The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) with support from Danida carried out a labor market assessment (LMA) in Somaliland conducted in September 2023, intending to provide a comprehensive understanding of the region’s labor and market dynamics, focusing specifically on key economic centers including Berbera, Burao, Borama, Hargeisa, Ainabo, and Wajaale.

The primary objective of the assessment is to gain detailed knowledge about employment trends in the region, key sectors for growth and identify gaps in the job market. Additionally, the assessment seeks to determine market needs by examining the demand for various skills and occupations. By analyzing the existing labor market, the assessment aims to identify potential areas for expanding labor opportunities and promoting economic growth. It also aims to create an updated profile of in demand skills, ensuring alignment between the available workforce and job market requirements. Furthermore, the assessment focuses on identifying and addressing barriers that hinder access to decent and productive employment in Somaliland, particularly for migrants and refugees. The findings of the assessment can inform targeted interventions for stakeholders to overcome employment challenges faced by migrants and refugees and enhance their access to livelihood opportunities.

The Labor Market Assessment will play a vital role in strengthening the DRC’s programmatic strategic goals in Somaliland by providing a comprehensive understanding of local labor market dynamics. The assessment aimed to achieve several objectives:

Understand the economic landscape in Somaliland, gaining insights into the different sectors and financial landscape. Identify high-demand sectors, skills and competencies as well as areas with skill gaps within the local labor market. This information will guide the design of training programs and skill development initiatives to improve employability and bridge existing skill gaps.

Identify livelihood opportunities for migrants and refugees within the local labor market by examining sectors and industries for existing job prospects and areas of potential growth. This understanding will inform effective strategies to integrate migrants and refugees into available employment opportunities.

To achieve these goals, the LMA actively engages with stakeholders in Burao, Berbera, Borama, Odweyne, Hargeisa, and Wajaale in Somaliland. This inclusive approach involves close collaboration with local communities, employers, government agencies, local NGOs, and other relevant stakeholders, especially migrants and refugee population groups. By involving these stakeholders, the assessment ensures that their perspectives and experiences are considered, providing a comprehensive understanding of the labor market dynamics. Engaging with employers and government agencies allows valuable insights into employment trends, market needs, and potential opportunities. The involvement of relevant stakeholders also enables a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by migrants and refugees in their pursuit of employment and livelihood opportunities, as well as their integration into the broader job market.

Data collection for the assessment relied on a combination of primary and secondary sources. Primary data was collected through surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions with stakeholders, including local communities, employers, government agencies, and organizations. Secondary data was gathered from existing sources such as government reports and publications from other organizations.