Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS) for Refugees and Host Communities
“The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is higher than ever. By the end of 2020, 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced, including 48 million IDPs and 26.4 million refugees, because of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order. More than 1 percent of the world’s population is now displaced."
Humanitarian crises have become more protracted, with some operations lasting more than 20 years. In September 2021, a report by the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement pointed to an "imperative for durable solutions." It called for humanitarian actors to "redouble their efforts to ensure assistance not only meets humanitarian needs, but reduces them by contributing to sustainable national and local systems and to durable solutions for displaced populations. It is key that humanitarian actors work alongside development and peace-building actors."
Achieving these durable solutions takes humanitarian, development, and peace actors working together and sharing learning across these disciplines on methodologies and approaches that work. Two areas from the private sector development discipline specialising in sustainable and durable solutions are "Making Markets Work for the Poor" (also known as M4P or market systems development) and the Value Chain Development for Decent Work Approach.
ILO is working with UNHCR to apply these to forced displacement settings to develop holistic and market-based livelihoods strategies for refugees and local hosting communities.
Their first guide for humanitarian actors, "A Guide to market-based livelihood interventions for refugees", was developed in 2017 when the forcibly displaced population was around 60 million people. As the number surpasses 80 million people, those taking on "imperative for durable solutions" should look to guides like this and how their interventions have been applied in the refugee context. There is no one size fits all approach. Still, this guide "provides a framework for assessment to help practitioners determine the right combination of interventions to arrive at a holistic approach that is well adapted to the local context and labour market."