Case Study: Dialogue in Displacement-Affected Communities in the Borderlands of Kenya

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Under DANIDA-funding, DRC/DDG has supported the participation of refugees and Kenyans in policy dialogue on the ongoing review of refugee law through the Refugee Bill 2019. In October, DRC/DDG and the Refugee Consortium of Kenya (a national non-governmental organization) facilitated the participation of refugees in engaging legislators on recommendations to the proposed Bill in Parliament.

DRC/DDG has also worked with local partners in Turkana (specifically in Lodwar, Kakuma and Kalobeyei) to enhance their ability and skills in participatory action research, conflict management and dialogue facilitation between host and refugee communities.

‘’Our journey with DDG on Dialogue facilitation between the displaced population with host community in Kalobeyei have bared fruits and through continuous capacity building on dialogue facilitation and conflict sensitivity, we are able to facilitate dialogues between communities and we have replicated the same to the conflicting communities around the borderlands. Conflict between host and refugee communities over resources (water and firewood) have reduced and we thank DDG for this process.”
Denis Lokitare, Head of programs for Lotus Kenya, a local civil society organisation partnering with DRC/DDG in Turkana.

This work has been instrumental to support sustainable reintegration as it promotes common understanding and strengthens social cohesion through a partnership approach aiming at long-term inclusion in key decision-making processes as well supporting a long-term strategy to social accountability where rights of refugees and the most marginalised populations is guaranteed.

‘’Both host and refugee communities had feared us. [T]hey called us bad people and will not want to associate with us. It was very difficult for us to interact with communities based on their perceptions. My officers also had a negative perception of the refugee communities that they are they brought conflict from their countries to us making us not to rest. When DDG came and started facilitating Community-Police dialogue and cooperation we have seen a big change in the communities and with our officer[s]. Communities have started volunteering information concerning their safety and we are responding with speed. We are slowly becoming friends’’.
Inspector Naomi Akal, the Inspector in charge of Kalobeyei AP Post.

DRC/DDG’s activities in Kalobeyei settlement were well received by the community and security providers. By the end of 2018, the host communities and refugees in Kalobeyei had increased collaboration due to inter-community dialogue meetings that were initiated. As key results, 72% (13/18) of action points developed during the inter-community dialogue meetings were implemented jointly by the host community and refugee community. And 90% (27/30) of the action points raised were successfully implemented.

For more information on DRC/DDG’s Kenya work, feel free to access: https://drc.ngo/where-we-work/east-africa/kenya