In May 2016, the Kenyan government announced plans to speed up the repatriation of Somali refugees and close the Dadaab camp by November (the Kenyan government later postponed by six months the plan to close the Dadaab camp). The decision has sparked controversy and debates. Indeed, the return of refugees from Dadaab to already fragile social, economic and infrastructural contexts is likely to become a major driver of instability if left unaddressed. A sudden increase of population could put further strain in communities that have limited access to basic services, shelters and livelihoods opportunities. Given these challenges, it is paramount that actors working in Somalia maximize the resources at their avail to successfully support the (re)integration of refugees and IDPs, while supporting host communities. As envisaged in the Draft National Policy on Internal Displacement, there is need to have joint area-based plans that build into existing humanitarian and development plans in ways that address displacement affected communities’ needs through a comprehensive effort. Joint planning requires carrying out joint analysis in each district, documenting progress and challenges in order to build evidence and learning on what may be the most effective and sustainable responses.
Objective of the study
Against this backdrop, the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) is developing Solutions analyses using the ReDSS Solutions Framework in Lower Juba (Kismayo), Bay (Baidoa) and Benadir (Mogadishu), in order to operationalize (re)integration plans for displacement affected communities. These three locations represent the main areas of return and are hosting a large population of IDPs. The Solutions framework is to be considered as an analytical baseline, whose progress will be assessed on a regular basis, taking into account a fast changing context in Somalia.
The analysis of existing data for the 31 outcome level indicators of the Solutions framework provides an account of the opportunities and challenges to achieve durable solutions in the realms of physical, material and legal safety.
With regard to physical safety, access to police and justice is uneven, even though informal mechanisms are in place; security has generally improved in Kismayo town, but not in the rural areas. Few cases of incidents and violence were reported in Kismayo, but IDPs are still vulnerable to violence, especially GBV. Social cohesion is an area that deserves attention, and there is an urgent need to get more information on relations between IDPs, returnees and host communities.
With regard to material safety, the mapping of current interventions in Lower Juba shows that many of the outcome indicators are being targeted. This is especially the case for access to basic and social services, though to a lesser extent for access to livelihoods. In Lower Juba, mainly in Kismayo town, a number of humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies have been particularly active in supporting the local population and IDPs with the provision of basic services. However, most of the current interventions have a short-term emergency focus, which means that they can only offer a temporary relief. Specifically to Housing, Land and Property (HLP), housing is not yet adequate for IDPs and poor returnees, although the government has allocated land for IDPs and returnees, which means that the situation in Kismayo is actually better than in other regions in Somalia. There are mechanisms in place to access land and/or secure tenure, but IDPs and returnees may not have adequate access to these mechanisms.
With regard to legal safety, the analysis of data shows that only a small percentage of IDPs/returnees have birth certificates, national ID cards or other personal documents, although it has to be considered that lack of documentation is a problem that also affects the rest of the population. There is some evidence that IDPs and returnees participate in public decision-making processes, but they participate less than resident population. There is not available or sufficient data to be able to rate other indicators in this section.
With regard to data collection and information management, the analysis of secondary data shows that there are major gaps in terms of data and assessments related to displacement specific vulnerabilities. Most of the available data are not disaggregated per demographic groups, some exist for IDPs but not for returnees and surveys almost never look at the status of the general population.
Recommendations to inform immediate reintegration needs and longer term programming
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the Jubbaland Interim Administration (JIA) have recognized the issues at stake and have adopted a proactive stance. The Somalia National Development Plan for 2017-2019 dedicates a specific section to challenges faced by IDPs and returnees, and adopts a displacement focus throughout its sectors of interventions. All this work will indubitably support the reintegration of refugee returnees as government and host communities get better prepared to receive the newcomers. Nevertheless, there are still areas that deserve better attention and a more coordinated effort.
A. Adopting a durable solutions focus and a common Durable Solutions Framework to support joint accountability and analysis to monitor progress and challenges
- Donors and implementing partners should adopt a displacement focus and a common Durable Solutions framework to monitor progress and challenges. In order to address these gaps, it is recommended that:
• Implementing partners adopt a displacement focus in data collection;
• Surveys be longitudinal and include representative samples of IDPs and returnees, as well as urban and rural populations;
• Data on post-return monitoring be standardized (in line with national household surveys) and made available.
- Humanitarian and development actors should adopt joint analyses and joint area-based planning under the lead of the government, to ensure mutual accountability and sustainability and to enhance the impact of interventions. In order to address these gaps, it is recommended that:
• Donors and their implementing partners invest in strengthening national and local capacity to understand displacement and sustain solutions;
• Humanitarian, development and government actors use joint analysis under a common Durable Solutions Framework to achieve common understanding and coherent outcomes delivery;
• Humanitarian and development actors develop Joint Outcomes to support joint area-based planning under the leadership of the government.
B. Adopting a stronger focus on ‘early solutions’
3. Donors and implementing partners should scale-up community-driven reconstruction/development programmes with a clear focus on displacement-affected communities, as a way to bridge humanitarian and development aid and to closely align humanitarian and development short-term and long-term goals;
4. Humanitarian interventions should explore innovative ways to create convergence of objectives with recovery/development interventions, for example by promoting the use of conditional cash transfers for collective action;
5. Implementing partners should work jointly with government and use government mechanisms when possible and donors should accept the inherent risks.
C. Prioritizing sectors and areas of interventions through integrated and multi sectorial programming
6. Donors and implementing partners should prioritize long-term universal safety net programmes that work in partnership with private donors and diaspora;
7. Donors and implementing partners should invest more on income generation and job creation programmes;
8. Donors and implementing partners should invest more on shelter, education and health, through an integrated access to services approach, inclusive of returnees, IDPs and host communities, and keep a balance between supply-side of services and demand-side for services.
ReDSS will carry out the same Solutions analysis in Benadir region (Mogadishu) and Bay region, with a particular emphasis on Baidoa district. These joint analyses will inform the development of Area Based Action Plans, under the leadership of the government, as envisaged in the Draft National Policy on Internal Displacement.
The rating for each indicator is based on information available at the time of the review. However, it is expected that new data will be available in early 2017 and the rating will be reviewed and updated in the first quarter of 2017 to reflect potential changes.