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Effects of Cash on Social Cohesion in Kalobeyei Settlement, Kenya – A Do No Harm Assessment – Executive Summary

2019 — By United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, CDA Collaborative

The document outlines key findings on the effects of cash on social cohesion between refugee and host communities, and some considerations when planning cash assistance. The research was carried out by CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, founder of the Do No Harm Framework.

UNHCR’s cash for shelter project in Kalobeyei provides cash to refugee households to ensure safe and dignified housing while reducing dependency on assistance and addressing protection concerns. It gives ownership of the construction to the households, which hire local masons, purchase construction materials locally and collaborate with their neighbours.

The research found that cash assistance has had an overall positive effect on the local markets and has provided a base for cohesion through strengthened relationship between the refugees and host communities. The leadership role of the refugees contributed to their empowerment with possible long-term effects on peaceful coexistence and inclusion.

The project contributes to the Kalobeyei Social and Economic Development Programme (KISEDP) with the aim to re-orient the assistance programme to improve the overall socio-economic conditions of the refugee and host communities in line with the Global Compact on Refugees.