The prompt indicated that during focus group discussions the needs of most demographics were covered – men, women, boys, girls – and all specified the need for livelihoods assistance. The first step to take might be a needs and resources assessment. It is important to understand what skills returnees do have and are able to contribute to employment and economic pursuits. This would also help to determine what types of livelihoods programs are most appropriate. It would also be important for the NGO to determine the needs and resources of the local PK community – this would allow livelihoods efforts to close the discrimination gap and reduce stigma. For example, do local children go to school? Are there spots at the local schools to integrate returnee kids? As the Bourdillon reading notes, are the schools safe, affordable and providing actual benefits to the children who attend?

Other issues to take into account in include: Why are girls not attending programs – because of security issues, because of other priorities? Is teen pregnancy occurring because of lack of knowledge regarding family planning, cultural barriers, GBV?

One specific approach to address many needs might be to create a community food growth program and provide training for farmland usage. This would have many benefits. First, if successful it could address food security issues, as it was noted that returnees are not getting sufficient food. Second, it could provide sustainable employment opportunities for returnee men and women. Since there is plenty of land, the program could be designed in a way that would prevent the emergence of competition between returnees and local citizens. Given the abundance of timber and mineral resources, the NGO could create eco-friendly ways for returnees to capitalize on these resources. This programming would have to include extensive research on available markets. Is there a town nearby where commerce takes place? If an existing market does exist, is it realistic to think people can get to it on a regular basis (adequate roads, population health, etc).

If the community has a unique type of traditional craft, could the NGO set up a website to sell pieces or could they coordinate a system where churches or community groups abroad sold them on behalf of the community? Maybe some sort of microcredit scheme would be appropriate to create a resource base people could then build upon. Alternatively, an asset transfer system could be implemented with disbursements contingent upon children’s school attendance.

In order to avoid “flooding the market” it would be important to plan strategically in terms of how many people would be trained/involved in each type of industry. Another essential component to this type of programming would be education on the risks of over-harvesting in order to ensure the program remained sustainable.

To communicate with the returnees it would be important to identify key community leaders who have emerged either during exile or upon returning to PK. A delegation/sample of adults and older children—maintaining a balance based on age, gender, ethnic, and religious characteristics—could be established to determine the needs of returnees. Perhaps a PRM methodology could be implemented in order to understand needs of children who are out of school.

To prove that programs are working, the NGO could use current data as baseline indicators of livelihoods, and later assess these same factors. Are families eating sufficient (more than 1-2 meals) per day? Do returnees have farming skills? Are teen girls using contraceptive methods and are teen pregnancy rates decreasing? Are they taking advantage of services/programs geared toward them? Are there formal employment opportunities for women (via the community food program, for example). Are returnee children back in school?