• Andreas Muff Krarup Kristiansen
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
By September 2016, all 193 UN-member states adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Mi-grants. Half a year after, In March 2017, Uganda implemented this new global strategy on refugee protec-tion in form of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). This thesis explores the refugee hosting model in Uganda after two years with the CRRF as the leading framework.

During spring 2019, I went on a three-month fieldtrip to inquire into the refugee situation in Uganda, which has been narrated to be one of the best and most progressive refugee host countries in the world. Whereas I was based in the capital of Kampala, this thesis has a particular focus on the two refugee settle-ments Kyaka II and Kyangwali. Both are located in Western Uganda, and through two weeks of intense qualitative fieldwork, I acquired an understanding of life as a refugee there. I carried out the fieldwork to-gether with resident of Kyangwali, Albert Djuma, who functioned both as gatekeeper and interpreter. Fo-cusing particularly on the aspect of self-reliance, we investigated the situation on ground.

With the qualitative data from the fieldwork as the foundation, this thesis analyses the implications of the current refugee response framework in Uganda. Taking point of departure in the traditions of critical theo-ry, established structures are challenged rather than taken as read. Throughout this thesis, an eclectic ap-proach to theoretical resources are employed. Specifically in terms of analysing policies, the central ideas in Carol Bacchi’s WPR-approach are adopted. By scrutinizing selected policy documents of relevance regarding self-reliance, the key principles of the refugee response are identified. This thesis establish how current poli-cies are rehashing previous strategies implemented in Uganda. Moreover, it is demonstrated how the ne-oliberal values of free trade, free market and private property rights permeate the policies guiding the refu-gee response in Uganda.

By having an analytical focus primarily on self-reliance, this thesis delves into the experienced realities on ground. It is shown how discrepancies between those realities and the way the refugee situation is articu-lated are identifiable. To get a more profound understanding of these discrepancies, a few selected empirical cases is unfolded and analysed more thoroughly. This facilitates the opportunity for more detailed discus-sions of the implications of life in a refugee settlement. As will be clear, refugees in Western Uganda face de facto barriers to enjoy basic rights such as the freedom of movement. This thesis argues that contextual and structural issues are the cause of the obstacles faced by the refugees. By doing so it opposes itself to the current framework, which have a primary focus on the responsibility of the individual.

In the exploration of refugee’s self-reliance, this thesis further delves into Community-based organizations (CBO) started within the settlements. These organizations offer something more than simply a livelihood op-portunity for members and participants. It is argued how these CBOs face primarily financial barriers to flourish and develop. Rather than providing a favourable environment for the CBOs, the current policy framework seeks to include the CBOs at a higher coordination level. This thesis discusses the implications of this inclusion and how CBOs represents both the very local, but at the same time are expected to take part in wider structures.

Ultimately, this thesis contributes to the already existing critical literature on self-reliance. By focusing on the context of Kyaka and Kyangwali, a new empirical setting is explored. Ideally, the findings in this thesis can be instrumental in a more nuanced understanding of self-reliance. The contemporary promotion of self-reliance within the refugee regime leads to certain consequences and effects that are not addressed in the current refugee response framework in Uganda. By highlighting the effects of having a primary focus on ne-oliberal values, it is hoped that a more balanced view at self-reliance will be adopted in the future.

Key words: Uganda, refugee, CRRF, self-reliance, neoliberalism, de facto barriers, governance, resilience, Kyaka, Kyangwali, community-based organizations (CBO)
Udgivelsesdato2 feb. 2020
Antal sider74
ID: 321167202