Kenya + 1 more

An Analysis and Evaluation of Refugee-related Policies and Legislation - May 2022



1.1. Study Motivation

In recent years, the world has seen the highest levels of displacement on record, increasing both in scale and in complexity. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), around 79.5 million people were forcibly displaced in 2019, up to 30.2 million of them refugees. With displacement becoming more protracted, durable solutions must be found through programming that is dignified, inclusive, and comprehensive. The aim must be on enhanced self-reliance, empowerment, and social cohesion. Globally, it is estimated that 60% of refugees live in urban areas; however, attention to refugee issues tends to focus on refugees living in camps.

In order to address the unique challenges facing urban refugees in East Africa, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Centre for Global Development (CGD), Open Capital (OC), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), and the Nairobi City County Government (NCCG), with support from the IKEA Foundation, are implementing the Refugees in East Africa: Boosting Urban Innovations for Livelihoods Development (Re:Build) program. The Re:Build program seeks to 1) generate and share evidence for innovative, sustainable livelihoods solutions that can be adopted to support refugee and host residents in East Africa and elsewhere, 2) enable refugees and vulnerable host residents to achieve economic self-reliance and benefit from strengthened urban economic, regulatory, and social environments, 3) enable change at varying levels, from better access to livelihood opportunities and inclusive services within communities, to improved refugee-related policies and more targeted service delivery by national, regional, and global actors.

The Re:Build program rests on three pillars to achieve its objective of enabling positive change in the lives of urban refugees and generate evidence of what works in both Nairobi and Kampala cities. The pillars are:

  1. Service Provision – Delivering livelihood services and community and market-oriented interventions to 20,000 clients in low-income neighbourhoods in Nairobi and Kampala cities 2) Evidence and Learning – Gathering evidence and learning though an iterative process of testing using pilots, randomized control trials, monitoring data, and other tailored methods that help build the picture of what works to improve urban refugee livelihoods 3) Influence and Adoption – Establishing a bold influencing agenda aimed at changing policies, practices, and investments at national, regional, and global levels by encouraging adoption of program evidence and learning.

In service of Pillar 3: Influence and Adoption, this report provides an analysis of the legal frameworks, including policies and legislation, which regulate urban refugees’ operating environment in Uganda and Kenya. Rather than focusing on a detailed account of each county’s refugee frameworks and policies, this analysis focuses on identifying the key challenges faced by urban refugees and then analysing the responsiveness, strengths, and gaps in refugee policy and policy implementation in relation to these key challenges. The report then offers recommendations on the areas that need strengthening within policy and legislation and describes best practices that can be amplified and replicated.