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.
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.
In 2015, Samuel Hall conducted a study to document conditions of unassisted spontaneous returns of Somalis. Starting with decision-making processes up to the conditions of returnees post-return, the study provides a cross border, longitudinal view of spontaneous return as a process that begins in Kenya.
The international community is engaged in Somalia with the New Deal Framework and an alignment of
humanitarian and development goals. The High-Level Partnership Forum (HLPF)in Copenhagen, November 2014, included a side-event on durable solutions. The findings of the report “A New Deal for Somali’s Displaced? Exploring Opportunities of engagement for Durable Solutions with the Somalia New Deal Compact”, set displacement on the development agenda. This study follows from where the ReDSS study concluded to ask: How can durable solutions be operationalized within the Somalia New Deal’s Compact?
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.
Kenya is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious country, home to one of the largest refugee populations in Africa and some of the world’s oldest refugee camps. Ongoing policy developments are shaping migration management, and Kenya’s role and strategic location in East Africa highlight political evolutions that continue to structure migration systems in Kenya. An interministerial technical working group was established to guide the process and coordinate data collection from relevant bodies. Data collection and analysis and preparation of the report were undertaken on behalf of IOM by the African Migration and Development Policy Centre with extensive technical support by Samuel Hall in the preparation, final drafting and capacity-building phases of the project.
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.
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.
This report examines the case studies of Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps while taking stock of the political and security context framing refugee affairs in Kenya. It intends to assist policy makers to increase the potential of refugees to contribute to the development of counties and communities where they are hosted. It also aims to assess the role of the county governments in supporting improved quality of asylum and transitional solutions for refugees.
The focus of humanitarian and development assistance should be on the poorest families; many of whom will be either internally displaced or returnees. However, the argument for targeting returning refugees as a particular group is becoming less convincing. As this study and previous studies (Samuel Hall/MGSOG 2013 UNHCR Shelter assistance programme evaluation) show, returnees are comparatively less vulnerable compared to internally displaced persons.
Return is not the only option facing IDPs. Local integration has been underlined as a durable solution, in UNHCR’s strategy and by UNOCHA, as an alternative. It is a viable solution in Somaliland and Puntland, where 66,000 IDPs have been “involved in local integration processes.” As of Dec. 2014, of the 1.1 million Somalis internally displaced, an est. 129,000 live in Puntland and 84,000 in Somaliland.
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 training sessions, 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.
The successful report launch was presided by IOM and the Director of Immigration Services, and was covered in the media.
A three-day long session in Naivasha helped build the capacity of Kenyan Government officials to mainstream migration and draft a Migration Data Management Strategy.
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.
This research, funded by Samuel Hall, is a first look at the situation of urban displaced youth in Kabul. It draws attention to the vulnerabilities of IDPs and deportees, while acknowledging the low levels of social and economic inclusion and integration of all (displaced) youth. Displacement has a clear impact on vulnerabilities – and migration is not accompanied by greater skill sets. How to ensure that migration can benefit development? How to reinforce the skills, potential and role of displaced youth in Afghanistan?
Samuel Hall Representative Saagarika Dadu-Brown presented in Copenhagen the findings of the research study “A New Deal for Somalia’s Displaced? Exploring Opportunities of Engagement for Durable Solutions with the Somalia New Deal Compact” in an event organised by the Danish Refugee Council, Solutions Alliance Somalia and UNHCR to discuss ways in which the New Deal Compact accounts for displacement and more broadly discussed displacement as a development challenge in the Somalia context.
This seminar, organised by DIIS in Copenhagen, analysed the environment and operational context of “2014 Afghanistan”, focusing on the broader context of intervention, deportation and re-integration. It addressed the following questions: What situation do Afghan deportees return to? What is the broader economic context? And what are possible areas of intervention to assist them? As part of this event, Nassim Majidi spoke on – ‘What happens post-deportation? Deportee Youth in Kabul’, and Hervé Nicolle talked about ‘Programming Interventions: Responses in Times of Crisis’.
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.
On August 21st, 2014, the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR) hosted the first regional workshop on Afghan refugees – inviting key United Nations agencies, international and national NGOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Afghan refugees and returnees. This workshop, that saw Samuel Hall actively participating and consolidating the report, is a first step towards a coordinated response to the world’s largest protracted refugee situation.