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Research studies

RLRH collaborates on research projects with partners committed to promoting refugee leadership in forced migration research. We are currently co-leading two studies in East Africa, exploring emerging topics that engage the refugee community. Our main areas of interest are 1) livelihoods and self-reliance; and 2) leadership and participation of displaced populations in humanitarian response and policy-making.

  • RLO study. RLRH is currently co-leading a study on refugee-led organisations (RLOs) in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania with the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) and the Dadaab Response Association (DRA). This study explores the nature and scope of RLOs in East Africa, 2) the impact of RLOs on displaced communities, and 3) the factors that condition RLOs’ varied responses and impact on displaced communities. The study uses a purely qualitative approach and engages a range of stakeholders, including refugees and RLO themselves. The RLO study is funded by Open Society Foundations, the Bosch Foundation, the Global Whole Being Fund, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). 
  • Study on refugees’ access to citizenship. RLRH is also co-leading a study on refugees’ access to citizenship and residency in Kenya with the Refugee-Led Organisation Network of Kenya (RELON-KE), in partnership with Kituo Cha Sheria and Haki Na Sheria. This study seeks to provide evidence on the experiences, profiles, and aspirations of refugees who have applied for permanent residence and/or citizenship in Kenya, with a focus on refugee spouses of Kenyans and children born of mixed marriages. To do so, the research team will implement a quantitative survey. The study is funded by Open Society Foundations.

Research support

RLRH works with organisations to provide research support, advice and training. 

  • RSRI survey. RLRH has provided research support and training for a survey led by the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative (RSRI) and the Global Refugee Youth Network (GRYN). The survey’s aim was to elicit input from civil society actors globally, including Refugee-Led Organizations and national Civil Society Organizations to guide future discussions on self-reliance and create recommendations that fed into the UNHCR High-Level Official Meeting (HLOM) in December 2021. 
  • A series of over 25 research training sessions were developed to provide professional research skills to refugee lead researchers, assistants, and trainees. These sessions cover all key aspects of a research project, including research design, tool development, ethics application, data collection preparation and implementation, and analysis.