IOM Wins Award for Innovation in Impact Methodologies

Nairobi, Kenya - IOM, the International Organization for Migration, has received an award for innovation in methodologies used to produce an impact study about a programme assisting migrants in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan. The award was given by the UK Evaluation Society and Ipsos for the impact study of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (JI-HoA) which assisted migrants from the Horn of Africa return home and reintegrate between 2017 and 2022.

Over a 5-year period the programme assisted more than 9,500 migrants to return home voluntarily, and provided medical care, shelter, food, water and sanitation, as well as psychosocial support. Migrants were also helped to trace and reunite with their families. More than 15,000 migrants were provided with reintegration assistance to establish livelihood and rebuild their lives in the communities of origin. 

New methodologies were used in the study to assess the contribution of the assistance provided towards the sustainable reintegration of migrants. The study employed an innovative evaluation design, by which migrants receiving assistance were compared with demographically similar individuals who did not migrate nor were beneficiaries of the JI-HoA programme, but who resided in the same communities. 

The impact study found encouraging results on the contribution of the JI-HoA assistance to sustainable reintegration, especially in Ethiopia and Somalia. where returnees recovered and attained a condition similar their non-migrant counterparts in the community, with evidence that some of this improvement is attributable to the assistance received. In Sudan, attaining sustainable reintegration was challenged by the adverse conditions in the country; yet the study found evidence that the assistance helped returnees avoid severe forms of wellbeing deterioration.

The impact study faced significant implementation challenges due to COVID-19 and the various shocks that hit the region in the last five years, requiring the introduction of innovative assessment methodologies. This included retrospective enumeration techniques by which both baseline and endline sustainable reintegration measurements were conducted in one single interview, as well as a “natural experiment” evaluation design which looked at how returnees adapted to the pandemic and the role played by different forms of assistance in avoiding severe wellbeing deteriorations. 

“Ipsos congratulates the evaluation team for their achievement in winning the Ipsos Innovation in Evaluation prize. Innovation is a critical part of our offer here at Ipsos and we want to encourage the evaluation community to think bigger and smarter around how we apply evaluation to rise to global challenges,” said Laura Hayward, Deputy Head of Evaluation, Ipsos UK. 

“The Innovation in Methodology award is a testament to IOM’s commitment to robust evaluation and accountability to beneficiaries. I sincerely hope that this prize will draw the attention of donors and governments on the difficult protection and displacement situations that affect people on the move in Africa, and how return and reintegration initiatives that emphasize integrated responses and sustainability can provide practical solutions to them,” noted Rana Jaber, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa. 

A consortium led by Itad, a UK-based consultancy, Statistics for Sustainable Development, Applied Ecology Research, DANSOMJaRcoSayara International and SORDI, organizations working on development research, worked in close collaboration with the JI-HoA Regional Coordination Unit and the Regional Data Hub for the East and Horn of Africa to implement the award-winning study.

Further information on the IMPACT Study can be found here.

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