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Uganda’s Self-Reliance Model: Does it Work?

Refugee economies | January 2019 | Oxford RSC | Uganda | Research studies and report

ew research by Alexander Betts, Imane Chaara, Naohiko Omata, and Olivier Sterck explores what difference the self-reliance model makes in practice. Which aspects work, under what conditions, and for whom? In order to answer these questions, they compare outcomes for refugees and host community members in Uganda and Kenya, neighbouring countries with contrasting refugee policy frameworks. They identify four major advantages to Uganda’s regulatory framework: greater mobility, lower transaction costs for economic activity, higher incomes, and more sustainable sources of employment. Nevertheless, there are some limitations to Uganda’s assistance model, notably in relation to the viability of its land allocation model in rural settlements, the inadequacy of access to education in the settlements, and the ineffectiveness of urban assistance. Overall, the research offers a strong endorsement of the value of allowing refugees the right to work and freedom of movement, but calls for a more nuanced view of the strengths and weaknesses of refugee assistance in Uganda. The research on which this brief is based is published in longer form as ‘Refugee Economies in Uganda: What Difference Does the Self-Reliance Model Make?

The impact of the United Nations CRRF on conflict dynamics

Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework | December 2018 | Hugo Genest | Ethiopia | Articles

At the UN Leaders’ Summit held in New York City in September 2016, all members of the organisation signed the New York Declaration. The document contains a set of non-binding commitments to enhance the protection of refugees and migrants. The Declaration tasks the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with drafting a “Global Compact on Refugees” (a non-binding agreement that captures the political commitment of Members States to specific principles and actions) in 2018, building upon the lessons learned from the initial implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).

Refugee Returns from Kenya to Somalia: “This is about fear… not about choice”

Political economy & discourse | November 2016 | Refugee International | Somalia | Research Reports and Studies

The Kenyan government’s threat to close the Dadaab refugee camp by the end of November would not only endanger the lives of several hundred thousand Somali refugees but has already caused irreparable harm and damage. With no alternative options, some refugees have been coerced into repatriating to Somalia, where insecurity and an ongoing humanitarian crisis continue. The United Nations Refugee Agency’s focus on expediting the pace of returns – through a program that is supported by donors and implemented in partnership with non-governmental organizations – in the face of political pressure from Kenya, promotes large-scale returns that are unlikely to be sustainable. Development and reintegration initiatives in designated areas of return in Somalia need time to take hold; and, in the meantime, support for Somali refugees who remain in Kenya cannot be abandoned.

Unsettlement: Urban displacement in the 21st century

Urban solutions and programming | December 2018 | IDMC | Regional | Articles

In the 21st century urban centres have increasingly become destinations for internally displaced people. This is not a new phenomenon, but its real scale at regional and global levels is not known. We also know little about the extent to which cities provide safe havens for those internally displaced and the degree to which they are able to establish new urban lives. And we have only limited insights into how displacement shapes urban systems as well as the way displacement risk is generated within cities. Our new thematic series seeks to fill the information gap by exploring the scale, nature, and dynamics of urban internal displacement across the world from the perspective of both internally displaced people and that of the cities they flee to.

How to ensure Ethiopia’s ‘jobs compact’ works for refugees

Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework | December 2018 | ODI | Ethiopia | Blogs

The Ethiopia compact is the latest programme. It has a strong focus on job creation for refugees and Ethiopians, with industrial parks (also known as ‘special economic zones’ or SEZs) playing an important role. Our experts draw on lessons from Jordan and elsewhere to outline five ways that donors and Ethiopia’s government can ensure it succeeds.

Dreams deterred

Refugee economies | October 2018 | IRC | Somalia | Research Reports and Studies

In Kenya, local integration is a seemingly obvious but otherwise neglected solution as refugee demands for greater economic and social rights are often interpreted summarily as demands for citizenship. This research concentrated on refugee self-reliance, as both an outcome and as characteristic of local integration, which does not necessarily imply a demand for citizenship. The UNHCR describes self-reliance “the social and economic ability of an individual, a household or a community to meet essential needs (including protection, food, water, shelter, personal safety, health and education) in a sustainable manner and with dignity. The research identified both formal and informal barriers to self-reliance.

Five ways to improve the World Bank funding for refugees and hosts

Humanitarian-development nexus | November 2018 | IRC & CGD | Regional | Research Reports and Studies

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Center for Global Development (CGD) have been closely following the rollout of the IDA18 sub-window for refugee hosting nations, particularly in East Africa (Ethiopia, Uganda), West Africa (Cameroon, Chad), and Asia (Bangladesh). Drawing on original research and analysis, as well as field visits, this note identifies a few clear successes and areas for improvement. It also outlines recommendations for the implementation of the IDA18 sub-window moving forward, and makes the case for a sub-window in the IDA19 replenishment

Daadab movement and intentions monitoring

Movement and Intentions Monitoring | November 2018 | NRC & REACH | Somalia | Research Reports and Studies

In July 2018 REACH conducted a survey in Dadaab refugee complex with findings showing a majority of the households (42%) not willing to return to Somalia due to fear of conflict. This factsheet provides an overview of another round of assessment conducted in November 2018 across the three camps of Dadaab refugee complex.

Social cohesion and forced displacement

Social cohesion and displacement | October 2018 | World Bank | Regional | Research Reports and Studies

This desk review aims to contribute toward a stronger conceptual and practical understanding of social cohesion in the context of forced displacement. The review includes reflection onthe current portfolio of WBG forced displacement projects, many of which have a stated aim to improve social cohesion. The review identifies a number of gaps in current practice including a lack of clear definition of social cohesion; a lack of analysis on the political and historical context; (which determine social relations in the context of forced displacement); a lack of coherence in project design with a tendency to be over-optimistic about the extent to which a project by itself can promote social cohesion; and a lack of monitoring and evaluation to establish changes and influences on social tensions.

Land and conflict

Peace-building and governance | October 2018 | UNHABITAT , IIR & GLTN | Somalia | Book

This book draws on nine cases from around the world of how land and conflict are being addressed: in Honduras, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Peru, Brazil and Colombia. The cases are drawn from different stages in the conflict cycle, from emergency, peace and stability operations, through recovery to development. They include both urban and rural settings, and situations involving extractives, food security, urban reconstruction and development.