Market Analysis

Purpose: A market analysis identifies the economic barriers, risks and opportunities for refugees to access safe and lawful employment and self-employment in the host community. The assessment helps you identify and design program interventions (including activities and partnerships) that will increase employment opportunities and improve the living conditions of refugees and host communities. A proper market assessment is vital to understand the parameters within which a refugee work rights program will operate.

Complementary to your Legal Framework Analysis which identifies refugees’ legal barriers in accessing work rights, a market analysis should:

  • Collect macroeconomic information of the local area e.g. income levels, unemployment rates.
  • Identify the main market sectors and market capacity in the targeted areas – (i) which markets and (ii) which population is your program working with?
  • Identify sectors / value chains with the highest potential for growth, profitability and employment for refugees given your target population’s needs and capacities.
  • Identify sectors and value chains that are not overly saturated. This ensures that refugees’ entry into the labour market will not cause tension with host communities (due to competition)
  • It should focus on sectors and businesses that are allowed to hire refugees, and where international labour standards are respected.

 When identifying non-legal barriers for refugees to access employment and self-employment in the formal market, consider the following.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education and skills gap e.g. foreign qualifications might not be recognized in the host country
  • Refugees’ perception & knowledge on work rights
  • Employer perception & knowledge on refugee work rights e.g. refugee situation in the country, procedure needed to hire refugees
  • Access to networks and resources

Understanding non-legal barriers will help you design programs that can address barriers identified. For example:

  • If your target population lack the technical skills to enter local job markets, your program might include vocational trainings activities.
  • If employers in the sector lack knowledge on hiring refugees, your program might include information sessions on employment law and legal services to help businesses to apply for refugee work permits.
  • If refugees and employers lack access to networks, your program might include networking and job matching activities.

Further resources: