Mapping Study to inform Refugee & Displaced Population Strategy

Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda


Refugee & Displaced Populations: Employment Opportunities Assessment in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Purpose of the Study

WUSC is Mastercard Foundation’s technical assistance partner on inclusion of refugees and displaced populations and will conduct this mapping study to further inform the Foundation’s refugee strategy and next steps in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The Foundation seeks to understand the context, opportunities and challenges that refugee and displaced populations face in the above countries of interest to be in position to contribute to the desired economic and social change.

The purpose of this study is to conduct a country-level diagnostic to offer an understanding of the refugee and host community context and inform who are the strategic stakeholders including Refugee-led organizations working in this environment that may contribute to strategic programming with this segment. This rapid assessment will aim to provide an analysis and deepen our understanding of this segment to help us program for transformational change and scale.

Scope of Work

The diagnostic covers four general areas: (1) understanding the context; (2) an analysis of barriers and opportunities; (3) system intervention areas; and (4) stakeholders aligned to the three interconnected pillars.

Key guiding questions for each of these general areas are detailed below.

Understand the Context

  • What is the current and historical political economy of refugees and displaced populations? What policies and rules currently govern it? How are the various policies competing with each other? I.e. Encampment policy vs Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.
  • How have COVID-19, the Ethiopian displacement crisis and the political situation in Uganda affected the context?
  • What are the policies that are leading the current and/or potential interventions? What are the realties relative to the policies?
  • How have the contexts and realities disproportionately affected young women?
  • Beyond policies, how are refugees organizing themselves? What channels have they created themselves? How are they addressing their own challenges?

Analysis of Barriers & Opportunities

  • What are the potential opportunities, root-causes and key barriers for economic growth for refugees, at both a policy and programming level? How do these disproportionately affect young women and how are they unique to particular contexts (e.g. encampment)? 
  • What are the critical enablers (both policy and programming) for sector growth and broader ecosystem elements fundamental to creation of opportunities for refugees?
  • What are the top 2-3 value chains and sectors that would generate the most jobs for refugees, especially young refugee women, in a sustainable fashion? What barriers remain in their way?

Systems interventions:

  • ●        What evidence do we have about effective interventions/steps to address those root causes?  What do we know about what has or hasn’t worked, from the perspective of young refugees and displaced people, namely young women? How can we capitalize on successful ones that have improved systems and inclusion in general? What/where are the levers for effective change/success in the space?
  • How can durable solutions be successfully integrated in relation to the pillars (or should they be)? What is the potential for scale and further inclusion environments across the country?
  • What can the Foundation do differently in the identified sectors to achieve the most outcomes for refugees and their country of asylum?

Stakeholders Aligned to the three interconnected pillars

  • Identify key stakeholders working in the refugee strategic areas in all the countries of interest and understand their missions and experiences. What is their capacity and potential for scale as it relates to the three pillars of the strategy?
  • What is the nature of current investment in the identified sectors?  Who is investing and how much?
  • Are there other important actors who could add value but are not currently working in this space or in this geography?
  • What is the current role of refugee led organizations (if any) and how have they been intentionally supported in these sectors?

A diagnostic for refugees and displaced young people should build upon existing internal and external diagnostics and will apply desk research as well as interviews and consultations with various public and private stakeholders including UNHCR, government, sectoral experts and practitioners. The methodology should ensure engagement with diverse voices, including refugee young women and men of different backgrounds. While country specific findings will be made available at a high level, the report will also offer a regional analysis of barriers and opportunities to inform future programming.


The methodology for this study will be comprised of a mix of desk research and key informant interviews. Relevant information on  individual country contexts for Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia will be extracted and updated from the previous WUSC mapping study commissioned by the Foundation: A Bridge to the Future: From Higher Education to Employment for Displaced Youth in Africa. Key stakeholder interviews will be conducted with practitioners working with displaced youth on programs that support access to employment and economic opportunities, individuals with lived experience themselves, as well as those with substantive technical and regional expertise in this area. Due to the shorter timeframe of this assessment, focus group discussions will not be utilized (except in Rwanda, the timeframe permitting).  However, the FGDs conducted for the Bridge to Future study will be reviewed and integrated where relevant; in addition, the  assessment’s findings will be validated by the DREEM Youth Advisory Team, which will be made up of individuals with lived experience from the region.

Under the supervision of the WUSC DREEM project team, a regional research coordinator will oversee data collection; field researchers will be recruited for Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia, while DREEM staff will collect data for Kenya.

Most importantly, a gender lens will need to be woven throughout, with a focus on how the context, barriers and opportunities impact young women in particular.


The expected deliverables during the duration of the project are detailed below:

  • Draft report which will be presented and discussed with the Mastercard Foundation and WUSC teams
  • Final comprehensive report including a PowerPoint presentation synthesizing evidence and findings, key recommendations for medium and long-term strategic interventions, and implications for the future direction of the Foundation Refugee and Displaced Population strategy.
  • Clean copy of datasets for any data collated to inform the report.
  • Database of actors, stakeholders and potential partners and their specific areas of focus including main point of contacts.

This study is to be completed by the end of March to allow for activities to commence in the first part of 2021. Below are suggested dates for activities to be delivered.

  • February 13: Exercise begins
  • February 16, 2021: Meeting with Country Heads of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya & Uganda to ensure understanding of YAW and validate questions for each country context
  • ●        March 20, 2021: First draft shared with the core team and meeting to discuss findings
  • March 31, 2021: Final Report
  • April 6, 2021: Presentation of findings to Mastercard Foundation


Qualified consultants with relevant experience working on economic opportunities, value chain development and market systems development with youth and  displaced populations in East Africa are encouraged to submit a proposal of work with proposed budget here by February 9, 2021.

Know someone who would be perfect for this opportunity? Please share!