Transforming Lives Through Research: World Bank and Na’amal’s Research Collaboration with 2,000 Refugees

Na'amal
2 min readNov 7, 2023

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In a significant step towards transforming the lives of displaced communities, the Na’amal team, comprising both practitioners and researchers, is partnering with researchers at Harvard University to examine how training and mentorship can be instrumental in efforts towards refugee economic empowerment. This collaboration is made possible with funding from the World Bank through its Innovation Challenge on Jobs and Migration. This endeavor goes beyond the boundaries of humanitarian assistance, delving into the realm of evidence-based research to address the complex challenges faced by refugees and displaced individuals.

The World Bank’s Innovation Challenge on Jobs and Migration (IC) is an initiative forged to explore and advocate for effective solutions that maximize the economic benefits of safe, organized, and regular migration. The collaborative research project with Na’amal is driven by the aim to explore whether online work can be a catalyst for transformation, influencing the livelihoods, migration choices, and educational investments of both forced migrants and their host nations.

Na’amal is conducting this research in partnership with PhD researchers from Harvard University, including Layane Alhorr, Alice Danon, and Emma Smith, to initiate the inaugural randomized control trial aimed at evaluating the factors contributing to refugees’ access to online employment. This research endeavor revolves around two primary inquiries. Firstly, can online job markets enhance the integration of refugees and potential migrants into the global workforce? Secondly, do such opportunities have an impact on the employment and migration intentions of individuals?

The interventions under investigation include virtual skills development workshops, Na’amal’s “Human Skills Development program,” and Na’amal’s one-on-one mentoring program.

At the core of this collaborative initiative lies the recognition that online work could hold the potential to be a potent catalyst for profound transformation in the lives of refugees and host communities. This study represents an extensive exploration of the potential of the global online work market to benefit both host countries and refugees. For refugees and host communities, access to online work may offer the promise of revolutionizing their livelihoods, influencing migration decisions, and reshaping educational outcomes.

This collaborative undertaking between the World Bank and Na’amal is geared towards delivering research-driven insights into the role of online work in empowering displaced individuals. It underscores the dedication of the World Bank and Na’amal to addressing the needs of displaced populations and fostering opportunities for a more inclusive and promising future.

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Na'amal

Na’amal delivers a remote work readiness programme through self-paced asynchronous online modules, virtual interactive workshops, one-to-one mentorship.