Mozambique Graduation Program: Objectives of Impact Assessment on Employment, Wellbeing and Social Integration of Refugees and Host Communities – Mozambique

This overview note summarizes the objectives of the graduation program in Mozambique, describes the main research questions, and highlights the beneficiary selection criteria and the data collection schedule for the impact evaluation.

The impact evaluation aims not only to understand the standard impacts of the graduation program on the work, income and food security of refugees and ultra-poor hosts, but also to measure the impact on social cohesion, confidence and emotional health. It further examines how program beneficiaries engaged in self-employment versus salaried employment may experience different economic and social integration.

Additionally, these findings will inform the Poverty Reduction Coalition (PAC) launched at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 by UNHCR and partners with the aim of raising $700 million for the implementation of the Global Refugee Forum. approaching graduation in 35 countries from 2021 to 2025. At the time of writing, some $5.7 million has been raised for projects in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Kenya, Peru and Mozambique. Findings from this research can further inform UNHCR livelihoods programming, specifically helping to assess the value of the resettlement approach and contributing to the evidence base needed to support the incremental cost of resettlement programmes. .


UNHCR has long understood the value and potential of the graduation approach to support extremely poor and vulnerable refugees and nationals. Between 2013 and 2018, refugees from 6 countries (Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe) participated in graduation services. The graduation approach is a sequenced package of social and economic assistance aimed at strengthening participants’ economic self-reliance. dependency by obtaining a sustainable income and getting out of extreme poverty within a specified period (usually 12 to 36 months).

Maratane refugee camp is home to around 9,500 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and other countries. From the host community, approximately 16,390 people depend directly on the camp for social services provided by UNHCR and the government.

In Nampula, Mozambique, UNHCR is implementing a graduation program for a small cohort of refugees in Maratane camp and members of the host community. The program began in 2018 with the first cohort comprising 10 refugees and 108 host community members. The second cohort began in August 2019 and includes 77 refugees and 89 host community members and includes assistance in the following areas: consumer support, instructions on CV writing, basic skills training, language and financial literacy, market-oriented skills and vocational training. , employment support, asset transfer and coaching services to encourage and improve self-esteem, as well as interventions tailored to individual needs.
The program also includes the facilitation of self-employment and wage employment, including paid apprenticeships to improve job linkages and improve the employability of participants with limited experience.


In an effort to design the eligibility criteria for identifying extremely poor households for the program, UNHCR, in collaboration with TrickleUp, studied the World Bank’s targeting strategy for social protection programs in Mozambique as well as lessons learned from meta-analysis on global poverty assessments. We also studied existing vulnerability criteria applied by the Government of Mozambique and indicators from the National Poverty Assessment and the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) which were found to be good predictors of poverty in the country.
Refugees and members of the host community who expressed interest in participating in the program received a questionnaire that followed the methodology of the Simple Poverty Dashboard, an index that uses 10 indicators to identify poor Mozambican nationals and extremely poor using data from the most recent national poverty assessment. (Household Budget Survey 2014/15). This scorecard approach is used by the government of Mozambique to enroll nationals in social safety net programs.
Recruiting participants has been a challenge, particularly for the first cohort, primarily due to the spread of misinformation that refugees who participate in livelihood assistance programs will lose their eligibility for resettlement and ‘food aid.
After a communication campaign to clarify the objectives of the program, the program started in August 2019 with a second cohort of 77 refugees and 89 host community members (166 in total). The second cohort successfully completed the graduation program at the end of 2021 and an impact evaluation is being finalized in 2022.


Through partnerships with local businesses, technical training focused on skills demanded by businesses in the region. Two technical trainings have been conducted so far (eg housekeeping) and these have directly led to the hiring of participants.
At the end of March 2020, seven people were hired, all starting between February and March with a 3-month trial period. A hotel hired four chambermaids and a doorman, a bakery hired a production manager and the local business hired an event assistant. Further contact with a university and school was underway but due to school closures following Covid-19 this hiring process was halted.
Beyond training and facilitating jobs, the program helps participants prepare the legal documents, ID number and resume needed for specific job applications.
Employment assistance was also provided in the form of cash assistance for transportation and food during the first month of employment as well as pre-employment courses in work etiquette.


As refugees and members of the host community in Nampula Province live in semi-urban environments, the livelihoods program involves support for wage employment and self-employment in a range of sectors including crafts and crafts, agriculture, waste management and biochar. Everyone who benefits from self-employment also received personal coaching on designing a business plan.


Baseline data, which is a record of the situation of program beneficiaries before the start of the program, was collected in the third quarter of 2019. Intermediate data is planned for the fourth quarter of 2020 and a final data collection (the collection of fund is still ongoing) aim to be completed within 6 months of the end of the 18-month program.


The graduation program for the second cohort in Nampula ended at the end of 2021 (with a delay of 6 months due to Covid-19). Once final data collection is complete, the findings and analysis will be presented in an impact evaluation report in 2022.


The co-principal investigators responsible for the impact evaluation are: Dr Sandra Sequeira, Associate Professor of Development Economics at the London School of Economics, and Dr Theresa Beltramo, Head of Research, Analysis and Management knowledge at UNCH

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