External Evaluation – Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat

ReDSS commissioned an external evaluation to review the strategy, governance structure and membership to inform its next strategy development process. The evaluation was evidence-based, participatory, included lessons learned, and focused on understanding ReDSS’ success factors. The evaluation covered two key areas: (1) governance and membership and (2) strategy and achievements, and provides lessoned learned and recommendations. The external evaluation is based on extensive literature review, 35 interviews, 67 surveys and 22 stories of the most significant change.

Download the full report of the evaluation here, as well a summary of the findings in PowerPoint format.

Aspirations survey: Listening to displacement-affected communities over time – Baidoa, Dollow, Kismayo & Mogadishu 2019

The aspiration survey seeks to examine the multiple dimensions of vulnerabilities and sense of belonging among IDPs in four major Somali cities, through disaggregated data comparing with host communities and focusing on access to jobs, safety, social cohesion, housing and forced eviction. The analysis compares different groups of IDPs (those living in and out of settlements, displaced by conflict and climate-related reasons, in male and female-headed households, recently displaced and in protracted displacement, displaced once and multiple times), as well as host and non-host communities in urban areas. This information provides a more comprehensive picture of displacement-related impacts and dynamics with the aim to better inform area-based durable solutions programing.  The objectives are to better understand:

  • The aspirations, intentions, and push and pull factors of displacement-affected communities
  • Underlying issues that influence processes of displacement, return, and (re)integration
  • Factors that shape the decisions of people to move and the impact on the wider community

Methodology: It applies a mixed methodology consisting of structured quantitative household interviews and semi structured focus group discussions (FGDs) in each of the target locations. The target sample size for the household level interviews in each location is 500 households, with a total of 2,010 households (658 host community and 1,352 displaced households) surveyed between June and September 2019. All households participated in an in depth quantitative phone interview to create a baseline household survey. In total, 60 FGDs were conducted with participants from both host community and displaced households. Survey group leaders (selected from groups of ten households) also provided key informant interviews (KIIs) on a monthly basis during data collection. The qualitative information from the FGD and KIIs were used to inform the analysis of the household survey findings. The survey will be undertaken on an annual basis for the next 3 years to listen to displacement affected communities overtime to have better data to inform better targeting and programming.

2019/ 2020 report: This is the 1st report of an annual series. The report presents a comparative analysis of data collected from the first baseline of the ReDSS annual aspirations survey conducted in Somalia from June to December 2019 in four locations: Baidoa, Dollow, Kismayo and Mogadishu. It was commissioned by the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), in partnership with the Danwadaag Solutions Programme, Durable Solutions Programme (DSP) and RE-INTEG consortia partners. It was conducted by IMPACT Initiatives.  Click here for the full report and executive summary, here for the summary PWP and below to access the specific thematic summary extracts:

ReDSS and the research team would especially like to thank representatives of the Somali government at federal level – in particular the colleagues at the Directorate of National Statistics within Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development (MoPIED) – and member states level, the members of the Technical Advisory Committee – UN Resident Coordinator Office (UNRCO), Somalia Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Building Resilient Communities in Somalia (BRCiS), Samuel Hall, Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF), Monitoring and Evaluation for the Somalia Humanitarian, Health and Resilience Programmes of DFID (MESH), World Bank, Gargaar Relief and Development Organization (GREDO). Most importantly, ReDSS would also like to thank the internally displaced persons, returnees and host community members in Baidoa, Dollow, Kismayo and Mogadishu, who provided information and shared their experiences. The report was edited by Kate McGuinness and the financial support provided from DFID, Danida and the EU.

ReDSS training on area based approaches to inform durable solutions planning

ReDSS has designed a face-to-face training curriculum on area-based planning to strengthen the capacity of actors involved in durable solutions in the East and Horn of Africa region. The main goal of the training is for practitioners and policy makers to be better equipped to lead and take part in area-based solutions planning for Displacement Affected Communities.  The training was first piloted in Jigjiga, capital of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia in March 2020 and will be further rolled out in Ethiopia, at the Woreda, regional, and federal levels, as well as in other countries in the region where ReDSS is active to support area-based solutions planning at local levels.

The main learning objectives are for training workshop participants to be able to:

  • Explain the added value of area-based approaches to plan for durable solutions and enhance social cohesion in displacement contexts.
  • Apply area-based approach elements and principles and link them to the durable solutions planning cycle.
  • Explain how to lead and/or take part in context specific, inclusive and government-led durable area-based solutions processes, meaningfully involving a wide range of actors.

Throughout the curriculum specific emphasis is put on:

  • Social cohesion
  • Community engagement
  • Government engagement

Click here for the training guide and here for the training modules and other useful resources

ReDSS COVID-19 adaptation plan and policy brief

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt worldwide and there are growing numbers of cases in the East and Horn of Africa region. As governments struggle to contain the virus and enact emergency public health measures, humanitarian and development partners are also grappling with how to plan for and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable refugees, IDPs and host communities. ReDSS is supporting members and partners in their response to COVID-19 as well as adapting its own strategy and work plan as presented below.

ReDSS COVID-19 Adaptation strategy (April – June 2020) based on two work-streams:

  • Support ReDSS members and partners to plan for and adapt to COVID-19 through coordination, cross-learning and adaptation based on learning and evidence
  • Continue engagement on the broader durable solutions agenda to maintain momentum and stakeholder engagement to address long-term displacement and solutions issues.

ReDSS COVID-19 policy engagement strategy: The messages are organized around the following themes:

  • Strengthening engagement and mutual accountability with displacement-affected communities
  • Upholding rights and mainstreaming protection
  • Responding to vulnerabilities and needs in camp, camp-like (e.g settlements) and urban settings
  • Strengthening area-based, locally led and integrated approaches
  • Ensuring a dual focus that addresses COVID-19 response within longer-term planning for protracted displacement issues

Towards a common research agenda in Ethiopia- A research synthesis paper to inform the implementation of the GCR

This synthesis paper is designed to inform future policy making and programming in relation to Ethiopian government and international support to refugees. Specifically, it aspires to enable the development of a common narrative among the key refugee stakeholders in Ethiopia about how best to support displacement and durable solutions processes
in the country, informed by evidence drawn from existing literature. It is set out in line with the Government of Ethiopia draft ten-year National Comprehensive Refugee Response Strategy (NCRRS), at a time of transition for the Ethiopian refugee operation. The new legal framework passed by the Ethiopian parliament in February 2019 creates significant opportunities for developing a more sustainable and effective response that meets the needs of refugees and the local populations living in proximity to them.

The synthesis paper is also intended to act as an entry point to the significant body of work upon which it draws, analyses, and references. Key documents are noted throughout the text, particularly those that are relevant to the NCRRS. Links for online access to these documents are also provided. The focus of this paper is on current publicly available work, although upcoming studies of particular value are also referenced. All these studies, and more, are included in the Ethiopian government Knowledge Management Database (available here), which has been developed with ReDSS support.

The paper is organised as follows: the 1st section provides a short overview of the current refugee situation in Ethiopia. Following that, the next section highlights key themes, identifies critical research gaps, and makes recommendations for the development of a common research agenda. The remainder of the synthesis paper is the main body of this study, analysing relevant literature across the four objectives of the NCRRS. Finally, a methodology section explaining the process followed to produce this paper is annexed.

This process was conducted in partnership with the Rift Valley Institute and it was guided by a technical advisory group that included ARRA, UNHCR, UNICEF, the World Bank, the British Government, the European Union, DRC, ACF and SOAS. The study was funded by the European Union.

Click here for the full report and here for the executive summary.

Understanding Housing, Land and Property in Somalia

Issues related to housing, land and property more commonly referred to as ‘HLP’ arise in most crises, in conflict, as well as natural disasters. This is especially the case when a crisis is accompanied by significant displacement or when it occurs in a context with long-standing HLP grievances or challenges. Displacement in Somalia for example, is primarily an urban challenge, with the majority of the 2.6 million internally displaced persons living in informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas. With resources overstretched, Somalia’s cities struggle to cope with the demands of their fast-growing populations and the added arrivals of people fleeing crises in rural areas. Finding affordable housing solutions in emergencies and protracted displacement situations is therefore extremely complex.

With this in mind, this tutorial specifically focuses on:

  • the basic concepts related to HLP rights
  • the relevance of HLP in relation to durable solutions
  • and practical actions aimed at informing HLP interventions in Somalia.

Click here for the 7-min whiteboard animation, self quiz and useful resources. 

Multi-stakeholder approach to urban displacement in Somalia- FMR issue on Cities and towns

Cities and towns are on the front line of receiving and welcoming people who have been displaced. In the 20 articles on Cities and towns in this issue of FMR, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, representatives of cities and international city-focused alliances, and displaced people themselves debate the challenges facing both the urban authorities and their partners, and those who have sought refuge.

A number of authors explore new ways of working in urban settings – including area-based approaches, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and city-to-city collaboration – while others offer insights and inspiration from local responses and the perspectives of displaced and host communities. Other authors examine how camp management practices can be applied in urban settings, how resilience can be bolstered by improved communication and information sharing, and how municipal capacity and community dialogue can be strengthened to improve protection in high-risk neighbourhoods. The issue also draws out practical lessons for promoting inclusive climate action, negotiating contested authority, and encouraging urban planning that takes account of both displaced and host community needs.

Click here for our full article on a multi-stakeholder approach to urban displacement in Somalia and here for the full FMR issue on Cities and towns

2019 Annual report and summary presentation

Emerging learning and good practices from East and Horn of Africa region offer much to build upon, adapt, and replicate in other contexts. Several key developments are worth noting. First, shifts away from a predominant focus on returns movements towards finding more durable solutions for hosting refugees and IDPs can be observed across the region. These shifts can be increasingly seen in new ways of working, such as consortia programming between humanitarian, development, and resilience actors, as well as in more consistent engagement from development partners such as the World Bank in displacement responses. Second, there are many innovative examples of longer-term approaches to thematic areas such as: HLP; self-reliance; and integrated programming for host and displaced communities. New durable solutions coordination structures are also being implemented, in particular at local and municipal levels across the region. These allow for increased multi-stakeholder coordination, and whole-of-government involvement and ownership of processes. Collaboration between humanitarian, development, resilience, peace building, and state building actors around participatory area-based approaches that are led by local governments are emerging. Third, regional actors, in particular IGAD, have been instrumental in changing the regional discourse on durable solutions and bringing governments in the region together around a common agenda.

Click below for:

ReDSS work and achievements are made possible through the active engagement and generous contributions from its members and funding partners. ReDSS would like to thank them for their continued support and commitment to do more and to do better together in the search for durable solutions in the East and Horn of Africa region.

New publication: Unprepared for (re)integration: Lessons learned from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria on Refugee Returns to Urban Areas

This study informs programming and policies in relation to refugee returns and, specifically, with regards to their (re)integration within urban areas, with a focus on Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. While millions of refugees return to poverty, conflict and insecurity in all three settings, a tunnel focus on returns rather than on (re)integration has limited value for long-term planning. Stakeholders, including communities and returnees themselves, have been unprepared for what happens post-return. This publication was commissioned by the Danish Refugee Council in partnership with International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council, Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Durable Solutions Platform (DSP) and Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP), and was researched by Samuel Hall.

In order to help you navigate the full report, we have divided it into five parts:

ReDSS GRF briefing paper “Advancing multi stakeholder engagement to sustain solutions”

Documenting learning and best practice around the CRRF application in the East Africa region through a thematic approach. It highlights learning from new ways of working as well as opportunities that the application of CRRF has enabled in three key areas: (1) return and reintegration; (2) area-based and locally-led approaches; and (3) regional and national level engagement around the CRRF approaches. Country specific examples from Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya as well as the regional level through IGAD are used to illustrate good practice and concrete examples. The paper also addresses gaps and opportunities with recommendations for further development that can be used for planning and policy dialogue beyond this year’s first GRF to support a common agenda around durable solutions programming in the East Africa region. We thank all ReDSS members for their contributions.

  • Click here to download the briefing paper