Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya: Regional Migration, Displacement and Return Intentions - Research Terms of Reference, 14 September 2017 Version 2

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees, REACH Initiative
Published on 14 Sep 2017 View Original

2. Background & Rationale

The South Sudan crisis is not confined to areas within its borders. Since July 2016, a seemingly endless stream of refugees has poured into neighbouring countries, overwhelming under-prepared and under-resourced responses. There has been limited formal communication between actors on either side of South Sudan’s borders, particularly those on the receiving end of refugees, neither side seems to understand the dynamics and trends affecting South Sudanese populations across their border. There is a pronounced lack of understanding about the potential for movement of refugees out of South Sudan, and equally limited understanding of the movement, or potential for movement, back into South Sudan.

REACH has already been conducting monthly Port Monitoring exercises in Akobo to better understand the movement of South Sudanese into and out of the Gambella Region of Ethiopia. The outputs from this assessment provide an indicative understanding of the origin and destination of migrants, push and pull factors, and intentions of permanent resettlement in destination areas. These recurring exercises, complementing the Assessment of Hard to Reach Areas in Jonglei, provide a foundational understanding of patterns of migration, conditions and emergent humanitarian needs in the origins and destinations of migrants. The massive increase and continuation of migration out of South Sudan into many neighbouring countries has demanded the need for expansion, both within and beyond South Sudan’s borders. In response, REACH will commence similar exercises at critical crossings into Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

REACH will also establish ongoing data collection inside neighbouring countries – specifically targeting Kenya (Kalobeyei refugee settlement) and Uganda (both self-settled aliens in host community areas and those in relevant large settlements) due to existence of support infrastructure, security of bordering areas, and accessibility of refugee populations. Data collection from neighbouring countries will focus on the observed, but yet to be understood, trend of pendular movement between large migrant settlement areas and South Sudan. Monitoring these movements will help to fill critical information gaps for humanitarian actors on both sides of the border.

In addition, REACH and IOM have begun to coordinate current assessment activities by harmonizing indicators across our Port Monitoring, flow monitoring, movement trend tracking and IDP tools. Following in the near term will be a harmonization, where possible, of key indicators in the AoK and VAS tools with UN OCHA’s IRNA and cluster standards. Further, REACH and IOM have identified potential points of geographic overlap in assessments and actively worked to divide areas of intervention to prevent duplication of activities, particularly in relation to port and flow monitoring. REACH will focus on understanding cross-border migration in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, into Ethiopia at Akobo and potentially Pagak, and into Kenya from Kapoeta and Kalobeyei, while IOM focuses on movement into Sudan and Abeyei from Upper Nile and Unity States, and into Uganda from Eastern and Central Equatoria.

3. Research Objectives

To provide an understanding of regional migration, displacement and return of South Sudanese into other countries, and their intentions for return, relocate or settle in place, in order to enable humanitarian actors in all locations to make a more informed decision about the scale, scope, and location of response. More specifically, to:

  • Create an understanding of cross-border movement dynamics and the potential triggers, timing and scale of South Sudanese migrant returns
  • Identify current geographical distribution of migrants that intend to return, relocate or settle in place
  • Identify needs and risks/vulnerabilities that may influence movement intentions or be exacerbated by choices to return, relocate or settle in place
  • Identify migrant’s access to information on other areas, which may influence their decision to move to other locations