Aspirations Survey II 2022

The world commemorates World Cities Day on the 31st of October each year. The day is meant to draw global attention to cities’ roles in promoting sustainable development as framed by sustainable development goal 11 (SDG 11). Sustainable cities and communities are ones in which – among other things – people have access to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and are safeguarded from disasters that cause physical and material loss.  

In Somalia, displacement is a key driver of urbanization. A majority of Somali nationals displaced end up in cities or major urban areas such as district headquarters.  Over half of the 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia between January and September 2022 have settled in five district headquarters, including Mogadishu, Beletweyne, Dhusamareeb, Gaalkacyo, and Baidoa. Therefore, cities and urban areas are important locations to support durable solutions for internal displacement in Somalia: where IDPs no longer have displacement-specific needs and can access their rights without discrimination based on their displacement status.  

Consequently, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) is pleased to launch the second phase of its study, Listening to Displacement Affected Communities Over Time: Understanding the Intentions and Aspirations in Support of Durable Solutions (Baidoa, Kismayu, and Mogadishu) – hereinafter referred to as Aspirations Survey.

This study – conducted in 2021 – is a sequel to the first one published in 2020. While the second phase was conducted in 2021, it has useful insights relevant to urban planning and durable solutions in 2022 and beyond. The following are key insights relevant to making cities and communities in Somalia more sustainable:  

  • Demand for services in urban areas is likely to outstrip supply: The Aspiration Survey found that IDPs that move into urban areas are likely to stay. In 2021, when the data for the second phase of the Aspiration Survey was collected, Baidoa, Kismayu, and Mogadishu accounted for 43% of all new displacements recorded that year. The Aspiration Survey found that 9 in 10 IDPs in these locations intended to stay in those locations. Their top two reasons for this were their perceived high sense of security (8 in 10) and access to employment and livelihoods (about 3 in 10). In Baidoa, IDPs ranked access to food sources as highly as they did access to employment. If IDPs stay as they intend to, it will likely increase demand for services in cities with a limited supply of the same. Consequently, there will be increased competition for services noting that the displacement levels as of September 2022 are 38% higher than those recorded for the entire year in 2021.  
  • While access to employment and livelihood is a major reason why IDPs move to cities, they often face precarious livelihood situations: access to work was cited by IDPs among the reasons they prefer to stay in the urban areas of Baidoa, Kismayu, and Mogadishu. However, the Aspirations Survey found that more than half of the IDP population, as do the host community,  relies on casual labour, which is unreliable and unsustainable. About half of the IDP population and a third of the host community population were dissatisfied with their primary livelihood activities – of which a majority was through casual labour – because it provided low compensation. They resulted in negative coping mechanisms such as saving less, reducing expenditure on productivity-related products such as education and health, borrowing that further reduced their already limited income, and selling off assets. According to a recent study, IDPs may face additional hurdles such as labour violations in cities where labour law enforcement requires strengthening. Consequently, IDPs that already make little to cover their necessities make even less and are less likely to achieve self-reliance without external support.  
  • Access to land tenure is critical in promoting inclusive and sustainable cities in Somalia: IDPs often settle in private land when displaced to urban areas. Often, they lack documentation that secures the ownership or use of the property they decide to reside on. Almost 9 in 10 IDPs lack ownership or occupancy documents in Baidoa, Kismayu and Mogadishu as found by the Aspirations Survey. This exposes them to the risk of eviction, especially in cities like Mogadishu, with a forced eviction rate of 80%, leading to secondary displacement. We know from the 2019 World Bank report on informing durable solutions to internal displacement in Somalia that IDPs that have experienced multiple displacements have higher incidences and depth of poverty as compared to those that have been displaced once. In an unpublished ReDSS Contested Land Study, a lack of a coherent land governance regime contributes to limited access to the security of tenure by IDPs and their host communities.  

In light of the foregoing, some actions that the Somali government (National and Federal State levels), United Nations Agencies, Programmes and Funds, and non-governmental organizations can do to make Somali cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. These include:  

  • Engage displacement-affected communities (including IDPs and host communities) in the development, monitoring and evaluation of community action policies and plans linked to budgeted district development plans. This will provide a people-centred and led approach to identify priority needs in the face of high demand with limited resources. It is important to take a whole population approach that includes both IDPs and the host communities in the planning process. The Aspiration Survey found that sharing resources between these two groups is a positive element in fostering social cohesion and promoting sustainable integration.  
  • Invest in interventions that promote security and resilient livelihoods in locations of origin: The supply of well-paying livelihood activities in urban areas is not commensurate with the demand. While local integration is suggested as an approach by the fact that IDPs are unlikely to leave the areas they arrive in, addressing security and resilient livelihoods in areas of origin in the medium to long term will likely increase the options for IDPs to willingly return to these areas. 
  • Invest in interventions that promote transparent and inclusive public finance management systems from the municipalities to the federal level. A key feature of government leadership in promoting durable solutions for IDPs is the utilization of public funds to address the immediate needs while preventing displacement from future events. While international aid is useful in providing support to relevant government agencies that may not have the capacity to fund solutions interventions in the short term, this capacity within the government should be built to make the government’s response to the rights and needs of its citizens more sustainable.  

Achieving SDG 11 means creating employment and livelihood opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies. It involves investment in improving urban planning and management in participatory and inclusive ways. Addressing urban planning to ensure basic services meet the growing demands driven by internal displacement, promoting urban and rural economies so that more people have options where to reside after being displaced and promoting access to land tenure security will contribute to solutions for IDPs in urban spaces. It will also ensure that IDPs are not left behind in achieving SGD11.  

ReDSS 2021 annual report and 2022 Outlook

The operational environment in 2021 for durable solutions in the Horn of Africa region was reflective of the global shift that happened in 2020 with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. For displacement affected communities (DACs), the majority continue to live in protracted displacement situations as their host countries’ political and economic climates deteriorate. The shrinking pool of resources has also reduced programme reach and scope for practitioners in displacement and durable solutions. In contrast, political constraints have, in some instances, threatened operations. Despite these challenges, some hard-fought gains were realised across the region, reflecting the resilience of the DACs and the organisations working to ensure the realisation of durable solutions.  

As a regionally-based and regional serving secretariat, ReDSS had to navigate disparate challenges in its operations across the region. However, these challenges have also opened up opportunities for reflection on our work, in-country priorities and most importantly, ReDSS’ catalytic role to its members and other durable solutions stakeholders – key among them, the DACs.  

We are pleased to share the ReDSS Annual Report, which highlights the operating context in 2021 and our Workplan in 2022.

What’s Inside

The two-part report contains a retrospective look at our operations internally and work at the country level as well as the focus for 2022 and beyond.

  • Part 1 – outlines our achievements across the four pillars -Research and Analysis, Policy Dialogue, Capacity Development and Coordination. It also offers reflections across the pillars per country and at the regional level, which inform part of our priorities for 2022. It also highlights operational changes, especially on the constitution of staff.
  • Part 2 – outlines our ambitions for 2022 and beyond, which include a refined strategic direction and overall approach flanked by the country and regional workplans.

ReDSS work and achievements are made possible through the active engagement and generous contributions from its members and funding partners (UK FCDO, SDC, EU, ECHO, and DANIDA). ReDSS would like to thank them for their continued generous support and commitment to durable solutions in the East and Horn of Africa region.

ReDSS 2020 annual report: Achievements, challenges and way forward

Displacement is a development issue with humanitarian components so it is essential to ensure complementarities and synergies between humanitarian, development, peace and state building programing to inform collective outcomes.


The year 2020 has been a particularly unique year for individuals, organisations and other entities worldwide, owing to the impacts of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic continues to have far-reaching impacts in the East and Horn of Africa region and specifically on displacement affected communities who lack access to basic services and economic opportunities. ReDSS has continued to support its members and partners in ensuring that durable solutions programming and decision-making processes at both national and regional levels are informed by knowledge and evidence.


The ReDSS 2020 annual report presents a review of ReDSS pillars; research and knowledge management, programme support and capacity development, policy dialogue and coordination, and presents key achievements, challenges and opportunities to work on in 2021. The report also highlights key outcomes of ReDSS external evaluation and communications audit, both carried out in 2020.


Download the annual report as well as the PowerPoint presentation on the ReDSS 2020 annual review and 2021 priorities.

ReDSS work and achievements are made possible through the active engagement and generous contributions from its members and funding partners (UK FCDO, EU, ECHO, and DANIDA). ReDSS would like to thank them for their continued generous 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.

ReDSS webinar on community engagement and protection of DAC during COVID-19 on April 9th

This webinar focused on discussing:

  • Lessons learnt from Ebola response on community engagement to inform COVID 19 plans and responses;
  • How to communicate effectively and address fears, misinformation and stigma;
  • How to support community led action plans and protection;

Click here for the compiled presentation from the webinar, here for the recording and here for the key takeaways.

ReDSS March bi-monthly update

Greetings from the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS).

We hope that you and your families are keeping safe during this time. ReDSS is supporting its members and partners to adapt to the situation. Upcoming meetings and learning events for the coming months will take place online and ReDSS is working hard to respond to increased online learning demand on specific issues related to COVID-19 and displacement affected communities. ReDSS will send a specific update on this.

In this bi-monthly update, you will find our new online tutorial on Housing, Land and Property in Somalia, our research synthesis paper to inform the implementation of the Global Refugee Compact in Ethiopia, a training package on area based planning for durable solutions programming, and various other update and resources.

Click here for the update

ReDSS January 2020 bi-monthly update

In this bi-monthly update, you will find ReDSS annual report which highlights the key achievements and challenges in 2019 and the priorities for 2020, briefing paper with lessons learnt from this region, recently published comparative study which draws lessons learned from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, updates and outcomes from the Global Refugee Forum, upcoming workshops and trainings, and other useful resources published over the past few months.

Click here for bi-monthly update.



Forced Migration Review issue on Cities and towns

Cities and towns are on the frontline of receiving and welcoming people who have been displaced. 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 the people who come to live there. The issue also includes two ‘general’ articles on other topics.


ReDSS Adaptive management and value for money approaches

Adaptive management involves testing, monitoring, getting feedback, and crucially, making adaptations and course corrections, as necessary.  Effective adaptive management requires a programme to be able to learn, reflect, decide, and then act. ReDSS work is based on an approach that takes the complexity of durable solutions processes as its  starting point. This means that the ReDSS adaptive management approach begins from a position of uncertainty about which outputs are the right ones for getting to outcome-level change, which requires an iterative process of testing and learning. Throughout the year, ReDSS supported its partners consistently to adapt their programme activities based on emerging evidence and analysis. Click below for:

Also click here for a working paper that outlines a set of tools and approaches used in supporting adaptive management; and here for  more resources from the Global Learning for Adaptive Management initiative (GLAM).

IGAD DRDIP Quarterly newsletter December 2019

In this Issue you will find:

  • Consultations with Somalia government and key stakeholders on capacity and institutional support for area-based development (ABD) in areas of return and reintegration
  • IGAD RSFDMM trains Member States on the spatial analyses, geo-tagging and application of geo-spatial innovations
  • The Nairobi Process: Second stock-taking meeting and the role of IGAD DRDIP in coordinating implementation of the Nairobi Declaration

Click here for the newsletter.

ReDSS quarterly update- October 2019

In this quarterly update, you will find information on the aspirations surveys in Somalia, research process in Ethiopia, refugee bill in Kenya, preparations for the Global Refugee Forum in December, key upcoming learning events and conferences, and finally resources published over the past months.

Click here for the update.