Review of Durable Solutions Initiatives in East and Horn of Africa: Good practices, challenges and opportunities in the search of durable solutions

11.7 million people were displaced in the region at the end of February 2016, mostly in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia. Displacement results from a combination of conflicts, climatic and development shocks driven by poor governance, environmental degradation, food insecurity, and lack of economic opportunities. The lack of a common system, unclear coordination, and missing evidence base, are key structural challenges to finding durable solutions. Over the last decade, key stakeholders have been seeking to unlock solutions through new initiatives and ideas – all of which have been detailed in this report. These initiatives provide fertile ground from which to learn and build a more comprehensive and collaborative agenda in the search for durable solutions in the region. This report explores the junctures at which these initiatives have come together or in some cases, have failed to do so, providing opportunities and entry-points into an actual durable solutions system.


The report is a review of durable solutions initiatives in the East and Horn of Africa, covering Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda. It was commissioned by the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) and conducted by Samuel Hall, an independent think tank. The document aims to assess the existing frameworks, commitments, and coordination mechanisms on durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region, and to identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities for learning and collaboration. The document defines durable solutions as a situation where the displaced no longer have specific assistance and protection needs linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination. It recognizes that durable solutions can be achieved through return, local integration, or resettlement and that they require a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach that goes beyond the humanitarian agenda.

The report analyzes various durable solutions initiatives at the global, regional, and national levels, and categorizes them into three groups: those with strong leadership, those with a local or area-based focus, and those that show the rise of learning within the durable solutions agenda. It also highlights the role of new actors, such as civil society, the private sector, academia, and technical specialists, in contributing to durable solutions. The document provides a toolbox for policymakers and practitioners to advocate for, unlock, and implement durable solutions, based on the lessons learned and best practices from the four country case studies. It also proposes a theory of change and a set of indicators to measure the progress and impact of durable solutions initiatives.

The document concludes with a set of recommendations and a way forward for ReDSS and other stakeholders to strengthen the durable solutions system in the region, and to align it with the ongoing global dialogue on displacement and migration. It calls for more evidence-based, context-specific, and participatory approaches to durable solutions, and more coordination, harmonization, and advocacy among the different actors involved.


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