Accountability for refugee protection and solutions in a ‘whole of society approach’

On 4th December, the Danish Refugee Council and the Permanent Mission to Denmark to the UN hosted
an event in Geneva to reflect on the implications of the supposed ‘system change’ emanating from the
CRRF. The event was attended by 35 participants from NGOs, UNHCR, ICRC and members state missions
in Geneva. DRC Staff from East Africa, the Middle East, and global programmes shared experience and
thoughts on three key issues relevant for the Global Compact on Refugees and its Programme of Action,
and for the continued roll-out of the CRRF: 1) What does it take to create space for refugees and host
communities in comprehensive, multi-stakeholder responses? 2) Will a multi-stakeholder response
dilute or enforce accountability for refugee protection and solutions? 3) What new role will NGOs have
in a reformed response modality?

Click here for the event summary report and refer to the full report on our E-library.

Half-day learning event on durable solutions, resilience and Somali led processes

Walter Kaelin recommends to ‘prioritise funding that creates incentives for UN agencies and NGOs to work together towards collective outcomes and that enhance government’s ownership‘. Ahead of a number of multi-year resilience and durable solution programmes that will start in 2018; ReDSS in collaboration with the Rift Valley Institute, Centre for Humanitarian Change and the Somalia NGO Consortium organized a half-day learning event on durable solutions, resilience and Somali led processes. The main objective of this event was to discuss how to support a collaborative and participatory process to generate greater collective engagement in durable solutions approaches in Somalia.

The event was divided into 2 sessions which used participatory and consensus building methodologies to maximise experience from across different organisations and approaches to:

  1. Get on the same page – first steps towards common approaches to support Durable solutions processes 
  • What does resilience mean for durable solutions and vice versa in the Somalia context?
  • What would a common vision for Somali-driven solutions look like?
  1. How to take this forward to inform collective approaches and area-based programming?

Click here for all background documents on durable solutions, resilience and localisation in Somalia and here for the final report

Consulting communities through two-way dialogue to inform the Global Compact on Refugees

ReDSS members put resources and expertise together to support communities’ consultations in three countries rolling out the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) using a participatory process known as the People First Impact Methodology (P-FIM). P-FIM is a simple methodology which fully allows communities to speak for themselves. The starting point for the two-way discussions is people and communities, rather than organizations and projects. Lessons learned from various programmes across the region indicate that many interventions are undertaken without proper planning on community entry or the community engagement process. This leads to a lack of dialogue with communities, inaccurate interventions, and the raising of inaccurate community expectations which result in a lack of community ownership and unsustainable projects. The consultations are supported by the Danish Embassy in Kenya and Somalia. Full report will be available in January 2018.

Download full terms of reference here.

SPARK Kenya documentary: “A journey through my city”

This documentary is a unique fi­lm story about Kakuma residents with personal stories from Turkana host community and refugees. It highlights that while refugees and displaced populations are in need of assistance, they have capacities as well as vulnerabilities. Rather than assuming a need for indefinite care and maintenance, interventions should nurture such capacities. The documentary also places emphasis on the importance of enhancing social cohesion between refugees and the host communities (Turkana) to mitigate potential conflict. This film is the product of the SPARK Livelihoods programme which is a DFID (UK Aid) funded programme being implemented by five agencies (Danish Refugee Council, Film aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Handicap International, and Action Africa Help International) operating in Kakuma, in Kenya.

Watch full video here

ReDSS/RVI/IGAD Learning event on self-reliance and resilience

On 5 October 2017, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), in collaboration with the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) and the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) supported by the Danish Embassy in Kenya and Somalia, convened a half-day learning event on ‘Self-reliance and resilience for displacement affected communities in the region’. The event brought together 63 participants from government, development, humanitarian, refugees, academia and private sector stakeholders to discuss how self-reliance and resilience approaches can be best applied in forced displacement contexts. In line with ReDSS commitments and recommendations to putting displacement affected communities at the center, refugees were able to share their own personal experiences on attaining self-reliance and resilience. This aided in framing the event through the eyes of the refugees.

Download full report here and other useful resources from the event here.

Advocacy brief on making the Global Compact on Refugees work for all women and girls

Approximately half of the total number of refugees are women or girls. To meet the promise of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and its Programme of Action must specifically address their rights and needs at every stage of displacement. This brief presents recommendations from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to refugee responses that advance gender equality and respond fully to the concerns of refugee women and girls. Extensive consultation with refugee women and girls throughout the development of the GCR is also vitally important.

Download full advocacy brief here

Brief on the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) Process

Displacement in Eastern Africa is predominantly of a protracted nature. At the end of May 2017, there were almost 13 million people displaced in the region- with 4 million refugees mostly from South Sudan and Somalia, and at least half are children. More than one million children have fled escalating violence in South Sudan, so almost one in five children. Although most have been displaced for several years or even decades, few have durable solutions prospects such as returning to their home, being integrated into their host communities or settle elsewhere. We have a collective responsibility to challenge our structures and systems to do more and better together in the search for durable solutions for displacement affected communities in the region. This is why the CRRF processes in the region are critical to ensure that we address displacement and solutions differently. This change requires political resolve, long-term investments and a multi-sectorial rights and needs based programming approach to work towards prevention and solutions to reduce displacement levels. We, ReDSS members, commit to work together and to be collectively held accountable for the implementation of our commitments as stipulated in the brief below.

Download full brief here

ReDSS/ Somali NGO Consortium brief on self-reliance and resilience

As highlighted in ReDSS Somalia Solutions analyses for Lower Juba, Bay and Benadir, the lack of absorption capacities and the lack of reintegration support beyond the return package, there is a high likelihood that most of the returnees will head to the already overstretched and under-resourced IDP camps. The majority of the returnees are not going back ‘home’ but to urban centres. As we know, return is not a solution, reintegration is and to be successful, reintegration needs to build on self-reliance and resilience programing. IDPs and returnees are highly vulnerable to drought due to their lack of connectedness and so difficulty to borrow and to access markets, little social cohesion and connection to host communities, part of minority clans, etc. This brief addresses the question of how to support self-reliance and resilience of returnees and displaced communities in Somalia in the current humanitarian situation.

Download full brief here

Statement on Uganda Solidarity Summit 2017

ReDSS welcomes the Solidarity Summit on Refugees taking place on the 22nd – 23rd June, 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. The Summit is a key opportunity for the international community and partners to support Uganda’s tremendous effort in implementing its progressive refugee policy model despite hosting large numbers of refugees. Uganda has been hosted displaced populations for decades and is Africa’s largest refugee hosting country with a total of over 1.2 million refugees, ranking  among the top three refugee hosting nations in the world. ReDSS calls on the international community to provide adequate long-term and predictable political and financial support to Uganda and its people in such ways that improve inclusive access to services, economic opportunities and infrastructure for all. ReDSS also calls on the international community and IGAD to redouble efforts to address the root causes of displacement and urgently find political solution to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

Download full statement here

Brief on early solutions for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Since the conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 and famine was declared on 20 February 2017, over 1.5 million South Sudanese have been forced to flee, out of which 885,818 are hosted in Uganda making it the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. Uganda is considered exemplary for its favourable ‘out of camp’ policies for refugees, which includes freedom of movement, right to work, land for each refugee family to settle and cultivate, access to public services and access to travel and identity documents. Uganda’s inclusive refugee policy anticipates empowering refugees to become economically self-reliant while granting them many of the same privileges that nationals enjoy. While there is no denying that Uganda has been a leader among refugee host nations, it is also critical to continue to support the country to address key challenges especially due to the recent massive South Sudanese refugee influx. A solutions-oriented approach must inevitably have a primary focus on building refugee self-reliance and resilience in the country of asylum. This brief presents key steps on how the international community can promote, support and facilitate solutions processes in Uganda in the early stages of displacement.

Download full one-pager here