Regional program learning workshop, Nairobi, June 26-27

Collective efforts in the search for durable solutions have led to long-term programming with long-term funding for different organisations working in this area. There has been increased more engagement from development actors who are committed to support both displaced and host communities in various ways. Together with leadership from regional organisations such as IGAD and respective national governments, actors have been able to monitor progress on being made with the implementation the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and address related challenges. Nevertheless, better understanding in development programming is still required to fully comprehend what protection means and how to measure progress towards durable solutions with regards to the needs of displaced communities.

In June 2019, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) organised a learning workshop in Nairobi. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss emerging trends in durable solutions programming in the Horn of Africa. The objectives of the event were to create a common agenda and understanding on durable solutions, with expert stakeholders, which would also help in setting the agenda for the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) to be held in December 2019. During the two-day workshop, panel discussions and working groups were used to discuss thematic and process-oriented issues in durable solutions programming.

Over 100 participants from government, humanitarian and development actors, academia and private sector from Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia attended the event. Click here for the workshop report, here for outcomes and here for the agenda, various presentations and participants’ list.

DSU Newsletter: Finding new approaches to recurring challenges

Welcome to the first issue of the DSU newsletter, a quarterly newsletter which keeps you up to date with the Government Programme on durable solutions and solutions related activities in Benadir. Significant coordination and planning have been undertaken across multiple levels of government alongside our partners and donors; the outcomes of those activities as they relate to the Benadir Region will be highlighted below.

Click here for the newsletter

1st Evidence week on Re-thinking mobility and displacement in Somalia

The 1st Somali Evidence week aims to support knowledge sharing and research uptake to inform better durable solutions programing and policies based on evidence. The theme this year is on “Re-thinking mobility and displacement in Somalia.” 

The objective is to bring and discuss evidence collected by various stakeholders over the past 2 years on durable solutions and displacement to better understand social changes and aspirations of displacement-affected communities.

Public events will be organized from 25th – 30th November 2018 in Baidoa, Dollow, Kismayo, Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Burao led by national partners using different modalities (roundtables, knowledge fairs, exhibitions, art and culture, etc).

Please click:

  • Here for the concept note with more information
  • Here for the Somali flyer and here for the Somali poster (English version)
  • Here for the Somali flyer here for  poster(Somali version)
  • Here for the Somaliland poster and here for flier (English version)
  • Here for the Somaliland poster and here for the flyer (Somali version)


Longitudinal Solutions analyses Baidoa, Kismayo and Mogadishu

Building on the 2016/17 Somalia Solutions analyses, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) has commissioned Samuel Hall to:

  1. Review the uptake and impacts of the recommendations from the first Solutions analyses to see to what extent those have informed durable solutions planning, programing and policies, and share lessons learnt
  2. Update the Solutions analyses for Bay, Benadir and Lower Juba, in order to assess progress and challenges since February 2017 and this will be conducted on an annual basis over the next 4 years to have better longitudinal analyses in these locations (the update will be based on the ReDSS solutions framework’s environmental analysis and 8 criteria – not on specific indicators

This exercise will be conducted on an annual basis over the next four years to have better longitudinal analyses in these locations. Through the work proposed, solution-oriented planning and programming will be benefit from the availability of disaggregated data on 1) the aspirations of displacement-affected communities regarding their future and 2) the dynamics and relationships between different groups living in the displacement-affected community. Click here for the terms of reference and open call for tenders. For further information or to be involved in the study, kindly contact Rufus Karanja (

Together towards Somali-led durable solutions processes

With over 2.6 million IDPs in Somalia as a result of conflict, violence, insecurity, and severe natural disasters, addressing displacement challenges is critical to find durable solutions to protracted displacement and give the millions of displaced a chance of a better life with dignity and self-reliance. Somali authorities and national actors have the primary responsibility to address these issues and need to be adequately supported to be able to play a leadership and coordinating role. It is essential to collectively invest into capacities to sustain solutions locally and nationally. Such investments will strengthen national institutions and partnerships that can sustain locally owned solutions.

In 2017, the European Union launched a 3-year programme known as REINTEG to support the return and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugee-returnees across Somalia and Somaliland. The programme also aims to enhance the capacities of the Somalia government and local authorities to assume their primary responsibility for facilitating durable solutions.

The EU is working with five consortia (four NGO-led and one UN-led) to achieve these results. The NGO-led consortia include: Somaliland Durable Solutions Consortium (SDSC) led by World Vision in Somaliland; Enhancing Integration of Displacement affected communities in Somalia (EIDACS) led by Concern World Wide in South West State; Jubaland Solutions Consortium (JSC) led by Norwegian Refugee Council in Jubaland and the Durable Solutions for IDPs and Returnees in Somalia (DSIRS) led by Care in Galmadug. The Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) is supporting the EU REINTEG partners on the learning component by bringing them together towards one durable solution vision where each of the RE-INTEG consortia contributes through different approaches. See a summary infographic.

ReDSS members, in coordination with government and local authorities, the office of the UN Resident Coordinator (RCO), the Somalia NGO Consortium, and various UN agencies, have invested in a longer term knowledge management and capacity development approach in Somalia and developed different learning tools such as trainings, online tutorials, one pagers briefs, etc. The aim is to support a common understanding and vision to durable solutions processes in Somalia.

Since 2016, over 120 practitioners and policy makers have been trained in Somalia. In March 2018, EIDACS consortium with the support of ReDSS organized a durable solutions training in Baidoa for local authorities and practitioners in South West State, in partnership with Somalia NGO Consortium and UN agencies.

37 participants from various South West State (SWS) line ministries, Baidoa local authorities including the Mayor of Baidoa, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations attended the training and contributed to very interesting and lively discussions and debates. Bringing different stakeholders together and especially local actors is essential to understand different perspectives and support a common understanding of challenges and opportunities in the search for durable solutions in Somalia. 

Investing into capacities at regional level is essential as local authorities have the primary responsibility to lead and coordinate durable solutions programing.Mr. Watiin Abdullahi, the mayor of Baidoa emphasized the need to support local municipalities to be able to respond to displacement in urban context including forced evictions and access to services for displaced and host communities in an integrated and sustainable way.

Mr. Abdulqadir Mohamed, the Commissioner of the South West State (SWS) Commission on IDPs and Refugees said that such trainings are “critical to strengthen early preparedness and response efforts to reduce the risk of displacement in urban areas as well as enhance protection and absorption capacity”. Unplanned and informal settlements are frequently in peripheral and higher risk prone locations. Urban centres face critical absorption challenges which further increase pressure and social tension among hosting communities and urban displaced over access to overburdened services’’.

Mayor Watiin was able to bring key points from the workshop to a learning event on solutions in urban contexts organized by ReDSS, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Rift Valley Institute (RVI) in Nairobi in April 2018. The event was attended by over 120 people and Mayor Watiin was on a panel with World Bank Urban experts and UN Habitat. It was a key opportunity for him to share his perspective and priorities on durable solutions in urban context. His presentation is available here and ReDSS Study on urban refugees in Nairobi and IDPs and refugee-returnees in Mogadishu and Baidoa here. The study aimed to better understand and address displaced people’s vulnerabilities and aspirations in urban centers and to rethink support in more sustainable and empowering ways and the Mayor was actively involved in the study process.

During the last session of the training, participants engaged in group and plenary discussions to agree on recommendations to inform joint planning and to ensure use and uptake of the training learning in their respective area or work. Representatives from lines ministries and authorities requested for further support on strengthening community-driven durable solutions approaches, strengthening self-reliance and resilience in urban context and enhancing preparedness and early solutions to prevent further displacement.

“We should not implement anything unless every relevant stakeholder including the displaced themselves are involved in decision-making process. Not only, do we have to consult all groups, women, youth, religious leaders and other affected groups to fully scope the needs in Baidoa; but we also need to explore more innovative ways of working with private sector and various businesses in provision of key services such as water due to strain that the town already faces”, said the Mayor.

Both the mayor and the commissioner appreciated the partnership with ReDSS and the EU REINTEG consortia and stressed the fact that agencies need to do more to strengthen the capacities of local authorities to play a leadership and coordinating role in durable solutions processes.

Long-term multi sectorial and multi actors funding such as EU’s RE-INTEG is instrumental to bring humanitarian and development stakeholders together and support a common vision to improve collective programing and policies.

New approaches are needed for effective humanitarian-development coordination to find durable solutions for IDPs in Somalia using area based planning processes led by municipalities and authorities. Part of these new approaches is for actors to continue to evolve ‘adaptive programming’ moving away from sectorial and linear cause and effect’ approaches and to continuously adapt to Somalia very volatile context.

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. It is essential to collectively invest into capacities to sustain solutions locally and nationally. Such investments will strengthen national institutions and partnerships that can sustain locally owned solutions.

This is what RE-INTEG Consortia are supporting by investing in real time learning and adaptive management, mentorship and peer learning to ensure that RE INTEG programing is flexible and responsive to changing contexts and needs.

Click here to read more on core elements to inform solutions programming and what durable solutions in Somalia means.

ReDSS infographic on EU-REINTEG Programme in Somalia

The EU RE-INTEG Programme (Enhancing Somalia’s responsiveness to the management and reintegration of mixed migration flows) is funded by the European Union and seeks to support sustainable re-integration of refugee returnees and IDPs in Somalia. The programme also seeks to enhance the capacities of the Somalia government and local authorities to assume their primary responsibility for facilitating durable solutions through an increased accessibility to basic services and creation of livelihoods. The EU is working with five consortia (four NGO-led and one UN-led) to achieve result area three across Somalia and Somaliland. The NGO-led consortia include: Somaliland Durable Solutions Consortium (SDSC) led by World Vision; Enhancing Integration of Displacement Affected Communities in Somalia (EIDACS) led by Concern World Wide; Jubaland Solutions Consortium (JSC) led by Norwegian Refugee Council and the Durable Solutions for IDPs and Returnees in Somalia (DSIRS) led by Care.

ReDSS is leading the knowledge management and learning component for three of the EU RE-INTEG’s NGO consortiums (EIDACS, JSC and SDSC) while coordinating with UNHabitat and DSIRS’ consortia (IMPACT is the research and knowledge management lead for DSIRS).

Download ReDSS infographic on the programme here

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