Using Evidence to Improve Refugee Resettlement: A Monitoring and Evaluation Road Map, June 2020

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By Aliyyah Ahad, Camille Le Coz, and Hanne Beirens

The refugee resettlement landscape has shifted considerably in recent years. A number of countries in Europe and elsewhere have launched or expanded their resettlement programs, and some have experimented with new models such as community-based or private sponsorship. At the same time, the United States—long the world’s largest resettlement country—has significantly cut its refugee admissions, leaving other countries to take the lead in global efforts to address displacement.

For new and longstanding resettlement programs alike, it is vital that policymakers and program designers have the tools to gauge whether resettlement is meeting its objectives, to facilitate continuous learning, and to ensure that funding is being well spent. Robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) holds the key. Yet many resettlement programs do not have a strong M&E culture.

This report examines the added value that M&E can bring to refugee resettlement programs and identifies common obstacles that have kept countries from creating or expanding their M&E operations to date. It then lays out a road map for kickstarting this process—from finding the right “champion” to drive change, to identifying which of a program’s strategic and operational goals to monitor and evaluate, to identifying existing sources of information and designing new data collection tools.

These insights are drawn in part from a pilot M&E project conducted by MPI Europe in partnership with resettlement authorities in Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands under the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project.