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Analysis of Solutions Planning and Programming in Urban Contexts: Case studies from Nairobi-Kenya and Mogadishu and Baidoa-Somalia

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This study, conducted between November 2017 and January 2018, explores progress made in ‘solutionsoriented’ responses to urban displacement in the Horn of Africa, building on ReDSS previous Solutions analyses and Early Solutions studies that recommended to further investigate solutions in urban context. The cases studied included refugees in Nairobi, Kenya and IDPs and refugee-returnees in Mogadishu & Baidoa in Somalia. Stepping off of a series of well-established principles for effective urban response; combined with equally well-articulated recommendations for what constitutes good solutions-oriented programming in displacement crises, the study explored three lines of questioning: what is the current situation for these displacement affected populations, what is being done about this and what could be improved. Comparing and contrasting the actual response to both the realities of the affected population and the theoretical principles of ‘good practice’, recommendations for adaptations are made with the aim of continuing to improve solutionsoriented results in urban displacement crises in the Horn of Africa.


This study aimed to better understand and address displaced people’s vulnerabilities and aspirations in urban centres and to challenge practitioner’s assumptions to rethink support for displaced people in urban centres in more sustainable and empowering ways, using people centred approaches. As such, it was constructed around three core questions:

  1. What is the current situation: This line of questioning explored the lived experiences, including the vulnerabilities and aspirations of urban refugees and host populations in Nairobi and both long and short-term IDPs, refugee-returnees, and host communities affected by forced displacement in Mogadishu and Baidoa.

  2. What is being done: This line of questioning explored the response assumptions, logic, strategies and action of a range of actors including humanitarian, development, authorities, the affected communities themselves, as well as private sector and diaspora vis-a-vis the challenges to and opportunities for effective collective solutions-oriented responses.

  3. What can be done differently: This line of questioning explored how the learning from the above can be applied at the operational level in order to adapt current-day action to improve the impact of solutions-oriented programming in urban displacement crises.