FY 13: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Humanitarian Engagement and Programming in Promoting Local Integration of Refugees in Zambia, Tanzania, and Cameroon (Development & Training Services, Inc.)

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
December 9, 2014

This evaluation was performed between September 2013 and October 2014 and the final report was submitted on October 30, 2014.

Purpose of the Evaluation and Questions Addressed

Achieving durable solutions for refugees is a priority of the Bureau of Populations, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Understanding how best to promote local integration is fundamental to achieving this goal. To help inform future programming, PRM funded Development and Training Service, Inc. (dTS) to carry out an external, independent evaluation concerning best practices in promoting local integration of refugee populations through humanitarian diplomacy and programming. The field assessment of integration efforts focused on three populations: Angolan refugees in Zambia, Burundi refugees in Tanzania, and Central African Republic refugees in Cameroon.

The evaluation explored the following questions: 1) To what extent has the programming and engagement of PRM and UNHCR promoted local integration? 2) What programmatic and diplomatic interventions were most and least successful? 3) What should PRM and its partners be doing to support the self-reliance of refugee populations for whom voluntary return and resettlement are not feasible?


The evaluation consisted of a global desk review and historical analysis of local integration policies and practices, and three field-based evaluations in Cameroon, Tanzania, and Zambia. The country visits included interviews with 108 host government, U.S. government, and donor government officials; UNHCR; other multilateral organizations; and implementing partners. The evaluators conducted site visits to settlements and host villages in all three countries, interviewing a total of 694 refugees and 306 members of the host country population in these locations. The global historical analysis of refugee local integration efforts and reports from each of the three field evaluations were incorporated in a final report along with findings and recommendations.

Key Findings

Refugees in Cameroon, Tanzania, and Zambia have experienced success in local integration, in part due to diplomatic engagement and livelihoods programming. For example:

  • With diplomatic support from PRM and UNHCR, Tanzania has made the most progress in terms of legal integration, having naturalized more than 162,000 Burundians.
  • Zambia is moving in the same direction, having pledged in December 2012 to establish a pathway to citizenship for 10,000 Angolans. Moreover, the report found that humanitarian programming in education, health and nutrition, income generation, and transport have helped the refugees to integrate socially and economically.
  • In Cameroon, which has committed to a “no encampment” policy, refugees have relatively more opportunities for social integration while living in host villages.

UNHCR and PRM have worked with host governments, partner governments, and implementing partners to develop and implement strategies focused on local integration as a durable solution, to varying degrees of success. For example:

  • In Cameroon, UNHCR’s strategy focused on economic integration and self-reliance through agriculture. They have been successful in helping refugees in some villages secure reasonable sizes of plots in convenient locations. However, the report found in other villages, refugees could only receive less desirable plot land.
  • In Tanzania, the U.S. government led a successful high-level intervention in 2013 with partner governments by sending a letter to President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete congratulating his government for granting citizenship to former Burundian refugees and encouraged the government to complete the documentation process. A year later, President Kikwete announced the plan to move forward with issuing the certificates of citizenship to the former Burundians. UNHCR estimates the process to document the citizenship of these former refugees will be concluded by April 2015.
  • In Zambia, UNHCR worked with the government on its “Strategic Framework for the Local Integration of Former Refugees in Zambia,” which was officially released in January 2014. It includes three pillars fundamental to successful integration: alternative legal status, an integrated resettlement program, and advocacy for refugee affected areas.


The most critical factors in economic, social, and legal integration are controlled by the host government and host villages. These factors can be supported through interventions by UNHCR, PRM, and other partner governments. The full reports outline recommendations for best practices for programmatic and diplomatic engagement by host governments, UNHCR, and PRM.

PRM will carefully review each recommendation and implement those agreed upon by the Bureau for use. PRM has and will continue to share findings of the evaluation with other parts of the Department of State and our implementing partner. In particular, PRM will highlight the outcomes of this evaluation with the relevant UNHCR policy and country offices. PRM is already implementing some of the programmatic recommendations by funding multi-year programs and developing a new information management system.

PRM Local Integration Evaluation Action Plan

Links to Evaluation Reports
-10/20/14 Evaluation of Local Integration [766 Kb]
-09/22/14 Field Evaluation of Local Integration of Central African Refugees in Cameroon [1103 Kb]
-09/08/14 Field Evaluation of Local Integration of Former Refugees in Tanzania [1380 Kb]
-04/15/14 Field Evaluation of Local Integration of Former Refugees in Zambia [1185 Kb]