agency to work with
Income-generating projects are, by nature, developmental and longer term than relief
projects. But what are the differences between working with refugees and working on
very similar projects with local people in developing countries? Two have already
been touched upon - time-scale and psychological factors, but these will be repeated
and extended here:
Time-scale - Within a few months of the emergency, the first businesses appear
(usually without assistance). These and the first assisted projects or businesses
encourage others to start something. However, unlike similar local business people,
the refugees are more likely to prefer taking a chance and looking at opportunities in
days and months, rather than years.
One respondent wrote - “The future is so uncertain that it is todays meal that
is most important - an appropriate enterprise for the present”. As the years pass, so
the time-scale that refugees contemplate extends, but it is a matter of careful
judgement as to what time-scale a particular group of refugees is thinking about at a
particular time. For instance, the first training courses may only last weeks or
months, but later one whole year may be acceptable.
Psychology - Although definitely not schizophrenic, the refugees attitude is at the
same time both more radical and more conservative, than that of local people. This is
both useful and detrimental to income-generating
endeavours. The agency must
somehow tap the “community adrenaline”, that is its willingness to take on new ideas,
without suffering from the “bandwagon effect” which may lead, for exampleJo six
tailors asking for a loan the morning after one tailor’s loan was approved.
Often an agency can use the refugee elders to combine the conservative and
radical positions; the elders can play a leading role in beginning new ideas, while
maintaining their traditional respect. However, an unintended slight to the elders, can
stop any proposal completely, showing the negative side of these psychological
“Portability” - If ! Itturn or resettlement are more likely than integration, even if only
in the refugees’ minds, then any assistance given should take account of the need to
be “portable”. By this we mean that perhaps buildings should not be permanent,
training should only be given in skills that can also be carried out in the countries
that the refugees are likely to go to, and machinery and tools which are provided
should actually be physically portable. The nature of “portability” depends on the
enterprise and the sype of assistance: not everything can be portable, offices, training
schools and irriga: )n canals cannot be moved easily!
Whereas I’ rst development projects aim to make things long-lasting and
not be the right direction for refugee projects. There may be
durable, that rnig
other reasons for more durability; for instance, new workshops could eventually
become assets for the host government and people. New water sources could also help
the local population as well as the refugees.
Working with groups - Many development agencies prefer to work with groups of
local people on a rxmmon long-term interest, rather than with individuals. However,
most respondents felt that individual refugees are more likely to succeed than groups.
The reasons for this included - the independent nature of many refugees (and within
their culture), the need for speed in starting projects and to avaoid disputes in the
organization of the enterprise.
A similar debate arises with co-operatives - is the value of working together
negated by its difficulties? Our respondents did not answer this, but did suggest that
as a first thought projects should assist individuals (and their families). This is not to
say avoid all groups: some activities can only be done as groups, such as mass quilt
making and others, sue as those sharing group credit responsibility can be successful.
There is one more proviso - women seem to work better in groups than men.
However, it does seem that development agencies should adjust to thinking
about individuals, rather than groups of refugees. Perhaps this shows another
psychological aspect of refugees - they are thinking more closely about their families
and the present, rather than the wider community and the future, which are the
building blocks of group action.
Specific programme
must depend very much on the political,
environmental, business and social context in which the agency is working, and the
agenc3.s and the field workers’ own ideology and style of working. The funding
agencies and the host government departments responsible for refugees or particular
activities, such as commerce, must also be considered. AND there are the refugees’
needs and wants. It looks very complex. Can it be simplified?
In discussion of objectives, it is important to distinguish clearly between the
following three rather different things, which are often confused with one another:
Programme (or agency)
programme or projects.
generating projects” or
improve the quality of
nor should they be, as
definite intention.
Goals - those statements which set the direction for the
Such statements as “To assist the refugees with income“To help the refugees become self-supporting” or “To
life for the refugees”. These cannot be evaluated easily,
they are putting forward a hope, rather than stating a
Programme Objectives - These are statements of general intention, which can be
measured or inferred from measurements. These objectives should not be
anything that can be quantified, they must relate to the goals. For instance, a
village handicraft scheme, with a goal of helping the refugees to become selfsupporting, should have an objective of creating 100 businesses, that are
operating and independent. Such an objective can be inferred from measurements
of loan repayment or by visits. That scheme should not have the objective to
have given 100 looms to the refugees, with no broader aim in mind.
Some objectives can be difficult to measure directly, such as the profit taken
in a business, but can be inferred from “indicators”.
Objective or Goal Indicators - Indicators are very specific measurable changes
that support the objective or goal statement. For a goal such as to improve the
quality of life, indicators like reduced child mortality or the numbers and variety
of shops in the market can show the goal is being reached. For an objective “to
give the refugees income” can be indicated by regular loan repayments or by the
numbers of businesses still operating six months after having received a tool-kit.
Despite what appears to be general agreement on the importance of thinking through
objectives, in practice the value of objectives varies, depending on their relevance to
what actually happens in programme implementation. It is important not to be bound
entirely by objectives which were probably formulated elsewhere: even the goals
which appeared most urgent, may have to give place to others, once close personal
contact has revealed more of the situation
D2. Objectives in Practice
Of the 23 agencies that replied with a completed questionnaire, only 10 filled in
Q.A30 on objectives, goals and aims, which probably says something in itself. Their
answers, with the numbers of agencies saying each given in brackets, are summarised
give refugees income (3)
stimulate the growth (2) and stability (1) of small enterprises.
give employment - to as many as possible (2)
assist skilled refugees (2)
train for the future (2)
keep the refugees healthy and improve their quality of life (2)
become self-supporting (1)
introduce new, fuel-saving, equipment (1)
D3. Why Improve Objectives?
In most cases there is a gap between objectives in theory and in practice. Sometimes
the goals are inherent in the agencies* style of working, so never get written down.
Sometimes it is not completely clear what needs to be done, so even the basic
objectives need to evolve as work progresses. Sometimes people design projects to
evolve and do not want to commit themselves to fixed objectives. There are many
other reasons, but we feel it is important to spend more time on the objectives at the
beginning of a project for three reasons:
1. It helps the staff, head office and others, such as funding agencies, to be clear
on what the progrsmme or project is to do. It has been known for agencies to
have been evaluated on what they should have done, because the objectives were
vague or non-existent and such a process nearly always involves recriminations.
2. If conditions change, in one or more parts of the programme, as they nearly
always do, then field staff can refer back to the original objectives for new
directions, or consult back to head office for changed objectives.
3. During the programme, new facts or opportunities emerge. If the objectives
are clear, then these can be acted on or neglected, so that the programme does
not change into something else, without careful thought.
D4. What should the Objectives be?
What objectives should refugee IG programmes or projects have? It is very difficult
to generalize, but here are some points that came out of the reports and
a) The objectives should say how many refugees, the methods to be used, where it is
to be done and for how long. Often the estimated number of indirect beneficiaries
should be included for example, families, or those receiving relief substitution items.
b) It is of the essence of most income-generating assistance projects that refugees
should be self-sufficient, or at least have some continuing source of income, when
the project withdraws or before. The objectives must cover this, by stating what the
refugees are expected to be doing at the end of the project period. This might include
the number of independant businesses, the percentage increase in family income or
the number who have found jobs. Such objectives should take account of a realistic
failure rate, for example on the number of loans successfully repaid.
c) The wording of the objectives should be sufficiently general to allow for change
and evolution, but sufficiently specific to give an understanding of what the
programme or project is planned to do. This is not easy, but is worth a great deal of
d) Where there are social goals or objectives, such as “training for the future” or
“improve the quality of life” or “to assist the formation of an appropriate organization
to continue the work”, then some form of indicator, should be written into the
objective. It cannot be stressed too often that inputs such as training courses,
equipment, buildings or institutions are means rather than ends; they should be
treated as “investments”, or “costs”, and the objectives should include the “returns” or
the “profits” that are expected to result from these inputs.
e) In development projects, one of the main goals is the self-sustainability of the
activities, which can be indicated by the disappearance of the agency or the need for
it. However, refugees in the flexible development phase, are in a special limbo, with
one or more constraints on such a goal, It may be that such self-sufficiency
objectives need to have limits; for some refugees this may mean not giving up the
receipt of free rations, should they become economically self-sufficient, just in case
of future changes. Each different constraint on self-sufficiency
needs a deep
understanding of the situation.
D4. Other Sections covering aspects of Objectives.
More details of objectives suitable for the eight different types of IG projects are
shown in those sections dealing with each type - see sections H. to 0,
The sections X. and Y. respectively, on “Ending the Project” and “Evaluation”,
also deal with aspects of Objectives,
El. Introduction
Project planning takes place at the same time as the objectives are being set. Even if
the agency has decided on a specific IG project, there seem to be four different
approaches to the way it can be planned: “informal”, “learning by doing”,“formal” and
The informal process gradually builds up a knowledge of the area and the
people before making decisions, preferably with the people involved. The “learning
by doing” approach starts by trying out directions, sometimes using very small-scale
experimental projects and thus evolving broader directions for what is to be done.
The formal process is often called something like a Feasibility Study or a Pilot Project
and is normal when an agency has previously committed itself to some particular, if
not defined course of action. The preplanned process, involves taking other projects
and replicating some or all of their characteristics in a new project. It is important to
decide which planning process will be used, before determining which questions need
to be answered.
E2. The Informal Approach
Agencies or field workers using the informal approach build up their knowledge and
understanding of the social and political environment and peoples’ real needs in rather
an informal way. This approach is often followed by community development workers
or people in religious organizations, who have time to build up credibility in the
Also, people working with agencitis already involved with other activities, like
Health and Education, as already mentioned, can follow the informal approach in
parallel with their existing activities, before !sunching an IG programme. By adopting
thii approach, it may be possible to avoid those mistakes which come from not
understanding the cultural background - so saving money and time and effort.
Making time to get to know local administrations, local people and refugees can pay
dividends in the long term.
Understanding the local situation, was the most mentioned “Other factor for
success” in our qualitative survey and was stressed by the Quakers and by ACORD.
The second most important lesson was the corrolary of this that “Speed = Failure”.
Nevertheless the reality is often rather different; many workers do not have the
luxury of time on their side - head offices (and more indirectly funding agencies)
expect tangible results sooner rather than later.
Host govermments also too often expect an agency to offer tangible material
assistance as soon as possible, particularly after the relief phase. And, not least the
refugees themselves have high expectations of speedy material help - they do not
appreciate foreigners, who seem to them to be sitting around doing very little. The
refugees may have been asked many times before what they need and are frustrated
by hearing nothing further.
For these reasons, a purely informal approach is unlikely to work in refugee
settings. We did come across one example of an agency leaving partly because they
used the informal approach. This was during the relief phase, when neither the
refugees nor the host government understood why the material help was not
immediately forthcoming.
E3. Learning by Doing
Learning by small-scale experiments, rather than by merely having discussions can, if
successful, overcome the immediate problems of suspicion and raised expectations,
which the field worker may meet. It may also be a very effective way for the
workers to learn more about the real problems of the refugees.
It is good public relations to be seen, both by the authorities and the refugees,
to be getting down to work quickly. Some information may be readily available from the agency’s own prior research, other agencies’ research, some preliminary
meetings with the administrations and the refugee leaders, and not least common
sense! For instance, it seems that White Leghorn chickens are given to refugees the
world over and they keep dying - the poor birds are bred for battery conditions and
unless they have good owners, they die from disease or poor food. A little thought in
talking to agencies and to local chicken farmers might help. Or a very small-scale
pilot scheme could be started from which new breeds or rearing practices could be
tried and improved, taking into account local modifications.
It is a lot easier to ask questions and elicit answers when actually trying to
assist people, as opposed to carrying out a survey. The big danger, of course, is early
failure through a lack of understanding of the situation. It may also be difficult to
change paths that appear to have been set; for example switching from grants to loans
or from loans to business advice in a business asssistance programme.
In spite of its advantages, learning by doing is rather unusual, partly because
funding agencies do not often give money for experimentation, partly because host
governments are impressed by large projects and perhaps because on all sides it looks
as though the agency does not know what it is doing if it has to start with
E4. The Formal Approach
There is a basic distinction between the formal approach and those mentioned above.
Some agencies like to identify as much as possible with the refugees through learning
about their life-styles and customs, while others attach more importance to more
formal and objective methods, such as comprehensive feasibility or market surveys.
Such studies can provide field workers with much useful statistical
information about the lifestyles and needs of refugees for possible use in the future.
Often, however, the information can be too general to be of specific assistance in
designing a programme. The process itself can cause problems with refugees who are
wary of outsiders or by raising their expectations. For instance, doing a full market
survey on all the shoemakers in a camp - their ski!ls, difficulties, the type of
assistance they require, the market potential, and other information, may only serve
to give the Geld worker many pages of figures and writing, and may cause many
angry shoemakers to come banging on the door, their expectations raised but unable
to be met by the agency!
Bigger projects often use feasibility studies, as funders demand that they be
fairly sure that the project will work. Certainly spending time thinking about the
project is no bad thing, but the repeated questions and surveys cause justified (and
well documented) resentment and suspicion. And there may also be some resentment
from host governments, as such studies spend money on highly paid expatriates and
sometimes come to nothing.
ES. Tne Pre-Planned Project
Often there is a tendancy on hearing of a project being done in another area to think
“that sounds like a good idea”. Starting such a “copy-cat” project, without examining
its feasibility or viability in the new setting, is hardly ever a good idea.
With refugees, in particular, the constraints, skills and markets are likely to
vary widely. Luckily most refugee projects do look at these factors; though some
training projects do adopt an international standard course on say “automobile
maintenance” without looking at the market and the real maintenance needs of the
area. If you cannot get new imported spare gaskets, you may need to teach people
how to make them from cardboard, even if they clo not last as long!
E6. So what process is most suitable?
Since none of the above approaches are ideal with refugees - you cannot copy other
programmes and you cannot spend much time researching, what can you do? Our
respondents gave some suggestions with a number of common points:
1. Use as much informally gathered information on the refugees, their skills,
their needs, as is possible. This increases the “cultural understanding”, without
raising expectations. Those agencies already running other non-IG projects, start
with advantages - an understanding of the culture and a degree of trus, from the
refugees - which often more than makes up for a lack of expertise, as is shown
in the AICF and ARC case studies.
2. Use information from other similar projects, but test it very critically against
the conditions you face. Many of the IG projects were started by people who had
never worked in income-generation before; and their general advice was “use
common sense”.
3. When you do need specific information, design your questioning process to get
that information only, preferably as informally as possible, to avoid getting the
answers the refugees think you want. Often, having two similar or related
questions, in different parts of the questioning process, checks the information.
For example asking how much profit the business makes at one point and asking
how much money remains after buying the supplies and paying other costs, at
another point.
4. Whenever it is possible, have a pilot phase, experimental phase, initial trial
period or some other way of not designing the project completely, before you
start. Alternatively, use a process, like ACORD in Port Sudan, which continually
re-examines the best wa:’ of C&g thiags.
E7. Havlng decided on the process - what information Is needed?
Having decided on your planning process, what is needed? Given that there is only
likely to be a limited amount of time, it is important to gather only as much
information, in the relevant areas, as is needed. Basically, there are four areas of
information needed - political, social, commercial and project-related and these are
dealt with in the following paragraphs. Remember the time-scale is also important in
knowing what to look for. The next section F. deals with time-scales and related
E8. The PolitIcal Information needed
The long-term prospects of the refugees must be considered, before planning
anything else. The answers to such questions about the future are likely to be unclear
and possibly contradictory, depending on who you ask. However, every field worker
must have some thoughts on the likelihood and timing of the durable solutions,
return, resettlement or integration. He or she must also look for any differences in
the answers to these for different sub-groups of refugees. Sometimes, these questions
cannot be asked openly and inferences have to be drawn.
The second main area of political information needed is how incomegenerating projects are viewed by the host government and the refugee administering
agency. Are they seen as “good things”: as a way of increasing the flow of aid to the
host country, or are they viewed with suspicion since they may compete with local
enterprises? It may be that some types of IG are viewed more favourably than others.
Attitudes vary between countries and so a complete summary is impossible. But,
without this understanding, it can be difficult to present the proposed project in its
best light.
A third area which must not be ignored covers the regulations regarding
refugee income-generation, i.e. taxes, employment conditions, land ownership, the use
of common land and trading restrictions.
E9. The Social/Cultural Information needed
Our respondents agreed that it is vitally important to know the main and subsiduary
skills of the refugees and the levels of competence in those skills. Independently three
respondents suggested that such information should be collected at the initial
registration of refugees, as it is much easier to collect then. Such a skills list can be
used for relief tasks, but really is fundamental
to planning appropriate IG
programmes and in starting them earlier.
It may also be possible at the initial registration to find out the refugees* level
of education and whether they are from a rural of urban background - section Q., on
choosing the participants of the programme discusses the importance of this
The cultural background of the refugees has already been emphasized, in
section A4. and elsewhere. For example, in planning projects, certain cultural
information is very useful. This information includes knowledge of the different
subgroups, particularly those with special occupations, such as potter or metal worker
castes. Religious or cultural practices, may affect the project directly, and it also
necessary to understand sources of potential rivalry between the groups. The AICF
case study shows how carefully they took this last point, recording 53 such groups.
The last area of cultural information needed is knowledge of the links
between the refugees and the local people. According to our questionnaire replies, if
there are small numbers of refugees having family links in the area, then they can
obtain useful support. With large numbers of refugees, as for example in Pakistan or
Somalia, (though not for all refugees), then the links with local people make them
initially welcome. However, resentment builds up over time - especially if locals are
not assisted. If there are no links, at all, then refugees often try harder, as they have
to succeed.
ElO. The Commercial Information needed
Most IG projects must be based on some commercial information; this includes even
relief substitution, since the price that has to be paid may have to be compared to an
international tender. The following checklist is taken from a number of books and
studies, of which some deal with refugees.
The Situation Now:
- what income-generation is already happening in the area/camp?
- what problems are people experiencing?
- how did they get started?
- what is stopping people from starting businesses?
- do people have skills they are not using?
The Resources Available:
- what skills, in production/service/management/training/
supervision are available?
- what natural resources are available and accessible? This is
especially important for rural and low-skilled refugees.
- what raw materials, either imported or transported from another
part of the country, are available locally?
- are land and/or buildings available?
The Product or Service:
- what do the refugees know how to do?
- what products or services, which can use the resources available
are not being done? (Or not being done adequately?)
- are the products or services exactly right for the market? (Can
the design or quality be changed to suit the market better?)
The Market:
- is there an existing market for the proposed product or service?
- if there is an existing demand, who is satisfying it at the moment,
and how does the new proposal satisfy it more effectively.
- if there is not a demand, why not?
- is the market with refugees, local people or a distant market and
how does this affect the proposed activity?
- if a product: what are the likely production, selling costs and
profits and how often do people buy them? Is a substitute possible?
- if a service: how many similar services exist, how many do they serve,
what levels of profit do they make?
- if it is a new product or service, is there something similar,
how successful is it, how far away is it?
- where is the best site to sell the product or service?
- how can the proposed customers best be informed about the product
Is it Viable? (Remember to check all figures independently):
- are the necessary skills available, good enough (practical, financial and
management skills)? If not, where and how can training be obtained?
- what capital equipment is needed? How much?
- what working capital or initial cash is needed? Could anything be
hired, rather than bought outright?
- what starting materials are needed? How much?
- Are delays in getting materials or equipment likely? For how long
and how does this affect the proposal?
- what are the other costs, such as rent, electricity, licenses, staff,
transportation, administration?
- what is the rate of inflation expected to be? How does this affect
the business?
- how much can be expected to be sold for what price and when will
the money be received? Or what is the average turnover in a week/
month? (There is a tendancy to be optimistic!)
- how much profit and reserves are needed? (Check expected profit
against what others make (Again watch out for optimism)
- Is It Viable? (It is worth getting a second opinion)
Is it a Group Business? (Remember there is a preference for
individual businesses)
- How is it organized?
- Who decides the division of responsibilities, working hours and
- How are problems of illness or disputes sorted out?
Other questions which concern production and stock control - do they give credit,
seasonal variations and many other things that may need thought at the planning stage
or as the business starts. This is a matter of personal judgement, and this list only
covers the initial viability, not the continuing process of improving a business.
El 1. The Project-Related Information needed
This information is divided into two related parts: the administrative
local staff needed.
details and the
Administrative details
We have written of the need for flexibility, experimentation and the advantages of an
informal approach. There are nevertheless regulations, which must be observed, in the
interests of the refugees, the local and expatriate staff, and the host countries who
have generously offered asylum.
a) Agreements - what is required by the host government and funding agencies
and occasionally co-ordinating agencies.
b) Monitoring - what monitoring and evaluation procedures are to be built into
the project?
c) Unforeseen circumstances - what contingency plans must be made for the
project failing to achieve its objectives; for drastic changes in the situation, for
accidents or for criminal acts?
d) Expatriate staff - most agencies know the sort of staff they want and the
conditions they offer, but are there anything special requirements for this
particular project with refugees?
e) Financial arangements - how will money be sent to the project for local
purchases and what discretion will local field staff have? How can management
at all levels ensure that the financial arrangements make it easier to spend money
on local resources than on foreign ones, whether they be staff or supplies.
f) Logistics - often the refugee affected areas are not in easy places to work, so
what special changes need to be made? Sometimes, this is Forgotten and
programmes spend their first few months trying to set up clrtirnunications,
supply lines or other logistical support.
Local staff
We have already discussed how a project can use its own purchasing power to benefit
the refugee community or local area; the most obvious way of doing this, which can
also bring other benefits apart from wages, is by employing local, (non-expatriate)
staff or preferabiy refugees or local people. There are a number of issues which must
be settled and questions asked:
a) How many local staff will be required, what skills will they need to have and
where and how can they be trained? The skills available and the length of the
working day certainly affect the numbers and maybe the training of the staff
b) Will the local staff have to be chosen from a number of different subgroups,
so they can match the refugee community in terms of language and acceptability?
c) How many female local staff will be needed, will they require special training,
will the local culture permit unaccompanied women to act as field officers?
Should more women be employed to overcome discrimination or lack of skills?
d) What special opportunities need to be made available for handicapped people
to obtain jobs with the project? This is especially desirable and may help the
project relate to handicapped refugees in general.
e) Should the project hire rather more people than necessary and ask them to
work less hours for less money in the interests of spreading wages and training
amongst a greater number? If the working day is short and the pay low, why not
employ more?
f) What role will the local staff be expected to play after the foreign assistance
has been withdrawn? How can the right local staff be selected at the outset to
ensure that something remains when the project is withdrawn?
g) Who will actually employ the local staff? In some countries staff are selected,
seconded or appointed by the government, and if so what effect does this have?
h) How can the project move towards becoming an independent, self-sustaining
activity by gradually increasing local staff participation and management? As
with other aspects, we would advocate a gradual change, with !oca! staff taking
on more responsibility in the hope of becoming an independent agency. But this
cannot be done quickly.
i) In training the local staff, is there anything to recommend initially? Because
these sorts of programme are relatively new to refugees (and often loca! people)
it seems that on-the-job and internal courses should be built into many of the
local staffs’ jobs and if possible a planned staff development programme should
be begun.
Fl. What sort of Time-scales?
So far in this book, “time-scales” has been used as a shorthand for a number of
different effects which happen at different times. When does the relief phase end?
How long do each of the phases between relief and flexible development last? How
long should projects exist? Unfortunately the difficulty in answering these questions,
indicates the fundamental dilemma of refugees unable to move towards one of the
“durable solutions”.
“When” is the question on everyones’ lips, but the refugees do not know, the
host government does not know and nor do the the agencies. Some refugees, even
some agencies, wait, not willing to do anything, while others will try anything;
neither produce constructive answers to a difficult situation. We suggest here, that it
is possible to plan in these uncertain conditions.
F2. When does the Rellef Phase end and LG. projects begin?
The physical answer to the question is: “when the food and water supplies are
stabilized”. If a few refugees are starting to set up their small enterprises, without any
assistance, this can be a valuable indicator that the time is ripe to start projects to
help others do the same. This seems true of both urban, self-settled refugees and
camp-based refugees.
According to the replies, this stage takes place somewhere between six months
and a year after the refugees arrive. There also seems to be a longer period, when
many refugees who will evenyually start their own businesses try and build up some
capital by working (35%), or by selling possessions brought from their previous homes
(24%), or by borrowing from various sources (60%). These figures include those
whose capital came from a combination of activities. During this period, the refugees
also try to build up business contacts.
Meanwhile, the agencies are also studying the situation and making
recommendations. But this is a slow process, so the first IG projects happen 2-3 years
after arrival, but preparations by the agencies and the refugees started a year before.
As this process is better undersrood, especially by the funding agencies, a quicker
response may become possible.
F3. How long do proJectslast and can they be too late?
The average IG project in our survey had been prepared for one year, has been
operating for three years and is continuing.
According to some respondents, some IG programmes must start before four
years after the refugees arrival, otherwise the dependancy factor makes starting very
difficult. However, none of the business assistance programmes studied began before
the fourth year (in Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan). So perhaps Phase D, in Figure 3. the phase when the business assistance and employment bureau projects start - can bc
fixed at about the fourth year. None of the other phases can be fixed to a time-scale,
but the order seems to remain the same, in the very different countries and situations.
ISections G. to 0.1
Cl. Introduction to Choosing
The choice may have already been made. The refugees or another agency might have
suggested a particular type of project - the UNHCR in Pakistan gave a lead and
support to several agencies to begin some IG projects.
Or the project might start from other work the agency is doing. For instance,
several health agencies began helping refugees to cultivate small gardens, initially to
improve nutrition, with the hope that it might also improve the refugees’ income.
Alternatively, an agency might be especially skilled in a particular type of
project. For example, Partnership for Productivity specialised in business assistance
programmes, running many such programmes with nationals of developing countries
before starting with refugees in Somalia. Or the Ockenden Venture, which had run
relief substitution programmes in Thailand, then began them in Pakistan.
This “natural” form of choice is very valid and has generally worked; though
we would recommend a look at other types of IG as well. The rest of this section is
really for agencies and their staff who are interested in IG, but who do not know
where to begin, or for those who would like to examine how choices can be made.
G2. The First Thoughts
As suggested earlier, in the sections on the types of IG projects and on time-scales,
the first two questions to ask are: “how near the refugees are to the relief phase?” and
“what is the political situation in that country ?” It is as wrong to start development
style projects near the relief phase as it is to start relief-style handouts, if the
refugees are already starting more developmental activities.
With regard to the political situation, those poor counties have been
remarkably generous in accepting large numbers of refugees, but there will always be
some restrictions, usually dependent on quite understandable conditions in those
countries. Our respordents suggested that “all countries have some xenophobia, and
perhaps these are le!,s 50, than some industrialized or developed countries.” However,
all countries set up bureaucracies and rules (whether written or not), and these
conditions usually restrict income-generating activity, in some way. Since assistance
agencies both need and often actively seek government support, they must achieve a
delicate balance in relation to the rules which appear to constrain refugee enterprises.
In general, our respondents felt that the best way to overcome this type of restriction
was to “advance tactfully until told to stop”. If the advance is genuinely tactful, the
order to stop may never come.
To introduce another political point - do the host governments benefit from
having refugees ? Having refugees usually brings in cheap food, it provides
employment and it brings in foreign exchange - so the answer is “yes”, initially.
However, valuable land is taken up, and experienced staff are not used for national
development. As the flow of aid declines, competition grows between refugees and
local people.
One respondent wrote that “[the host country] is economically gaining at the
moment, but may lose in the long run”. It certainly is the case that some host
countries do obstruct the process from relief to flexible development, for these sorts
of reasons. So, we suggest agencies should advance towards flexible development, but
be careful not to create a situation where the host government has to make a decision
on how far they will allow that advance.
In the long term, history suggests that many refugee communities have
provided a valuable stimulus to economic development in many forms. This is not
only true of refugee movements that took place many years ago, such as the
Huguenots or the Jews, but it can also be claimed that the Ugandan Asians in the
United Kingdom or the Vietnamese and others in the United States and many other
groups, who have moved from poor countries to rich ones, have provided a valuable
stimulus for entrepreneurship. It remains to be seen whether the far larger numbers
of refugees from one poor country, who appear likely to stay in another poor
country, will have a similar effect on their new hosts; but in a modest way, incomegeneration support activities can and do contribute to this optimistic outcome.
63. Grants or Loans?
Progress from relief to development is often matched by a move from grants to loans.
Immediately after the relief phase people find it difficult to ask for money from the
refugees and most assistance is in the form of grants or free equipment. Later on,
refugees become capable of repaying some part of what they have received and thus
assist others; they are still, nevertheless, poor and it is felt appropriate to make
interest-free loans, instead of grants.
As the refugee economy becomes more established, then loans are introduced
which include charges or interest, usually at the same level as the loans available to
the local population, so the refugees are seen not to be special cases any more.
Assistance agencies may find it difficult to move through these stages, since the host
government, donors and other agencies often argue that all refugees are poor and
should not be asked to repay loans, and should certainly not be charged fees or
The reader is referred to some of the books in the bibliography, which go into
interest charges in some detail; generally speaking, it can be shown that even quite
high interest rates make very little difference to the types of enterprises that refugees
are likely to start, and can make a very great difference to the self-sustainability of
the assistance operation itself.
In many countries, traders who borrow less than $100, just for a day or two,
to buy goods and then sell them again are charged one per cent a day, The woman
trading vegetables or the man buying scrap metal wonder how the lender can make a
profit - the lender gets a single dollar and they make ten or more dollars. However
banks may be envious of the 365% or more interest earned a year. Is this exploitative
- the men and women borrowing don’t think so, the money lender or agency have
much administration to do each day? What do you think?
Some local agencies in these countries, have borrowed from banks or
government sources, added their administration costs, and the resultant annual interest
of 30% or more is still cheaper than other credit sources available to the poorest
people. AND the agency is self-sustaining!
Gd. What Next?
Once the refugees have been “placed” along the time-scale between relief and flexible
development, and the official environment offered by the host country has been
assessed, readers may find it useful to study Figure 3. and relate this to their own
situation. This will make it easier to choose the right type of project.
The preceding sections A. to F. give details of the issues to consider before
starting; an< if r”u3z details are needed about a particular type, then refer to sections
H. to 0. In general, a careful formulation of the goals and objectives, should be the
most relevant (Section D.) in the agencies’ choice of project.
There was a second reason for entitling this section “what next?” In the
introduction to the book, we said that after the relief phase, people asked the
question “what now?“. And the answer was given as income- generation. Now the
questions and answers can be more specific, “what sort of IG project is the most
suitable” or “what is the next stage or decision”.
GS. Agency Roles in Assistiog Income-generation
Each type of [email protected] project covers a wide range and degree of agency intervention; from
an isolated piece of advice to a refugee on improving his or her business, to the
agency paying refugees’ wages and marketing products. Such differences in the
agencies’ interventions between one programme and another do not necessarily reflect
greater “success” or “failure”. That was clearly shown by the study, despite comments
that it is impossible to mix relief work and self-sufficiency programmes. It is possible
to have intermediate positions, but the direction should always be towards a
development style.
Field workers must think through the style and amount of assistance that the
different types of income-generation programme imply, and they must be sure they
and their colleagues can provide both. To give one respondent’s view on this difficult
task - “Flexibility is the Key”.
Hl. Introduction
By relief substitution we mean projects set up and managed by relief agencies, which
employ refugees to make, or occasionally grow, products for the use of the refugees
themselves. We call this “substitution”, because refugee-made goods are substituted for
imported items, so that the refugees obtain the benefit of the goods themselves, of
the income created and of the self-esteem of employment. Sometimes, such goods are
bought from traders or the government in the host country, which is preferable to
importation, but not as good as the refugees producing for themselves. In rare cases,
it may be possible for some refugees to produce goods for refugees in other countries,
such as Afghani refugee quiits can be used by refugees in other countries with cold
There is a far wider scope for this activity than is presently practised,
particularly after the emergency phase, when such goods need to be sent in large
numbers, quickly. Perhaps this importation continues from habit or from having
cheaper international prices than refugee production costs, or perhaps the time and
effort involved dissuades agencies from trying to give refugees the benefit of this
type of project.
However, of those projects that have started, the commonest items produced
were cloth tents, quilts, blankets or clothes or school items, bags and uniforms - the
list from the survey is in section P. Below are some examples of other items that
could be produced by the refugees, taken from the questionnaires or from
reading. Although construction
projects are usually defined as
development investment, there are a few cases that fit more easily in relief
- local buildings, instead of pre-fabs or tents.
- local lime, instead of cement.
- hand dug wells with local reinforcing, material instead
of using imported machines or materials.
- contracts for distilled water, local cotton wool, highly
nutritious plants, instead of vitamin supplements.
Standard relief goods
{not already mentioned)
- clothes, utensils, water-jugs, shoes, anything else?
Agency and expatriate needs - not directly for refugees, but again substituting for
imported goods:- buying a cow or chickens to supply milk
and eggs, giving seeds to get fresh vegetables and any
other ideas?
Two main reasons were given for not giving refugees these opportunities.
Firstly, the lack of local resources - we can sympathise with that problem. Secondly,
the speed of delivery - while it might take time to organize the refugees, it is nearly
always true that relief goods themselves do not come quickly and sending raw
materials might be as quick. One interesting comment on this by a r,,espondent was
“Agencies cannot u
leaving some tasks to the refugees, even if it is theoretically
good for development”.
H2. Statistics
Five per cent of the IG programmes covered in our survey could be classified as
relief substitution, involving fourteen projects carried out by eight agencies, mostly
within Pakistan. Though there may be many more, hidden within non-IG agencies health, education, construction and water programmes being obvious examples.
Two of the agencies, running four projects, gave us fairly complete details of
their activities. They are employing a total of 4,510 refugees for $1,828,000 to make
goods for 112,610 refugees. This gives an annual cost per employee of $405 and per
recipient of $16.
We also have some data from the UNHCR 1987 budget for Pakistan; there are
six agencies carrying out nine projects and employing 940 refugees for $1,6X$232 to
make goods for 542,000 refugees. This gives an annual cost per employee of $1,785
(see Evaluation, section Y., for more sensible comparisons) and per recipient of $3.
This low figure is mostly because the data included a well-digging programme
benefitting 260,000 refugees.
It seems surprising that only seven of the seventeen agencies replying to our
survey question actually claimed to use their own purchasing power to benefit
refugees by buying from them. Similarly, only 19% of the 124 refugee businesses
questioned sold anything to agencies, and none of them claimed that the agencies
were their main customers.
Given the enormous range of goods and services required by the refugees
after the emergency phase and the substantial market of the agencies and their staff,
it would appear there is great potential in buying more from refugee sources.
H3. Other Comments
As a way of starting to bring money into the camp or refugee-affected
providing jobs and using the aid money where it is needed, there is a lot to commend
relief substitution, particularly during or soon after the relief phase. Perhaps every
agency and every staff member should “audit” their purchases and ensure that
everything possible is bought from refugee, or at least local, sources. However as time
goes on, few agencies make any attempt to hand over, or to teach the productmanagement skills - getting supplies, pricing, marketing, etc. The situation is very
much “give a man a fish, you feed him for one day”, but what happens if the agency
leaves or the people go back home, can they expect another similar programme in
their home country? One respondent felt that jobs were more important, so if the
project is going well why change it? We have given the reasons why not.
Many of these projects are carried out in supervised workshops, for
supervision and quality control reasons, which means they are difficult to change into
independent businesses. There is the question of who will own them and how to train
the managers. With a little thought beforehand, individual businesses or small groups
could reduce the managerial problems on a later handover.
One advantage and simultaneously a disadvantage ot relief substitution
programmes is that they only last as long as the contract; they can start quickly, but
they do not carry on producing an income after the agency has left. They, in common
with other XG programmes started immediately after the relief phase, can produce a
ratio of assistance cast to first year return of less than one (see section Y.). Which
means perhaps that one of the important goals of development - self-sustainability is not being thought through properly.
Il. Introduction to Development Investment
These IG projects hope to provide essential services needed to assist the development
of the refugees and often the local population as well, with for example, water and
road infrastructure. It is not easy to discuss this type of activity generally, as there
are so many possible, diverse things which could be a good investment.
These projects are usually able to generate a great deal of employment,
especially for the unskilled, and so are very important in acheiving a balanced
outlook on services for the whole refugee population. Most other IG programmes,
except for those specializing in training, do tend to assist the skilled and semi-skilled.
Hence the value of these projects is in the investment created, such as a better road
built, and in the employment created, rather than any income created now or in the
There are two main areas of Development Investment - Infrastructural and
Environmental projects. In our survey we identified construction, maintenance, roads,
water supply and irrigation under infrastructural projects. Under environmental
projects we found dams, erosion control, fuel-saving cookers and ovens, trees and
forestry projects. Often both types are so large or diverse that they come under
headings other than “income-generation” - which does seem to imply an element of
12. statistics
We found 3% each of environmental and infrastructural projects in our survey,
though again more might exist, but not be thought to be “income-generating”, as the
main goal is the activity itself, not the IG aspects.
In section A5 we analyzed briefly one project of each, but as all are so
different, it seemed appropriate to give details of these in the short case studies
13. Infrastructure Case Study - The World Bank in Pakistan
This large afforestation and irrigation programme was set for a three year period
from the beginning of 1984 to the end of 1986. The World Bank funded this
infrastructure programme primarily to provide employment for locals and and for
refugees, who were expected to make up 70% of those involved. It was run by the
Government of Pakistan and in addition to employment, its goals were to:
1. Restore the damage to Pakistan’s ecology, resulting from the
refugee presence.
2. Generate viable economic resources in refugee affected areas, by a
number of short-term projects. The projects identified had to be:
- technically viable, with a 12% rate of return
- labour intensive
- in close proximity to existing refugee villages
There were two main implementors, with different projects - a final evaluation was
not available, but by the end of September 1986, the results were mostly on target.
AFFORESTATION - run by the Chief Conservator of Forests
In two sites were: nurseries, afforestation,
road side plantation, soil
conservation works, roads, bridle paths, pasture management, fruit orchards
and mazri sowing.
These projects were budgeted at $4 million, and by September 443,648
man-days had been worked: 85% by refugees, representing 69% of total
IRRIGATION - run by the Chief Engineer of Irrigation
In 79 sites various flood protection works and canal patrol roads were
undertaken; 68 sites were completed by the end of September.
These projects were budgeted at $5.5 million, and by September 561,646
man-days had been worked: 79% by refugees, representing 56% of total
Conclusions: The project seems to have been a success, despite bureaucratic and
administrative difficulties and there is a second project planned. The 12% rate of
return is calculated over 15 years and also seems to be on target. This represents a
slower rate of return, than the other case studies, as it indicates a ratio of assistance
cost to wage income of about 1:0.12. But because of the large numbers employed and
the long-term environmental benefits, this must be judged to be a very valuable
14. Environment Case Study - The GTZ Fuel-Saving Project in Pakistan
Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) have a Domestic
Energy Saving Project, a Technical Training Project and Construction Teams in
Pakistan, helping the Afghan refugees. Here we will deal with the first. This project
comes under the heading of an environmental, development investment project,
because of its main goals below. But it is a mixed IG project, giving training in metal
and clay work to produce metal and ceramic stoves and ovens, and helping
independent businesses in clay, metal-work and bakeries with loans. The projects two
main objectives are:I) To reduce the pressure on forests in the North-West Frontier
(NWFP) by fuel-saving domestic food-processing equipment.
2) To generate income by establishing independent
and bakeries.
clay and metal workshops
The programme started in January 1985 and will continue to the end of 1988.
It costs $350,000 per year and had two expatriate staff originally, now one. They
work in over 50 camps with about 80 staff and in the last year (to November 1986),
they helped 76 businesses with an average loan of $156, repaid monthly. They
estimate that 30% are in arrears, with a 20% default rate.
GTZ themselves contracted about one third of these businesses to produce the
stoves and ovens. GTZ have sold about 20,000 so far, and have now reached a rate of
800 each month. Because of Purdah, they have evolved a strategy whereby a male
demonstrator goes to a public place and shows how fast the cookers cook compared to
a traditional clay horseshoe-shaped cooker. They sell to the men for 50 rupees (about
$3) - an average income is l-2,000 rupees a month. A woman demonstrator then goes
to the man’s home and demonstrates to the women there, or she goes to the Primary
Health Units and meets women directly. These cookers save 30% of the fuel used by
the traditional cookers. A fitting pot is included in the price.
The ovens are free, but the refugees have to provide the base of clay or
bricks. They are only made for groups of three or four families to bake the
traditional nan bread, and by doing this, lln
MF to 72% of the fuei can be saved. This is
because not only are they more efficient, but each family saves the costs of heating
the oven from cold. GTZ also have the same programme with Pakistanis, but it is
smaller. They have a radio/television campaign to help the promotion, and they hope
to create a steady market so the production centres can also become independent.
In the 1987 proposal, GTZ hope to employ 90 producers to make stoves and
ovens to benefit 28,680 refugee families by a reduction in fuel expenditure of 40 80 rupees a month. This is at a cost of $109,000 and excludes expatriate staff. In
1985, this was calculated to have saved $172,800 worth of fuel wood at $20 per ton.
Using these figures, rather than the initial ones, which included high starting
costs, assuming total cost at $140,000, the calculated saving is $1,290,600. So the
project assistance cost to saving ratio is 1:9.2, which is very high. The same amount
of money could, of course, be lost from the income of refugee wood sellers. Despite
this complication, the project does represent a great saving for poor families and
probably a steady income for 90 people. But perhaps the most important contribution
is to saving the forests and wood-stocks of Pakistan.
15. Concluding Comments
We noted earlier, these infrastructure projects are not designed primarily to generate
or save income, although they can do so quite well. Our main advice is to try and
ensure that refugees do, over time, take on all the project functions, including
management. The planning for this should include training the workers, as in the
GTZ project, then they can become self-sufficient. Even the construction projects
can be designed in this way, although this is not usual.
Jl . Introduction
Making small grants of money or equipment, or very occasionally small loans, to start
a small project, is one good way of introducing an agency to an area. It also acts as a
way of collecting knowledge about the many aspects of refugee life, without asking
questions. However, the likelihood of it being an efficient use of money is low.
Usually such grants are made without much investigation of the refugees* skills, the
markets or the most appropriate form of assistance. Remember the tale of the dying
White Leghorn chickens, where inappropriate “gifts” were given, because of agencies’
lack of knowledge. But refugees, like anyone else, are unlikely to turn down a free
gift, even if it is not very useful!
If you look at the 112 trades in section P. assisted by different organisations
as income-adding starters, training projects or independent businesses, most of these
businesses could have been assisted in any one of the three ways. What determines
that the choice should be an income-adding starter?
Firstly, there is an element of uncertainty: are the refugees staying? Since
these income-adding starters are begun soon after the relief phase, there is still that
doubt - and planning is difficult without a known time-scale.
Secondly, it is just after the relief phase, so the refugees in camps or towns
are getting aid free (usually) and to suddenly charge for aid can strike the wrong
psychological note. If loans are used, these start later than the grants and are usually
interest or charge free.
Thirdly, these projects are often started by agencies which are generally not
mainly involved in IG, so the budgets may be small, and possibly the staff not
experienced in this field. They may also have very little time for supervision. It may
well be a matter of luck for the agency to find a trade with some potential, such as a
vegetable that is popular and nutritious, or an expert in an appropriate activity, such
as chicken raising.
Finally, even if the agency is involved in IG, then these projects are used as
experiments to test such things as group organization, markets, traditional business
organization, wages or profit margins. The Quaker group in Somalia used the chicken
and house garden projects in this way. In any case, the amounts of aid are likely to
be small and there is not a great expectation of success since the refugees are likely
to be emerging from their ordeal and still dependent in many ways.
52. Statistics
Twenty-five of the 149 agencies studied (17%) have run, or are running, incomeadding starters with an average assistance of $85. However, we do not have many
more details. They are usually one-off grants, the results are not evaluated, no
income figures are estimated and the grants are given on hopes of viability, rather
than analysis. These projects seem to occur more frequently, where there are small
numbers of refugees rather than a big influx, and 13 of the agencies are church
organizations (55% of sample).
There are relatively large numbers of income-adding starter projects, despite the low
chances of success; why should this be? One reason may be that both the refugees
and the field staff of the agencies feel that they should be doing something
constructive as soon as possible after the relief phase. Therefore a quick, cheap, easy
to organize (supposedly) and small-scale solution is needed.
According to the 1986 review of UNHCR-assisted IG projects in Pakistan,
11,000 kg of vegetable seeds were distributed to refugees. The yields were “400-500
times lower than standard values”, for example chilli seeds should give a yield of
2,OOOkgper hectare, but the actual yield was Skg per hectare. The reasons given for
this were “poor quality of seeds...inappropriate time of planting (lack of advice and
soil conditions and water availability....insufficient
knowledge of refugees on growing”.
Unfortunately similar comments can and have been made of some vegetable
and chicken projects in other parts of the world. However, on the positive side, many
small income-adding starter projects have either worked well, or at least provided the
information to enable the design of much better assistance programmes. In looking
for the reasons for success, it seems that such projects are really very small businesses
and need a minimum study of viability and levels of support. Given these factors,
they can and do work, usually where someone is there to give time and assistance.
Kl. Introduction
“Basic skill utilization” is a general term, that we have coined to include a wide range
of different activities. It is a collection of those projects that use the traditional or
existing skills of the refugees, but which are not normally described as businesses.
Generally they are of two main types, either agricultural schemes or village craft
Agricultural schemes are often under separate government, UNHCK or other
co-ordinating bodies’ departments to those for income-generating projects. Very small
farming or gardening projects are usually put with income-adding starters (like
vegetable gardens and chickens). Agricultural schemes are often very similar to local
agricultural development schemes that have nothing to do with refugees. For these
reasons, we are not dealing with them in detail.
Despite not usually classifying agricultural schemes as income-generating,
some 13 of the 149 IG projects (9%) were classified as agricultural. They ranged from
giving seeds and a few hand tools, to full-scale irrigation, cultivation and marketing
projects. The only particular issue for refugees was that of land usage. In Sudan,
Somalia and Pakistan some of the refugees who used to farm have now rented land or
worked as occasional farm labourers. Sometimes land that looked unused became
owned, as soon as refugees or agencies took an interest in it. These traditional claims
can be difficult to prove and cause many arguments.
Village craft schemes are a far more familiar part of income-generation
activity. Although classification is not easy as they can often look like either relief
substitution or small businesses. However village craft schemes are common and there
are distinctive features - the element of tradition, the use of local materials, and the
possibility of piecework or part-time work. But such projects can have many
difficulties - probably everyone from the area can make the same handicrafts, so
there is little local market or the crafts are not of a good enough quality to export.
K2. Statistics
Thirteen village crafts projects made up 9% of the survey. They ranged
small with just ten leatherworkers, to the very large, which involved
mostly widows, producing handicrafts. The products also varied from
very beautiful carpets, with prices to match. It is, in fact both
dangerous to generalize about this form of income-generation.
from the very
1,200 women,
simple mats to
difficult and
K3. Village Craft Programme Improvements
Traditional crafts are an immediately attractive possibility, especially to outsiders,
The refugees have the necessary skills, the raw materials are often locally available
and the finished products look attractive and marketable, particularly abroad, because
they have an instant association with the refugees. However, there are many dangers
in this form of activity and it may be useful to point out a few of them:
a) Quality control - because many people can make traditional items, only those of
the best quality will sell internationally or even on the local market. Some agencies
overcome this by only involving the most skilled workers, while others insist on a
strict training and supervision approach. Other agencies allow and encourage refugees
to make items, but stress that they buy only those items that pass a quality test. The
choice of tactics depends on the objectives of the programme, is it to help a
particular group, is it to create employment or is it to help independent businesses?
b) Marketing - even with the best quality products there may be marketing problems.
Handicrafts rely on traditional skills, which often involve women who are away from
the places where such items might be sold. If they were in their home country and
their own culture, there are handicraft sellers (men and women), who buy from the
homes and sell in the markets. Agencies often take over this role for the refugees - in
Pakistan 6 of the 14 agencies helping village crafts were mainly involved in
marketing. Those outside agencies that market refugee products internationally play a
delicate role -with the host government and people. Competition must be avoided with
local products and the agency must understand the regulations governing export or
exchange control.
The marketing role is a complex one. It not only involves understanding the
business of improving the sales and market sector, it is also a two-way process. Those
helping with market assistance need to return to the producers and change the design,
size, colour or whatever is necessary to help sales. But, since the product is traditional
and has always been made that way, it can be difficult to explain why a change is
c) The questions of subsidy and self-sufficiency
- all aid programmes contain a
degree of subsidy. The questions are how much, how long and for what? For village
craft programmes, some agency staff visit producers, find a product and start selling
it. goon afterwards, people start comparing the level of sales with the cost of the
programme. The staff are, in effect, carrying out the marketing task, and the actual
costs of the staff, transport, packaging and so on may be enormous when compared
with the price that has been raid to the producer. But by this stage it is too late, the
producers are used to being paid by the agency, having a free collection service and
easy payment and not spending time trying to sell their products.
To get around this problem, UNHCR Pakistan and others take into account
the objective of being self-supporting at the beginning. As well as the numbers of
participants and the costs, UNHCR look for the “break-even point”. This is the point
when all the costs (wages/salaries, a 10% depreciation on equipment, costs of
materials, rents and a percentage of the administrative and management costs) are
covered by the margin on sales. The initial high costs of expatriate administration and
training are not included in the calculation, but a date is set for the expatriates to
finish as soon as the break-even point is reached. If the margin on the sales is higher
than these added costs, then the project has reached self-sufficiency.
This is a
difficult, but worthy goal and it is not known how many passed this condition,
introduced in 1986.
Ll. Introduction
Vocational training was the commonest form of assistance provided by the agencies in
our survey at 26% of the sample. The level of the skills taught varies greatly. At one
end of the scale are the relatively simple and inexpensive crafts, such as weaving,
tailoring or leatherwork and at the other end are the complex and capital-intensive
trades, like automobile mechanics or printing technology. These extremes are
indicated by the data, given in section A5. where the training cost varies from $25 to
$1,775 per trainee per year.
There are enormous numbers of different trades and it would be impossible to
go into detail on each one here; in any case it is usually possible to find good
handbooks on most trades. We have therefore emphasized the organizational aspects of
training in this section. Some points on “entrepreneurship training” are dealt with in
section N.
L2. Trainhg for Businessor Training for its own sake?
It is very easy to set up training for its own sake, and to forget that the aim is to
provide a skill for use in employment or self-employment after training. Training is a
tangible, and always acceptable activity, with measurable results in terms of numbers
trained. It is often tempting to introduce training courses in answer to the question
“what do we do next?“, rather than plan programmes with genuine, long-term
objectives. There seem to be three common mistakes:
a) Thinking a need is the same as a job If there is a need for a skill, this does not mean that people trained in that skill
will have work. One agency saw a need for plumbers and started a training
course for plumbers. However, on completion of the course there was no money
to buy tools, the existing plumbers did not want to employ the refugees as they
might be future competition, and the refugees had not been trained in business,
so they could not start on their own. One or more of these mistakes have been
made by many agencies. It is worse for refugees, who may have to overcome
cultural or language difficulties. An initial sensitive employment survey, can
avoid these problems.
b) My standard or yours?
Although everybody wants a higher standard of skill and raising standards in
poorer countries is always helpful, it does not always help employment. We have
seen electric sewing machines in tailoring schools in countries with very poor or
non-existent electricity supplies; and automobile mechanics shown how to fit new
spare parts which are unavailable on the local market, instead of learning to
repair old parts.
Some agencies, rather than train people themselves, pay local businesses to
take on apprentices or trainees. This is often cheaper than setting up a training
institution, it ensures the standard of training is locally relevant, brings some
money into the local businesses and helps forge links with the local communities.
Obviously though, problems with the standard of training and any hint of
exploitation must be avoided in these cases.
c) Training for a job as well as a trade People trained in practical skills alone may need other help. As well as all the
technical aspects of a trade, every course should include either help with finding
jobs or training in being self-employed. Both should include legal and financial
L3. Training as Production Units
It is generally accepted that training is more effective, if the trainees make things or
provide services which are sold to real customers, rather than merely produced as
exercises. Apprenriceship-type
schemes do this automatically, but classroom-type
training has to find production outlets - like the ARC Training Centre, producing
items for the medical progranme.
Sometimes, groups of trainees are trained together to eventually become
independent production units. The Quakers did this with the tie-dye project in
Somalia and though it may be a lengthy process for what started as a training class to
become a viable business, it can be one way of overcoming the problems of
employment, once training is completed.
We would always advocate that training is directed towards gaining
employment or self-employment
and that during the changes from the relief to
flexible development, training should become more and more production and
employment orientated. For refugees soon after the relief phase, the uncertainties of
the future and the factors of the “portability” of the trade can make such employment
and production orientations more difficult, but certainly not impossible.
L4. Evaluation
It is very difficult to evaluate training, since the real results are not evident until a
year or more after the training has been completed, and its effectiveness can be
measured by the numbers employed or self-employed.
Training itself is an
investment, or cost, and employment is the return; indicators such as the numbers
trained, numbers passing tests or costs per trainee, are of some value, but are purely
provisional. Unlike most forms of assistance, training can only be evaluated some
time after it has been completed for a given trainee. In our evaluation section Y., we
suggest that a year afterwards is suitable.
Ml. Introduction
Business starter projects, like the tool kits given to skilled Afghan refugees shown in
the AICF case study, are extremely successful at the right time: too early and the
refugees are not ready or just take the item, say “Thank you very much”, and do
nothing; too late and the entrepreneurs have already started.
Assistance by giving business starter grants of money or equipment (or small
charge free loans) is at the mid point between relief aid and development aid - it
encourages people to start a business, not just an income-adding activity, but it is still
a “hand-out”. Later, these projects must change - probably the agency should
determine a date, such as two years from starting, in which to change to a more
advice orientated service. This service would be coupled with the possibility of loans
with charges for larger amounts than the starter amount (a business assistance
programme). There are three reasons for this:.
1. The businesses may need more advanced assistance by this stage.
2. Most such businesses, which are able to use the level of basic
starter help, would have already started.
3. The psychological and practical move should be away from relief-style
assistance towards a developmental style.
These business starter projects could possibly be seen to be between income
adding starters and business assistance. The following figures only apply to rural
refugees in poorer countries:
TABLE 6. Cornoaring Income-addinn
Business Ass istaJlfe Prom
Relief Stage
Income Adding Starters
Business Assistance
Starters to Business Starters tq
Average Cost
Free Equipment?
Feasibility Study?
In detail
velopment Stage
M2. Statistics
Thirty-three of the 149 ptogrammes studied (22%) were business starters and so were
three of the five case studies. The majority of the list of 112 different businesses
mentioned in section P. were from organizations with business starter programmes.
Whereas training or income-adding starter projects may try to restrict their scope of
operation, business starter programmes try to deal with as many different types of
business as possible.
M3. Other Comments
a) The cultural background seems very important for the success of these projects see section A4. The success of these projects in Pakistan may be due, in large part, to
the relatively skilled and highly entrepreneurial Afghan people.
b) The agencies in the business starter case studies managed to keep their staff and
administration costs low compared to the costs of the assistance given to the refugees.
But this ratio must be monitored regularly as it is not always so true for all
c) Some evaluation a year, or at least several months, after the assistance has ended,
must be included - as programmes usually last for more than a year this should only
prove difficult in the final year.
d) Business starters, by their nature, tend to help those with some skills already, who
only need a helping hand to get started. Agencies must be aware that if they want to
help groups or individuals who need more assistance, they must put in much more
time with those refugees.
Nl . Introduction
These programmes are called by many different names, advice/loan schemes, business
enterprise programmes and other combinations. Their similarities outweigh their
differences; they all examine a business or a business proposal and try to help that
business with tailor-made assistance, rather than give a standard assistance package.
Only 6% of the refugee IG study were business assistance programmes. They are used
more often with local people in poor countries than with refugees, but as refugees
stay longer it can be expected there will be more programmes of this type.
As indicated in Figure 3.. business assistance programmes indicate a crucial
cross-over stage in that a host country has to accept some economic integration for
such programmes to succeed. The giving of relatively large amounts of money (or
helping their transfer) also indicates a change in the refugees* status. Perhaps for
these reasons, not many refugee-affected countries have allowed these programmes.
However, in line with our advice 50 “keep advancing tactfully, untii told to stop”,
there are many szb-types of scheme and one or a combination could perhaps be
adapted to different situations (see N3.).
N2. Statistics
Nine of the 149 programmes studied were the business assistance type. Unfortunately,
the divisions into the eight types of IG programme were only made after the
questionnaires were returned and the questions were not specific enough to outline an
average business assistance programme. They all gave loans, and a tremendous range
of non-financial assistance, and more details of these can be found in sections U. and
V. respectively.
However, the analysis of the questionnaires did show the clear distinction
between income-adding starters, business starters and business assistance - see Table
6. in section M. Basically, business assistance programmes give bigger loans, very few
grants and much wider support to the businesses.
N3. Different Parts of a Business Assistance Programme
The most common forms of assistance are loans and advice, but the following list
covers most of the possible elements of a business assistance programme:
a) Provision of loans, as appropriate to new/existing businesses, as part of a
revolving loan fund, often with commercial or zero interest.
b) Providing advice on business problems, including feasibility studies.
c) The agency acts as guarantor for refugees applying to banks for loans.
d) Grant element in addition to loans for special groups/high risk businesses or
those making new products,
e) Special facilities for particular sections of the population.
getting supplies,
f) Extra assistance - help with business accomodation,
marketing, legal permissions, packaging, importing machinery and in other ways.
g) Training - in entrepreneurship (see below), in practical skills (often through
placements in local businesses, rather than in the classroom), or in business skills,
like accounting, managing or marketing.
N4. Money or Advlce?
Very often businesses can be helped with management
advice rather than financial
assistance, however it may be difficult for the agency to establish credibility if no
material assistance is on offer. So frequently such programmes do start with loans and
then go on to give the other assistance needed. There is always a danger with any
business people, that they over-emphasize their need for finance and ignore their
other problems. For refugees starting businesses, however, their priority may well be
financial help. They are unlikely to have substantial funds of their own, their
connections with the local community will tend to be weak or non-existent, they are
likely to be outside the informal network which is so important in gaining credit and
they have no guarantee for credit from other sources, such as banks or suppliers.
NS. EntrepreneurshipTraining or Selection
We found no such training, but some evidence of trying to select entrepreneurs
amongst these programmes with refugees In similar programmes not involving
refugees, they are much more common. Without wishing to enter the debate on
whether entrepreneurs are born with such skills or can be trained to acquire them, we
would suggest that those interested in this refer to the bibliography at the back of the
N6. Other Comments
a) A grant element within a loan/advice scheme can provide flexibility for risky or
aew businesses. However those receiving loans may object to those getting grants and
it may prove very difficult to determine criteria to separate these cases. In most cases,
if a business is viable, it ought to be able to repay a loan.
b) The more complex the scheme, the more difficult it will be to carry on
independently, under local auspices, as it will require higher managerial skills.
Perhaps simple - self -sustainable?
c) The availability of loans can mean that the need for management or technical
advice is overlooked by staff and applicants, in the details of the loan application.
d) It can be difficult to achieve self-financing, revolving loan funds. With relatively
small loans the administration costs are high. Also, the loan fund capital is subject to
the higher rates of inflation in poorer countries. But it can be shown that relatively
high rates of interest to cover all programme costs make little difference to the
repayments over the average 16 month repayment period, and make even less
difference to the business viability. If you don’t believe us, calculate the monthly
repayments for a $100 loan at 10% and 20% interest!
e) Sometimes there are restrictions on charging interest to refugees, especially in
Islamic countries or on giving the refugees any preferential rates to the local
f) It is necessary to have a hard-headed approach to loan repayments. Agencies* seen
as being “soft options” usually fail.
g) Unless local staff are well trained, there can be difficulties in the assessment of
business problems and in deciding on the right advice.
h) These schemes are usually run by specialist agencies, but need not be if planned
01. Employment Bureau Comments
Only one programme in our survey, in Pakistan, operated an employment bureau and
this was closed, because it ceased to be acceptable to the host government for external
An employment bureau is clearly a way, and possibly a cost- effective way,
of matching refugees to job opportunities. There are an enormous number of these
organizations run by governments and private businesses, in nearly every country in
the world. However, host countries are unlikely to allow employment bureaux for
refugees to be set up, unless they are purely refugee jobs within refugee aid agencies,
or the government is totally committed to refugees becoming fairly permanent
inhabitants of their country. The situation has to be very stable for either type of
Employment bureaux for refugees are far more numerous in the richer
countries. And there are also resettlement programmes to richer countries, which
include help with finding employment in the new host country, learning English as a
second language and also work/home skills, before the refugees leave their country of
first asylum. One such programme is described in the handbooks “Shifting Gears”,
aimed at Cambodian refugees going to the USA; details can be found in the
We have included employment bureaux in this book partly because they were
mentioned by at least one respondent and partly &cause they are a highly valuable
way of helping people find jobs in appropriate circumstances and countries. It is to
be hoped that as refugees prove their worth in host countries and the employment
opportunities in these countries improves, the employment *bureaux will become a
more common form of assistance.
P. to 2.1
The following list came from an analysis of the country programmes operated by 47
different organizations. The information came from questions Al., A2., AS.and A25.
in the questionnaire analysis and from organizations which sent reports of their
activities, instead of a completed questionnaire.
The use of the terms “activity”, “business” and *project” should be clarifiedzany independent action by an organization is an activity, so projects dealing with
many different businesses or potential businesses have many activities, and projects
dealing with just one type of business or even just one business have one activity.
Here the number given in brackets after each item gives the number of organizations
that mentioned that activity, e.g., Tailor (20) means 20 organizations are doing
something in that field, not that 20 tailors are being helped by organizations ACORD alone has helped at least 236 tailors.
We have only mentioned a given type of activity once, under one heading, but
many could have been listed under more than one; it is to be hoped that this
comprehensive list will provide some inspiration to readers of this book who are
wondering what the refugees whom they are trying to assist can possibly do.
Bedding - blankets (l),quilts (3)
Clothes (1). school uniforms (4)
School items - bags (2). chalk (1)
Tents (1)
Utensils (I)
Erosion control( 1)
Fuel-saving cookers (2)
Trees, Forestry (2)
Buildings (3) - e.g. clinics,offices,toilets.
Maintenance (3)
Roads (1)
Water supply (I), Irrigation (1)
Metalwork (2)
Blacksmith (6)
Tinsmith (2)
i~tii-making (1)
Bucket-making (1)
Aluminium casting (1)
Welding (2)
Soldering ( 1)
Tilly lamp making (1)
Turner (1)
Wood furniture (9)
Wood windows/doors (2)
Upholstery (1)
Tailoring (20)
Shoes/Cobblers (7)
Teashops (2)
Restaurant (5)
Hotel (I)
Water-selling( 1)
Donkey Cart (5)
Pick-up Truck (1)
Driver (1)
Car repair (5)
Bodywork repair (3)
Car wheelslpunctures(3)
Car-electric/charging (4)
Car painting (2)
Signmaking (3)
Artwork (2)
“Blanket” stalls (2)
Pushcart stalls (3)
“Kiosk” (i j
Shops (2)
Grocery (2)
General retail (4)
Warehouse (1)
Wholesale (1)
Marketing centres (2)
Woodsellers (2)
Kerosene sellers ( 1)
Fishmonger (2)
Second-hand clothing (2)
Charcoal (1)
Building Lime (7)
Sisal/Rope (1)
Mattress (2)
Butchery (5)
Bakery- bread (5)
Sweets (4)
cakes (3)
Local bread(nan, injera=3)
Jam (1)
Ghee (1)
Soft Drinks (3)
Spagetti ( 1)
Perfume (1)
Hair/facial cream (1)
Chocolate ( 1)
Soap (4)
Stone cutting (2)
Bricks (4)
Mud bricks (1)
Clay bricks (1)
Fuel brickettes (1)
Handpumps (2)
Handcarts (1)
Donkey-carts ( 1)
Screenprinting (1)
Sewing Machine repair (2)
Varnishing (1)
Electrical repair (5)
Secretarial/Typing (3)
Motor rewiring
Accounts (1)
(Motor)Bicycle repair (3)
Law office (1)
Photography (3)
Insurance office (1)
Henna Body painting (1)
Import/Export (1)
Clothes repair (2)
Dentistry (1)
Shoe repair (2)
Nursing (1)
Singing (1)
Bookbinding (1)
Music Band (1)
Dry cleaning (1)
Laundry (1)
Waiters (1)
Hairdressers/Barbers (5)
Cereal grinding (2)
Cereal grinding machine repair (1)
Tool-sharpening (1)
Masonry (3)
Plumbers (2)
House paintings (2)
Well boring (1)
Well digging (1)
Vegetable gardening (7)
Poultry ( 10)
Sheep (2)
Bees (3)
Pigs (1)
Dairy (2)
Camels (1)
Group farms (8)
Fruit trees (1)
VILJ *AGE CRAWNDIClay/Pottery - cookers(3)
- cooker repair (2)
- water jars (1)
- Pots (3)
Incense maker (1)
Baskets (2)
Mats (4)
Row (1)
Fishnet-making (1)
Leatherwork (1)
Hats (3)
Ornaments/Decorations (1)
Jewellery-making (3)
Cereals ( 1)
Fishing (3)
Cotton beater (1)
Cotton carder (1)
Weaving (3)
Spinning (1)
Dyeing (1)
Tie-dyeing (2)
Thread dyeing (1)
Carpets (3)
Embroidery (3)
Shawls (1)
Knitting (1)
Machine knitting (1)
Ql. Two Questions -
Whom do you want to work with?
How do you choose participants?
A diverse range of people with different needs exists within any refugee population
and many agencies target on particular groups. Or sometimes, the process of choosing
objectives, geographical areas or a specific type o qroject determines the groups of
people who will participate. A programme to help iae poorest will, almost certainly,
exclude some entrepreneurs. Choosing a camp in a rural area reduces some of the
business options. Business starters often favour men as they are more likely to be
looking for full-time jobs, and so special provisions need to be made for women.
Alternatively, if a specific grouping is the agency’s focus this may well affect
the type of income-generation project the agency implements and also the plans and
methods for impbmentation.
Having set the objectives and the type of IG programme, there are still many
questions concerning the choice of participants. Most programmes cover less than 1%
of the total refugee population in their area and have waiting lists of some
description. More refugees want some answer to “what now”, than can join IG
In the following sections, we will deal first with the broader issues of
participant selection, such as urban versus rural, and so on. One exception to this is
the selection of women, which is covered in more detail in section S. Then, after
these broader issues, we will examine actual procedures, showing how individual
refugees are selected for the various types of programme.
42. Urban or Rural Origin?
The consensus of replies seems to suggest that urban refugees have more skills in
income-generation. So urban refugees may be able to start more income-generating
activities quicker than rural refugees. But there is often a significant group among the
urban refugees, who have had an above average education and previously been
employed as civil servants, teachers, administrators, or in other salaried positions.
These people are often very difficult to assist through income-generating programmes
or to place in other types of employment. This is because they either expect the same
sort of employment, or they feel that their previous position would be demeaned if
they took @‘lesser”
Rural refugees, where the land is available and similar to their homeland, can
adapt quickly to some agriculture and other rural crafts, but only if the political
conditions allow the use of that local land or resources.
Both urban and rural groups have such a wide range of backgrounds and skills
that many different income-generating activities should be possible. The proportions
may vary, but it is very bad planning to assume simple solutions, like agriculture for
rural refugees and employment for urban refugees. It has often been suggested that in
the initial registration questions on skills and experience would help greatly in
planning future activities, not only income-generating,
but for health, education,
water supply and other services needed by the refugees.
43. Self-settled or la a Camp?
“Camps = Constraints” was a common feeling among respondents. Criticism covered
the bureaucracy, logistical problems and the style of relief aid - though some camp
refugees were felt to have better health, food and education, than non-camp refugees.
It seems that the relief situation requires a large camp which is tightly controlled for
efficiency. This is understandable to provide food, water and health supplies quickly.
But large numbers of refugees in a small area make large demands on the local
district (eg using fuel wood) and leave only a few resources available to be developed.
It is also difficult, in a camp, to develop the flexibility to allow an evoiving
range of activities, It is not impossible, but it does take longer to achieve the same
sorts of objectives in a camp, than outside. It is also possible that in a large camp, a
smaller proportion of the refugees can be assisted into business than in small camps
or self-settled communities.
Those refugees who settle themselves, whether in rural areas, towns or cities,
are thought to be better able to start IG activities, with or without assistance. Though
they may have problems of discrimination or assimilation to overcome.
Q4. Entrepreneurs or the Poorest?
This is the subject of much discussion in the field of IG. It is always a dilemma: do
you work with a small number of high-potential entrepreneurs or do you target the
poorest and most needy members of the community? The entrepreneurs are likely to
make better use of the assistance and perhaps employ others as well, but they are also
likely to be the least needy and to have resources or at least skills already. The
poorest people are those most obviously in need of help, and these forms of assistance
are designed to help them, but the very fact of their poverty may mean they are busy
trying to get resources simply to survive, and also may mean they are not very skilled
or educated, even at basic levels.
In our survey twelve field workers commented specifically on these issues; for
four of them, “work must be with the poorest” and they accepted the constraints of
skill, education, and so on. The other eight said they worked with both groups and
tried to incl.rde the poor, by techniques such as having a maximum loan size or
working only in the poorest areas. They found the entrepreneurs in their programmes
produced more tangible successes, which were valuable for employment and
encouraged other refugees. In May 1987 a course for voluntary agencies interested in
IG programmes (though not necessarily with refugees) was held at Cranfield School of
Management. Half the thirty fieldworkers who attended chose the poorest, the other
half chose entrepreneurs, when asked to decide which was more important. The
debate following this question produced a much wider range of answers, not
necessarily exclusive to either entrepreneurs or to the poorest.
If an agency works mostly with entrepreneurs, they tend to produce more
“successful” programmes in quantifiable terms which usually need less continuing
intervention from the agency. Many agencies have social as well as economic goals,
such as working with the most disadvantaged. If this is the case, particular
consideration needs to be given to such factors as criteria for participation, access to
the programme, and the types of special assistance needed.
Refugee entrepreneurs, according to our business survey are likely to employ
one family member and one other person besides themselves. But women refugee
entrepreneurs are only likely to employ half these extra people. It is widely accepted
that women very often get a raw deal as far as access to resources are concerned, and
often those households without adult males are amongst the poorest. This is
particularly critical in refugee situations where women and children can make up the
majority of the population. Therefore, many agencies put the participation of women
as a priority in the programme. Indeed, it is very important that such disadvantaged
groups receive the assistance they need, even if it means excluding apparently highpotential entrepreneurs and concentrating on people who need more resources for
apparently similar results.
QS. The Disabled
Because many refugee communities have suffered from warfare, or other physical
hardships, there are likely to be more disabled in these communities. Even if the
numbers are normal, the disabled often have particular difficulties in participating in
programmes which do not take into account their special needs.
Of the 149 programmes covered in our survey, two had special programmes
for the handicapped. In the detailed replies to our survey from 15 organiizations, only
5 out of an average 638 refugees were handicapped. This is a low provision, and each
programme should include some thought on making projects more accessible to
handicapped or disabled refugees. No comments were given on how to do this, but
the Ockenden Venture, in Port Sudan, set up a training c:entre for the severely
d%bled, initially in silk screen printing. This showed that such programmes need to
provide a substantial amount of continuing support and assistance, over a long period;
nevertheless, the refugees are gradually coming to the point where they can take over
and manage the business themselves. Other handicapped people in programmes are
not so lucky and cannot start their own business, because all the equipment is in the
special workshop and there is no provision for loans or extension of the programme
Q6. LG. for other Disadvantaged Groups
In some areas,
religious sects)
resources. This
Where agencies
seem to be two
membership of particular groups (such as “outcast” tribes, or small
means that people are excluded from general society and many of its
can be particularly hard for those who have already been displaced.
have identified particular needy groups as having a priority. there
broad approaches:
1. To include them in a programme for the general population, but making
some provision for any special needs they may have.
2. To plan special programmmes exclusively for them. These apply to the
disabled as well as the disadvantaged.
The first approach has the advantage of not further excluding people from the rest of
the population, however there is the danger of not planning sufficiently for particular
needs. The second approach enables the agency to cater specifically for special needs,
though there is the danger of a paternalistic approach which results in perpetuating
dependency. The comments above on the handicapped, or in section S3. on women,
may help decisions with regard to any disadvantsgeo group.
47. How do you choose the Participants?
Deciding the criteria for selection is largely determined by the target group(s) focused
on by the agency, and whether the agency has social as well as economic objectives.
Criteria may include:
a) Wealth: Those whose wealth exceeds a certain amount may be excluded. This
may be defined in terms of capital, income, housing status or in other ways. The
problem with this is that it can be almost impossible to find out the true wealth
of an applicant unless. like ACORD, a logbook of all relevant information is
built up and cross-checked. Moreover, deciding criteria for defining “wealth” can
be very problematic and value-laden. For instance, a nomadic family living in a
refugee camp may appear poverty sticken in their lifestyle to a foreigner, but
they may have built up a sizeable herd of animals outside the camp. On the tither
hand, a town family in the same camp may appear to have more material
possessions and yet have no security at all.
b) Evidence of entreoreneurial
skill: They may, for instance, be able to
demonstrate this by having started a business which has potential but needs some
extra input. Of 15 organizations in our survey, only 15% of refugee
businessmen/women had already started an enterprise in the host country and
could therefore show this evidence. However, 72% of the business people were
starting the same businesses in the host country as they had run previozusly. 30
most agencies had 2,~rr?,y ~4 i:.~ -*QrcJof the refugee or did some simple verbal
or practical test.
We did not find any special entrepreneur “tests”, which are often used by
agencies, in poorer countries with the local population.
One informal method of testing entrepreneurship, is to ask applicants to carry
out simple tasks, such as identifying sources of supplies, or finding out about
competitive prices, or carrying out basic market surveys. This not only provides
information, but, more importantly, tests whether the refugees are really willing
to start a business.
c) Evidence of business viability: Another form of test is a study of the viability
of the proposed business.
Business assistance programmes usually include a full study as part of their
assista;:ce, or they keep a detailed log book, as did the field workers in ACORD
in Port Sudz;.
Businer.: starter programmes include long questionnaires, as in the AICF and
ARC ;ase studies, or a simp?e analysis form, like the one in section U. on loans,
which came from the Quaker case study. Or sometimes each project may plan for
a “break-even point”, like the UNHCR test for handicraft production mentioned
in section K3.
Income-adding starter programmes often look only at the programme viability
(sometimes not even that!) and not the viability of the individual refugee activity.
These omissions and possibly the ltck of market surveys, may pexbags be
understood as being an oversight on the part of staff anxious to do somcrl;ing.
However, such studies may be irrelevant or a waste of time in very chai?ging
circumstances and it may be far better to make some personal assessment of the
commitment and ability of the refugee.
47. How do you choose the Fartieipants?
Deciding the criteria for selection is largely determined by the target group(s) focused
on by the agency, and whether the agency has social as well as economic objectives.
Criteria may include:
a) [email protected] Those whose wealth exceeds a certain amount may be excluded. This
may be defined in terms of capital, income, housing status or in other ways. The
problem with this is that it can be almost impossible to find out the true wealth
of an applicant unless, like ACORD, a logbook of all relevant information is
built up and cross-checked. Moreover, deciding criteria for defining “wealth” can
be very problematic and value-laden. For instance, a uomadic family living in a
refugee camp may appear poverty sticken in their lifestyle to a foreigner, but
they may have built up a sizeable herd of animals outside the camp. On the other
hand, a town family in the same camp may appear to have more material
possessions and yet have no security at all.
b) Evidence of entrepreneurial
skill: They may, for instance, be able to
demonstrate this by having started a business which has potential but needs some
extra input. Of 15 organizations in our survey, only 15% of refugee
businessmen/women had already started an enterprise in the host country and
could therefore show this evidence. However, 72% of the business people were
starting the same businesses in the host country as they had run previously. So
most agencies had to rely on the word of the refugee or did some simple verbal
or practical test.
We did not find any syecial entrepreneur “tests”, which are often used by
agencies, in poorer countries with the local population.
One informal method of testing entrepreneurship, is to ask applicants to carry
out simple tasks, such as identifying sources of supplies, or finding out about
competitive prices, or carrying out basic market surveys. This not only provides
information, but, more importantly, tests whether the refugees are really wi?lir;g
to start a business.
c) Evidence of business viability: Another form of test is a study of the viability
of the proposed business.
Business assistance programmes usually include a full study as part of their
assistance, or they keep a detailed log book, as did the field workers in ACORD
in Port Sudan.
Business starter programmes include long questionnaires, as in the AICF and
ARC case studies, or a simple analysis form, like the one in section U. on loans,
which came from the Quaker case study. Or sometimes each project may plan for
a “break-even point”, like the UNHCR test for handicraft production mentioned
in section K3.
Income-adding starter programmes often look only at the programme viability
(sometimes not even that!) and not the viability of the individual refugee activity.
These omissions and possibly the lack of market surveys, may perhaps be
understood as being an oversight on the part of staff anxious to do something,
However, such studies may be irrelevant or a waste of time in very changing
circumstances and it may be far better to make some personal assessment of the
commitment and ability of the refugee.
d) Abilitv to orovide some guarantee : A guarantee of some type is an advantage
for those agencies making loans available. About halt those agencies assisting
businesses, gave loans, the others gave grants. More details of loans and
guarantees are given in section U.
a) Self selection: The refugee comes to the agency - usually this is on a first
come first served basis and it shows motivation. The agency t5en further selects
by some limitation on the assistance available (e.g. loanjgmnt ceiling). This type
of progmmme helps those that help themselves, but might miss some needy
people, who would have greatly benefitted from the assistance, but missed their
chance because they did not hear about the scheme in time.
f) p auota svstem: One or two respondents had progmmmes allocating a certain
number of places in the progmmme to specifically defined groups of people,
such as the disabled. Though no figures are available, this did not seem to be
used often, possibly because of the clumsiness of operation - cross-checking is
needed far every applicant to see if they fulfil the particular criteria.
QS. How do you gain access to those you want to work with?
As soon as any IG programme is announced, there is usually a flood of enquiries and
calls for assistance, and often these include requests, which cannot be fulfilled by that
programme. However, the agency may want to help specific groups of people other
than those who take the first step in approaching the office or the workers. Possible
ways of overcoming this may include:
a) Making provision in the programme to meet the special needs of particular
of women is a priority, an
groups. For instance, if the participation
understanding of the women’s lifestyle is important, before deciding on special
arrangements to help the women apply.
A common observation, by outsiders, of male refugees, is that they spend
large amounts of their time idle, totally displaced from their usual work patterns.
In comparison, women refugees continue to be responsible for children, washing,
cooking, collecting firewood.
Activities which increase the women9 income are often an extension of their
chores or on a part time basis, fitted in between the chores. Thur the criteria for
participation and management advice need to take this into account, by meeting
women in places or at times convenient for them, by trying to reduce their
domestic work load, and by designing loans, repayments or whatever other
assistance conditions exist, to fit part-time work.
Similarly for other special groups, an understanding of the people must come
before designing and implementing a programme.
b) Organizing for outreach work. Since the neediest people may not get
information through official channels, like notice boards or meetings, and they
might not even hear through the informal channels, like word of mouth, then
reaching out to possible participants may have to be done by the agency. The
old, the handicapped, the‘ sick, the women who cannot move freely outside for
cultural reasons, the poor who are very busy trying to get enough to eat - all
these groups can be missed by progsammes that are only centre-based or that
rely on other refugees to spread the word about them.
Individual contact of this kind may appear expensive, but it may be necessary
to supplement or even to replace the existing methods, should it be suspected that
significant groups of people are not being served by the programme. If careful
consideration is given to how this should be done, it can be effective, for
example, the GTZ programme going out to sell their fuel-saving cookers shown
in section 14.
RI. No: a Study from the Refugees’ Perspwtive
Looking at informal figures from Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan, about 30% of refugees
go straight into local towns and cities and do not usually get any assistance. A further
10% may seek assistance for ?.:lowances, training or resettlement in those towns and
cities - these tend to be the more educated of the refugee population.
Our study concentrated on agency assistance, with only one of the three
questionnaires concentrating on points from the refugees* perspective. But we did ask
the field workers to try and find refugee businesses, both those they had assisted and
those that received no assistance. Both were given the same business questionnaire. 24
out of the 124 refugee businesses questioned had received no assistance, but
surprisingly there were no significant differences. Even the starting capital needed
was the same, though one might have expected agencies to give more and perhaps
that refugees would have tried to ask for more from “these rich expatriates”.
Et must be remembered that businesses in relatively developed areas, such as
capital cities, need much more starting capital and the refugees there arc! likely to be
mere educated and !ooking for higher leve!s of capital. However, the capital given by
agencies and the capital focnd by non-assisted refugees in these areas seems
comparable. Much more work could bti done researching these “self-starter” refugees,
checking these results and seeing if there are lessons for providing assistance, since
there were no significant differences between the self-starter and assisted refugees in
the business survey.
R2. Agencies and Refugee Perspectives
The agencies felt that refugees were more concerned about reliable sources of money
(4 replies) and inadequate supplies (2 replies), than about management. One reply
stated that “family and life come before business”.
The following table summarizes t:le prcblems as the refugees themselves saw
them when they started their businesses, and the problems they face now and the help
they would like from agencies or governments.
TABLE 7. Business Problems and Assistance - as seen bv refupees
Getting money
Getting supplies
Low sales
Poor selling place
Low skills
Getting money
Low sales
Poor selling place
Getting supplies
(All others were under 5% -
Getting a ldan
More customers
Skill training
A new site
Accounting training 10%
see questions C-22,23,25)
These seem to indicate that the agencies have some understanding of the refugees’
real concerns; though only 3% of refugees felt record-keeping was a problem - much
less than agencies’ efforts to get proper accounts would suggest.
R3. Other Comments
The two “average” refugee case studies also show other data on refugee business
finance, family, workers and the future, for Sudan and Pakistan, but readers should
refer to Questionnaire C. for details elsewhere.
Sl. Introduction
It is unfortunately true that the majority of IG projects, except handicraft ones, do
not help women. In many programmes, those responsible are not even aware of the
extent of this failure, since no data is collected about the women. In the evaluation
section Y we suggest that all projects should record the numbers of women they
assist, and encourage the more active involvement of women.
Women refugees have the triple disadvantage of being in poor countries, being
refugses, and having rhe disadvantages imposed on women. Summarising these
briefly, as they affect 1G projects, these disadvantages are:
In poor countries
lack of jobs
low purchasing power
marketing problems
supply problems
For refugees
- new environment (markets, contacts, language)
- restrictions on licenses, ownership, travel, etc
For women
- usually household obligations (so work is parttime and local)
- lack of education or training
- the traditional position of women (at home, family
role first, restrictions on certain jobs)
S2. Statistics
In eleven projects (not including the next four) with an average of 632 participants
each, 44 were women in all-women businesses (7%) and 88 women were included in
businesseswith men (14%). a total of 2 1% women.
In four handicraft and relief substitution projects, the proportion was
reversed, the average was 86% women.
in the refugee business survey, 27% of the businesses were owned by women.
It was difficult to generalize about figures as each country was different, but the
following were consistent trends:
a) The capital to start is lower (on average 60% of men’s). it often comes
from the family and is rarely borrowed.
b) Women earn a lower income, though it is very variable depending on the
type of business.
c) Their skills Lre more likely to be ?+zquiredfrom their family or their
own previous business. They were most unlikely to have been trained or
to have worked for others.
d) Their businesses are about half as likely to employ others (compared to
men’s businesses).
e) Women’s businessesare more likely to remain local - very few thought of
expanding beyond their present business site.
f) Women seem to work better in groups than men.
f) Women are a better risk for loans - they are more likely to repay.
g) Unless desperate (widowed, single parents), more women in business are
either young or old (before and after child rearing), than the equivalent business
age distribution of men. In fact most women in projects are the older more
experienced ones - there is some evidence that young women, who have missed
out on education, are the forgotten people in IG projects.
S3. But what to do? Separate Projects or Special Conditions?
Tnere is no doubt that women are given less assistance, but how should agencies
compensate for these disadvantages? As with other special groups, one way is to have
special projects only for women and another way is to ensure the women receive a
proper share of assistance, by special conditions within a general project.
Many people support special projects ~OF women, because they deal
specifically with problems like lack of education, and inability to travel, whereas
general projects often contain these as “hidden” conditions that are brased against
In projects for both men and women, which actively assist the women,
arguments occur - why should special resourbUs go to them, whai about the
handicapped and other disadvantaged? This produces a situation whore women are
viewed as a discriminated against, disadvantaged minority and not a ~alunble
resource. Both these styles of project seem to put women into a “minority” or a
“disadvantaged” category, rather than the majority they are. So we would argue that
these may be the wrong starting points and instead it is important to look at all the
opportunities and try to produce programmes which match the refugee population and
the conditions within that population.
Separate projects may be parmissable if the assistance cannot be given to both
sexes at the same time or in the same way. For example, either sex can do vegetable
gardening, but it may be that the refugees need training, and that the :tiomer. cannot
be trained with the men, because the women sit at the back and dlb not ash questions.
Or the women must garden in groups, because their family respcns;bilities mean the>
cannot work full-time. A womens gardening project was created for just these
reasons by the Quakers.
However, most business programmes work with individuals and with a range
of assistance and there is no reason for separate projects. indeed, if the pr’ogramme is
properly targetted at the poorest, there should be more women than men participanis,
as women outnumber men and they are poorer. EY!en from a business only
perspective, the women repay loans better, so they should form a higher percentage
of those assisted. But how should an IG programme work proberly? The followrng
might help:
1. Equal numbers of male and female staff should be employed al all levels - if
the women are worse educated, they should receive more training.
2. Equal access - in camps, placing a service near the camp administration
attracts mostly men and placing it near a primary health centre attracts mostly
women. In towns, placing an office in the centre discriminates against women, as
they spend their lives more locally. The district centres started by ACORD
overcame this problem. Careful consider&ion is needed in choosing a good base,
or for outreach work, if a good base is not available.
3. Equal publicity - prrblicise not only through refu:<ee adminstrations, teashops
or other places men meet, but the women’s informal networks should also be
4. Equal funds should be available - as women are likely to use !ess capital, on a
more short-term basis. Equal funds should be in two or more categories, for
example the hire purchase, short-term loans and microcredit of ACORD. But
each category should be open to men and women.
The starting points, in each case, are the opportunities, not the gender and
this gets away from the issue of women beiug a “minority”. To create projects just for
women, which exclude the men, is just as bad as designing with inherent “hidden”
conditions for men. It is in the planning stage for those opportunities th’,t it is
appropriate to consider all the refugee population, both men and women.
II‘! ~~A~~~~I~~
l-1. ~ntrodMcti0~
Markets have already been mentioned in several sections, since they are so
fundamental to IG actrvities. Marketing is covered by many simple handbooks, and
they are mostly applicable to refugees, though refugees may be new to these markets
and their legal position is less clear.
It is remarkable, hew often basic points of marketing are missed, so any
refugee thinking of entertng business and certainly any agency giving assistance to
businesses, should both ask and answer ail the following questions to their own
satisfaction, before starting.
Th? CustoIbners
Who will buy my product or service?
Why wit1 they buy it?
How will t!rey know about it?
How will the product or service reach them?
33. The Right
or Service
tt’hat is needed?
What is wanted?
What are customers willing and able to pay?
Where must the product or service be provided?
TQ. The Right
What goods or services are already on the market?
How will my product or service be better?
What i; the price for what quality?
What comments do customers make on the use, price and quality?
How can the product or service be improved in quality, price,
reliability, delivery or to suit other requirements of the customers?
Mow quickly will the goods be sold or how oftell the service used? (Ask
Is the demand seasonal or it is steady through out the year?
How quickly can the product be restocked or how long does the service take?
Any special characteristics of this product or service:
- Is transportation difficult?
- Can it perish or go out of fashion?
- Is it likely to suffer from sudden new supplies or shortages or
new competition?
- Is it large or difficult to s!ore?
- Anything else?
Mow quickly can you change the speed of production or service to match
changes in demand or changes in supply?
T6. The Right Price (and Profit?)
What is the cost to you? (Include all costs, labour, transport, rents,
and a reasonable profit or earnings)
How will the costs be affected bv such changes as in T5.1
What is the price in the market? (For the same, better or worse quality)
What are the competitors doing? (Are the prices going up or down? Why?
And look for unsold goods - a sign of market saturation)
T7. Improving
the Business
Are there more potential markets - different people or further away?
Are there marketing organisations (public or private) to help?
Is the most time spent on the things that make the most money?
Would lowering prices, increase sales?
Would increasing prices and quality, increase sales?
Would more people buy, if there was credit available?
is notice taken of customers comments?
Can the service be improved’?
Could the product or service be advertised better?
- Better layout or notices, posters, signs, word of mouth, loudspeaker
or radio. Do important people use the product or service - could you
use :his fact?
Is there overstocking or a waste of materials?
Could alternatives be used?
Can the costs of transport or credit be reduced?
Could a group of you, doing the same thing, share costs or resources?
Can anything be done to reduce other costs - rents, staff, bulk buying, etc?
Tg. The Right Channels (Certain businessesonly)
What shops, distributers, vendors or other selling channels may be needed?
Do these channels exist already, or will you create them?
What differences do these channels make to costs and prices (e.g. discounts
or paying for the distribution)?
About half of IG agencies give grants (or equipment), and half provide loans. But
when the word business is used in the name of the 16 scheme, the proportion
providing loans goes to over 90%. Per,haps, in business, grants are not acceptable, it is
no longer charity and subsidies are frowned upon. With IG programmes, the
distinction between aid and business is blurred and whatever the truth, many
agencies, working with poor people, refugees or not, have had problems with loans:
If a disaster occurs - like a crop failure with agricultural loans, should agencies
insist on taking the poor person’s guarantee, their land and tools, and leave them
worse off than before the loan?
If a borrower defaults - do you put a person, especially a refugee in jail’? Having
already left one country, for more freedom, this may seem unduly unfair and
If the business fails - is it the agencies’ fault for funding a farlure or is he or she
bad at business’?And who pays?
If there is no penalty - what is to stop a refugee from spending the money or
selling the equipment? But a refugee has very little to guarantee a loan, so what
security is possible?
8!2. statistics
In the survey of 124 refugee businesses, we can divide them into three groups:
Group I. 65 received a loan as their main assistance (7 of them also had a grant)
20 received cash only
20 wer’e given equipment only, which they then repaid the value in cash
25 received a combination loan of cash and equipment
(Most businessesalso received advice)
Group 2. 33 received a grant of equipment
(4 31~0received a cash grant)
Group 3. 26 received no material assistance /_ :m an agency
(2 of these did receive some advicu or training)
However, this is too simple a view of refugee businesses. Many refugees, assisted or
not, obtained cash or equipment for their businessesfrom many sources:
TABLE 8. How refugees assist their own businesses.
Source of Cash/
Cash from Home
Cift from Fnmily/Ref.e/Loeole
Borrowed from Famil/Rcf.s/Locois
Snvrd while a refugee
Brought Equipment from Home
No. in Group 1
No. in
No. in Group 3
(no oaaistance)
% Total
The figures in Table 8. are slightly different from those in the Appendix, because of
the “any other answer” category, but the overwhelming conclusion is that these
refugees are trying hard to start a business. Especially those receiving loans - they
were working hard to save some capital, before they had a loan.
Further points:
- Some that received loans from agencies also borrowed money elsewhere.
- A third of those receiving grants also borrow, but not from the agency.
- Only a quarter of those that received no assistance borrow money; their
main starting capital or equipment was brought with them.
There seems !ittle difference between the three groups when it comes to the
amount of the starting capital. The differences are between men and women and
between industrialized and rural economies.
In the rural areas of poor countries and in their small towns with similar
businesses, the starting capital average was less than $300 per person. For Somalia and
Pakistan, the average was $170.
In richer countries, such as the West Bank, or in capital cities, like Nairobi,
and towns with high rents, various amenities, and other indicators of a complex,
rather than a village economy, the average starting capital is likely to be between
$1.000 to $10.000, depending on the country and circumstance:.
The range of loans for both rich and poor groups was IO-200% of the average
loan. The repayment was usually done on a monthly basis (with some seasona!
adjustment if necessary) over a 16 month period.
The agencies estimated that !g”h of the refugees were in arrears and 10%
would default. For four programmes, annual interest was 13%, 5% and free for the
other two.
Access to money for business (usually loans) is important to refugees, as was
shown in section R. - 75% gave it as a starting problem, 33% as a continuing problem
and 57% would like a loan.
U3. Whst are the issues to Think about?
A great deal has been written about promoting enterprises in developing countries,
and much of it also applies to refugee assistance programmes. These sources cover
most of the issues of loans and credit and it is very difficult to do justice to them all
here. We refer to one source in particu:ar. “A Manual for Savings and Cred,+ for the
Poor of Developing Countries” (Oxfam 1987). Most of it does apply to refugecq. but
not all.
IIn the following sections we will use the same order of topics used in the
Oxfam book, summarizing and adding comments from our own experience and
research on refugees and loans.
U4. The Refugee Economy
Like the families in rural areas of poor countries, the business element of refugee
families is integrated with the general family economy and it is almost impossible to
separate them. This means that business is fitted into the other family, household and
social obligations. Investment in business has to be weighed not against simple
economic criteria, but against all the other uses of that money. Similarly, credit is
seen in the same way - not necessarily to be used exclusively for the business, but as
part of the family resources. Hence many agencies do not loan money, they ioan
equipment, which is then repaid in cash. Even some of those agencies giving grants,
do not give money - they give equipment, as do ARC and AICF in Pakistan.
There is a counter argument that says tfiis is paternalistic, not allowing
refugees to be responsible for money and in the Quaker case study, cash was lent for
this reason, with three definite cases from 51 businesses of “abuse” (we would prefer
“divertion”) of the money into family obligations.
US. The Need for Credit and Access to Credit
The refugees’ need for credit is even higher than that of local people, which is in
itself high in developing countries (200/u per monvh is not uncommon in informal
lending). And their access to credit seems lower than for corresponding local people.
Often the agency is the only source of credit available, besides the family. This
situation arises initia.Uy as refugees lack contacts and resources. As time goes on,
other sources of credit, like money lenders or shop credit do become available to
refugees in ways simi!ar to local people.
This pattern of refugees being similar to local people, but more extreme, is
true in many aspects. Local people need credit and access to credit; refugees have
even less. Local people make a high proportion of their livelihood in the subsistence,
not cash, economy. The refugees come with very little money, and with free relief
goods, they are even further removed from a cash economy. So it takes a while for a
cash economy to develop. The small amount of money initially brought with them, is
supplelaented by jobs in health, education and construction and sales of rations. All
these bring in money to start the refugee cash economy (unless it is “Food-forWork”).
In saying refugees sometimes sell part of their rations, we do not wish to
suggest that there is an oversupply of rations. Rather, the quantities of rations consist
of a very few basic items and in order to buy other items or to save to start a small
enterprise some may be sacrificed.
U6. Guarantees and Security for the Loans
As we have already suggested the issues of guarantees and the security of loans is a
very difficult one for refugees. Of 8 organizations replying to this question:
5 use a written contract (See ACROSS and Quaker examples)
3 used collateral, usually the equipment provided.
I used a Ration Book pass number
1 used a Loan Committee (ACROSS with both refugees and locals)
I used group security (ACORD- but two other organisations mentioned
this in their thinking)
I needed no sei:i:rity - the staff are present at the handover and said
“they [the refugeus! know us” (see AKF Case study).
Many development agencies in poor countries do not themselves lend money
to small-scale business people, but they operate guarantee schemes for lenders, usually
commercial banks. If borrowers default, the agency pays the bank perhaps 80% or
even more of the sum lost. We only found two examples of this with refugees,
SPAREK in Nairobi, Kenya and PFP in Somalia (this project has now ended). This
type of guarantee extends the number of people that agencies can help, w.ithout
extending the money needed.
It seems that the closer the agencies are to the refugees and their traditional
structures, the less written contracts are needed or the less formal and legal the
contracts need to be, though the threat of taking back equipment is used verbally.
This closeness can be achieved by involving lraditional leaders, or sometimes the
administrative Leaders, if they are well respected or have ciose control in the
community. Alternatively, regular discussions between the agency staff and the
refugee builds up trust as they work together to produce a good proposal. The
Analysis Form, on the next page, was used by the Quakers in Somalia and did just
this - it often took several drafts to get the figures right and work out the loans and
repayments. The form was the originally in Somali and shows rhe proposal for
I-lassan’sstone-cutting group (see the case studies of refugee businesses).
Group security perhaps needs more explanation and an exampie may help:
five individuals, who are not related, each want to be given loans. The first XE? gets
the loan, and not until this loan or a proportion of it is repaid does the next get a
loan, and so on. Each is still individually liable, but there is group pressure to repay.
This has worked extremely well with small loans of under $300. We have no examples
using this system with big loans for refugees, although it has been widely applied in
different forms to non-refugees in poor areas.
We found no examples of credit unions (where people save together and then
loan the amount to one of the savers) with refugees - possibly because of the lack of
cash in the refugee economy. Though such unions may evolve in the future.
h17. Agreement Forms
We include here two examples of agreement forms, from the Quakers in Somalia and
from ACROSS in Sudan. The Quaker form has very simple conditions and uses a
guarantee of collateral, the equipment, a guarantor or a combination. The ACROSS
form is more complete and includes other systems readers may wish to use.
Quaker Programme
(Capital Costs)
Section: 12
{This quarter is useful to
see what the &ugees are
contributing, but is not
used in ths calculations)
(Running Costs)
Name: Hassan
(The “Capital Costs” mean
those purchases, which are
not consumed each month)
Sack Rice 4CO
Sack Sugar 450
(The “Running Costs” mean
regular monthly recurring
costs - here a simple
lunch and drink)
(The six men cut a lorry load
of stones every two days)
1,070 -
575 =
NOTE 1. - There is no interest, no depreciation and no savings, but the plan was
for them to save the repayment amount, once the loan was repaid.
NOTE 2. - All figures are in Somali Shillins - 1,000 Sh per month was an average
wage (about $60), these six men hoped to get 1,225 per month. All the figures were
checked with local prices - but no-one planned on an eighteen month drought. Turn
back to Hassans story on p.45.
Quaker Programme
Business Nanke __ _- - - - - - - _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ I -. _ _ - _ - _ _ -
Loan Amount
Monthly Repayment
Date Kepayments Start
Date Repayments End
7 - - - -_
Somali Shillings
Somali Shillings
(2 months after loan made)
(Less than 12 mo;\ths after start)
1. The loan should only be used for the business.
2. The loan is only for the named people.
3. The participants must meet the business advisor regularly.
4. The participants must tell the advisor any business or repayment problems. The
advisor will try to reach an agreement with the participants on how to deaI with the
5. The repayments are to made into the Small Business Account at the local bank
each month.
The participants guarantee the loan with the following:
Project items, which can be resold
Personal goods, which can be sold
Name of a Guarantor: -----------_
The total must add up to the total loan
If the repayments are not made and an agreement is not made, then the Camp
Administration, the Police and the Courts may be involved to claim the guarantee.
NAMES (Signatures)-----_-----_-__-I-______
ADDRESSES ----I-------------------------------------_-_--------------we
Signature for the Quakers ----------_-__
Signature for the Camp Administration ----------------Date ------
(Xn five copies for Refugees. Quakers, Administration, Police. and Court)
ACROSS PrOgramme
2) Hf a Society, Name of Chairman:
3) Location of Borrowers Home:
4) If Borrower has a Business, Location of Business:
5) Purpose of Loan:
as this Client had Previous Loans from ACROSS?
If Yes, List Date Previous Loan was repaid in full, or
Amount still outstanding:
I) Cash Issued by ACROSS to
In Words:
2) Materials Issued by ACROSS to Borrower
In Words:
Total fS
Total fS
Total ES
Total Value of Loan Issued
In Words:
0 F REPi%SE?!T
1) Total Time Allowed for Loan Repayment
2) Installments to be paid: onthly Quarterly Semi-annually Other
3) Date first Tastallment is due:
4) Dates of Subsequent Installments:
5) Number of Installments to be paid:
6) Date Final Installment is due:
o/bof Total Loan Value per year
7) Administrative fee:
8) Amount of Each Installment Payment:
= Total
+ Admin Fee
. rsPp?aS
. . . . *I
9) Total to be repaid ES
In Words:
Either I) Describe Goods being pledged as Collateral to Guarantee this Loan and state
their Value:
2) Signature of Person Guaranteeing this Loan in Event Borrower
is Unable to Repay it:
I, the borrower, accept the following conditions for this loan:
I) I agree to repay the loan on schedule with the listed terms.
2) If I cannot make a payment on schedule, I will immediately notify ACROSS
Community Development Department.
3) I will make up late payments as soon as possible.
4) ACROSS CD Department reserves the right to charge a late payment penalty
in casescf unexcused non-payment, according :o the agreed schedule.
5) If I fail to make payments on time, and if 1 fail to notify ACROSS i,‘D
Department of that, and 1 do not try ro catch up with the payment schedule,
ACKOSS has the right to repossessmy cash or goods. ACROSS also has the right
to take legal action to recover its investment.
6) ACROSS CD Qepariment has rhe right to add to my account the value of
small items I order from them. A new loan agreement will not be necessary. My
monthly payment amount will nof increase, but I will pay for a longer time.
These records wi!! bc kep: iii 2 easia>ook.
7) I agree to keep accurate business records. I will make reports to ACKOSS CD
Department, when requested.
8) If I participate in any illegal or dishonest business activity, or if I violate the
terms of this contract, ACROSS has the right to demand immediate repayment of
the balance of my loan. If I do not pay as ordered, ACROSS can repossess my
goods or start legal action.
Signature of CD Advisor
Signature of Borrowers
Signature Of Lender
Three copies to Borrower, ACROSS CD Department, CD Advisor in Settlement
Businessesdo fail or fatter for many reasons. Is it fair to penalise the business man or
woman? As we suggested earlier, it is particularly difficult to deal with defaulters
when they are refugees.
Although the Quakers in Somalia did ask the police to catch two defaulters,
(,who were actually never found), most agencies in our survey, including the Quakers,
do not like the idea of imprisoning refugees and use it as a last resort.
Usually on default the equipment is returned, but any cash outstanding is
written off. Fortunately, in most cases the equipment is relatively valuable compared
to the cash loan and other refugees are not tempted by this concession to default.
Because of the cari;ul design of the projects, the choice of businesses, the
guarantees and the often close and continuous attentiZm, average refugee loan projects
have only a 10% defauh rate. Banks in richer countries usually see 10% default as
very bad, whilst many lenders in poor countries regard it as quite good, since 35%
defaults, or even higher is common.
All the evidence shows that the smaher the loan, the better uhe chances of repayment
- especially if the borrowers are women. Nevertheless, because of seasonal factors,
the unreliability of supplies, and many other factors, an average of eighteen per cent
of borrowers do get into arrears. A combination of early detection and immediate
discussions leading to agreed rescheduling of debts seems to work. Leaving the
situation to see if it gets better usually means it gets worse.
Simple, current and on-the-spot record keeping for the loan programme itself
is vital. Systems which rely on centralised, slow record keeping, are likely to lead to
arrears. Computers, which rely on slow human inputs and even slower human
analysis, will give the arrears figures very accurately, but not very usefully.
e11o. Interest
Most refugees assume that the aid agencies are “very, very rich - (even if they are
not)” and the refugees can see for themselves the big cars, big houses and smart
clothes of the agency staff. So it is not surprising that some refugees assume the loan
is really a grant for “why do they need the money?”
So, should interest be charged to show the seriousness of the loan and how it
increases if they deiault? No, this does not seem to reduce the number of defaulters in many countries, where some borrowers continue to believe either that the agency
does not need the money or that the money is actually theirs, since it was “given” to
he!p them.
Loans are more often repaid when the refugees can see where the money goes
or can trust those administering the money. This seems to be a function of “closeness”
- the nearer the agency is to the refugees, the more likely the repayment. The level
of interest rates seems to play a minor role in repayment. Small short-term loans at
1% a day (or 365% a year!) are quite common and when asked, the borrowers
wondered how the aaencv made any money!
----- -
So, if interest rates are not very important to the refugees, to whom are they
important and why? in the early stages after the relief phase. the agencies are used to
giving money with no “returns”, and the refugees are used to that sEyle. A sudden jolt
into being asked for payment is too difficult for the agencies to implement.
At the other end of the scale, near flexible devrropment, agencies need the
interest to try to make their programmes self-sustainable and they need any income
they can get to cover the costs of:
Default and even
We did not find any loan schemes with refugees that came near the goal of
self-sustainatility; there is always an element of subsidy. However, ACORD came
closest and the closer .,n agency comes to covering its costs, the more possible
becomes the dream of truly independent agencies.
LIP1. Credit Is Not Eamgsl
Very simply. it is most unlikely that credit is the only problem a business has. Credit
should be part of an integrated sytem of support which helps the businesses.
Paradoxically, it would seem that any other single form of assistance, like
grants, wsuld also not be enough. But the toolkits given by AKF and ARC in
Pakistan, were not accompanied by any other assistance and they produced success
rates of about SO-90%. Similar rates of success came from the loan schemes of the
Quakers and ACORD. Obviously. the successful IG project is not based on grants or
loans alone, but on the types and timing of assistance and how it is given.
If a scheme only provides credit, it will fail to assist those businesses that
need other help and it may well provide more credit than is necessary. It is not
enough to offer credit; look at the other assistance that is needed as well.
v a ” ~otro~MGtioo
We have just suggested (in U11.) that loans and grants are not enough to help
businesses, what else can be offered to existing or prospective business people?
Leaving out skills Lraining which is covered in other sections, there are many
possibilities. We received replies from seventeen organizations, to question A.29, 01;
the possibilities for non-financial assistance.
V2. feasibility Stlrdies or Business Plms (
Three agencies mentioned that they produced or demanded comprehensive business
plans before they assisted any business. One agency said this was only done
informally on visits. As suggested before, it could be that more attention should be
given to this form of assistance - perhaps a more systematic approach is needed to
look at the viability of all projects.
V3. Business ~~o~~~nsct~i~~g
(after StarGang)
Similar to VZ., three agencies said thtay provided regular business counselling for all
“their” businesses; and two further agencies gave some counselling informally on
visits. Perhaps it needs specialist agencies to be able to understand business problems
and advise on solurions?
V4. Business Training Courses ( cfore aundAfter Stmrtiplg)
Two organizations provided management courses for all their participants and one
other trained half the business people they assisted, most of whom were just starting
their enterprises. It is normal that existing businesses seem to have a higher rate of
success than “start-ups”, but the difference is not so pronounced with refugees,
perhaps because alll the enterprises are relatively new and precarious.
One organization ran a special course for illiterate refugee business people.
VS. Production
a) With raw materials - 4 agencies gave to all participants (all handicraft
programmes) and 4 gave material to some businesses.
b) With production/vocatiorM training - (though not as a main objective) I
agency trained all participants, 4 did some training.
c) Individual advice - 4 agencies advised all participants, 4 some.
d) Machinery supply - 2 agencies supplied for most participants, 3 some.
e) Other - One agency helped with production control, another with quality
In general most agencies are involved with some sort ot production or technical
egullations Assistance
Two organizations mentioned this in the Sudan, but with little success. Perhaps many
agencies also obtain licences or give assistance in conforming to local regulations, but
have not seen this as a separate form of assistance, or perhaps there is more potantiai
for this type of assistance.
arketing Assistance
a) Through introductions or contacts - 3 agencies for all participants, 2 for some.
b) Through the agencies’ own buying power - 2 agencies bought at1 the refugee
production, 2 bought some, 3 just small numbers.
c) Other - 2 agencies assisted production to get to other outlets or organizations,
1 assisted export, I did a market survey, I gave advice.
vs. POtherForms of AssisPance
One agency gave technical advice and one literacy training.
Comments on Non- Financial Assistance
Though much of this assistance is informal and cannot easily be categorised or
described, it cannot be over-emphasised that without these smaller inputs, some of
the grants or loans provided by agencies would not be so successful. Both the local
and expatriate staff must respond flexibly to the individual situation of each
enterprise, and give assistance when they can. The staff should also recognize when
they cannot help and seek other avenues or agencies that can help in that situation.
Individual counselling or advice can play an important part in rebuilding a
refugee’s confidence and independence. It may be far quicker to tell a refugee what
to do, than iead him or her to identify a problem and evolve a solution, but the latter
is far more likely to be successfui in the long term. This evolving approach
encourages the refugee to actually follow the advice, and also he or she can then
probably meet future problems without further external assistance.
Wl c k+*oduction
Robert Chambers writes “Refugee relief organizations and refugee studies have
refugees as their first concern and focus. Adverse impacts on hosts are relatively
neglected... The poorer hosts can lose from competition for food, work, wages,
services and common property resources [fuelwood, grazing land]“. Although more
educated hosts can benefit from increased employment and other benefits,
We suggest that there are positive and negative impacts on the host country,
which are complex and individual to that country. If there are reasons to think that
integration is likely, for instance a cultural similarity or tolerance between refugees
and local people, then joint programmes are more possible. However, if thinking is
towards return or resettlement, then dual-track or parallel programmes seem more
appropriate. Certainly, any adverse impact on the poorer hosts should be alleviated
and funders must bd aware of this and perhaps fund local, refugee-affected area
These are only some of the factors. It seems that as time progresses, the
negative elements can build up, like competition in Pakistan. And so it is important
to be aware of the actual impact of programmes on refugees, local people, and the
local area, as well as the official positions about them. The arrival of refugees is
bound to disrupt local people, and if assistance programmes- with the best of
intentions - cause inequality by providing opportunities for refugees that are not
available for the local people then the problems of a divided population can only get
The processes for dealing with a refugee-affected area, rather than just with
refugees, are still in their infancy. There are many examples of this work beginning,
including the International Conference on Aid to Refugees in Africa (ICARA)
initiatives, and many can start soon after the relief phase. But what types of
initiatives are there?
or Integrated
There seem to be many variations:
1. Refugee IO programmes taking in some local people - if refugees and locals are
culturally similar this can work, as in the Quaker tie-dye business.
2. Local programmes invdlving refugees - ACGRD in Port Sudan seems successful.
3. Refugee-affected area programmes, involving locals and refugees ‘- The World
Bank in Pakistan case study shows this. Others in Somalia and Sudan employ large
numbers of the unskilled (poor?) in environmental or construction work.
4. Dual-Track Development - here agencies run similar parallel programmes, one for
refugees, one for locals, like GTZ in Pakistan. This seems to be applicable if funding
agencies for each can be found. In situations where the integration of refugees with
locals is forbidden at any level, this represents the only way of trying to assist the
concept of refugee-affected arcas, without just looking at local area development.
There is not enough experience to be able to look more deeply at this issue yet, but it
will need to be done soon.
x I. ~~trod~~~lo~
Why write about ending the project ? Often no mention is made of how the
programme is to be ended in the objectives and yet how it is to end determines to
some extent how it is to start. Is it going to be taken over by the government, is it
going to fade away, leaving independent activities or will a local organization take
over and carry on? So the agency’s longer term goals as to what will happen to the
progr.Xnme once input from the agency has ended are important right from the
start. A numb,er of options present themselves for consideration:
x2. co. -rnmea1t
Many agencies consider the strengthening of government institutions and the
of infrastructure, to be a priority objective. To this end local
government employees may be trained, possibly with incentive payments from the
agency; they may be seconded to the agency for a period of time; or the agency may
employ and train its own local staff with a view to the government taking over their
employment and the programme in the future. This objective is usually a result of the
ageracy’s concern at not setting up its own structures without heed to the host
government’s own efforts, and also in order to leave operating organizations behind,
after expatriate withdrawal - so their efforts have long term benefits. The other
advantages are that the agency, in working with the government (local and national)
is less likely to become isolated in its work from the government’s own development
plans and, if successful, can indeed contribute to an improvement in the government’s
existing institutions.
There are potential drawbacks however. The agency is not working with a
stable local population, but with people who are aliens and whose future, in their
country of asylum, is uncertain. Also, the staff receiving “incentives” often leave
when the payments are finally withdrawn. Given these variables, as well as the
possible existence of ambivalent feelings between the refugees, the host population
and the government. it may we’ll be inappropriate to adopt the “institutionalization” of
the progt’lmme, as a priority objective.
x3. [email protected]~
Local -rakeover
For an agency interested in improving infrastructure as well as the immediate
assistance to refugees, handover to an independent local group may prove to be a
workable objective. This may be to a well established group or a group of local
people and/or refugees which the agency has helped to set up. This has advantages in
that a local group is likely to be much less bureaucratic than the government and
therefore more easily able to respond EOrefugees needs. However, continued funding
may well be more of a problem. If the programme takes the form of a revolving loar
fund, including interest payments or charges towards the administrative costs, this
may be reduced. But wholly self-financing revolving funds are few and far between,
and we found none with refugees.
interest payments can cause particular problems with governments in some
places. They may see the payments as un-Islamic or exploitative of people who have
already lost everything Or the governments may see the interest rate is less than the
local rate and so causing resentment in the local population. A balance has to be
If the agency has set up production workshops, particularly for those with special
needs, such as the disabled, then self-sufficiency and independent local management
may be even more difficult to achieve. The agency will need to commit itself
financially, or find other sources of supportive finance, for the long term, after its
own period of direct staff involvement.
Another consideration is the possible cultural pressures borne b:; members of
the local management group from other members of their family or tribe. Field
workers must be aware of the possibility of this happening, which might not be
obvious when the project is being agency run. Particularly in the early stages of
hand-over, the r.ztssary support must be given to group members. During the
preparation for hand-over, some agencies expel workers who discriminate; others
carefully balance the ratio of staff to be the same as the camp or town.
Another possible obstacle to handing over management to a local group is that
in many countries there is little or no tradition of independent voluntary groups and
indeed they can be met with outright suspicion or discouragement. For example,
Somalia has only three such voluntary or non-governmental groups as they are usually
known, but there are many, traditional water-sharing or other groups, which could
perhaps extend their activities, rather than change into the foreign concept of a
X4. NQ CQ~~~~Q~I~~~Q~
after Agencj
This strategy is very often viewed with disfavour by agencies who see no merit in
setting something up with nc prospects for a long term future. However, it is the
refugees thar matter and if their activities are continuing, then the programme is a
success. The very fact that an agency remains may suggest failure - the programme
should be terminated in a specific number of years, either because it has acheived its
goals or because it has failed. Perhaps FOOmany programmes continue beyond their
useful lives?
This strategy of planning for a conclusion, with no continuation, may be one
of the differences in doing development work with a possibly transient refugee
populat:on, as opposed to a relatively stable local population. The agencies and
refugees think in shorter time-scales and indeed the whole situation may change if
one of the durable soiuFions emerges.
SimiMy, the agency may place emphasis on encouraging activities which can
be transferred to whatever situation the refugees find themselves in the future, and
try to avoid creating new infrastructure and so furthering the stability of camps. See
the discussion on “Portability” in section C2. When the agency withdraws at the end
of the programme timetable. the refugees then continue, independent of support,
hopefully achieving a higher standard of living than previously, with good prospects
for the future.
But this strategy does not have some of the advantages of other strategies - of
improving the infrastructure in refugee camps and so creating a spill-over or
educational effect on ‘ndigenous institutions. Moreover, there is little long-term job
security for local Stafi‘, and the possible loss of a valuable trained team. Though often
such people are in demand both by government and other agencies - the Primary
Health Service in Somal’l is largely staffed by psople trained in the refugee camps.
Yl. Why Evaluate?
Evaluation of some sort is essential if anybody wants either to learn from the
programme, or to change it, or to plan other programmes, at some time during its
lifetime or when it has ended. With a new field, such as assisting refugeas with
income-generation, this learning process is very important. Evaluation does, however,
take time and effort and nobody wants to spend time on a report that nobody reads!
It can also be extremely difficult to quantify the success or effectiveness of a
programme. The best starting point for an evaluation,, is to look at a programme’s
objectives and to see to what degree they have been achieved. So readers may refer
back to section D. on objectives. The evaluation process wiil be easier if the
objectives have been carefully thought through, avoiding abstract phrases. But, in any
evaluation, it is also important to decide the answers to three questions:
1. What to evaluate Is it to evaluate the general goals, like strengthening local
institutions or increasing certain groups’ access to resources? Is it to evaluate the
achievement of the objectives, such as numbers of successful businesses or improved
technical or managerial skills? Or is it a restricted evaluation, using indicators for a
part of the programme, like repayment levels, to see how the loan part of a
programme is working?
Deciding to evaluate some aspect of the programme which has not been
included in the original goals, objectives or indicators can be done, by setting these
later, but must include a qualitative judgement of how things should have been done.
This is rarely satisfactory.
2. J-Iow to evaluate Having decided what to evaluate, the following questions must be
answered: How much time is allowed for the evaluation? What degree of precision is
required? Once these questions have been answered, choices can be made between all
the methods of evaluation. Is it by quantitative data, or quaiita;ive data from project
staff and participants or objective evaluation by outside consultants or a combination
of these? Each has advantages and disadvantages and the choice must depend on local
3. Who is the evaluation aoinn to and whv? Sometimes this is more important than
what to evaluate, however, here we will treat it its normal place.
The most important audience, but the most neglected in carrying out
evaluations, are the project field staff. They are in the best position to respond
immediotely to indicators, which suggest the need for change. This shows the
connection between the reason for the evaluation and who it goes to. Here the reason
is day-to-day management, so the evaluation goes to the field staff. The reason for a
regular .nonthly or quarterly evaluation is for overall management and it should go to
field directors, headquarters staff and where appropriate to co-ordinating or funding
agencies. Annual and Project Evaluation Reports can have a variety of functions decisions about the future or publicity or fund raising or to help others do similar
work - and all have different audiences.
The aim is to produce an evaluation system, which can be used at every level,
rather than produce special information for each audience, which may waste field
staff time, in duplication, extra information collection, or adminis’ration.
Y2. A Possible ~vaIQati~~ System fvor ~efMgee IG
At present, our survey found no common system of evaluation indicators for refugee
16 projects. The UhiHCX in Pakistan showed the most consistency, using the
numbers of direct and indirect beneficiaries and programme costs as their main
indicators, with other indicators specific to each type of programme.
This data on numbers and costs is relatively simple to collect, and is effective
in measuring the success of grogrammes which distribute rations or clothes or similar
relief goods. But it is strange that there is not a general economic indicator for
INCOME-generation. Why is this? The reason for having such a thing is to compare
between agencies or for agencies to improve their own performance. The difficulty is
what measure(s) can be used that apply to all these diverse types of EG? They must
be simple, comparable between IG types and not over too long a time-scale.
Our aim here is not only to suggest a possible measure for the “income” in IG
programmes, but also to ptopose a system of evaluation, which although adding work
initially, can be used by field workers and others for any level of evaluation required
of them. Our proposal is a three level evaluation:
Primary Evaluation - simple statistics already applicable to most agencies.
Income and Self-sufficiency Evaluation - a new approach?
Particular Evaluation - specific to each project’s objectives.
Y3. !Prlmary EvaIuatiQn
Each programme year, the following ten statistics should be produced. The first seven
are probably recorded anyway, but the i,rst three are quite easy to record, if they are
not already available:
(I) Number of direct beneficiaries
(2) Number of indirect beneficiaries (the exact categories should be stated, such
as people receiving blankets, or the families of beneficiaries, or any
extra jobs created)
(3) Total programme cost (including income)
(4) Cost of direct assistance given
(5) All local staff and related costs
(4) All expatriate staff and related costs
(7) Administration and other programme costs (all other costs, excluding
items, 4, 5 and 6)
(8) Number of women direct beneficiaries
(9) Number of handicapped direct beneficiaries
(IO) Numbers of any special sub-groups being direct beneficiaries (if this is
relevant to the programme)
There may be difficulties, for example items such as transport could be in any
category 4 to 7, but the aim is not meant to be rigid or create extra work, rather to
begin an attempt at uniform measures. Simple statistics can then be prepared on each
programme or between programmes, such as the cost per beneficiary, or the ratio of
direct assistance to programme costs, the relationship between local and foreign staff
costs, and so on.
The figures showing the assistance given for the last three categories to women,
handicapped or members of special groups are very important. They are an attempt to
make sure all programme staff think about these groups, in the same way that racial
monitoring of employment practice is used to encourage employers at least to think
about ethnic minorities and hopefully employ more. Not all programmes can include
these groups, but they must be considered in the planning.
v4 Osborneand Seal-SMffIcIency ~VaI~atto~
The above indicators are imperfect measures of the success of income-generating
projects, since they contain r1o measure of the income generated. As stated before,
there is no standard way of evaluating this income, yet the income or the selfsufficiency it tends to create, remain the goals of refugee IG programmes. So it is
important to identify a measure which is related to these goals, without being so
difficult to collec*, or contentious in application, that it is of little practical value.
It may be useful to look to the accountant’s measures of evaluating
performance, in addition to the cost per beneficiary which has already been
mentioned. These methods include calculating the following:
a) Total profits/Total expenditure. This is a very attractive approach in theory,
but it can be very difficult to find out the actual profits of refugee enterprises.
b) Total Turnover or Sales. ‘These can also be compared to the Total
expenditure. Turnover is easier to estimate than the profits of a business, but if
there are supply problems or n high turnover of unprofitable items, (and either
can happen in refugee businesses), then such figures can be misleading.
c) Numbers employed. This is a reasonably easy figure to collect, but unfair to
those projects helping businesses start, and if pursued by the project staff this
could be detrimental to the long-term viability of the business created.
d) Value added. That is either the total of wages, salaries, withdrawals and
profit or the SnPesminus the purchased materials, supplies or services. This is a
preferable measure to either profits or turnover, and includes an indication of
the numbers employed. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to calculate and it needs
to be evaluated some time (1 year?) after the assistance, advice or training. It is
also not a good measure for relief substitution or other programmes which
control most of their component parts, like wages and materials.
e) Rate of Return. This is comparing income received to the project costs, but
is very similar to value added in calculation. Again some time-scale is needed.
It is not easy to produce a standard gauge of economic success suitable for all IG
projects. But having looked at all these measures, the case studies and all the
information from the respondents who sent in the data, we suggest two general
indicators - the first being a simple cost per job, worked out from the figures in the
primary evaluation. It must be admitted that this suits programmes that assist refugee
enterprises better than those where the refugees are employed by the agency.
This same reason caused the rejection of value added and rate of return, as
they are too specifically aimed at businesses and do not sufficiently account for
programmes which are wholly or partly run by the agencies. So for the second
measure of the income part of an income-generation programme we suggest an
estimate of the ratio:
Main Income Received: The Total Cost of that Assistance.
By the “Main Income”, we mean an estimate, as realistic as possible, of the increased
income or wages of the “Direct BeneficiarE
those recorded in the primary
evaluation. To be fair to some programmes, this should also include other
beneficiaries, in similiar positio,n as those directly benefitting, for example, from any
extra jobs created, as sho=rn in Example 1.
The timing of relzeiving the income compared to the cost of assistance is very
important. Usually, this Main Income will be the total for the year AFTER the
assistance has been received, especially for training projects, and for nearly all of the
business progrnmmes. However. for reiiof substitution and for projects where the
agency pays the wages, the medinincome will be tire wages earned during the year of
assistance, by the refugees. In most cases, the time periods will be the programme
years, rather than calendar or accounting period years, as it is the programme that is
being evaluated. Shorter periods, such as the six months life of the Christian Outreach
programme in Example 2. are also possible using this measure.
ACORD helped 851 businesses, helping 1,250 people with jobs, each increasing their
incomes by ES100 per month, from June 1984 to the end of 1985. Their success rate
was 85% and programme costs were $750,000 per year. The average exchange rate
over this period was fS2.45 per $.
Main Income = Income/participant x No. main participants x SuccessRate
= fSlO0 x 12 months x 1,250 x 85% = U.S.$ 520,408
2.45 fS/$
Total Assistance Cost = Cost per year x No. of Years
= $750,000 x 17 months = U.S.$ 1,06X500
12 months
So the Ratio of Main Income: Total Assistance = $ 520.408 = 0.49
EXAMPLE 2. Christian Qutreach
T!Y:: Christian Outreach Weaving Programme lasted six months and cost a total of
$12..500, with $2,000 paying for the expatriate part-time (authors’ estimate), $1,000
on tools and equipment. Of the rest 11% was for the sotton, 89% for the wages of
weavers, spinners, the watchman and the supervisor.
Ratio IWain Income: Total Assistance = $ 9.500 x 89% = 0.68
EXAMPLE 3. AICF in Pakistan (with some information from ARC)
Assistance International Contr e la Faim helped 795 businesses with Fool kits, which
created 1,129 jobs. The authors’ estimate a minimum increase in their incomes of an
average 1,000 rupees per month ($60). This assistance cost $170,4CO (authors’
estimate). According to the Austrian Relief Committee, with a similar programme,
about half the refugees used the equipment fully, the other half used the equipment
about half the time, giving a 75% success rate overall.
Ratio Main Uncorne:TOtal Assistance = I I29 x $60 x I2 x 75% = 3.6
$ t 70.400
This gives a “payback” period of about three months which is similar to a rate of
return of 360%! The ARC cese study is calculated in nearly the same way as this
example. with slightly lower numbers of refugees and higher costs, giving a ratio of
1: 2.4.
Examole 4. Chicken Proiect - O&lkers in Somalia
Tile calculation on p.26 gave the best and worst case for the va!ue of the Quaker
assistance. The worst case was to treat the benefits as if all the chickens given had
been sold. This gave a vaiue of $4,620. The best case was that the refugaes got a cash
value for ali their eggs, as if they were sold on the market. This gave a velue of
$9,200. Both calculations had already taken into account that one third of chickens
were lost to predator animals or birds. The resulting average of about $7,000 was a
fair estimate for the equivalant income the refugees received from the project, which
cost $14,000. Remember that in this case the feed was free, because the chickens
were free range, but in other projects the feed costs may have to be taken into
account. Therefore:
Main Income: Total Assistance = $7.000 = OS
So how is this ratio calculated for all the eight types of IC projects?
In Relief Substitution and Development Investment projects, there are usually
two benefits - the wages paid and the activity itself.
For relief substitution projects it is possible to calculate the value of the ratio
for the wages of the direct beneficiaries, like Christian Outreach at 0.68 in Example
2. It is also possible to calculate, fairly easily, the value of the cloth produced for the
refugees, who are the indirect beneficiaries. This cloth value is 4,167 m at 1 7JS $/m
at a cost of $12,500, giving a ratio of 1:0.33. This shows clearly the double benefit of
getting the refugees to produce their own goods; the money is used twice, and so the
sum of the ratios should be more than one, if the project is more economically
valuable, than just giving the money directly to the refugees.
In this case it is 0.68 + 0.33 = 1.01 and remember that the value of getting
people involved and producing appropriate traditional cloth cannot be measured in
economic terms.
A similar situation exists for Development Investment; two ratios for the
wages and the value of the activity can be calculated, though the latter can be very
difficult to esti,nate. The World Bank in Pakistan calculated a 12% rate of return on
their investment, but it was an extremely complex calculation which involved working
out the worth of the lnrld before and after the environmental improvement.
The average wages were 62% of the costs. so after three years the sum of the
ratios. which represent the value of rhe activity was: 0.65 + 0.12 + 0.12 + 0.12 = 0.98
For Income-Adding Starter projects. the numbers in the activity are likely to
be too great for the income to be calculated by anything other than a small sample
survey a:ld an extrapolation of the results. Though gross calculations of the value of
the activity may be possible, such as in the chicken project of Example 4. or other
very rough calculations.
For Basic Skills Projects, both ir. agriculture and handicrafts, if the enterprise
is agency-run, the wages and salaries paid are the “income”. If it is an independent
business, it can be treated like the other business assistance programmes. As always
there are other measures possible, and these may be needed if the programme is
partly agency-run and partly refugee-run.
For Business Starter and Business Assistance Projects, the main income might
be calculated using the formula below, similar to that used in Examples 1. and 3. for
Main Income = No. of jobs x Average increase in income x (%ISuccess
Where the incomes are more accurately known, as in programmes working in
detail with one, or a small number of enterprises, then the formula below might be
Income = Total Sales minus Total Costs
But these types of programmes seem rare with refugees, compared to local
development initiatives. For any type of IG project, where the assistance is to new or
existing businesses; the earnings of the owner and any employees, which is similar to
the figure for value added, is the “benefit”. For existing businesses, this benefit is the
increase in the earnings, above what they were earning before ?he project.
Vocational Training and Employment Bureaux; the earnings of refugees who
found employment, or started their own enterprises, using their skills, must be
compared with the cost of training or running the bureaux. As with the other projects
a measure of how such success each project achieved is necessary. It must be
remembered that some of the refugees would have gained some earnings without the
projects, but this may not be apparent, so it may perhaps be ignored as most refugees
do not have many other options open to them.
So, we now have the means to measure economic success that we wanted in
YZ., and it is fairly simple to calculate, although there are different ways of doing
these calculations. The measure is comparable between different types of IG project.
The final criteria is for the measure not to be over too long a time-scale - this
separates the two fundamental extremes of IG projects:1. Those projects that only exist as long as the agency continues.
2. Those projects whose activities continue after the agency has finished giving that
The first extreme includes relief substitution, some development investment,
some agriculture and handicraft programmes and occasionally other types of
pragrammes. For these the sum of the wages and any other benefits should exceed the
costs (i.?. sum of ratios >l.O), otherwise, it could be more cost-effective to give the
money to the refugees. Unless, of course, there are strong social, not economic
reasons for that IG programme.
The second extreme values those projects which aim at self-sufficiency. We
suggest these should be valued each year over a three year period - as this is the
usual time-scale thai: people can envisage with refugee populations. So, assuming that
some refugees get more prosperous and some less, but overall if those refugees
assisted acheive the same income levels in their second and third years as they did in
the first, then the value of the ratio should be more than 0.33 in the year after
Hopefully these refugees will continue their businesses beyond the three years,
but one should be cautious and not expect such continuation. Normally the vnlue of
the assistance would be calculated by a Discounted Cash Flow exercise in the second
and third years, but this is complex and does not fit our aim of simplicity.
So how do our case studies do?
Tvbe k, (Should be greater than 1.O)
Christian Outreach (Weaving and Spinning Wages)
(Value of the Cloth}
Tvoe 2, (Should be greater than 0.33)
Assistance International Contre la Faim (Toolits)
Austrian Relief Committee (Tool kits)
Quakers (Chickens - Income-adding Starter)
Quakers (Business Loans)
ACORD (Business Assistance Programme)
The Christian Outreach programme is our only example of programmes not
designed to continue and gets just over the ratio value of 1.0. All the other
psogrammes are designed for the refugees activities to continue without further
assistance and are all over our suggested base line of 0.33.
The value of this ratio is that it looks at the assistance as an investmant and
compares this with the economic returns. A low ratio may be entirely justified, for
instance, where work with a disadvantaged group is the objective or to give the
products to other needy refugees, like the cloth just mentioned. Such objectives
would be evaluated by other measures from the particuiar evaluation section,
However, if the ratio is high, it indicates some real success for an incomegenerating proganme. The best ratios may only be achieved with skilled refugees in
countries with a relatively well-developed infrastructure, so it may be unfair to
compare the ARC and AICF programmes in Pakistan with other programmes in
Somalia and Sudan. It may be better to compare the ratios of programmes operating
in the same country.
GUT these ratios are not “facts”; each ratio is an ESTIMATE, as realistic as
possible, of the economic return of each project. Since each agency will calculate this
in different ways, especially for different types of IG project, there is much room
for discussion, a!gument and debate. This will lead, hopefully, to increased costeffectiveness, which will benefit the refugees. Such discussions of these estimates
need to be based on open figures and stated assumptions, if they are to be successful.
Clearly, the above calculations are greatly simplified, and the problems of data
collection. particularly with refugees, make it nearly impossible to get anything other
than an estimate. Nevertheless, it is better to make some attempt, than not even to
try, since income-generation is primarily an economic activity and economic resources
are being spent on promoting it: some form of cost/benefit analysis must be
attempted, even of the simplest kind.
YS. Particular
There are certain evaluation measures, which are particular to one type of project and
which are worth using, both to compare that project with other similar ones
elsewhere, and to compare the performance of the same project over time. Most of
these indicators may be self-evident, but for the sake of completeness we list the
various types of project together with some of the indicators which it might be
appropriate to use.
One word of warning: using indicators, which are costs, like numbers of
items given or numbers of people trained, are m
indicators to be used initially,
before a measure of the “return” is obtained. In IG projects, the real “return”, on the
investment of these costs, is the income or wages earned by the refugees. It is too
easy to give away many useless items or train people for non-existent employment
and then count the programme as a success!
I. Relief Substitution - The number of items produced, their production cost and
perhaps a comparison cost to international prices or local prices.
2. Development Investment - The equivalent cost of the same works, if carried out by
local or international contractors; some estimate of the environmental saving or of the
long-term environmental benefits.
3. Income-Adding Starters - The numbers of items given, such as tool kits, chickens.
The refugees should have passed some form of eligibility test to be able to use the
items effectively. This is an interim measure, as it is very important not to use items
given away as the only measure of achievement.
4. Basic Skill Utilization - The hectares farmed; the sales values of handicrafts; the
“break-even points” or viability of enterprises.
5. Vocational Traiuing and Prodl?ctlz:l - Numbers of trainees starting and numbers
successfully finishing the Couiae, perhaps also the numbers at various stages or points
in the course. Again thcz Areprovisional indicators, since training is a cost, both for
trainees and trainers, the b+?efits only come when the skills are put to use.
6. Business Starter Schemes - the number and average value of assistance given; the
numbers and types of requests; and how many use the equipment given, As before,
the level of agency expenditure is no indicator of achievement.
7. Business Assistance Schemes - the success/failure rate; payback or repayment rate;
general observation of economic activity, or specific observation of growth
8. Employment Bureaux - the numbers of applicants and those placed.
There are many other indicators. It may be appropriate for funding agencies to set
standard criteria of achievement for the different types. Some measures, like success
rates of the programme, are already contained within our suggestion of an estimated
realistic ratio of Main Income to Cost.
ZX. The Politics of Income-Generatlon
The refugees we are concerned with in this book have come from a poor country and
they are in a poor country. almost certainly adding other problems for their hosts. In
most cases, their exodus arose from a political situation, and that situation remains.
They are not now in need of emergency relief, they are awaiting a solution and while
they wait, it is hoped they may generate some income, but that is not ideal. The real
solutions are political ones. It may be that in alleviating the immediate problems,
those solutions are made less urgent. Perhaps agencies and individuals, as well as
helping to solve these immediate issues, should also seek ways to help the refugees
seek a long-term answer, as their assistance may delay solutions to the problem.
22. Speedy Income-Generation?
Many respondents felt that refugees colrld start some IG projects within months of
arrival, if the conditions were right. If this is to happen, three conditions need to be
1) Some record of the refugees’ skills needs to be made at the initial registration.
Ideally this should include the main skill or previous job with any subsidiary
skills aad the refugees’ competence level in each. If this is done relief agencies
can immediately identify the skills they need, whether builders or clerks
administrators or tailors. And later, these or other agencies can use the skills lis;
to plan other IG projects.
2) Relief agencies must ask for some commitment from the refugees. This may
mean asking the refugees to donate their labour to help to build health centres; to
attend a training course as a condition of receiving free seeds; to do some
cooking, if their child is receiving supplementary feeding. If food, clothes,
medicines, education, utensils and housing materials, are all given out free,
without asking for any commitment, it is far more difficult later to move
towards genuine self-sustaining income generation.
3) Relief agencies should make time and perhaps establish a small budget for
planning and training staff to start appropriate programmes as soon as the
emergency phase ends.
None of this is easy and future IG possibilities might seem of minor
importance during the emergency, when people have just been saved from total
destitution. But a little thought and organization can bring many benefits later. It may
even be that some emergency services and relief can be provided more quickly by
usmg the refugees and local resources, than by relying on imported materials and
Iabour and waiting for these to arrive.
23. The Balance of Income-generating
Most IG prajects are wi:h men, in areas near towns, especially main towns, and often
the projects have a lower proportion of minorities, such as handicapped or tribal subgroups. All funding agencies and coordinating agencies, such as the UNHCR, the host
government and others, should try actively to encourage agencies to be more balanced
in their coverage of the refugee areas. Though each agency should review its own
programmes and see if they are equitable towards women, rural refugees or one or
more of these minorities.
24. Sharing Information
Our survey suggests that there is much to gain from more sharing of information
between agencies. Such topics as “understanding the local and host cultures, ways of
reaching particular groups, making XG more cost-effective” - all of these and many
others would form useful seminars encouraging the exchange of experience between
agencies is one country. Most of our case studies have acted as promoters of this sort
of exchange and seem to have been successful.
This is not to say that the benefits of small, individual initiatives should be
lost by offorts io coordinate or standardize - there are too many variables to be able
to say one way is right and another wrong. Rather all agencies can learn from one
another and sinew we found at least fiftoan IG agoncios in the countries with big
refugee influxes, there may be much to share. Indeed this book is such an attempt to
share, but cannot give the detailed background for each situation, that can only come
from close personal contact,
23. A Final Comment
Finally, we should like to end by paraphrasing two rep!ies to our questionnaires:
The research for this book was done between July and December 1986, with some
extra information reaching us as late as May 1987.
Phase 1. Identification of possible agencies, During July to September known
agencies were sent introductory letters explaining the research on refugee ICi projects,
asking for field addresses, for permission to contact the field staff and for any other
contacts that the agencies had.
Phase 2. Package to field addresses. The package was sent between July and October
and it contained an explanatory letter and three questionnaires. Both the letters and
the questionnaires are reproduced in this Appendix, with the summary of all the
respondents’ replies.
Questionnaire A. was to examine the background and statistics of the agencies’
IG programme, asking mostly for quantitative data.
Questionnaire B asked the field staff for their views on the more subjective,
qualitative factors about the successof income-generating programmes.
Questionnaire C comprised twenty copies of a refugee business questionnaire for
field staff to ask refugees.
In the accompanying letter, we also asked for any information that agencies
send us, if they did not have the time for one or more of the
Phase 3. Visit agencies in Europe to find information, discuss problems a.nd identify
the appropriate form for the final document. This process took place between August
1986 and May i987.
Phase 4. Cross-check information. From October until May 1987, we tried to check
our first thoughts and to substantiate for ourselves some of the information coming in
to us. This included a field visit to one area. Pakistan was chosen, because the authors
could follow up a UNHCR survey on income-generation there and they alcad had
first hand experience of refugee RI.3projects in Somalia, Sudan and Kenya.
Phase 5. Sift information and draw up the final reports. The first drafts of the field
studies were prepared in November, the book was edited between March and October
The following organizations are all working to support refugee income-generation
AND have responded to a questionnaire or visit. The visits in the UK and Pakistan
account for the higher rep~ese~tat~~~ of these areas. Each organization responded
either with a ~~~mp~eted~~~est~o~~ai~eor a full report of their activities. For this we
would like to thank them all, as they form the basis of this book.
Special thanks are due to WNHX in many countries, who are supporting
much of this work, and particularly to WNHCR Geneva and Pakistan. who answered
many questions in our field vi&s there.
~~h~ln~i~igfrom ~~~~~AC~~UN
Francis House (3rd Floor)
Francis St
London SWlP IlsQ; WK.
SW2the Business ASSiStaKlCe
for 6972 drought refugees.
or ACORD Port Sudan
P.Q. Box 917
r\lSO have
Somalia programme
ACROSS (Association of Christian Resource Organisaticns serving Sudan)
Box 2 1033
ACROSS has a very wide ranging ~~~~~r~~~~~~e
in the Sudan, including the
following activities with ocrcectages of the total cost:
16% Construction Activities 14.8%
Chadian Refugee Programme
12% Wgandan Refugee Program 12%
Agriculture and Rural Deveiopmenr
(tb’s Wgandan scheme includes the business schajr . athose form is on P.108)
I 1.2% Helath Cnre 6.3%
Emergency Relief
4.8% Water Development 3%
~~u~~~tio~ and Literacy Work
Archway, London N19 SIPS,U.K.
The Action Aid programme in Somalia with refugees includes agriculture,
education, tailoring, handicrafts and appropriate technology.
a, I Gui Mtrhar Lane
67 University Town,
The Afghan Aid prsyramme includes health and personal counselling
components as well as various relief subsitution projects making school bags,
uniforms and tents, by able-bodied and handicapped women.
c/o WNHCR,
P.Q.Box I263
give assistance to carper weavers, including
help with exporting.
Refugee Service
All Africa Council of Churches
P.O.Box 14205
Nni:obi, KENYA
The AACC help refugees in many ways, their IG projects include:
Botswana - 10 businesses
Algeria - handicraft programme
Djibouti - 68 vocational trainees
Kenya - 10 tailors
Rtganda - A womens centre and a chicken project
South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania - farming and self-help projects
Zimbabwe - 3 businesses
Zambia - 6 businesses
1501 Cherry St, Philadelphia,
Pennsytvania 19102 , USA
The AFSC have run IG programmes with refugees in Ethiopia, Mali, Palestine
and Somalia, though none currently continue under AFSC. They prefer
correspondence to USA, rather than to field staff, to save staff time.
Al-Ghaiani Road
G.P.U.Rax 3 19
See the AlCF case study on giving tool kits in Baluchistan.
c/o I-Iarvard lnstitute for international Development (HIID)
1737 Cambridge St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02 138
WSAID funded exploration and support to improve micro-enterprise
development programmes - it includes some work with refugee programmes.
86-90 Bay St, Broadway
P.O.Box K359, Haymarket 2000
Helps to fund UNHCR and 14 member agencies of AWSTCARE - 7 of these
agencies run 16 refugee IG projects in 14 countries. AUSTCARE tries in
particular to address the long-term needs of refugees.
80-D. Park Rd, University Town, Peshawar, Pakistan.
Mail Address: P.O.Box 489, GPO, Peshawar, PAKISTAN
The ARC programme is detailed in the case study.
ouse 318
Islamabad F7/ I street 3 1,
CRS have many programmes throughout the wor!d, but we used details of this
project, which helped train 96 women to produce childcens’ clothing.
34 St. Mary’s Crescent
[email protected]mington Spa
Warwickshire CV3! 1JL
Besides the relief substitution weaving case stsldy in Sudan, Christian outreach
have other training projects for refugees.
c/o tJN%KX, P.O.Eox 30,
REFUGEES (CAR = Pakistan Government
CAR in Baluchistan Dizrrict ;1rt! sonnectctl with the Pakistan Government’s
Small Industries Training Board. ‘l’hr:y run vocation,il training in 7 centrcs
Church of South India Council for ‘T:x%nical and Vocarional Training
7 Aven11e Kd
Madras 600 034, lNDIA
Sri Lankan Tamils in 6 subjects,
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Teohnische Zusammanarbeit (GTZ)
Domestic Energy Saving Project
P.O.Eox 896, University Town
GTZ give training, business help and loans for fuel saving stoves and nvens see case study in section 1. They also have a strong vocational training
~~ter~at~on~~~Development Enterprises (I
1901 Kipling, Suite 24
Lakewood, Colorado 802 15
3 year donkey cart and rower pump business introduction programme in
Somalia ended 1986. Other H E projects exist, but no details available.
International Labour Organisation (LLG)
Small Enterprise Development Branch
-I21 I Geneva 22
IlLO have run and are running many !G programmes in developing countries.
With refugees they are running several joint programmes with WN
SPARER. - see later) and also four refugee IG programmes of their own:
Costa Rica - Vocational training (900 trainees per year in 8 subjects).
Pakistan - Construction programmes.
Somalia - 16, self-reliance, chickens and soapmaking now handed over to
sxwly created locaP voluntary agency.
Sdan - Revolving loan fund.
P.O.Pos 504
LJniversity Town
Peshnwar, PAKISTAN
IRC have run many refugee programmes. In Pakistan, their IG projects include
self-reliance, handicrafts, poultry, vegetable gardening and a printing
training workshop.
21 South 12th Street
Rex N, Akron
Pennsylvania I750 I
MCC Somalia
P.O. BOX 2925
The MCC run at least six programmes with refugees; we included information from
MT,” &malia on agriculture, training and s:nalP business loans. MCC Bangladesh
hetped some refugee enterprises and MC’C Thailand ran resettlement job orientation.
MCC El Salvador. Honduras ;:nd Mexico had no details available.
Guildford Rd
Surrey GW22 7’lJl.J
3 Programmes- In Pakistan a large relief substition project for quilts and school
clothes. combines with aa selling and export marketing centre. In Sudan,
medical, job training, self-help and a handicraft centre for the disabled. And in
Thailand. haa(~~craft ~~~~~~~~ti~~
md self-help.
274 Banbury Rd
Oxford 0x2 7832
Qxon OX6 7RF
Qxfam have marry refugee IG orojects in Somalia, Zambia, Angola, Uganda,
Rwanda, India and other countries.
Oxfam Trading gave useful information on refugee IG in HongKong.
c/o UNHCR. P.O.Box 30,
The Department runs poultly, sheep and cow projects.
P.O.Box 1012
Hargeisa, SOMALIA
This PfP programme gave business assistance and technical training to refugees
and Somalis. using local advisors and business people. However PIP
International, which ran business advice programmes world wide was suspended
in February 1987. Some of its projects are now being run by CARE, 660 First
Avenue, New York NY 10016, U.S.A.
Friends House, Euston Rd,
London NW1 ZBJ, UK
QPS are running 3 refugee 1G programmes - In Botswana, refugee
rehabilitation, In Somalia, a camp based programme (see the case study) and in
Western Sudan, a community development programme.
Afghan Refugee Assistance Project
9/B- Rafiqui Lane
Peshawar. PAKISTAN
Health work as well as vocational training, and marketing, especially
54 Wilton Rd
P.O.Box 950
Westport, CT 0688 1, USA
4 Refugee IG Programmes - Crafts in Mexico, Small enterprises in Palestine, In
Pakistan, small enterprises, credit, self-help, poultry, vegetable gardens,
handicrafts and vocational training. Local enterprise and credit in Somalia.
Other programmes mentioned, but no details.
c/o UNHCR, P.0 Box 30,
Vocational training with about 500 boys making carpets, shoes and shawls.
SOS/PG - Belgium and Solidarite Afghanistan - Belgium
2 Rehman Baba Rd
University Town, Peshawar, PAKISTAN
The SOS/PC main programme is Teacher Training but they also place
apprentices in Pakistani and Afghani refugee workshops.
Special Programme for Assistance to Refugee Entrepreneurs in Kenya (SPAREK)
IL0 Small Enterprise Development
P.Q.Box 43801, Nairobi
A complex loan, advice and training programme covering micro-enterprises to
fairly sophisticated businesses.
THREADLINES - Pakistan Textile Crafts Development Organisarion
Supermarket F-6, P.O.Box 1348,
Islamabad, PAKISTAN
Wandicraft production and marketing (including export) from 6 centres by
about 20.000 Pakistanis and 5,000 Afghan refugees.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency (LJNWRA)
P.Q.Box 19149
via Israel
9 project businesses receiving loans and advice.
c/o IINHCK. P.Q.Box 30.
Wigh quality embroidery. run by one volunteer with up to 350 refugees. See
IL0 book “The Marketing Approach” by Susan Malick for case study.
WORLD BANK - Pakistan
c/o WNNCR, P.Q.Box 767,
University Town, Peshawar,
Large environmental improvement and employment scheme using mostly
unskilled labour (70”90% refugees). See the case study in Section 1.
WORLD ALLIANCE OF YMCAs - Young Mens Christian Associations.
Refugee and Rehabilitation Section
37 Quai Wilson
I201 Geneva.
A number of refugee programmes:
Costa Rica - &me-school workshop (refugees from Ei Salvador).
India - Tamil relief in Madapan.
Kenya and Sudan - Vocational training for refugees.
Thailand - Agriculture and weaving programme.
Uganda - Support of displaced people in Uganda.
West Bank - Vocational training in Jericho.
As this is one of the first studies ia this field, we have included some references for
the sake of completeness, which may be difficult to obtain. This is not consistent
with our wish to make this study easy to use. We hope the information will be useful
for anyone carrying out further enquiries.
Ali Africa Conference of Churches Refugee Service, Handbook for Refugee Workers.
AACC, Nairobi (1983)
All Africa Conference of Churches Refugee Service, One Refugee is One Too Many
AACC, Nairobi (1986)
Christensen H., Survival Strategies For and By Refugees - a six weeks study in
Somalia. UNRISD, Geneva (1982)
Christensen H.. Sustaining Afghan Refugees in Pakistan - Food and related social
aspects. UNRISD, Geneva (1983)
CISO/Thailand. Development of a Self-Help Assistance Programme for Displaced
Cambodians - A Pilot Project -Report of Project Evaluation. CUSO, Canada (1982)
The Gcoeva Group. Wow to Run a Small Development Project, Intermediate
Technolagy Publications, London 61986)
GTZ. Project Proposal for Vocational Training for Refugees and Sudanese Nationals.
GTZ, Germany (1983).
Narrell-Bond B.E., Imposing Aid - Emergency Assistance to Refugees - A study in
Sudan. OUP, Oxford (1986)
Harper M., Consultancy for Small Business ” The Concept - Training the Consultants.
i.T.Publications, London (1976)
Harper M., Entrepreneurship for the Poor - Prog:ammes for Developing Countries.
I.T.Publications, Londan (1984)
Harper M., Small Business in the Third World - Guidelines for Practical Assistance.
John Wiley, Chichester (1984)
International Council of Voluntary Agencies, Timely Solutions - Voluotary Agencies
and African Refugees. ICVA. Geneva (1981)
ILO/UNHCR, Tradition and Dynamism among Afgan Refugees I Income-generating
activities for Afgan refugees in Pakistan. 1L0, Geneva (1983)
ILO/UNHCR, Towards Self-Reliance - .4 Prosamme of Aclion for Refugees in
Eastern and Central Sudan. 1L0, Geneva (1984)
ILO. The Marketing Approach - Planning income and empinyz-ar‘i generation for
rural women. Susan Malick. ILO. C+?eva (;;$ij
International Migration Review (Vol.20 No:2) Special Issue Refugees: Issues and
Directions. Center for Migration Studies, New York (1986)
Kibreab G., Reflections on the African Refugee Problem - A Critical Analysis of
Some Basic Assumptions. Scandinavian Institute for African Studies I Research
Report No.67, Uppsaia (1983)
OXFAM The Field Directors Handbook - A Oxfam Manual for Development
Workers. OIJP, Oxford (1985)
OXFAM, A Manual of Savings and Credit for the Poor of Developing Countries.
Oxfam, Oxford (1987)
PLAN (Foster Parents Pian International Inc.) Income-Generating Projects of SmallScale Development Organisations: A Field Study.
SIDA, Developing Entrepreneurs - An evaluation of Small Scale Industry development
in Botswana 1974-84. SIDA, Stockholm. (1986)
Szal R.J., considerations ie the Design of Employment -Generating Activities,
Migration News No.1 (1984)
Thorogood B., Income-generating Projects, “Disasters” Vol.5 No 3. (1981)
UNHCR. Refugee Resettlement - A survey of Training Priorities in Thailand.
CCSDPT, Bangkok (1986)
UNHCR, Handbook for Social Services - see Annex 9 on a checklist for selfemployment projects, (1984)
WNHCR, Review of Income-Generating Projects for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan,
Yvette Stevens, Technical Support Section UNHCR Geneva (1986)
UNWRA: Past, Present and Future. UNWRA, Vienna (1986)
VOICE (Voluntary 0rg;I;izations in Community Enterprise), Income-generating
Projects - A Training Manual, Zimbabwe
YMCA World Alliance/UNHCR, Guidebook for Action (Refugees and
Rehabilitation). YMCA World Alliance, Geneva (1985)
This letter was sent from Cranfield
in between July 19X6 and May 1987
School of Management and replies came
We understahd that you are involved in assisting refuqee enterprise.
are trying to produce a manual on the range of possibilities
in this area.
bespite the size of this packaqe, we are very interested in hearing fran
you - youi :inz allwing.
involved in one large refugee camp with a
loan/advice scheme, am3 later in training local business advisors to help
refugees, both in Scmalia. So we do know atout pressures and workloads ard
we offer ah "if you have hot the time" alternative for the three parts of
the enquiry.
E?etween 1982 and 1985 we were
Now we are on a short-term contract, working with Malcolm Harper of the
Cranfield School of Management. The enquiry covers progranms for refugee
We are well aware of the many
variables ahd constraints of these prcqrames Landthe lack of guidance for
field workers, based on the positive and negative experiences of others.
We hope the manual will praride a useful reference for refugee enterprise
assist;\nce prgramnes in the future.
We arplcgise for this arrivinq 'out of the blue' and it would be of
enomus assistance if you could complete all aspects. But any help,
kzwever S&L, would be appreciated.
A : Background and Statistics.
This will give us a comparison
bet&en a11 the prcqrames which include suae business/enterprise/
inccm geheratmq for refuqees.
If you have not the time - Please send us a ranqe of yaw: reports
giving objectives,
practice an3 results.
Wewill refund postage, if
B: ~~CtQrS REfectinq Success_. 'l%is is the main part of our
survey kGzhouqh it needs the backqrourad). Plea.,e mower this as
thoughtfully as you csn - use extxs paper if you need to.
If YOUlave hot the time - Please send a short note outlining what you
fel are the important factors in the success and failure of such a
refugee prcqmnm.
Do send Sections A and B back before the refuqee business questionnaire,
We cannot visit all pmgra-snes, but we would like to get a feel for the
different circumstances that refugees are in. Enclosed are 4 bundles
of 5 questionnaires: if it is appropriate, we can offer reccinpense to
your staff, up to a total of $50 per programme. If possible, could
separategmup - eg,
Not in "our prcqame
More sukessful businesses
Less successful businesses
etc, etc
The groupings are up to you, but please let us know an return of the
completed form.
Going through the notes with the interviewers would
also lx helpful.
If vou have not the time - Pleas send a short note of the difficulties
facing refugees in business.
If you wish:
Details of this enquiry after ccxnpletion
'IO be involvad further, or
Any advice or assistance th3t we may be able to give (no promises)
please say so in your reply.
lrbank you.
Yours sincerely
The tems business, enterprise and inmne generating are used interchangeably to include all such activities.
Please use extra paper,
if necessary.
All ~~~~~~~~~~*
parts. with refugeesfrom
poor couatriei: and llwvvin paor ~~~U~~~~~5”
Crqanisa*-,ion naw : I&&b.$
LNa‘T we‘.e.w*t e, 10-r
7s; &pgC.b43 Wl.\l/“ii.w
-Cc,,, 73 oS1pai,,i;arrp*Ie *+. L,,~ r53
Field &:re~ss:
Kwp 8
I*,+& ‘2
I ~&ad,, t %L*r;, 4
I;, -*;* k u ml,
L Zib,b,, 2
ar8wui:a.j : R,i,: 4
1 ill/t.% R,LI 3 Fl SJ”& 2
J..*I a,
: i*(rairil ;1 cu,,,,,., **A ,’
‘,& ‘+t.d
,;e!: >““d J&l,) ‘*‘a,ac-r
A.siAJ : .,~~~~~~~~ ,;
5 &;,t,, 24
; c ;A*;
%,il**d A, nrt p&
d/? PA.<, r”d’“m”“’ tu iA. ..,&j #.e/&g,,6,t de.,,lL e^“,j .A,,!p.$J
rune :
ReSgmkiefit pzsition:
a,: th
iv* e d<,pp
I,, : I e
PfsJe '/UI,,_epec,rae$ i f;'al~ 13.,PeL
t?*r, be- I-LB &#?&.
Of y0u.r prcgrarone (con,pn+Jati*g
on tie
@r,te~rp&[email protected] ccrqxxent,s
op et4
1r3 ,*aJs.““““:
-ias c-b ;e (Be,* Id&f$
“.f 1 ar‘it i’p nr &&.;I, 1).eie.&a ** ddL,I
II-..ap the h+9 ypm
- 3e% U)zrs.Lea- cotta’% O,f
- 7& A,J ,e.L‘” non- I.6 p?
(1, ded.wi. .mL. - Unalci, de,
./cd I de, k” Ed*d,i, >
5. lfacdnoiu’4L 7-4lpl,UII/
4 wrrw’%r
Background Table (please answer relevant columns - appropriate estimates
*v,&4sr d..
cpA.s .p
annual budget
Life=of pmqame
(start date - end date)
630,[email protected]
c “O”:?,;& )
c-n.000 q #dl,i*)
'o-r ‘?A;.)
cr - 90r)
Cl- rm)
c-i.4 em&,)
staffing (in
Local staffing (in
full-time equivalents)
ca- wo)
cxf sites you wwk
in fag, towns, camps, 62%~)
,* Q*.,O&,
CPC. lvt.1.l
16, CL
/4 ) A, he.. la-l 6,
iim are your staff trained?
4-m t-L- J.6 II , IMka.d Gws.r 6,
How large
$a# I
se.6 i&J
How many
the target area(s) for your prcqrme?
d)I( *p Ry"* I, fim? +y*7,
4, 0". r&.+/p
Refuqee Eackqround
Outline the roles of your staff:
;. /r+-.4&)
outline the funding sources for your prcqranms (eg, 50%UK Govenuoent,
30%VObXfCW, X% UN): C&,c&e;.<~, e. F,,J,t,2 jmrt=- iL. 30%)
c rhlK4
&,,OOO- a.r’r;lli..)
How many refugees in your target area(s) are in camp(S)?, L13,000
(4 ,,OOQ- 2 “;I/,;.)
lim my
refugees in your tarqet area(s) get focd aid?
Refusee Business Prcqrame
<&.61., e
& &ue; Pu ‘L-=--$
lQ&i~, 1
How many refugee businesses have you
helped directly?
In these businesses how mny refugees
have you helped directly?
Since you started,
tuu many of those refugee businesses were:
businesses using refugees'
businesses requiring
to have mw skills?
&&.I~ "per w.ycts~ -IA;+---
businesses? 1
Solely with wanen?
Incl"de women? In ,$J;t;,,,
previous skills?
t. LL(C Lu‘i~rrreL+
3 U~~~~~~~~~
fw#G r** p-y-a,
Include handicapped?
Since you s&r&d,
md we-e*.
hew many refugee business
fox assistance
have you had?
16%(r* NPwt,, eI a* r&burai
Please include a list
of the types
f? &m . f,;e et .I( &se
you give
What is the total
qrants per year?
What is the avex-oe amount
of businesses
If you rake loans:
What is the totalnumberof
per year?
What is the avera e amunt each?
(U.S. Jl
C. Are the repaymentsmonthly,
@. What is the approximate % of loans in arrears?
9. L?oyou charqe interest
h. h7nt.I con:ract/seLxx%t,y do yau Expire?
what is tie avenge repayment peri&
(eg, 12 mths)?
What is the approximate % of loans unlikely
- what percentage?
describe your ld:ing
(5.l 28-Briefly
fund, savings clubs, etc)
LiR64~ 1,J
18% aV&P.
/I c
to be repaid? /O%aulrzE
03,; as ; s?&; 13%
set k.t;*-
system (ey, use of banks, revolving
Non-Financial assistance
which of th follWti9
md&dS Of non-financial assisti=
do you use
in assisting refugees? Pi-se give the number of businesses assisted
Per Year, aah9 cci~~~~ts if you wish. see 5ecc;o~ v: fi.- d&J,.
whirit =e the PrN
and other objectives,
refugef! business/income
pr V?
What criteria
do you use to drmse whan ycn~help?
what ~~&&I-I
a. G,.,t
goals or ati
of yow
Jc(.c Sat;., )f &. JAiil.
do you use for ycnrr objectives/
Please give the criteria ark3 my results, even if
awbss 5~~~~~~...;ii~~far 4.; iI.* 4yy--r
hi+ 2 i
ep :- ~~'~.~,~r~~~~
j ;:;::$o;::;L.'
,/i' &.,..;, A.siv;e
Doyouhaw any o*a agenciesa&-kgrefugee busi.nessi~t-wse/
a Contact mnx2 acd
ONNAnrEB: F.&am.s-sum
* PlMse give a value (O-5) fur the rd.ative implrtance Of the follCWiIlg
a business/enterprise
factors i9 the success of planning 02 m
progfor refugees
VW mt+
An llniqortant
: Irrgportant=4 : To be inch&!d=3 : 'Ib ke considered=2 :
factor-l : of no value=O. Please answer all
a ; #pays I ; P,Ieseier 1 ; A&*
481: Field Ohvrtars 0; U~~~.~~~
Jsrrtirr -k c&&tad
I * RA9NGEr lAV~~AG(i~I
; &&e,c‘(c, 1 x
a.1 pee ;e c& &,rl.wi2 ma.,:
TX!3 ma
a” biKlw.&
Ha4 imgmtant is this fxt0r
for [email protected]?
-. P;,*9 4.; 6,. n.11
.+**i+wl 5%"46" L3.75)
to planning ard running a
Your v&w:
LOW C2.8)
n.rds, d...,l, 6~. m.d2,
writi .J .a.&, <.a i.1,. s&r rv;dw. rfl d*.~;/;l ..j,,.t, me ,..A re LG.
I a
mtTlcaLLI;vEcsoFTREHau jmpoaant
Ywr view:,"t.d
c 1
- *pad
are tlheie?
6. G., 4.L dif( 1,d .p dx, F&e, - e* pk.. pj..Cs d
,Jwe dills - 2 b the L*h e~pr+t
I I 0
mat diffYarr view:
e-y LOW 7-o AVrArlti
does this factormke?
0.1, ;-,.&6 ;" 4. n;e;L pIwIn;",. 4 tie *.&,
I 6- '
L". Ldl ILL
I* t.w.i .
ir eldv,.
-+AII~AWE (3.b)
DJ the similarities
of being r&uy~?s outkcigh the differences?
IS thexe a best time to start business/inproj cxts?
Your view
' ~Ln!<S,
otiers me in an alien
Y3xwrefugc.%!sIhavetimlily ,A..
+ 3, it lAl&zarkvrt?
iper;r-tioml Fac*ors
To THEL2lawmE
-+.&mvGE (3.5)
Sam are entirely cmpdepzr~Ient, others lccallyde~~t,
but is ,the size important?
Your view:
9. ~O~~~~~~r~~
ww (3.9)
Like Q7 and (18, tvhxe is a big variation
refuqees - is it iinpxtmt?
in opportunities for
Ak cDuntrirJ xIM mme rmlyr(.bk ,I &..JL
,4c me&C&, ; -aA j&./l rw*tipr
10. Tm SIz3 OF m 0PEiGm.o~BAsEoFm-
Is it impztant that the prograrrpneis oxyanised~ a regional/
mtiorLal basis of on a local (one camp/cm tewn) basis?
IS it imp-t
that the prfqmme is specifically
business, or is part of a wider engramrae?
Your view:
Shcmld the Emphasisbe cm group or individual enterprises - why?
Your view:
b%mld you assist @xmtial entrepreneurs (who already have
sme skills/capital)
or target the &kzmmstor other groups
WOIIM, etc)?
Yarr view:
‘l4. ‘IBE -mON
Is it iqmtanttoplanfora
leave indewent
Your view:
mntinuing serviceortn
,nyu*no A,IJ ,I.. /?- ;J~$.t
I v
a‘ti yI't auIwP.1 I de r-s&N eewti.J ia/L-r.
,t&lj., .crrLi, &&I LLle to cr..i& L” iJ.r.J..e, L,,li nu)Jcrv;ls,
r&4,& c ..l es.
15. TEE ‘t?mx OF lT?AmING FRovmm
Should the PV
Yvur view:
mncentrate al pmtuction training,
training or a mix?
.tL,4 ia .ud Len1%-J-..t ""$9
f 00ma***r&.#- PM ,I, p,$J&i"$ COl(,-wS
I a
nk ;, ;-p&-t.
M&d .I%%[email protected], &ee, ALL 1, ,h&.J, (n;ir k1.d ;, d;#&u h. 7% +h
IS it importid
that support usually concentrates on
previously learned &ills in existing businesses, cz should
ex0mqement be given to new tvpes of enterprise?
To plan for refugaes' return or transfer (ax-dforacceptzbility to host qovemnents as non-mat residents)
- haw
inqxxtmt is 'portability"?
Your vied:
f.wl.w~”te :r-y:
u it Ad,’ 6+tl,& -6.,t dw.;e.,
,8 pff~,r&.L, I eyw+ {ptL i, 4 pr*ti6ilitll
R ’
Refuqees are often L&&led as 'depandant' either ae a
natural readion to loss or as a result of the relief p-ens.
Hawimplrtant is for ,this factor?
Your view:
c**ws sp -aLlAn,,
.C. ‘.cn 0, *.,I. ucmJ+$$%w,,
not )u,t LG., need e LC pw wy, to i*mrrc d,&eq ,r~l~--*~i~"~I;~~,du~c.
IP dcrcA*r< dwt ;* rlirr*tim
c &,aresr~~n,&a
it is tu /ate., p aate ,+sa.
19. REFmim INx?ATIoN
How i.lnpcJrta0.t
own initiative?
Your view:
6, P&S,
jh.,l~ LC r,p&JMJ
70 U IbH (3.6)
on refuqees
y! irqmrtant is refu~ parkicipation i.12the planning,
~ti3ffincy and iFanagment of the enterprise prcqmme?
Your view:
4;‘; .tA n<ans
.ff c,Is."
21. IS ILxz'iL DISiVrn
LOIJ 33 9vw74ti
(32 )
xf refugees are given grants, loam or training which are not
available to local pmple - is this a problem? Could integmting p-s
Your viw:
2%. LXXCRrnrn
l...arJ (2.5)
IS this a factor decreasing the success of enterprises, or
canitbe plannad for?
Y0u.r view:
HAS ts be plwnerl &
wJ C:AN 69 pIa.nctcdPw.
mRzE Qu.ssTIflNS,,.T..EasEFCANK
m FAcraRSYou ID23. Please list any other fa&x.-s that you think are iqxrtant
the sumess of EtrerIuFjeehusirlesslente.rprise progr3mne
e +~J=GL)
~failure of a xxxlhgeebusi.ness/ent~rise primpma
&...l.)&JA, c. **d&d 4. Uonorr;‘lrrrlt~~/~*l~~;~k‘&,lvd .p CL .h CMbJ
2) CL, l&?%,eeAd*;&,tnbm s-35-u&enot I& up k- 1.G.c.,. to. ."dD.Ac;,).
I' 'U
3)~~jr,a.ta rupp/;u, tapibl A ~ipm*c~t at tie Lq;~;q ar a< 4 cmtiu> ,+Jlew
25. Please list the factors that refi~gees timelves thti are
jJrpxtmt to the success of t7hei.r !nlsinesses (rank them
to your pT?rception)
I.) Acu~s ,-zo
2) -~-1--&@hc t.
mw-ra 0 mmcy
26. Are there my other ~SFXICIS
or czxxrents you wosld li&
-,“------- ~TL., ;, ?&+B d
----S*nci;+wr de-*
is 9 desi
Questions for Intezvi~
Interviewer name Aw.,. 2 A
Area c?r place
AL+.,, 3 t,l, erf."ikt&
IS refupe business assisted - with what?
Cl" f..e;ba ia. L4.idy%~.t;~ A
"WPke:;,y*:, d$$-,,d" f.P,,"a
644r.Cj(w*w &,-I,) d '
Omticwm~ Ear Refunee;
b+.mor waun
Your age in years
ilcrw':kWf y'S3.E haW2'JOUm
[email protected]
91men..d 33w.+.e.,
(!*‘A-, ;p
a r&K,C?63?
c* /?le*rsRfLICY&,BULJd pL.. e&?.aG)
Howmanlyyea.rSixwe you recceimd fcccl rati-?
Howzany acUts dewti on your money (
HrJwWY ch.iMren
waw did
Howdo you earn moneyrum?
whm ycu started this business, where did you learn the skills?
kan $xcents/family
Frmw&in~ here
Any other -=
* please put details
= 39% m~tusiness~ore
= &%n, Fran trainingelsewhere
= dl%n Fmnworkinge
in Guestion 26
19% Bormwed or hjredc&u;trl,,)=
Any other,3nsw?r*
Do not use tools,
machines or m.imls
* please put details in Question 26
J&v* lT!a-
7%u, Borrowed frail
Howmuchmoneydid you need to s-&u-t? -a.~.
Runninq gu.r
Ho.4 much money ms
to your
each month?
Howmuchmney do you keep or use for
h%an do you sell
for you?
my people work for you outside
your family?
a*< Bcvroweif frrnl lccals
fran agwiq
;I% Do.%a& while refugee
9% Any other answf?x*
* please put de+;lile in CwMAm 26
5% VI ,,I( 4Mb A ""JL,
!Vhenyou stxcted this business, when?did you get your mney frm?
Gift frm family
Gift fm refucJees
Gift fm lucals
Whenyou started this business, where did you get your mchines,
tools, or ctnimls?
Brought with you
aoUght hz e- fva.d
= 36%I 2 1P:m
f 00%
,% w.mJ net .eed
msry co JIUC
22, Whenyou sta?tedwbatwereyaurbiggest~lens?
plaaa(sl to sell
Not enough sales
75% Tw my busklesses
35% same as yours
?bur lack of skills
I% - s.?1Prsonolt
What axe ymr
Getting moneyfor
Gettag 5qgLies
rioding a gocd
place(s) to sell
Not enough sales
P 31%
Sam! as yours
a, )6%m
332 'kx, mmy b.lsinesses the
bur la& of ski1l.s
% 0
youwant to:
Eqmd elsewhere
9%m cktajobelsewhare
7% m
gwerrJnent or another organ.isatiS& was to
offer you help for ywr business, what is useful?
= 38%
= aa%
in accaunting
f3mr&aw: l.?g/r~ticmsl~e?s
Fi.rKbq new custaws
for better skills
If in the future you camwt go txm,do
WYts.Mm!ss here
problems now?
IO %
1% z iv* Pr.6L.o
5; z$~~.
If thereare anyotherdetails
frm thequestions before, or interesting
camp, etc), please pit details belcm
Ok- id& A., L. *die) E~&, ~,~,t;,~~oI~uvI, AN tL L~~.9,c;.I;..
13-W a’;uAY wererorrhd .r;l, &nc;u,S-lc?.,d&&l,
’ _,t,c+.dd.;,~ward 9+ ht.
A r .<.,!!&A,, b*l...<.), ne etkor.~
Thank you
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