Building Refugee Economies: An evaluation of the IKEA Foundation’s programmes in Dollo Ado
Alexander Betts, Andonis Marden, Raphael Bradenbrink, Jonas Kaufmann
From 2012–2018, the IKEA Foundation invested nearly 100 million USD in UNHCR operations in the five refugee camps of Dollo Ado in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. This is the largest private philanthropic donation that the UN Refugee Agency has ever received. The Refugee Economies Programme at Oxford conducted an evaluation of the multi-year investment to understand how the funding has impacted refugee and host communities in this borderland area. Qualitative and quantitative findings report on the performance of highly visible cooperatives and business groups that have transformed the economic and social landscape of Dollo Ado through projects relating to agriculture, renewable energy, environmental conservation, and the livestock value chain. The evaluation also explores the influence of IKEA Foundation's programmes on broader institutional and policy changes, considering the ways that Ethiopian authorities, UNHCR offices, and other stakeholders have adapted to better support sustainable livelihoods in remote, less-developed, refugee-hosting regions. Findings inform a broad set of conclusions and recommendations for stakeholders that are undertaking similar development-oriented programming in challenging humanitarian contexts worldwide.