E.g., 06/22/2024
E.g., 06/22/2024
Supporting Self-Sufficiency: Considerations for Refugees’ Transition out of Sponsorship and Complementary Pathways Programs
Policy Briefs
April 2024

Supporting Self-Sufficiency: Considerations for Refugees’ Transition out of Sponsorship and Complementary Pathways Programs

A growing number of countries are experimenting with and building out humanitarian protection pathways that involve volunteers from receiving communities in supporting the welcome, settlement, and integration of refugees. These programs, which include different types of sponsorship as well as labor and education complementary pathways, vary considerably in their design. But a common challenge, and one that often receives insufficient attention, is how refugees will transition out of these programs and to independently navigating life in their new community and country.

Getting this right matters for several reasons: A timely, well-structured, and clear transition strategy can facilitate a smooth end to program support, advance refugees’ self-sufficiency and integration, promote volunteer retention and social cohesion, and boost a program’s long-term sustainability.

This MPI Europe issue brief identifies lessons learned to date about how program organizers and volunteers can best support refugees’ transition out of sponsorship and complementary pathways programs and toward longer-term integration. It highlights common obstacles to a smooth transition as well as promising practices, with examples from European, Canadian, and other programs.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  Current Practices in Phasing Out Program and Volunteer Support

3  Challenges for a Smooth Transition
A. Misunderstandings about the Transition Period and the End of Program Support
B. Difficulties Managing the Refugee–Volunteer Relationship
C. Structural and Program-Specific Challenges

4  Seven Good Practices for Managing the Transition

5  Conclusion