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Early Solutions planning: what can be done to promote, support and facilitate Solutions processes in the early stages of displacement?

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Executive Summary

Why focus on Early Solutions Planning?

Current studies and literature have argued that strategies for solutions should start at the onset of displacement. Solutions planning is most commonly initiated after displacement becomes protracted, by which point refugees are often dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Given the unlikelihood of return or resettlement in the early stages of displacement, a solutionsoriented approach must inevitably have a primary focus on building refugee self-reliance and resilience in the country of asylum.

Adopting an approach that also engages government, development and private sector actors, and provides support to host communities and local institutions, is critical.

Focusing on the South Sudanese refugee caseload in Kenya and Uganda, this study sought to identify i) challenges and opportunities vis-à-vis early solutions planning, and ii) practical actions that can be taken to operationalize early solutions planning. The primary sources of data for this study were interviews with 69 key informants- representatives of governments, donors, the UN and NGOs- and 7 focus group discussions with refugees and host community members.