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OCHA – February Humanitarian Bulletin

Conflict, disasters, and other humanitarian emergencies have broad reaching consequences, but often lost in emergency responses are the psychosocial impacts of these events. Yet such crises can have a detrimental effect on psychosocial wellness, as demonstrated by Samuel Hall research with urban youth in Kabul. 71 per cent of youth interviewed by Samuel Hall had experienced a traumatic event, with many reporting symptoms associated with trauma. Our data shows that the mental health of these youth should absolutely be considered a priority – the time for action is now.

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The waiting area in Balkh hospital where mothers and children receive treatment and medecine for malnourishment. Balkh Hospital is part of a program that provides education, emergency feeding and care to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

NRC – Access to Tazkera and other civil documentation in Afghanistan

The purpose of this research is to inform future work in supporting displacement-affected persons to access civil documentation as well as accessing other rights and services connected to it. This will in turn contribute to enabling persons affected by displacement to achieve durable solutions – whether local integration, return or settlement in another part of Afghanistan.

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DRC/UDI – Returns to Somalia: Setting Protection and Livelihood Standards

Returns to (post-)conflict and fragile settings, from Afghanistan to Somalia, are increasing. The literature is clear on the return challenges to such contexts, and the diverse array of expectations of (re-)integration that differ depending on age, gender, timing and duration of exile, and conditions in exile. What this report measures is therefore not the impact of a program, as the overall context includes this complex backdrop of hopes and dreams, caught by reality and ultimately, by unplanned outcomes. Assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes are a compromise that returnees turn to, and agree to, when other recourses have not been successful. This is where this programme intervenes: assisting returns when returns become, by circumstances, the most realistic option for migrants, and one that should be handled with sufficient care, protection and dignity for those who return. There are responsibilities to be upheld, by states and by organisations mandated to assist returns.

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NRC – Thinking forward about Livelihoods for Refugees in Ethiopia

This study was commissioned by NRC Ethiopia to document lessons learned as well as to provide a strategic framework to inform NRC’s positioning on integrated programming. It examines the role of NRC in the provision of refugee livelihoods and education. The objectives were to: (a) identify key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to bring together programming opportunities in relation to education, livelihoods, resilience and migration and (b) build a strategic framework, utilising Samuel Hall’s expertise in implementation research, for NRC to position itself in terms of scalable programs on refugee livelihoods, taking into consideration donor interests/strategies and potential programme synergies. A participatory research framework was designed, employing qualitative research methods in Addis, Shire and Dollo Ado. Focus group discussions (9 FGDs with 63 respondents), key informant interviews (30) and in-depth case studies (5) were gathered in a manner to reflect the voices of people engaged at different levels and in different phases of NRC’s implementation.

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Market Assessment in Kakuma’s Refugee Camp

The site of one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world, Kakuma refugee camp is home to over 177 thousand refugees from various countries such as South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.

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ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ALONG THE AFGHAN-TAJIK BORDER

Connected by the ancient Silk Road, the remote border region between Afghanistan (Badakhshan) and Tajikistan (GBAO) was once a place of prosperous exchange. Today the communities living on “the roof of the world” face a number of challenges common across the border: security concerns, poverty and lack of employment opportunities.

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NRC – Regional Workshop Report on Afghan Displaced Youth

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan gathered in November 2015 in Tehran for a regional meeting on Afghan refugee issues with a thematic focus on Afghan displaced youth. At a time when displacement in and out of Afghanistan continues to rise, when the number of Afghan asylum seekers grows steadily in Europe and debates on durable solutions for Afghan refugees remain, it is all the more necessary to take stock of the profiles of the millions of Afghan youth outside of their homeland, and those who made, with their families, the decision to return. The outcome of this workshop is concrete and operational: a set of possible key objectives and indicators that can help guide NGOs in their work with Afghan refugee youth, as well as facilitate improved donor and host government understanding of key issues. The centrality of better data was voiced by all NGOs present, a priority need in Iran and Pakistan, as well as upon return to Afghanistan, to enable tailored programming that support youth’s potential and are aligned with their aspirations.

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NRC – The Impact of Cash Transfer Programmes on Protection Outcomes in Afghanistan

Although cash-based interventions (CBIs) are increasingly used to deliver humanitarian assistance in support of more traditional in-kind emergency distributions, there is now a growing, global acceptance among stakeholders of the need to pay closer attention to the positive and negative impact of CBIs on key protection components. Although there have been several key contributions on this issues in recent years, including studies conducted by Samuel Hall, more research needs to be carried out in Afghanistan on the secondary effects of CBIs on protection issues for IDPs, which are often not systematically considered during the inception phase of project designs, nor as part of wider assistance program strategies. Samuel Hall has been commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to identify the effects and impact of cash-based programming on protection outcomes in Afghanistan, particularly in relation to ‘Do No Harm’ and minimising risks in terms of protection. This builds on Protection Outcomes In Cash Based Interventions: A Literature Review  produced by DRC in January 2015 and which draws a number of conclusions on the impacts of CBIs on protection issues and recommends areas of further research.

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PROMOTING DECENT WORK IN OLD AGE IN AFRICA

This policy brief was written for Help Age International and was presented at the ILO Regional Africa Conference.  Given our MoU with HAI, this is the first of several briefs and studies.
Refugees at Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya.

UNHCR – Education Scoping Study for Somali Refugees

This scoping study has been commissioned by UNHCR to inform the future regional education strategy for Somali refugees to be developed in 2015. The assumptions behind this study are simple. First, the situation of Somali refugees and displaced in East Africa in 2015 present major political, social, and economic risks for refugees, host countries, and the Horn of Africa, while compromising Somalia’s capacity to progressively rebuild its future. Secondly, in 2015, there is not only a necessity but also an opportunity to work towards solutions addressing the immediate and longer term protection needs of Somali refugees; thirdly, these solutions require a regional and coordinated approach between Somalia, host communities and their natural partners – including UNHCR; last but not least, education of Somali refugees can trigger such a crucial change for the future of Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

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IOM – Investing in Somali Youth in Somaliland and Puntland

This research is the first comprehensive study of Somaliland and Puntland’s youth migration and its linkages to employment. The research maps economic drivers of migration, youth livelihood opportunities, and interventions to support youth and local markets – unlocking solutions for youth employment in Somaliland and Puntland inclusive of the public and private sectors.

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DACAAR – Agency and Choice Among the Displaced

The focus of the study is on the decision-making process behind refugee returnees’ and IDPs’ choices of destination. More specifically this research identifies factors that influence whether a returnee/IDP individual, family or community chooses to move to an urban or a rural location. The study presents a nuanced analysis of the combination, and interaction, of the different influences and variables affecting migration decisions to urban or rural areas (including areas of origin). The secondary focus of the study is on the livelihoods situation of displaced populations. Finally, the study provides a policy dimension to inform future programming for returnees and IDPs – crucial at a time of significant policy developments in Afghanistan, including the launch of the National IDP Policy. The study concludes with a section on policy recommendations for future action.

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A mother and her child outside  a class in malnutrition prevention.  Balkh Hospital is part of a program that provides education, emergency feeding and care to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

UNICEF – Social Protection System: An Afghan Case Study

UNICEF is considering the development of a social protection programme with a specific focus on children, within the already existing framework developed by the World Bank and MoLSAMD. With the end goal of articulating children-sensitive programming with the World Bank’s own safety net programme in mind, the first step in this direction is for the organisation to launch a pilot programme in Balkh to test the best modalities of programming to cover children’s needs for social protection in the country. In the longer run, both organisations aim at increasing the scale of interventions, with the government eventually taking ownership of the system.

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MoRR/UNHCR/NRC – Afghanistan National IDP Policy Brief

This Policy Brief, prepared with the support of UNHCR and NRC, is intended to serve as a reference guide to help all stakeholders understand what their role is in supporting the effective implementation of the Policy and to contribute towards ensuring that the rights of IDPs are protected throughout all phases of displacement. This Policy Brief will be disseminated widely and will accompany trainings, sensitization initiatives and workshops planned for national and sub-national levels throughout 2015 to ensure that Afghanistan can live up to its commitment to protect IDPs.

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A New Deal for the Displaced in Somalia

DRC/ReDSS – A New Deal for the Displaced in Somalia

DRC commissioned Samuel Hall for a study on the Somali New Deal Compact and Displacement, under the research framework of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), a consortium with an advisory board consisting of ACTED, CARE, DRC, IRC, Mercy Corps, NRC, OXFAM, Refugee Consortium Kenya (RCK) and WVI.  the The findings detail the necessity to operationalise displacement as a development issue and outline the multisectoral approach that is required to obtain solutions. The New Deal Compact, with its five peace building and state building goals (PSGs), provides the foundation for such an approach. The study points to concrete possibilities of integrating displacement issues into the implementation of the New Deal Compact, in order to address the key development challenges of Somalia. This study was launched at the side-event to the HLPF organised by DRC and the Solutions Alliance in Copenhagen.

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Afghanistan, Jowzjan, Harum Dowan,: Abdul Raisul, 40, a beneficiary of Save the Children’s Cash for Work scheme.

DRC/PIN – Urban Poverty and Food Insecurity in Afghanistan

There are now 24% of the population of Afghanistan living in urban areas. At the core of the urbanisation trend lies the complex question of migration and displacement in a country, where a large share of the population is or has been in movement. This urbanisation trend comes with increasing urban poverty and food insecurity: the latest National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) found that 34% of the urban population were food insecure as against 29% of the rural population. This confirms the necessity to look into the acute problem of urban food insecurity in the country to reduce the risk of chronic food crises in Afghan cities. Surprisingly, whilst urban food security is increasingly considered to be a priority by national and international stakeholders, there are important gaps in the knowledge of its socio-economic determinants and its consequences, leading to gaps in the provision of services and assistance to the urban poor. In order to fill this gap, People in Need (PIN) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) commissioned Samuel Hall to conduct a large urban poverty study in Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad, Mazar-e- Sharif and Kandahar. The study is based on a 5,400-household survey and will be presented to key stakeholders during a series of consultation in September 2014.

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Buried in Bricks

ILO/UNICEF – Breaking the Mould

In 2011, the ILO Kabul Office published Buried in bricks: A rapid assessment of bonded labour in brick kilns in Afghanistan, a ground-breaking study on the extent and nature of one of the most prevalent yet least known forms of hazardous child labour and bonded labour in brick kilns in two provinces in Afghanistan. The report identified the actors involved in exacting forced and child labour in brick kilns in the country and those intervening to combat it, and examined the situation of specific vulnerable population groups and the structure of debt bondage in the sector and beyond. This follow-up study, Breaking the mould: Occupational safety hazards faced by children working in brick kilns in Afghanistan, based on research undertaken in 2013, digs deeper into the evidence on the health of children working in brick kilns in Afghanistan. It examines the specific occupational safety and health hazards they face, taking gender differences into consideration, and examines possible remediation measures. The new study compares the health of children working in brick kilns with their siblings and other children who do not work in the kilns. Guided by the World Health Organisation’s conceptual framework on the social determinants of health, it examines mental and social well-being as well as physical health.

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IOM – Return and Reintegration for Returnees and other Displaced Populations

This evaluation presents key findings from an assessment of IOM’s return and reintegration activities (2008 – 2013) in the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Nimroz and Heart in Afghanistan. These activities included: post-arrival assistance, livelihood assistance and shelter assistance for deported and voluntary returnees and other vulnerable groups. The evaluation draws lessons on the relevance and impact of return and reintegration activities – these lessons can be used to strengthen future iterations of these projects in Afghanistan, and can provide lessons learned for other country contexts. Building on the strengths of IOM, this evaluation recommends actions to allow the organisation to reach its current achievements, address, and increase the wellbeing levels of uprooted people.

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GOODWEAVE – CUTTING THE THREADS

Child labour is an inescapable reality in Afghanistan with a recent study reporting that 25% of children aged 5 to 14 participate in labour activities. Carpet-weaving is a sector that particularly lends itself to child labour and Goodweave aims to combat this practice.

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NRC – Strengthening HLP Rights for Displaced Women in Afghanistan

This report was authored by the Norwegian Refugee Council with research conducted by Samuel Hall and NRC. The objective of the study is to summarise trends from NRC’s legal case analysis and identify the challenges faced by displaced women in accessing their housing, land and property (HLP) rights. This study offers evidence and guidance for policymakers and NRC to help eliminate – not just outcomes – of gender inequality.

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