FY 14: Strengthening Local Government Responses to Displacement in Africa (The Urban Institute)

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
October 15, 2014

This research is ongoing. The final reports will be posted upon completion.


The growing number of urban refugees poses challenges for both humanitarian responders and local governments. Local governments can either hinder or promote refugee protection and assistance depending on their level of capacity and political will. PRM is funding the Urban Institute to research local government responses to refugee protection – including root causes of communal conflict such as competition for housing, employment, and services. As part of this project, the Urban Institute will develop evidence-based tools that can be used by local governments such as a municipal assessment tool for identifying and addressing obstacles to urban refugee protection. It will also shed light on how humanitarian organizations can positively and progressively influence local government action. The research will take place in Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Kampala.


  • Analyze the factors that influence the decision-making of local government officials as to whether, how, and to what extent they take into account the needs of urban refugees;
  • Development practical tools to inform local government and humanitarian agencies on issues of joint concern; and
  • Promote the use of these tools in the three selected countries.

The Urban Institute will prepare a profile of existing regional authorities, an outline of current political and institutional stakeholders, and tools for local authorities and humanitarian agencies.

The research is scheduled to be completed in summer 2015.