Type of practice:
The main objective of the Heart of Amman Programme is to build resilience among vulnerable populations, vulnerable populations, including migrants and refugees, through improving prospects and opportunities for income generation as well as enhancing social cohesion among communities to build inclusive societies. The programme fosters inclusive participation and provides support services to social (SDG Impact driven) entrepreneurs and social enterprises through 1) Supporting the development of an innovation ecosystem and the promotion of networks to support innovation. 2) Creating linkages between local entrepreneurial initiatives and eco-system stakeholders, as well as providing access to training services, 3) Developing services to support the entrepreneurial journey and the scale potential of existing social enterprises.
The Programme includes interventions that promoted and advocated equal rights for all through providing real opportunities for migrants and refugees to voice their concerns, share their ideas and participate in the socio-economic development of their neighbourhoods and communities. under the program a community committee was established bringing together Iraqi migrants, refugees and Jordanians with a mandate of identifying and raising awareness on the needs and challenges facing migrants, refugees and Jordanian host communities, and proposing solutions for improving the living conditions for the residents of East Amman.
Additionally, migrants, refugees and Jordanians were enrolled in different technical and vocational training programmes and a number of them were supported through financial grants to establish their own micro-ventures. The Programme also supported the implementation of over 20 community led initiatives, which brought together Jordanians and Syrians/ Jordanians and Iraqi migrants to address challenges within their neighbourhoods. The Programme will also train 100 vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees on digital skills and will provide 6 Iraqi migrants with full scholarships for digital training in 2022.
Moreover, under the Programme, the Digi-Maharat platform was also built utilizing “south to south” collaboration with UNDP Future of Work Lab in Bangladesh with the aim of transferring knowhow and providing mobility solutions to enhance refugee, migrants and host communities’ livelihoods. Digi -Mahart was piloted with the objective of enhancing opportunities for self-employment through digital upskilling and training with a focus on vulnerable groups including refugees, migrants, Jordanian host communities and women. The Heart of Amman Programme includes a component on digital skills training and digital literacy for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees residing in poor neighbourhoods. The Digi-Mahart platform will target these groups for more advanced training followed by support through the establishment of market linkages for self-employment and matchmaking with potential employers. The platform will also target wider demographic groups including migrants and refugees from other nationalities and will not only cover Amman city but also other governorates in Jordan.
Benefit and Impact
- Targeting and reaching the most vulnerable and providing opportunities for labour market integration through skills building and enhancement and financial support for the establishment of micro and small businesses/ promoting entrepreneurship and the development of social enterprises.
- The selection criteria for the Heart of Amman Programme includes 50% women, 25% refugees and 7% of people with disabilities. During the selection process, priority is awarded to female headed households, refugees and unemployed youth.
- During the implementation period of the second phase of the Heart of Amman Programme -March 2020 to March 2021- 198 beneficiaries were successfully placed in different on the job training opportunities, and total of 11 community led initiatives were successfully implemented in various areas in downtown Amman.
- The programme also supported the establishment of 23 new small businesses, and 12 existing businesses were provided with top up (scale up funding) as well as tailored mentorship sessions and networking opportunities to support their growth and expansion.
- The Programme supported the establishment of the Heart of Amman Hub as a support centre for inclusive entrepreneurship and the creation of the DIGI-MAHARAT portal to support skills building in the IT and digital sector with a focus on refugees, migrants and women.
- While the implementation timeframe for every lifecycle is one-year, tangible impact is felt following the end of each lifecycle and is regularly monitored by UNDP through subsequent phases of implementation under the Heart of Amman Programme umbrella. UNDP continues to build on the achievements of every phase through ongoing and planned future interventions and through establishing linkages with local institutions (Community based and formal institutions) to ensure continuity and maximized impact.
- Spill over effect is at a household level for activities targeting individuals and at a local/national and community level for activities and interventions targeting policy and regulatory support- such as the support provided to MODEE by UNDP.
- Some of the community-based organizations (CBOs) located within the targeted areas did not have suitable venues to host community meetings and training workshops. Therefore, the venues offered by the Greater Amman Municipality provided a good alternative, especially that 12 training workshops were being held in parallel.
- Same CBOs were not equipped to host PWDs; additional efforts were made to locate people with disabilities (PWD) equipped venues to ensure safety and inclusivity.
- COVID-19 restrictions affected the number of attendees during the community meetings. The groups of beneficiaries were split into smaller groups.
Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)
• Training on transferable skills
• Focusing on self-employment through supporting entrepreneurship
• Digital training and upskilling / bridging the digital divide
• Leveraging digital platforms to provide opportunities that transcend local market boundaries / for example: freelancing opportunities for refugees and migrants
• Focusing on skills for the future
The Digi-Maharat platform is currently in its pilot stage therefore recommendations and lessons learned will be collected over the next year. It is worth noting, however, that the platform will have analytical functions that will enable UNDP and partners to track training progress, identify skills gaps, local and regional private sector opportunities, impact of self-learning modules (soft skills and coding) as well as measuring overall impact. Once the platform is fully operational, data and information will be collected and analysed and lessons learned and best practices will be shared with other regional Syria crises refugees impacted countries to build resilience and durable solutions on a regional level.
The portal and the training content in the Jordan context tactfully target the ICT sector and Jordan’s growing tech-enabled economy. It is an organic part of Jordan’s national efforts in digital transformation. While the pilot phase targets 2000 beneficiaries, the online portal can accommodate diverse course options and much more registered users in its future development. The portal and the digital skills offered helps beneficiaries to become better equipped for digital work and digital economy. The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the transformation of employment opportunities and work mode into the digital space. The portal promotes and raises awareness on digital enabled social entrepreneurship and SDG impact acceleration through advocacy and outreach to the digital enabled startups and social impact driven entrepreneurs and micro and small enterprises.
UNDP organized the first regional Social Entrepreneurship Summit in Jordan on 30 November 2021. One of the Summit key themes was targeting migrants, refugees and youth through convening regional social enterprise networks, support structure, impact investors, experts, and policy makers. The Jordan social entrepreneurship policy and enabling ecosystem strategy and roadmap targeting inclusive and SDG impact driven startups was also developed and shared with a broad cross section of stakeholders and youth representatives. The SE Summit included an outreach and social media campaign to highlight the policy recommendations and roadmap for a thriving social economy in Jordan