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Forced displacement is among the most pressing challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region. As after six years of Syrian conflict, 92% of refugees reside outside camps. Their socio-economic inclusion with regards to access to labor and income is still insufficient and may limit their contributions to host economies as well as increase their chances of falling into poverty. In the meanwhile, host local governments have to adapt their strategic plans accordingly, scaling up existing services, shelter, and jobs to meet the needs of both the original residents and the displaced. They are also struggling with missing planning and response capacities as well as ineffective organizational arrangements: they are lacking skilled staff, financing, and incentives to create a better economic environment for both communities. Solutions could come from adopting a sound Local Economic Development (LED) approach, namely a comprehensive and participatory local strategy that would consider the business climate and economic environment, labor market structure, private sector mobilization, physical infrastructures, as well as other relevant features in the contexts of shocks and population changes.
Under this framework, since June 2016 the Mediterranean Host Municipalities Learning Network aims to support host local governments with evidence-based knowledge and Capacity Building to improve their response capacity for forced displacement. The Network benefitted from several face-to-face workshops and webinars on priority themes, surveys, as well as online discussions in the ad-hoc Collaboration4Development (C4D) online collaborative platform. The Host Municipalities Network is moderated by the Center for Mediterranean Integration, as part of the Mediterranean Refugees and Host Communities Program.
In preparation for the Training Workshop on Strategic Planning for Local Economic Development in Host Communities, to take place on March 19-23, 2018, in Amman, Jordan, and building on the network’s learning requests, this Webinar will discuss examples of city strategies which include a strong LED component in a forced displacement / migration shock context. Furthermore, the Webinar will also serve to introduce the Training Workshop on Strategic Planning for Local Economic Development and discuss its curriculum and modules.
Main objectives of the 2-hours Webinar are:
This Webinar is part of the Host Municipalities Learning Network’s activities. Both selected and non-selected applicants to the Training Workshop on Strategic Planning for LED are encouraged to join this webinar as an additional learning and exchange offer. Likewise, they are also encouraged to continue the discussion on the C4D online collaborative platform.
The webinar will consist of a virtual exchange allowing participants to interact by connecting to the webinar directly from their computer. Arabic-English translation will be provided.