Joint UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance Seminar: “The Self Reliance of Self-Settled versus Settlement Refugees in Uganda”
Once refugees migrate to Uganda, they must choose either to settle themselves in Kampala or live in a rural settlement sponsored by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Inside the UNHCR settlements, refugees receive relief and development assistance until they repatriate to their countries of origin or are re-settled in a third country. If refugees decide to settle themselves in Kampala, it is the policy of the Ugandan government that they forfeit their rights to all formal assistance and find their own housing and employment.
While it would appear that settling in Kampala without assistance hampers the ability of refugees to provide for their livelihoods, research has uncovered a puzzling trend: self-settled urban refugees are more successful at achieving self-reliance than refugees living in settlements. This seems to be because the former are a self-selected population based on a single factor: higher levels of education.
Ayla Bonfiglio (UNU MERIT/ MGSoG) will present the research findings and discuss the implications for the assistance programmes provided inside settlements.
For more information, see the Calendar of upcoming events on the UNU-MERIT website.
Ayla Bonfiglio’s current activities and research interests are focused on African migration, the relationship between migration and development, and the research methodologies employed to study international migration.