Researching Devolution and Refugees Rights in Kenya

Global failures to resolve conflicts that have generated refugees, alongside a corresponding failure to find solutions to displacement, have led to protracted exile for a significant proportion of the world’s refugees. This has had a major impact on countries in the Global South hosting the majority of refugees, which are bearing a disproportionate responsibility for hosting refugees. Kenya is one country that has hosted significant numbers of refugees for decades. The need to find durable solutions to displacement is acute.

We collaborated with the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDDS) on a study focused on Devolution and Refugee Rights in Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee camps in Kenya.

The study provided a comprehensive overview of Kenya’s local and devolved government mechanisms and their integration, adoption and implementation in the current political landscape related to adopting and implementing these mechanisms. The research activities included presenting a rapid overview of the current refugee policy framework, analysing the impact of the devolved governance system on refugee management, identifying key individuals and institutions involved in local governance around refugee settlements, and assessing the impact of different policy processes on refugee and host community assistance programs, economic strategies, and service delivery rights.

The findings from this study offer insights into how integrated processes can be supported, and the recommendations provide guidance for national and international aid and development actors.