The Activities of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption on Behalf of the Ethiopian-Israeli Population: Examining the Existing Knowledge

The State of Israel strives to improve the provision of service to the Ethiopian-Israeli population and to base planning and operations on defined objectives and the follow-up of implementation and outcomes. The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption is responsible for numerous programs and projects aimed at Ethiopian Israelis. Some of these have been specially designed to meet this population’s needs. Others address all immigrants. The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute was asked to survey the Ministry programs for Ethiopian-Israelis in 2007.

The study is unique in that it comprehensively examines an entire area of Ministry activity, including all the programs and actions in that area. It examines both the avenues of Ministry action – in the light of the trends in the Ethiopian-Israeli community, and the question of knowledge – from an integrative perspective on the administrative information systems and the research done on the programs’ implementation. It also examines the existing knowledge on program effectiveness and charts guidelines for the further development of knowledge on the programs’ outputs and outcomes.

On the basis of the survey, it may be said that the Ministry commands considerable knowledge about the outcomes of the programs for the Ethiopian-Israeli population and broader knowledge on the extent of activities and processes of implementation. The knowledge on outcomes rests mainly on external evaluation studies and only to a small extent on administrative information systems. Reports from the field to the Ministry do not adequately utilize the information collected in the administrative systems. Similarly, there has been insufficient effort to coordinate the information received from the various divisions even though this could benefit the Ministry for purposes of planning and policymaking. The report contains 12 guidelines for the further development of knowledge and its optimal utilization.

As part of the survey, 26 programs were examined, implemented by the Ministry in various areas of life. They were found to focus on the community’s main problems with, indeed, increasing importance in the light of the community trends. In the 1990s, significant progress was recorded in education and employment. However, from the 2000s, matters in most areas seem to have stabilized and even to have regressed.

For Ministry policymakers, the report serves as a basis to wisely plan the development of its existing knowledge for the benefit of its programs and allocation of resources.

Apart from this report, two more will be published:  one, elaborating the trends in various areas of life of Ethiopian-Israelis; the other, a comprehensive survey of all Ministry programs for this population.