The Ethiopia Migration Programme was a four-year initiative funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) from 2019 to 2023. Its main goal was to enhance the protective environment for various migrants in Ethiopia, including potential Ethiopian migrants, returnees, and Eritrean refugees, especially those aged 14 to 29. The programme included four components – (i) Information and communication; (ii) Emergency and Capacity building; (iii) Resilience and Integration, and (iv) Research. EMP operated in the Addis Ababa, Tigray, and Amhara regions and was implemented in a consortium led by the Danish Refugee Council alongside key implementing partners: Save the Children International, BBC Media Action, Altai Consulting, and the Mixed Migration Centre.
EDI Global was contracted by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to conduct the final evaluation of the EMP from June to September 2023. The evaluation’s objective was to assess whether the EMP successfully achieved its objective of enhancing the protection and safety of migrants in Ethiopia, and centers on “learning and sustainability” to inform the design of future migration programs.
The evaluation involved two frameworks: OECD DAC Evaluation Criteria and FCDO’s 4E VfM approach (Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Equity). The evaluation assessed the EMP using eight criteria: Relevance, Coherence, Impact, Sustainability, Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Equity. There was a particular emphasis on effectiveness (outcomes), learning and sustainability within both frameworks.
Methodology and Impact
The evaluation methodology was a Theory-Based Evaluation using Contribution Analysis to assess the EMP’s relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and lessons learned. The analysis included desk-based situation and context analysis, primary quantitative and qualitative research and data collection. EDI Global surveyed a sample of 453 migrants including 340 Eritrean Refugees, 113 Returnees; conducted 14 IDIs with Eritrean refugees, returnees and stranded returnees; 7 FGDs of adolescent and adult migrants; and 26 KIIs and four facilitated workshops with implementing partners, government stakeholders and EMP staff. The quantitative and qualitative data were cleaned and analysed using Stata and Nvivo.
EMP’s activities were relevant to the needs and challenges of the target beneficiaries, with a focus on equity considerations. However, ensuring accessibility to all target groups remained a challenge, particularly for vulnerable individuals.
The EMP aligned well with national migration agendas and collaborated effectively with other interventions and programmes. Internal coordination among implementing partners could have been improved.
Despite external challenges like UK ODA spending reductions and the COVID-19 pandemic, EMP maintained efficiency by pivoting its activities, leveraging partnerships, and reducing costs where possible.
The EMP’s information and communication services, mentorship, and pre-departure training had a positive impact on awareness and migration decision-making among beneficiaries.
The programme influenced beneficiaries to consider legal migration pathways, but evidence for longer-term impact is mixed, with an indecisive nature surrounding some aspects.
While some aspects of the EMP showed potential for sustainability, particularly the transition of Info Hub and Youth Recreation Centre to partners, integrating exit mechanisms earlier in the program could have enhanced sustainability.
- Learning & Adaptation
- The EMP was highly adaptive to the disruptions and changes in external context by identifying complementary activities and partnerships in migration responses.
- Through the Info Hub group information services, the EMP was able to bring together multiple players operating as part of migrant responses and address the information gap in the urban refugee situation.
- The EMP responded well to the mixed migration environment by enabling the functioning of coordination structures
- and being an active participant in multiple government coordination mechanisms, responding to the prioritised needs of government and target groups.