Skills for Reintegration

Project description

Title: Skills for Reintegration – needs-based approaches to acquiring skills for refugees and internally displaced persons 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



According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 68.5 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of conflict, persecution or serious human rights violations by the end of 2017. Never before have so many people in the world been forced to leave their homes.

Developing countries host a large proportion of these people. Their chances of taking up employment, enhancing their skills and thus securing a living in the long term within these host countries and communities are limited. Many refugees want to return to their home country or region of origin on a permanent basis. Successful reintegration processes therefore begin well before people actually arrive back home. For this reason, institutions that support refugees and IDPs are looking for ways to specifically adapt the preparatory support that they offer to the process of reintegration in the country or region of origin.


By providing needs-based training opportunities, the employability of voluntarily returning refugees, IDPs and the local population in host communities is increased. 



On behalf of the German Government, the project supports the return and reintegration of displaced persons worldwide. The main focus here is on South-South migration, as around 85 per cent of the world’s refugees are hosted in developing countries. Under the title Skills for Reintegration, it focuses in particular on developing skills that will improve employability.

Opportunities to gain personal and professional skills

Three pilot measures in three countries are currently being carried out in this field of activity. These are being implemented by national and international non-governmental organisations or by current projects on the ground in which the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is addressing this issue on behalf of the German Government. 

In order to promote gender equality, the measures focus in particular on the needs of women and girls. 

In Niger, a pilot measure is being carried out in cooperation with the German organisations Dominikus-Ringeisen-Werk (DRW) and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB). GIZ and its partners improve the range and the quality of measures designed to enhance the professional and personal skills of refugees from Mali, for example through short-term training courses in solar energy technology. The aim is to help Malians prepare for their return and to support them in the reintegration process. At the same time, the pilot measure involves the population of the host communities in Niger in its activities. 

In Gambia, pilot measures which will cover the entire reintegration process are being developed and tested. The focus is placed on improving vocational education and training opportunities for voluntarily returning refugees and the local population.

To this end, the project works with the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) and the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP). Renovation of the GTTI site in Mansakonko and improvements to the level of equipment available at administrative and training facilities are some of the measures being carried out. Three training courses are also to be developed. 25 per cent of the training places are reserved specifically for voluntary returnees from Germany. Skills for Reintegration thereby implements the German Government’s approach to promoting voluntary return and reintegration in the home country.

In Kyrgyzstan, Skills for Reintegration focuses on returning migrants and supports them in their long-term reintegration into the domestic labour market.  

Promoting networking among national and international institutions

The Skills for Reintegration project aims to expand and foster cooperation among stakeholders at different levels in this area. It is also using various exchange formats and joint events to promote the exchange of experience among local, regional and international stakeholders from the various pilot measures. 

The project is currently evaluating a pilot measure in Mexico, the focus of which is on knowledge sharing and networking between local initiatives, civil society and other stakeholders in the area of migration in the country. Talks between Mexico and Germany on migration issues are also planned. 

Improving the data basis

The project determines the needs of the target groups and the labour market. This includes, among other things, establishing people’s motivations for a possible return home as well as their existing skills and competences. To determine labour market demand, the project conducts labour market analyses in the respective host regions and regions of origin, unless other analyses are available.



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