Incentives for hosting refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda
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This study explored whether there were benefits associated with hosting refugees in Uganda using Nakivale Refugee Settlement as a case study. The study focused on the economic opportunities extended to the refugee hosting-country by the international community, opportunities created by refugees themselves to the host communities, non-economic benefits to the host communities and, factors that hampered the national and local communities from accessing and maximizing opportunities created by the presence of refugees. The study was guided by agency theory, a theoretical construct which explains the relationship between the state and the donor agencies. A total of 60 respondents were sampled. They included district technical staff, elected leaders, staff of UNHCR, OPM and NGOs, hosts and refugees. The study covered secondary sources such as documents and reports. Collection of data was based on a case study research design in which in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, observation and review of documents were made. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The study revealed that there were both economic and non-economic benefits associated with hosting refugees. The benefits formed resources to the country as well as host country communities. They were categorized under (1) those that were a result of relief agencies, intergovernmental organisations, international and local non-governmental organisations and, (2) those that were created by refugees’ activities. The benefits or resources included schools, health centers, roads, and extension of water and electricity, provision of market, cheap labour, entrepreneurial skills, and food supply, diplomatic benefits as well as its associated funding. The study documented the factors that hampered host communities from accessing and maximizing the opportunities created, and proposed recommendations to minimize such limitations to ensure a positive maximization. These revolved around enhancement of agricultural productivity, job skills formation and training, lobbying for more aid, change of refugee model system, and revision of 30/50 policy.
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