A complementary project entitled “Support to the Improvement of Economic and Social Conditions of IDPs in Van” is currently being developed as part of the efforts to establish a model for rural and urban settlements in Van – a far eastern city in Turkey. The project aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of internally displaced people (IDPs) through increased access to quality basic social services, better integration and social inclusion. In this context, enhancing the capacity of service providers such as governorates, municipalities and civil society organizations and implementing tailor-made training programmes as well as developing different models for rural and urban settlements where IDPs live are needed. The models will promote the integration of IDPs to these settlements.
On 7-15 January 2008, professor of Developmental Economics at Ulster University Prof. Siddiq Osmani came to Van to conduct a gap analysis among the service providers of Van. The aim of the gap analysis was to identify institutional capacity building programmes and to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. Osmani will submit the final report of the gap analysis in mid-February.
As a part of future preliminary activities, various field level activities will be conducted by the Ministry of Interior through the Van Governorate and in cooperation with UNDP, an analysis of the market oriented labour force along with an environmental impact assessment and other required feasibility studies for rural and urban settlement schemes will be conducted.
The need for such a supplementary project was recognized during the activities of the “Support to the Development of an IDP Programme in Turkey” project that was previously implemented by the Ministry of Interior with the support of UNDP. In the context of the project activities, the Van Action Plan for the IDPs Service Delivery was prepared through multi-stakeholder consultation processes with the participation of the public and private sector, local administrations, NGOs, civil servants and the IDPs themselves. This Action Plan was announced on 29 September 2006 by the Van Governorate Return to Villages and Rehabilitation Centre and was a comprehensive study addressing the expectations of IDPs. Other activities included local stakeholder meetings, focus group meetings, individual consultations, workshops with NGOs and preparing policy recommendations as well as a baseline survey. The baseline survey entitled “Turkey Migration and Internally Displaced Population Survey” conducted by Hacettepe University’s Population Studies Institute drew attention that a majority of IDPs wanted to live in urban areas which meant that activities for both those who want to return to rural areas and those who want to continue to live in urban centres were needed. The findings of the survey highlighted the need for broader projects and thus the preparations for the “Support to the Improvement of Economic and Social Conditions of IDPs in Van” project began.
The English and Turkish versions of the full Action Plan can be reached at www.van.gov.tr