Call for Expressions of Interest: Refugee Employment Advancement Program

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A call for Expressions of Interest

Refugee Employment Advancement Program (REAP)

Designing an outcome-based Funding Model for the World Bank Group

The RIN Consortium

May 2023

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The Refugee Employment Advancement Program (REAP)

A new outcome-based funding model is being developed with regional partners to create private sector-led employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for both refugee and host communities in the Horn of Africa (HoA). The Refugee Employment Advancement Program (REAP), led by the World Bank, is focused on unlocking financing from private sector and aid agencies to support the delivery of measurable, pre-agreed outcomes. By linking financing to specific results, the program aims to increase accountability and transparency among service providers while emphasizing quality job opportunities in the HOA with a focus on women and youth.

A call for Expressions of Interest

The RIN Consortium is supporting the World Bank to design an outcome-based funding model that combines impact investing, results-based financing, public-private partnerships and funding from the private sector and aid organizations. The consortium comprises a team of highly technical, sectoral, and regional expertise from 3 organizations.

  1. Refugee Investment Network (RIN)[1]
  2. The Global Development Incubator (GDI-Africa)[2]
  3. Village Enterprise (VE)[3]

The consortium is issuing a request for Expressions of Interest for potential service providers (Non-Profits, NGOs, CBOs or Social Enterprises) who can implement programs aimed at fostering job creation, quality employment and self-sufficiency among refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia. These programs would be contracted and paid based on their ability to achieve specific outcomes in the designed model.

Please note: We do not currently have the funding for these proposals. We are looking for Expressions of Interest to highlight what is out there and what could be achieved, selecting compelling examples to present to donors and investors to establish this new refugee employment advancement outcomes-based funding model. Once funding is secured, the aim is to have a competitive request for proposals.

The context:

The HoA continues to experience a high level of instability leading to massive, forced displacement. The causes of this are manifold and include the longest and most severe drought on record, inter- and intra-state conflict and insecurity, flooding, invasion of desert locusts, the COVID-19 pandemic and spillover effects of the war in Ukraine and the recent conflict in Sudan. According to UNHCR’s data on displacement and affected populations, by January 2023, some 1.75 million people have been internally displaced in Ethiopia and Somalia, while over 180,000 refugees have crossed borders from Somalia and South Sudan into drought-affected areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, joining a significant existing refugee population.

Efforts to reduce the risk threatening to push refugees and other displaced individual in the HoA deeper into poverty must be employed concurrently with life-saving actions to combat these forces. A critical imperative in the development response is to build on the positive effects of forced displacement (increased availability of labor) while minimizing the negative. Participation of forcibly displaced populations (FPDs) in the local labor market is one such response towards self-reliance for long-term integration into host communities and contribution to local economies. Unfortunately, none of the countries in the HoA region (i.e., Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan) are producing enough new jobs to meet the needs of the growing workforce.

The outcome-based fund for the Refugee Employment Advancement Program (REAP):

REAP will contribute towards the creation of quality private sector-led employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for refugees and host communities in the HoA – a region with several thriving economic hubs and a developing, innovative, and entrepreneurial business community. With a focus on women and youth. The REAP initiative will use an outcome-based blended finance approach that will unlock financing from the private sector and other donors and will strengthen accountability in the delivery of employment and entrepreneurship outcomes via service providers and by linking financing to the achievement of measurable, pre-agreed results.

The objective of REAP is to support the World Bank by identifying and developing an outcome-based funding model that combines impact investing, results-based financing, public-private partnerships, funding from the private sector and aid organizations to generate high-quality, private sector or market-based employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for refugee and host communities in the HoA.

How it will work:

  1. REAP will work with governments, donors, investors, communities, people with lived experience and service providers to identify programs and other interventions.
  2. REAP will define clear, measurable outcomes to contract each service provider, with pricing that takes account of actual delivery costs, and programs will be paid when they deliver these outcomes.
  3. If the providers of these programs need working capital to cover their delivery costs before they receive any outcomes payments, then REAP will bring in social investors to cover this.
  4. REAP will closely manage the performance of these programs and look to generate rich data on the activities, the journey of the service recipients, the costs, and the outcomes.

Over the next 4 months, we will create a diagnostic report that details the design concept and framework of the proposed outcome fund(s)[4].

Our call for Expressions of Interest:

Our objective is to present examples of outcome-based programs that would create a meaningful impact on the lives of vulnerable individuals with a focus of Kenya and Ethiopia. We are calling for proposals from potential service providers of programs that you would like to run to address clearly identified needs. Our goal is to feature these compelling examples in our report and discussions with decision-makers to demonstrate the feasibility of outcomes-based funding models and their potential for generating a broader scope of impact.

We encourage a diverse range of program proposals, some of which may be innovative or at least new to the idea of outcomes funding. Specifically, we are interested in proposals that aim to empower refugees and vulnerable populations, particularly women and youth, to achieve self-sufficiency through quality employment and job creation in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Submitted proposals may have previously been piloted on a small scale, but with potential to reach a larger population. Proposals may also have been implemented in one country but could be adapted to another context with evident need. However, all proposed programs must meet a vital criterion**: the ability to define a set of measurable and verifiable outcomes**.

Submission instructions:

If you are interested in being involved and would like potentially to be one of the examples we cite at this time, then we would very much like to hear from you. Please tell us:

  1. Who you are: A little about your organization, including your mission, brief history, current geographical reach, sources of funding, number of staff and annual financial turnover.
  2. The problem: What is the need you are looking to address and how this is linked to mobilizing job-creation for quality employment and self-sufficiency of refugees and vulnerable populations in Kenya and/or Ethiopia.
  3. Your solution: What your proposed program is (define the target population – size, country, location). Ability to implement solution in Kenya and Ethiopia.
  4. The impact-fund indicators: Express your willingness to participate in an outcome-based fund and define the outcomes (clear, measurable, verifiable) that you would aim to achieve. Call out any other considerations needed to enable you to deliver.
  5. Duration: How long the program would run and how many people it would reach and your estimate target of the outcomes that could be achieved.
  6. Estimated cost: A high-level estimate of program cost, cost per beneficiary, approximate cost per outcome
  7. Proof-of-concept: Where this program has run before and any data you have on its performance.
  8. Public sector partnership: Describe any existing government buy-in.
  9. Evidence: References/links to any public evaluations/reports on the program or something like it.

Please limit your Expression of Interest submission to four pages (standard size 12 font). Try to keep it as succinct and clear as possible.

To help us sift and select our examples, we will score the Expressions of Interest on the following basis:

  • This is a population/community/system that is currently not reached by such a program (i.e., we are obviously going to be adding value) (15 points).
  • It is a concrete program in terms of the numbers to be reached, resources to be deployed, timeline, activities, and overall costs (25 points).
  • There is willingness to commit to an outcome-based fund model and there are clear, specific, measurable, and verifiable outcomes that we will be able to cost (i.e., attach a unit price to) (20 points).
  • There is an obvious link to mobilizing job-creation for quality employment and self-sufficiency of refugees and vulnerable populations in Kenya and/or Ethiopia (25 points).
  • There is evidence of the proposed program/intervention working (10 points).
  • The organization is credible, with a track record and capacity and stability (10 points).

Please be advised that we currently have no funding for these proposals but want to use the possible design to raise the funding. We want to make the outcomes funding opportunity come alive with real examples.

We will acknowledge all proposals and keep you informed of all future developments of this assignment unless you request otherwise. We will choose the most compelling cases to include in our report and presentations and compile an overview of the remaining proposals. You will be invited to consult with us on the process we follow when the project moves to a more formal Request for Proposals and a competitive selection of the first phase of funded programs. We hope you will consider submitting again at that time.

Please submit your Expressions of Interest as soon as it is ready and no later than the 30th of May 2023 to: [email protected]

Please put ‘Expression of Interest submission’ in the subject line. If you have a question, please use the same address, and put in the subject line ‘Inquiry about Expressions of Interest’.

Thank you.

[1] https://refugeeinvestments.org

[2] https://globaldevincubator.org

[3] https://villageenterprise.org

[4] https://golab.bsg.ox.ac.uk/documents/Outcomes_Fund_Guide_For_Web_with_logo.pdf

How to register

Please submit your Expressions of Interest as soon as it is ready and no later than the 30th of May 2023 to: [email protected]

Please put ‘Expression of Interest submission’ in the subject line. If you have a question, please use the same address, and put in the subject line ‘Inquiry about Expressions of Interest’.

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