Designing settlements for integrated self-reliance.

In 2015 a new refugee settlement was created in the Turkana area of Kenya. National and international partners agreed that the settlement would be designed with an emphasis on promoting integrated self-reliance for refugees and the host community. A multi-agency collaboration was to develop the Kalobeyei Integrated Social and Economic Development Programme (KISEDP) to support the local economy and set up service delivery at the Kalobeyei site. The aims would be to have shared access to social provision and a common market place. Although the trajectory of the project has since adapted to accommodate the influx of South Sudanese refugees, it offers a unique opportunity to study the creation of a newly designed and ‘innovative’ refugee camp design.

In collaboration with the World Food Programme, we are following South Sudanese and Somali refugees in both Kakuma and Kalobeyei to examine what difference the new camp design makes to refugee self-reliance and food security. Our approach is based on both qualitative and quantitative data collection across three different periods of data collection. The work aims to explore what difference ‘design’ makes in comparison to a longstanding ‘organic’ camp structure and to provide specific insights relevant to improving programming in Kakuma and Kalobeyei. In order to achieve these goals, we have collected baseline data on self-reliance and the socio-economic conditions of refugees living in Kalobeyei and Kakuma, and are monitoring changes over a three year period.


Funding: WFP

Fieldwork: Naohiko Omata, Olivier Sterck