In August 2015, the Venezuelan government declared a constitutional state of exception in some states that border with Colombia, which amongst other actions carried out, included the closure of that border and the deportation of undocumented Colombians. In addition to the deportations, these measures have resulted in the displacement of a significant number of Colombians through informal channels (i.e., trails and river crossings), who returned due to the fear of being deported, being separated from their families and having their rights violated. The closure of the border has also affected Colombians who lived in the border area and depended heavily on the social and economic dynamics of the border. During 2016 the "drop by drop" return and deportation of Colombians has continued, and the entry of Venezuelans into the country has increased considerably. Returnees and deported people, as well as the Venezuelans who have entered Colombia, have a variety of humanitarian protection needs (e.g., food, shelter, health, education and documentation) as well as early recovery needs (e.g., housing, school infrastructure, and access to employment amongst others).
In this context, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented a project to assist people affected by the border crisis. The project was composed of three components that sought to address some of the needs of the affected population: Education in Emergencies, Education, and Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA).
In 2016, NRC’s response was externally evaluated. The evaluation focused on the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency and impact of NRC’s response. This report presents the key findings and lessons learnt. This is relevant to NRC staff delivering ICLA and education in emergencies.