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Returning to Stability? Refugee returns in the Great Lakes region

Political economy & discourse on displacement & solutions | October 2019 | IRRI | Regional | Research studies and reports

The departure point of this research project was the need to better understand the interactions between return migration, political processes and conflict dynamics in areas of return, and to go beyond humanitarian approaches, to analyse the political dimensions of return. Aside from the logistics of crossing borders and the alleviation of immediate material needs, what does return mean – both for returnees and for ‘stayees’ – people who didn’t migrate – in the communities to which they return? How does return migration affect, or how is it affected by, social relations, power dynamics, political processes and conflicts in areas of return?

Informing durable solutions for internal displacement in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan

Internal displacement | October 2019 | World Bank | Somalia | Research studies and reports

This study helps close data gaps by using micro-level data to profile IDPs. The report uses micro-data, defined as individual—and household-level—data that are collected directly through personal interviews. Comprehensive micro data surveys cover IDP populations in four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Non-displaced populations, including host communities, are also covered for comparison. Identical survey instruments are used for both displaced and non-displaced groups to draw clear comparisons of the two. In addition, refugees from three of these countries (Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan), who are currently residing in camps in Ethiopia, are surveyed.

Access to shelter and services for low-income groups: lessons from Hawassa, Mogadishu and Nairobi on the politics of informal settlements and shelter access

Urban solutions and programming | October 2019 | IIED & Tana | Somalia | Synthesis report

The field research took place in 2018–2019. Fieldwork drew on a shared methodology that included key informant interviews and focus group discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including national government, municipal authorities, financial actors, local leaders and civil society, brokers and developers, and local community members. This was supplemented with additional city-specific methods such as market surveys or social mapping, selected to fill data gaps or for context-specific reasons. More details on methodology can be found in the project summary report.

Shelter provision in East African Cities: understanding politics for inclusive cities

Urban solutions and programming | September 2019 | IIED & Tana | Regional | Summary report

This research project examines systems of shelter provision in three East African cities: Nairobi in Kenya, Hawassa in Ethiopia, and Mogadishu in Somalia. It was designed to identify policy-relevant, locally driven solutions to improve shelter at scale for vulnerable groups, including low-income women and men, displaced people and people with disabilities. The methodology underpinning the study recognises that gender, poverty, displacement and ethnicity can act as major axes of discrimination that impede access to land, shelter and services in East African cities. By exploring each city’s history, political settlement and housing variations, this project provides a set of in-depth city studies that offer new insights to inform more inclusive, affordable shelter interventions in East Africa.

Shelter for all: towards more inclusive housing in Mogadishu

Urban solutions and programming | September 2019 | Tana | Somalia | Briefing Paper

Access to land and shelter in Mogadishu is governed by a complex system of formal and informal mechanisms. While wealthier people can resort to bank loans and notaries to secure housing, for the city’s poor, displaced and vulnerable, finding shelter in informal settlements is more difficult. In these overcrowded and underserviced parts of the city, access to shelter is controlled by ‘gatekeepers’, who operate in an opaque system and control access to housing, services and humanitarian aid. People with few resources must rely on their personal connections to find a place to live. Some groups like female-headed households, young single men or people living with disabilities are excluded from these networks due to prejudice and isolation. Finding sustainable housing solutions for all Mogadishu’s residents has become a top priority for the local government.

Somali Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment

Political economy & discourse on displacement & solutions | April 2019 | World Bank | Somalia | Research studies and reports

The World Bank implemented the second wave of the Somali high frequency survey (SHFS) in 2017-2018. This report is based on the most recent and first extensive household survey, wave 2 of the SHFS. The report is organized into six chapters. The first chapter presents an updated profile of monetary and nonmonetary dimensions of poverty for the Somali population, including the nomadic population. The second chapter explores in more detail spatial variation, with a focus on urbanization. The third chapter examines the impact of the 2016-2017 drought on livelihoods to identify the populations at risk and the factors that protected households against its negative effects. The fourth chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the internally displaced populations to identify displacement-related needs and to inform durable solutions. As a reaction to the analysis of poverty and vulnerabilities, the fifth chapter focuses on social protection as a means of promoting equity and building resilience against the effect of shocks on livelihoods. Similarly, the sixth chapter examines remittances and their role for livelihoods and resilience.

The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework: Responsibility-sharing and self-reliance in East Africa

Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework | September 2019 | ODI HPG | Regional | Research studies and reports

Three years after the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a review of developments in four countries that rolled out the CRRF approach – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda – reveals that progress on ‘easing the burden’ and opening up paths to refugee self-reliance has been limited or, in some cases, is even sliding back. This paper draws on four country papers (in Ethiopia (Asfaw Nigusie and Carver, 2019), Kenya (Crawford and O’Callaghan, 2019), Rwanda (Crawford et al., 2019) and Uganda (Crawford et al., 2019b)), developed for the IKEA Foundation, to provide a stock-take on progress under the GCR in East Africa. It considers how unrealistic assumptions underpining the Compact are butting up against reality in these host countries and suggests measures that would improve the prospects for responsibility-sharing and refugee self-reliance.

Internally Displaced Persons: towards more effective international protection and durable solutions

Political economy and discourse on displacement and solutions | September 2019 | Wilton Park | Somalia | Conference reports

Durable solutions for internal displacement should be planned for at the outset, and interventions should focus on both short-term needs and longer-term resilience. Durable solutions should remain dynamic in response to fluid displacement contexts. The design and implementation of workable solutions requires reliable data and analysis, but these present significant challenges. Categorisation is particularly problematic. Categories are useful to indicate specific vulnerabilities and protection needs, but they can stigmatise people and create or exacerbate tensions with other populations and thus be detrimental. IDP protection should therefore remain wary of creating new categories of citizens.

Like a Drop of Water on a Fire

Internal displacement | September 2019 | Refugee International | Ethiopia | Research studies and reports

In the Somali region of eastern Ethiopia, drought internally displaced persons (IDPs)—people who have been forced to relocate because of the effects of severe drought—are now a forgotten population. More than 500,000 IDPs in the country have been displaced by drought and other climate-related causes, and almost 350,000 of them reside in the Somali region. Although they received some humanitarian assistance, including food and water, in the immediate wake of the devastating 2015–2016 drought, most of that initial support has ended. Now the situation is getting worse, especially for women and girls.

Towards sustainable urban development in Somalia and IDP durable solutions at scale

Urban solutions and programming | September 2019 | UNRCO/DSI | Somalia | Research studies and reports

This report reviews Somalia’s current patterns of urbanization and displacement, and provides tailored recommendations to local, State and Federal State authorities, as well as to UN and stakeholders working in Somalia. Rapid, spontaneous patterns of urbanization in Somalia, driven in part by interests of land-owners and needs of displaced communities, entrenches the dynamics of clan and
conflict in the evolving form of cities, with the risk of perpetuating and increasing instability. As Somalia’s population is expected to become predominantly urban after 2026, the coming years provide a critical opportunity to set a new course of well-planned and managed urbanization, yielding economic diversification, improved social equality, stabilization and resilience, through national and federal state level policies, implemented in cities by inclusive urban planning processes and inclusive, representational governance. The report, serves to stimulate discussion on urbanization, and while recognizing the need for additional studies to explore viable solutions to enable return to rural areas, provides recommendations to address the pertinent challenge of achieving durable solutions at scale for internally displaced people in cities – particularly those for whom the option of rural return is unlikely in the foreseeable future