Joint Sida-ILO-UNHCR Workshop

Putting Nexus into Practice: Using and Developing Markets to Promote Livelihoods and Decent Work in Fragile Contexts

How ILO and UNHCR Went from Talk to Walk Using a Joint Approach for Inclusive Market Systems

The need to bridge the gap between humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and conflict prevention in fragile contexts is well acknowledged – even more so in view of the current Covid-19 crisis. Putting nexus into practice is more tricky, but practices are emerging. Market Systems Development is one such area. By using, safeguarding and developing markets and the wider systems in which they are embedded, development actors promote livelihoods and decent work in acute crises, while bridging the gap to economic recovery, resilience and sustainable poverty reduction, building trust and preventing conflict in the process.

In this workshop, jointly organised by Sida’s Policy Support Unit, ILO’s SME Unit and UNHCR’s Livelihoods Unit, ILO and UNHCR shared their experiences of how they ‘went from talk to walk’ to bridge the nexus with Sida advisory and operational staff in Stockholm and at Swedish Embassies. They explained how they applied their joint Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS) for refugee livelihoods and host communities in different contexts – Ethiopia and Lebanon – and of how they went about to bridge also the professional divide between humanitarian and development actors. Sida participants also shared their perspectives and reflections and participants discussed how we can use these experiences to work together to better put nexus into practice.


  • Merten Sievers, Head of Inclusive Markets and Entrepreneurship Team, SME Unit, ILO
  • Ellen Lee, Livelihoods Officer, Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Unit, UNHCR
  • Marlen de la Chaux, Technical Officer for Entrepreneurship and AIMS Focal Point, SME Unit, ILO
  • Nadja Nutz, AIMS Technical Officer, PROSPECTS, RO-Arab states/DWT-Beirut, ILO