Evaluation of the Refugee Livelihoods Development Impact Bond in Jordan


Project Overview


To measure the metrics used to determine payments to impact bond investors and generate broader learning about the multi-year program that was funded, which supports the livelihoods of refugees and vulnerable local populations in Jordan.

Project Motivation

The impact bond seeks to build on a paradigm shift from a short-term humanitarian response to a longer-term and development-oriented approach to the Syrian refugee crisis. Mathematica will bring its experience in conducting rigorous independent evaluations of livelihoods programs and other impact bonds to this engagement.

Partners in Progress

  • Near East Foundation UK (NEF)
  • United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
  • Ferd
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation
  • Norad
  • Mindset 
  • Integrated

Prepared For

The first ever development impact bond (DIB) for refugees provides multi-year funding for a microenterprise training and grants program aimed at improving the ability of refugees and vulnerable host community members to meet their basic needs.

The main objectives of this four-year DIB are: (1) to sustainably improve program participants’ abilities to meet basic needs; their economic well-being, self-reliance, and resilience; and women’s confidence, bargaining power, and agency; and (2) to encourage international development actors to devote more resources to long-term livelihoods programs in refugee contexts and demonstrate the potential of innovative funding mechanisms to achieve this.

“We see a great need to develop and support initiatives that create business development and jobs in local communities that are affected by the refugee situation in the Middle East. This is a groundbreaking collaboration that involves both public and private capital." 

Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director of Norad

The DIB program includes a core training in life and business skills, technical and vocational skills training, cash grants to help participants establish microenterprises, and additional business-related support for grantees. The program will be implemented by the Near East Foundation UK in collaboration with local community-based organizations. The DIB investors (the United States International Development Finance Corporation and Ferd) are providing Near East Foundation with the upfront financing for the program. Under the DIB mechanism, the funders (IKEA Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation, and Norad) will pay the investors at the end of the program, with the final payment amount depending on the results achieved, which Mathematica will measure. Near East Foundation anticipates serving 5,040 refugees and vulnerable Jordanians, of which three-quarters are expected to be women.

Related Staff

Evan Borkum

Evan Borkum

Principal Researcher

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Paolo Abarcar

Paolo Abarcar

Senior Researcher

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Laura Meyer

Laura Meyer


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