Go to main content

Localization of Protection Programming in Garissa & Turkana, Kenya

The protection of refugees in Kenya is a critical issue due to the significant number of refugee men, women, children and youth in protracted displacement, due to conflict, violence, natural disasters, and other factors.

Localization of Protection Programming in Garissa & Turkana, Kenya Apr 2024
1.4 MB
Localization of Protection Programming in Garissa & Turkana, Kenya: Executive Summary Apr 2024
381 KB

About the reports

Kenya is host to two of the largest refugee camps in the world – in Garissa and Turkana counties, known as Kenya’s marginalised counties in the arid and semi-arid land regions. In a context of commitments to durable solutions, and since the World Humanitarian Summit 2016 and the Grand Bargain, there have been increased calls for those who are closest to the crises to have more control of resources, more agency and greater decision-making powers. The process of “localisation” aims at creating more equitable, power sharing and decision making systems that support those in need of protection. Localisation holds the potential to foster sustainability by enabling an environment where displacement-affected communities are able to handle challenges, promoting local ownership and strengthening self-protection capacities.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) acknowledges the importance of localisation in protection programming by noting that while international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have both the funds and the expertise needed to undertake advocacy activities, local actors – ranging from governmental actors, to civil society organisations (CSOs) and community based organisations (CBOs), formal and informal groups and committees, as well as the private sector - are well-positioned to carry the voice of the local community into the appropriate advocacy settings because of their deep knowledge of a community’s challenges and proximity to the community.

It has enshrined localisation in its Strategy 2025 through its “Go Local” principle, which aims to engage local partners through “principled, equitable and collaborative partnerships [...] in pursuit of a relevant, effective and sustainable response.” DRC’s Kenya programme has articulated broader localisation objectives through its strategic priorities for 2023, which include the aims to strengthen DRC Kenya’s collaboration with local actors, foster synergies around programming and advocacy, and promote the protection of rights and peaceful coexistence in displacement-affected areas.

The present study focuses on the localisation of protection programming in Garissa and Turkana counties – and seeks a deeper understanding of the opportunities available and entry points for engagement with local actors supporting refugees and host communities.

The research seeks to map out localisation efforts in specifically in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, identifying entry points to new collaborations and engagement for more localised protection outcomes and draw out key information and recommendations from the challenges and lessons from international and local actors. This study comes at a crucial time, with only one year left to achieve the goals of the Grand Bargain.

DRC Kenya has commissioned Samuel Hall to conduct this research study to explore the opportunities for entry points and strengthening of localised protection programming in Garissa and Turkana counties, and to gain a deeper understanding of how to engage with local protection actors, and harness their positionality and capacity to enhance protection outcomes in the two counties.

Read more about Kenya Protection