MoreThanAJob: SSE role in the inclusion of migrants and refugees

Monday 29 March 2021

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What role can the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) play in addressing the problems faced by migrants and refugees?

This has been one of the starting questions of the training-the-trainers organised by Mutah University as part of the MoreThanAJob project.

A dramatic increase in the number of refugees and migrants has affected many countries, both developed and developing, since the early and mid-2010s [UNHCR]. Accommodating and fostering their meaningful inclusion is a common challenge faced by the project partner countries. Therefore, contributing to the achievement of this goal is of critical importance in the framework of MoreThanAJob.

Extending progress associated with sustainable development to the most vulnerable members of society, such as migrants and refugees, is in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s principle of “leaving no one behind”. However, policy environments have so far struggled to uphold this principle, and often fail to include migrants and refugees in the design and implementation of policies and services.

The training-the-trainers gave us the opportunity to share different local contexts and experiences on how to contribute to the development of effective policies for the inclusion of migrants and refugees in our societies. This led us to think about how the public sector often faces multiple challenges to deliver adequate services such as lack of budgets, insufficient staff to reach all citizens, and a high level of bureaucracy.

The more flexible nature of SSE actors means that they are well-placed to play a significant role in helping to address such challenges: they are deeply rooted in the local contexts and can address many aspects of development in an inclusive manner. They actively contribute to the inclusion of the most vulnerable groups of our societies, including migrants and refugees. Compared to public sector, the flexibility in their activities make SSE actors more able to respond to changing economic and social needs such as those generated by increased numbers of refugees and migrants.

Being locally rooted and based on trust built in local communities, they provide tailor-made services to address different needs and demands. These services vary widely ranging from emergency relief and helpline services; in-kind support such as temporary accommodation, food and clothing; health services; education and training; integration into the labour market.

However, despite demonstrating its resilience during economic downturns and contributing to service provisioning for refugees and migrants, the collaboration with the public sector is crucial for the development of more targeted policies and to harmonise their activities in order to avoid service gaps or duplication. A better cooperation will also allow to create a policy space where SSE actors actively participate in policy-making processes enriching with their perspective and experience.

The training-the-trainers organised by Mutah University is part of a 3-cycle of workshops on how to enhance knowledge and competences among Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) actors to effectively cooperate with public actors in the development of innovative welfare and support services.

About the project

MoreThanAJob – Reinforcing social and solidarity economy for the unemployed, uneducated and refugees is a project funded by the European Union under ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The project aims at enhancing the development of cooperation mechanisms between the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) actors and the public administration to improve the social services for vulnerable groups in order to increase their opportunities of social and labour inclusion.

Partners

For further information

See the project website and read more about MoreThanAJob.

Contact Giulia Tarantino: giulia.tarantino@cesie.org.

CESIE