email: firstname.lastname@example.org, alternate email:
Mobile Contact: +254722633230
Areas of Research:
Inter and Multi-disciplinary research on Migration, refugees and displaced persons
in Africa. The changing landscape of conflict resolution, peacebuilding and development in relation to
state-society relations in Africa. The theory and practice of leadership and security in the world system
with a focus on the transformative leadership in Africa.
Co-Principal Investigator and Kenya National Academic Lead.
International Institute for Environment and Development, Cardiff University (School of Geography and
Planning), Samuel Hall, International Rescue Committee, SDI Kenya, Dilla University, Hashemite University of Jordan Women;s Refugee Commission.
Project Funder: Economic and Research Social Council (ESRC)
Funding Period: February 1, 2020 – 31 January 2023
About the Project: For decades, the response by the international community to mass movements of people fleeing war or political persecution has been to provide humanitarian assistance in camps. Yet despite highly-charged debates on the negative impact of maintaining forcibly displaced people in often inhospitable and remote regions and dependent on humanitarian assistance, camps have continued to be a default response to new refugee crises. Camps are not, however, the choice of the majority of the world's displaced people, and estimates suggest that over 60% of refugees and half of internally displaced persons (IDPs) now live in towns and cities. Research, international policy discourse and local action have been slow to catch up. The experiences of urban refugees and IDPs, their understandings of well-being and self-reliance, and their contributions to host communities remain understudied. There is a critical need for evidence to inform innovative solutions to protracted displacement that support both the specific vulnerabilities of displaced people and the needs of the urban poor amongst whom they often live. With the ultimate goal of improving self-reliance, well-being and the productive livelihoods of refugees, returnees and IDPs this research examines the potential of an urban response to protracted displacement to assess how cities can foster displaced people's self-reliance and local integration, while benefitting host governments and communities. The research is the first large-scale study to compare experiences of displacement in cities and camps and provide evidenced analysis of the comparative outcomes for displaced people in these different settings. It focuses on four countries with large displaced populations: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Kenya, The ultimate goal is to improve the well-being and productive livelihoods of displaced people and to enable their full participation in urban life and contribution to host cities. The overall aims of the research are to:
1. Build an evidence base for national and local governments, humanitarian agencies and donors on the opportunities and challenges of hosting displaced people in camps vs. urban areas
2. Promote an assessment of current responses to urban protracted displacement, raising awareness of unmet need and the potential economic and social contributions of refugees and IDP for host cities
3. Build the capacity of municipal authorities, displaced people, organisations of the urban poor and other local actors to use participatory planning to develop innovative, inclusive solutions to forced displacement. The countries studied host some of the largest refugee and IDP populations in the world. All four countries rely on international aid to support the costs of the displaced - particularly those in camps who lack the right to work and whose freedom of movement may be limited. Three of the four countries are piloting the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, the UN's 2016 vision for managing forced displacement. Through partnership with displaced and host populations, and collaborations between international experts, operational actors, developing- country academics, local NGOs and affected communities, this research project will produce: an assessment of how an urban response can support a rights-based approach to local integration; guidance for municipal governments facing large influxes of people, and evidence to support international policy and decision-making on innovative solutions to protracted displacement.