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Area based approaches and local development practices in Kakuma-Kalobeyei in Turkana County in Kenya as a multi-actor/multi-sector pioneering model to build self-reliance for hosts and refugees.

Boniface Korobe



Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 4
Turkana County Government
Building Resilience for Sustainable Urban Futures
NE 142


Kenya has hosted refugees for the last three decades. In 2015, the Turkana County Government of Kenya allocated 1,500 hectares of land to UNHCR and the Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) for the creation of a new refugee settlement - one which would promote sharing of investments equally between refugees and host communities with a population of about 320,000. To minimize resource (humanitarian aid/development interventions) based conflict between the refugees and host population, and to harness the presence of refugees and the benefits of urbanisation in Kenya, the National Government of Kenya, the Turkana County Government, UNHCR and other stakeholders agreed to pilot a new approach by developing a settlement promoting self-reliance of refugees and the host population, known as Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme (KISEDP). The area-based programme aims to directly and indirectly benefits the refugees and host population - to create a conducive environment for investment to promote the sustainable and inclusive urbanisation, improve basic socio-economic infrastructure, strengthen capacities for inclusive national delivery service, and enhance innovative aid delivery to increase self-reliance and improve access to participation in the local economy. In addition, collaboration with non-traditional partners, such as the private sector and financial institutions presents opportunities for investment within settlements to promote sustainable development. The session draws on past experiences and perspectives from multiple actors in Kakuma-Kalobeyei, Kenya: 1) The County Executive Committee Member for Lands, Housing, and Urban Areas Management Mr. Alexander Losikiria, through his perspective on the development of the region over the last decade and the forthcoming municipality status for Kakuma; 2) UNHCR - through their leadership in refugee operations in the region and the potential use of data from several socio-economic surveys both before and after the Covid pandemic for future intervention design; 3) the International Financial Corporation (IFC) - through the Kakuma-Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF) which facilitates economic integration of refugees and hosts through support to private sector establishment in the area; 4) and Cities Alliance for which the project “Sustainable Economic Development Along Turkana West Development Corridor through Enhanced Connectivity” funded through the (Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation) is supporting the development of a sustainable economic corridor in Turkana that can enable individuals and businesses to gain access to a wider choice of goods, finance, employment and investment, building a sustainable local economy in the region. These actors will form the basis of a panel presentation of discussions and reflections.


The event will bring together a selection of speakers - local government, refugee practitioners, and partners to reflect on key lessons from Turkana County in Kenya and the role of area based approaches/assessments and socio-economic data in local development in support of self-reliance of refugees and hosts. It will also: 1. Present key aspects of case studies showing how these tools have contributed towards improved resilience of both refugees and host population to basic infrastructure, housing and socio-economic opportunities. 2. Sharing successful strategies of how innovative partnerships, including private and public sectors, can be built, and new opportunities can be tapped into within humanitarian response. 3. Develop a set of key takeaways to guide socio-economic analyses and private sector investments.

Session speakers

Mr. Alexander Losikiria
County Executive Committee Member for Lands, Housing & Urban Areas Management
Turkana County Government
Ms. Teressa Beltramo
Senior Economist and Head of Analytics and Research Unit
UNHCR Headquarters
Ms. Luba Shara
Senior Operation Officer
Ms. Brigitte Hoermann
Senior Migration Specialist
Cities Alliance