The issue of how to promote refugee self-reliance has become of heightened importance as the number of forcibly displaced people in the world rises and budgets for refugees in long-term situations of displacement shrink. Self-reliance for refugees is commonly discussed as the ability for refugees to live independently from humanitarian assistance. Many humanitarian organisations perceive refugee livelihoods creation, often through entrepreneurship, as the main way to foster refugee self-reliance.
Significant progress has been made by intergovernmental organisations and donors in designing and implementing macro- and micro- economic policies, strategies, programmes and tools to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of forced displacement and to promote longer term sustainable development and resilience strategies for refugees, IDPs and host populations. However there has been little evaluation of the tools and methodologies to support these initiatives. The study addresses this gap.
This article explores the nexus between mobility, livelihoods, and socioeconomic status of refugees in the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana. Currently, refugee livelihoods are increasingly characterized by multi-directional movement and multi-locality, coupled with complex social networks. Given the relative freedom of movement for refugees in Ghana and the subregion, certain groups in Buduburam were engaged in mobile livelihoods, including cross-border trading of cell phones, used clothing, and jewelery across West Africa.