Rapid Assessment on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

at International Labour Organization
Location Kampala, Uganda
Date Posted May 22, 2020
Category Healthcare
Currency UGX


Rapid Assessment on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Labour Markets in Targeted Intervention Areas of the PROSPECTS Programme in Uganda

CountriesUgandaSourcesILOClosing dateMay 29, 2020

Applications to Conduct Rapid Assessment on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Labour Markets in Targeted Intervention Areas1 of the PROSPECTS Programme in Uganda

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a severe contraction in economic activity due to a combination of global supply chain disruptions, travel restrictions, measures to limit contact between persons, and the sudden decline in demand. Consumer-facing sectors have been severely affected by social distancing measures and heightened uncertainty, while the manufacturing sector has declined on account of disruptions to the inflow of raw materials. Economic activity in the trade sector has also been weighed down by the decline in external demand and supply chain disruptions, while service sectors such as finance, insurance, and information and communications are affected by the general stall in business activity and investment.

This pandemic has moved rapidly beyond an international health pandemic to heralding a global socio-economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.2 According to the ILO, the pandemic is devastating labour markets, creating a disproportionate impact on certain segments of the population, 3 including women and youth.4 Forcibly displaced populations, including refugees and host communities will be among the hardest hit.5 The overwhelming majority of the forcibly displaced are hosted in developing countries with limited resources and capacities to respond to such an unprecedented situation.6

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic refugees and host communities were confronted with a range of challenges, including loss of assets and psychological trauma, limited access to services including education, lack of opportunities, numerous protection risks and a lack of a planning horizon. Host communities, which tend to be among the poorest in their country, typically located in lagging regions, have had to pursue their own development efforts in an environment that has been transformed by a large inflow of newcomers.

These populations are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 as they face higher rates of unemployment and underemployment and informal employment. Many refugees and host community workers are either self-employed or casual workers most often in the informal economy and will be disproportionately hit as they do not have access to paid or sick leave systems, and are less protected by conventional social protection mechanisms. The gender dimension across these populations is especially acute as women also have less access to social protection and will bear a disproportionate burden in the care economy, in the case of closure of schools or care systems. In camp and settlement settings, these situations become heightened. Furthermore, People With Disabilities (PWDs) among these populations, already at significant disadvantage in the labour market, will inevitably be more negatively affected by COVID-19 than others.

The COVID-19 crisis is also threatening peaceful coexistence within countries and between forcibly displaced and host communities. It will have an impact on social cohesion, specifically over access to services and livelihoods, which might lead to increasing social tensions. Maintaining and further investing in social cohesion efforts will be particularly important for countries experiencing fragility resulting from forced displacement.

Action is urgently needed to better understand the situation on the ground in the context of socio-economic impacts to be able to mitigate the plight of both refugees and host communities. Humanitarian assistance is of course critical, but insufficient when situations become protracted, and they need to be complemented by a development approach that is focused on the socioeconomic dimensions of the crisis. The immediate short-term impacts are already placing millions of people in danger of falling into poverty,7 and the situation will require major investment to support the recovery process, helping economies, local labour markets, societies and communities recover and ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected.

PROSPECTS Partnership Programme

UNICEF, UNHCR, ILO, IFC and the World Bank, in collaboration with and supported by the Government of the Netherlands, are implementing a joint and fully integrated approach to respond to the forced displacement situation in the Middle East and North Africa and the Horn of Africa by joining the partners’ efforts to develop a new paradigm in responding to forced displacement crises through the involvement of development actors.

The PROSPECTS programme aims to help transform the way governments and other stakeholders, including the private sector, respond to forced displacement crises – and in particular:

to enhance the enabling environment for the socio-economic inclusion of forcibly displaced persons (to mitigate their plight during years of exile and to best prepare them for their return);
to enhance access to education and child protection for vulnerable children on the move; and
to strengthen the resilience of host communities through inclusive socio-economic development that also benefits forcibly displaced persons. In Uganda, the partnership is focusing on Education and Skills, Jobs, Livelihoods and Enterprises; and, Protection with a focus on inclusion of refugees in national planning.

Duties and responsibilities

Conduct desk research to review measures introduced by the governments (central and local), including those that extend to economic support on both the demand- and supply-side (sample reference sources could include ILO COVID-19 country profiles11 and other relevant international and national sources).
Document the regulations and procedures pertaining to the formalization of economic activities of refugees and host communities (economic units).
Identify the different Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) organizations such as cooperatives and associations that are active and present the legal framework in which they are allowed to operate as well as the challenges they face in operating and supporting their member workers and economic units.
Conduct mapping/review of existing or current assessments of relevant international and national organisations, in particular UNHCR and UNICEF, and review measures being implemented for forcibly displaced populations, for example, closure of camps and restrictions on movement, and integrated these where relevant in the ILO rapid assessment.
Develop surveys targeting individuals/workers, households and enterprises including cooperatives formal/informal). The surveys should include questions to understand the impact of COVID-19 on local labour markets and socio-economic environments, and identify needs of refugees and host community populations to inform subsequent response actions as explained above.
Design a rapid sampling plan to determine the sample frame, size and method to use in identifying the sample in targeted intervention areas of the PROSPECTS programme. The sample must include affected populations as relevant: refugees and host communities. Baselines may be available from the PROSPECTS Programme country partners among others.

Experience Requirements

experience in primary information gathering, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with government, private sector, multilateral agencies, and other relevant key actors;
capacity to write high quality, concise and analytical reports;
experience in conducting labour market and socio-economic assessments (supply and demand elements of labour markets), including project and programme implementation at local level;
experience in research activities in forced displacement settings would be an advantage, as would experience in conducting assessments in East/Horn of Africa, North Africa, Arab States (as appropriate).

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