Learning for reintegration

Project description

Title: Skills for Reintegration - Needs-based Approaches to acquire Competences and Life Skills for Refugees and Internally Displaced People in Preparation for Reintegration
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Worldwide
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019

A theory lesson at the Herman Gmeiner Technical School in Kigali © GIZ / Dirk Gebhardt


According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 65.6 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of conflict, persecution or serious human rights violations by the end of 2016. Never before have so many people been forced to leave their homes.

Around 22.5 million of these individuals are refugees and another 40.3 are internally displaced people (IDPs) who are fleeing within the borders of their own countries. Children under the age of 18 account for half of these refugees around the globe. Another 2.8 million of the refugees are asylum-seekers.

Developing countries currently host around 84 per cent of the 22.5 million refugees, who have few chances of taking up employment, enhancing their skills and thus securing a living in the long term within these hosting countries and communities. Such limited prospects in the host countries reinforce the wish of many refugees to permanently return to their home countries. When the political and structural conditions are sufficient for a voluntary return, supporting measures can play an important role. This likewise applies to IDPs preparing for a return to their region of origin.

Successful reintegration processes start well before people actually arrive back home. For this reason, institutions that support refugees and IDPs are currently seeking ways to specifically adapt the preparatory support that they offer to the requirements for reintegration in the countries or regions of origin.


The employability of voluntarily returning refugees, IDPs and the local population in host communities is increased through additional needs-based training.

Girl trainee at a cabinet-maker's workshop in Rio de Janeiro © GIZ / Florian Kopp


This global project provides support for the return and reintegration of refugees and IDPs in the South-South context, focusing in particular on developing skills that will improve employability.

Through three different pilot measures, the project is providing training courses in which refugees are able to develop their professional and personal skills. These courses are being developed and implemented by national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as by the current GIZ projects in the respective countries and regions that address this issue.

In order to enhance the impacts of these reintegration efforts, the project is working with local, regional and international stakeholders involved in development cooperation. The project aims to expand and foster cooperation among these stakeholders at several levels.

By better aligning their skills to the demands of the labour market, refugees are able to improve their chances of taking up employment in their countries or regions of origin. For this reason, the project team is working to improve the data basis on labour market requirements as well as the resulting needs for training on the part of refugees. To this end, the project is identifying refugees’ motivations for potentially returning home along with their existing skills and competences. To determine the demand on the labour market, the project intends to perform a labour market analysis in the respective host communities and regions of origin.

Craftsmen training at the Herman Gmeiner Technical School in Kigali © GIZ / Dirk Gebhardt