Refugees’ Labor Market Integration in Rural Türkiye
Türkiye hosts more refugees than any other country in the world and has devoted considerable resources to ensure that their needs are met. Moving from humanitarian assistance to formal labor market integration is an important policy priority for development actors, and the agricultural sector has the potential to absorb a significant proportion of refugees.
As part of these efforts, the Agricultural Employment Support for Refugees and Turkish Citizens Through Enhanced Market Linkages Project, implemented by the Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Türkiye, aims to improve working conditions in the agriculture sector and promote formalization.
However, at present little is known about the living conditions and labor market outcomes of agriculture workers, and data on refugees in the sector is particularly hard to come by. This makes it difficult to develop policies that integrate refugees into host communities and to transition these workers from social assistance into the labor market, especially in rural areas.
The JDC will support the design and analysis of a baseline survey for this activity which will survey approximately 6,000 workers. Detailed information on their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, labor market outcomes and work preferences, migration and employment history, household expenditure and consumption and current integration in host communities will be collected.
This will serve two purposes. First, it will fill a key knowledge gap. Analysis of this data will help key stakeholders develop an evidence-based understanding of rural labor markets as well as the preferences and constraints of refugees. Further, it will create valuable comparisons on socioeconomic and agricultural labor market outcomes between refugees in rural Türkiye and their hosts. By bridging these gaps, this activity can help inform operations of other development and humanitarian actors working with these communities.
Second, it will provide critical input into the activity’s impact evaluation to help understand the impact of interventions under projects such as wage subsidies, worker training and worker/farmer matching. The resulting causal estimates of the attributable effects of the project will contribute significantly to the (sparse) literature of “what works” to better integrate refugees, especially in agricultural settings.
This activity will be executed through the World Bank in Türkiye. As the implementing agency of the World Bank, the ACC will play an important role in supporting the activities proposed above. The World Bank team will also work with organizations well-versed with local conditions as well as challenges of reaching refugee populations. The World Bank has been working with UNHCR on a joint labor market assessment of the impacts of refugees on the formal sector of the labor market and these activities will complement this activity and eventual analysis of the data.
For further details on the JDC support for this activity, please contact: