Informing Migration Policy in the Horn of Africa- Study briefs

A group of migrants from the Horn of Africa arrive in Obock, Djibouti, guided by a local 'facilitator'. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon- file photo

Somalilandsun: A Research and Evidence Facility led by Professor Laura Hammond has significantly improved responses to migration and displacement in the Horn of Africa by influencing the major policy and funding decisions of a range of actors, including the European Union, the Government of Somalia, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

Based at SOAS, the Facility partners with the University of Manchester and Nairobi-based Sahan Research and works with over 50 researchers from the HoA region. Since 2016, Professor Hammond has led research projects including on displacement and return in Somalia, development challenges in borderland regions (South Sudan-Uganda-Kenya and Somalia/Somaliland-Djibouti-Ethiopia), movement between the Horn of Africa and Yemen and refugee hosting policies and practises in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. In 2021-22 a major project on displacement and return in South Sudan is being carried out with researchers from Samuel Hall.

Boy in Mogadishu


Boy in Mogadishu, Somalia

The Facility conducts policy-relevant primary research in the Greater Horn of Africa to understand the drivers, dynamics and implications of migration and displacement within the region. The Facility’s research is framed in response to key migration issues identified by the European Union in the region to directly support policy and programming, providing in-depth analysis on the context in which European Union projects are being implemented.

A study on migration between the Horn of Africa and Yemen found that environmental threats tend to generate short-distance displacement rather than longer-distance movement. During the severe 2017 Horn of Africa drought, migration from the Horn of Africa to Europe and the Gulf countries increased only marginally. Many more people moved shorter distances within the region, often settling in border towns, refugee camps or in the nearest urban area.

A study of displacement in, and return to, Somalia found that the most significant need of migrants, internally displaced persons and refugee returnees to urban centres of Somalia was housing, land and property and failure to secure these basic resources blocked people’s ability to invest in education, healthcare, and other key areas, or to plan for their futures. Sourced from SOAS