InterAid Uganda in partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), continues to advocate for the rights of Refugees and Asylum seekers in the Urban. Despite numerous approaches by IAU with support from UNHCR and OPM to address the needs and challenges presented by refugees. Among challenges documented in previous survey and regular interview reports, Urban Refugees and Asylum Seekers complain of; discrimination, social and economic exclusion, language barrier, abuse and exploitation and range of unique challenges specific to individual nationalities.
Observations made by the various stakeholders during their interactions with refugees (ie. Police Officers, LC Chairpersons, School Administrators, KCCA Officials, medical practitioners) and shared with the tripartite partners has always played a major role in the process of formulating the urban refugee program geared towards addressing these needs.
According to the 2017, Urban Refugee Program Participatory Assessment established that refugees felt left out of forums such as dialogues to give input during formulation of annual implementation programs. While Refugees and Assylum seekers made it very clear that they wanted to be involved to some extent in discussing and addressing challenges that affect their livelihood and protection needs.
In order to address need for inclusiveness, InterAid Uganda organized one day dialogue for refugees, through their recognized leaders, to discuss with IAU, OPM, UNHCR and KCCA on a number of key livelihood and protection aspects. The Dialogue was held on Friday, 5th October 2018, from 09.00am and closed by 5.00pm, at Pose Paul (IV) Memorial Center to pave way for a harmonized way to address their needs, challenges and get direction on better access to services for refugees in the urban.
participants session explaining that SWOT analysis was very important instrument for different groups to engage as part of dialogue including partners, then provide recommendations on how best for the next steps in the IAU and partners planning forums. She went ahead to define- simplify the terminologies to facilitate the review and group discussions and consensus building.
Up to five groups were identified; The nine (9) nationality group members (Sudanese, South Sudanese, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Congolese, Somali, Rwandese, Burundians), Profiled Refugee Associations, Community Extension workers, Community Mobilisers, IAU and URP Partners (OPM, UNHCR, KCCA, RLP, Red Cross). Each group was expected to examine issues using the SWOT approach, elect a Chairperson and Secretary to take note of ideas and each group given 25 minutes each to present their findings in the plenary session.
The IAU Executive Director commended the organizers, and encouraged all to participate in the SWOT Exercise as the outcome will feed into IAU and partners planning for the Urban Refugee program for 2019 among others. He continued that, it is important to identify the critical gaps and suggest how best they could be addressed. Further document “voices of refugees through dialogue with partners” also gauge services and level of satisfaction and areas for improvement