When it comes to considering whether or not employment programs can build stability, there are three things that it is important to bring to any debate. First, not only is any virtuous circle a nice idea in and of itself but there are really good reasons, theoretically, to believe that jobs interventions can build stability. Second, despite these great reasons, there is a surprising lack of evidence at the programmatic level that shows this to be the case (although, by the same token, almost as little to suggest that it doesn’t; and none to suggest that it makes things worse). Third, donors continue to fund programs that aim to build stability via employment.
This project builds on the opportunity provided by the third of these facts, noting that in a landscape of on-going programming, there is much opportunity for evidence accumulation. By bringing ISDC researchers together with the field teams from Mercy Corps’ country offices in Jordan and Lebanon, this project facilitates the development of a research agenda looking at the role of employment programs in boosting relationship between local host and displaced Syrian communities.