Background: This report presents findings from the Livelihood and Environment Interventions Impact Evaluation of the Multi Sectoral Assistance to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Kyangwali Project in November 2016 commissioned by Action Africa Help Uganda and United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The evaluation aimed at assessing the progress, performance and achievements made in the implementation of the Livelihood and Environment Multi Sectoral Assistance programs and generate lessons and recommendations to inform better and future programming.
Methods: The study was participatory, descriptive and a cross-sectional one utilizing heavily qualitative approaches. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews with refugees at household levels; dialogue sessions with various groups (farmer, savings, etc.) at community levels, a sample of key Informant and in-depth interviews with partners, camp management and review of relevant literature on implementation of activities by refugees (progress reports, multiyear strategy (2016-2020) and series of in-depth Interviews at camp management level.
Livelihood and self-reliance: findings indicate substantial efforts have been invested in refugees to increase agriculture production through extension services and direct farm input provision, post-harvest handling and village savings. Despite the current level efforts, there are strong bottlenecks that need multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder response and these include; weather changes and need for irrigation, fertilizers, inadequate seed source and access of vegetable seeds; lack of reliable and regular market, price changes; exploitation by middle men, infestation of crops by pests. There are delinks to the whole Value chain system and partners seem to handle only a bit but seasonally based on funding routine. Farmers showed need to diversify from agriculture to off-farm businesses at some stages.
Environment and self-reliance: a growing momentum of interventions by partners in environment management, energy saving technologies is recorded. However, energy sources in Kyangwali remain majorly firewood; charcoal and reported agricultural wastes. Massive use of wood and charcoal overwhelms the existing natural resource base in the settlement. Production of briquettes is on small scale.
Conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions: Overall, the Multi Sectoral Livelihood and Environment Assistance programs for refugees, asylum seekers and host communities in Kyangwali Settlement implemented by AAH Uganda and partners; supported largely by UNHCR and supplemented by the European Union (2011-2014) with close collaboration of OPM has made commendable progress that need to be strengthened further and periodically evaluated to realize the desired end of self-reliance.
Recommendations: Based on evaluation findings; the following recommendations are made: In terms of sustainable livelihoods, partners need to tackle holistically the whole value chain rather than different stages and rationalization should be done where partners share plans, targets, areas of operation, duration of funding etc.
Massive production of briquettes should be funded, promoted hand in hand with the promotion of affordable improved energy saving technologies alongside tree planting campaigns. Joint planning of all partners need to be encouraged, promoted and sharing of targets rather than individual planning and then quarterly coordinated meetings. A multi-year funding stream should be encouraged that enables longer planning periods to handle sustainability modalities and checks.
Enhance modernization of agriculture, increase access to market-led skills development, support business and microfinance enterprises aimed at meaningful engagement of the youth, strengthen non-farm income generating activities, e.g., vocational and artisan skills. Enhance measures such as the value chain approach, financial literacy and business skills, as well as environmental management, responsiveness to climate change, chronic malnutrition, reproductive health (including HIV), and gender are recommended in all livelihood programming.