Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

back to activity

VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Non-agricultural livelihoods
Strengthening livelihoods
Labour rate determination

Labour rate determination


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Lack of recognition of people’s skills and qualifications prevents access to work and may force them into environmentally damaging coping strategies. It’s important to evaluate if recognition is legally possible. Barriers such as time and cost to validate qualifications, language barriers, and xenophobic discrimination prevent affected populations from using their existing livelihoods skills.

Opportunity for awareness campaigns to inform people of their rights, access to social safety nets, sustainable coping mechanisms, and risks associated with non-sustainable environmental practices, their health, and protection.

Assessing the legal aspects concerning the right to work and addressing potential barriers to accessing work is crucial for the success of livelihoods projects, particularly those focused on labor market insertion and entrepreneurship.

Some professions are restricted, some qualifications are not recognised between different countries, and only citizens of the host country or specific groups may fill those vacancies. Refugees often face restrictions in accessing work permits. Inequality of rights may generate conflict and force people into environmentally damaging survival strategies, which may result in xenophobic/negative reactions against them.

Where affected populations are not resorting to unsustainable coping strategies, there’s an opportunity to engage them as “environmental multipliers” (champions), for example supporting environmental education activities.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Identified which groups face the most barriers to making a living (e.g. those of certain ethnicities, disabilities, genders, ages, and other differences)?

People who are excluded from employment opportunities are often forced into environmentally damaging coping mechanisms.

Gender, age, and diversity issues can be addressed throughout supporting Governments in developing and updating laws and public policies since more formal livelihoods reduce people’s vulnerability.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate change
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural Resource Depletion
Impact on wellbeing / mental health

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Forced environmentally damaging coping mechanisms. Foraging; natural resource depletion; harm to flora and fauna; air, water, soil pollution.

Conflict and xenophobia.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

When people do not have the right to work they are often forced into environmentally damaging coping mechanisms. This often includes foraging for food and natural resources to use to provide for household needs or to sell informally to make some income.

Lack of rights to work can also create conflict between host and displaced communities, and foster xenophobia when refugees or immigrants are forced into environmentally harmful coping mechanisms to survive.


Summary of environmental activities

Assess the legal aspects related to work and documentation prior to the development of livelihood projects and, if immediate interventions are necessary, promote environmentally

sustainable coping mechanisms, reducing legal and environmental risks.

Provide information about people’s rights and support affected people in obtaining identification documents, work permits, and recognition of qualifications.

Build capacities, including by providing language training.

Advocate for inclusion and equality of rights for the affected population.

Advocate for affected people to be given the right to work and facilitate access to documentation.

Activities should review inflation and check your activities are not likely to drive local inflation or deflation.

Also key is to assess market saturation – avoid supporting people in non-viable LHs.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Facilitate and support engagement in environmentally sustainable livelihoods, including access to green economy livelihoods, and entrepreneurship activities that generate positive environmental impacts.

Support governments in developing and updating laws and public policies to increase equality and opportunity, which in turn can improve peaceful coexistence through collaborative livelihood activities.

Support affected populations in sustainable livelihoods, including through CBI and cash-for-work programmes; with reduced legal and environmental risks.

Work with local actors (universities, NGOs, government departments) to map and analyse legal aspects affecting the livelihoods of affected populations.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

Agencies working with Syrian refugees in Jordan have reported that a lack of recognition of people’s skills and qualifications prevents them from gaining access to work and is forcing them into environmentally damaging coping strategies.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

# of people assisted with accessing work

# of professions where advocacy results in their official recognition and right to work

Activity Status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time and resources to assess and address barriers to work and to develop alternative livelihood strategies

to top
icon-menu icon-close icon-account icon-arrow icon-down icon-back icon-pointed-arrow icon-left icon-up icon-bookmark icon-share twitter facebook2 printer envelope icon-close-alt icon-top icon-loading icons / login