The first ever Development Impact Bond (DIB) for refugees launched in 2021, 11 years after the start of the Syrian crisis. The Refugee Impact Bond funds the Near East Foundation UK to deliver a vocational, entrepreneurship, and resilience-building programme for refugees and members of their host communities in Jordan and Lebanon. The first tranche, in Jordan, is supported by two European private foundations, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and a Norwegian investment company.
The Refugee Impact Bond originated from KOIS’ motivation to improve the conditions of those affected by the Syrian crisis. A feasibility study in 2017, supported by a catalytic grant from Convergence, revealed a critical need to test a more effective combination of funding and service delivery through a Development Impact Bond, one that would be the first of its kind.
A DIB addresses three key issues affecting livelihood programmes in humanitarian settings. It offers a multi-year funding commitment, which frees the programme from annual grant cycles. It enables the Delivery Partner to innovate and adapt delivery to a changing context when needed. Finally, donor risk is reduced by tying payments to the results of a rigorous and independent evaluation of outcomes.