In a new article in the Review of International Studies, Alexander Betts, Naohiko Omata and Olivier Sterck explore why, despite the importance of cross-border activity to refugees’ socioeconomic lives, such transnational activity has been institutionally invisible to and hindered by the international agencies seeking to assist them. The authors take the Dollo Ado refugee camps in Ethiopia as a case study. Located close to the Ethiopian-Somali border, these camps have been a major focus for UNHCR’s attempts to build livelihoods for refugees and the host community. The article adopts a mixed methods approach, and emphasises the agency of aid workers, bureaucratic politics, and political economy in its account of the disjuncture between international institutions’ state-centric livelihoods programmes and refugees’ own cross-border economic strategies.
Read the article: Transnational blindness: International institutions and refugees’ cross-border activities
There is also a summary of this article published by British International Studies Association (BISA) available online: Refugees’ cross-border strategies and international organisations
Reimagining Refugee Camps: Transforming Livelihoods in Dollo Ado [video]