Measuring Up? Using Monitoring and Evaluation to Make Good on the Promise of Refugee Sponsorship
Interest in refugee sponsorship has taken root in a growing number of European countries since the 2015–16 migration crisis. Also called community or private sponsorship, or humanitarian corridors in certain contexts, proponents of engaging private individuals and civil-society groups in refugee resettlement tout this model’s ability to provide refugees with a warm, supportive welcome and to give sponsors a rejuvenated sense of community and purpose. Yet even as sponsorship programs are piloted and implemented in more countries, there is relatively limited evidence of whether they are living up to these high expectations and what program elements are most effective.
This issue brief examines how building a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system into sponsorship programs can help answer these and other important questions. It highlights the value M&E can bring—from strengthening political commitment to sponsorship, to increasing accountability and facilitating improvements within a program. It also lays out key challenges policymakers and program designers will need to tackle to get an M&E system off the ground.
The pause in humanitarian protection programs forced by the coronavirus pandemic comes at a critical time in the development of many sponsorship schemes. Their relative youth could leave them more fragile as uncertainty looms over whether and when countries will resume their protection operations. Stronger M&E can help give decisionmakers the confidence—and evidence—they need to make smart decisions about launching, managing, or expanding a sponsorship scheme.
2 The Value of M&E for Refugee Sponsorship
A. Strengthening Political Commitment to Sponsorship
B. Ensuring the Accountability of Program Design and Implementation
C. Improving Program Effectiveness
3 How to Conduct M&E in Sponsorship Programs
A. Accessing or Generating the Desired Data
B. Securing Buy-in and Coordinating Stakeholder Input
4 Conclusions and Next Steps