Livelihoods as a component of durable solutions to internal displacement in Somali Region, Ethiopia

Male elders of displaced community, Goljano

As of mid-2020, Ethiopia was home to nearly two million internally displaced persons (IDPs). The primary causes of internal displacement in Ethiopia are conflict and drought. Many of the IDPs are unable to return to their places of origin due to livelihood loss, destruction of assets, or continuing insecurity. In recognition of the long-term or permanent nature of the displacement, international organizations and the Ethiopian government are working together to identify and implement long-term–or durable—solutions for displaced populations. Such solutions can only be successful if the livelihoods of the displaced and host communities are sustainable.

The Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI) in Ethiopia seeks to provide evidence on and analysis of the livelihood sustainability of different durable solutions to internal displacement in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. As the research partner, Feinstein reviewed different options for durable solutions, including i) return, ii) relocation, and iii) local integration. The review focused on three locations in the Somali Region: Tuliguled woreda (Fafan Zone), Goljano woreda (Fafan Zone) and Adadle woreda (Shabelle zone). The assessment outputs seek to inform and improve policy making and programming by national and international stakeholders working on solutions to internal displacement in the Somali Region and in Ethiopia more broadly.

The field work took place in 2021 and was led Abdirahman Ahmed Muhumed of Jigjiga University, Ethiopia. A team of Ethiopian researchers, all native Somali-speakers, conducted the qualitative assessment.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) funded the assessment as part of a joint analysis of durable solutions in Somali Region with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat).