The effects of COVID-19 were felt around the world and across sectors, and Ethiopia was no exception. However, unlike many other countries, Ethiopia was additionally affected by political unrest. The combined impacts of these two major events, in addition to changes in government structures and priorities, reduced the willingness and capacity of implementing partners to engage, and limited opportunities within LIWAY’s target markets.
In the face of such challenges, LIWAY monitored the changing context and adapted as quickly as possible in an effort to progress the programme, as well as to respond to emerging market and target group needs. This involved changes to interventions and implementing partners, providing additional support to partners to enable effective implementation, and developing a COVID-19 response plan. By the end of 2021, LIWAY had 45 live or completed interventions with 60 partners and had improved incomes of 26,277 people, including 15,643 women (young and adult) and 19,029 youth (female and male), through wage and self-employment opportunities.
Some of the most impactful of LIWAY’s interventions to date include a demand-driven skills service delivery intervention where coordinated labour market assessments are conducted with participating Technical and Vocational Education and Training agencies and the findings are used to develop and improve curricula and delivery of market-oriented skills. Through this intervention, 6,756 people have been linked to jobs to date. Another intervention which provides access to business-related information for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) has so far provided 4,821 MSEs with greater job and market potential. In addition, 1,250 poor people have benefitted from a new wastepaper recycling intervention, which includes training in sorting, handling, and transporting wastepaper to enable income generation through new business creation in this area.
Due to its adaptive management approach, LIWAY has also been able to introduce interventions to respond more specifically to COVID-19. These include training on disinfection service provision for laid off domestic workers and job seekers, of which 428 of the 603 trained to date have obtained work.
An example of COVID related interventions facilitated by LIWAY
A training intervention was also developed to enable food and beverage firms to successfully pivot in response to COVID-19 by producing sanitisers and alcohol-based cleaning products that adhere to WHO standards. To date training of trainer (ToT) was provided to 107 participants from 31 target industries, which was cascaded to 734 target groups in the 31 industries. There are plans to scale up some of these interventions based on their demonstrated success.
LIWAY’s experience with the highly changing context within which it operates has emphasised the importance of adaptive management, which is one of the core principals of LIWAY’s approach.
More information on LIWAY’s approach, programme results to date, and related case stories are available at www.liway.org.