Community effects of cash-for-work programmes in Jordan: supporting social cohesion, more equitable gender roles and local economic development in contexts of flight and migration

Loewe, Markus / Tina Zintl / Jörn Fritzenkötter / Verena Gantner / Regina Kaltenbach / Lena Pohl
Studies (103)

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-96021-135-8
Price: 10 €

Communities hosting large numbers of refugees are under immense pressure regarding social cohesion and local economic development, often coupled with inequitable gender roles. As this study demonstrates, cash-for-work (CfW) programmes can mitigate this pressure because – beyond direct effects on employment, infrastructure and skills – they also unfold positive community effects, even in contexts of flight and migration. This study, based on 380 interviews gathered during a 3-months field stay and a GIZ survey of over 980 former participants of the Improving Green Infrastructure in Jordan Programme, details how CfW programmes in Jordan implemented by international donors have supported local communities hosting the majority of circa 600,000 Syrian refugees living outside camps. It argues that such programmes, if skilfully designed, reap sizeable benefits not only for their direct participants, even if – under the current set-up – post-CfW employment and investment effects remain limited and changed gender roles may not be sustained. The study presents recommendations for international and local policymakers on how to factor in community effects when designing policy responses to protracted displacement.

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