Sustainable Market Inclusive Livelihood Pathways to Self-Reliance (SMILES)

Group of African farmers have fun in the fields

The Sustainable Market Inclusive Livelihood Pathways to Self-Reliance (SMILES) program aims to address rural refugee livelihood challenges in Uganda with a goal of graduating 16,000 extremely poor refugee and Ugandan households in Kikuube and Kyegegwa districts from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods into self-reliance and resilience. AIR worked on the co-design phase of the IKEA Foundation-funded project with the AVSI Foundation, Development Alternatives Incorporated; Renewable Energy, Powering Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Enhancement; Innovations for Poverty Action; and Makerere University.

AIR’s role was focused on learning for the co-design phase of the program which will use graduation and market systems approaches. Using a mixed-methods approach AIR conducted gender and youth assessments to identify existing youth and gender dynamics, livelihood opportunities, strategies for improving youth and women’s participation in livelihood opportunities, as well as opportunities for leveraging existing ICTs to improve employment sectors and access to services. Additionally, in order to ground the research in a behavioral change model, AIR co-led the Theory of Change workshop for stakeholders and the SMILES consortium.