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Kenya Analytical Program on Forced Displacement

Research on Refugees and Hosts in Kenya

The protracted presence of refugees in Kenya has led the Government and the humanitarian actors to design and adapt systems of service delivery to meet their needs. A development approach explores ways in which refugees and host communities can receive integrated services and be supported to be self-reliant. Where population and administrative data is inadequate or untimely, survey data on differential access to services and the welfare of refugees and hosts can inform the design of policies and programs, including local area and municipal development plans.

The Kenya Analytical Program on Forced Displacement (KAP-FD) is a multi-year undertaking to strengthen the global community’s understanding of how refugee and host populations make decisions. It is funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the Partnership for Improving Prospects for Host Communities and Forcibly Displaced Persons, and is implemented by the World Bank and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA). The evidence gathered will consequently inform the policies of government and humanitarian and development actors to support better lives, self-reliance, and lasting solutions for refugees and host communities.

Further information on the KAP-FD program components can be found below the dashboard.

The KAP-FD has three main components.

The first is a panel survey to provide multi-faceted insight into the lives of refugees and hosts through novel data. There will be three waves of face-to-face data collection: the first wave was implemented from June 2022 – June 2023 and the second started in March 2024. The study targets 6,000 refugee households and 3,500 host community households in the following locations: Kakuma refugee camp, Kalobeyei settlement, Dadaab refugee camp, and urban areas (Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa). Key dimensions include livelihoods, transition from primary to      secondary school, food insecurity, fertility and marriage, women’s empowerment, social norms, psychosocial well-being, migration trajectories, and social cohesion. The panel survey will be accompanied by qualitative research and a new psychometric scale to assess what helps refugees and host community members to deal with challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

The first wave of panel data revealed a high incidence of psychological challenges. For example, 46% of adult refugees across Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement showed symptoms of depression or anxiety. Household heads, women, and those over the age of 35 are particularly likely to be affected (52%, 49%, and 53% show symptoms, respectively).  With these results in mind, the team designed the second component of the program, an impact evaluation on tailored livelihoods interventions integrating training on psychosocial and emotional health as well as financial literacy and a one-time unconditional cash grant of US$550. Targeting about 1,000 refugee households in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, the study examines the interaction between economic and psychological well-being and evaluates how both dimensions are impacted by the interventions.

The third component builds pathways between data collection and its use by early-career researchers and    practitioners to promote policy-relevant research and analyses. A public dashboard accessible to governments and the global community will allow practitioners a unique ability to interact with the data related to forced displacement in Kenya. In addition, capacity building will be tailored to specific stakeholder needs, including delivering capacity building and technical assistance towards inclusion of refugees and host populations in national surveys conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).