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IDPs in secondary cities: good practices and ongoing challenges from Ethiopia

This research brief presents a case study of Adama, Ethiopia, to demonstrate how local government can successfully respond to urban internally displaced people (IDPs). In 2018, more people were displaced as a result of conflict, violence and disaster than ever before. The number of IDPs across the world escalated from 28 million to an estimated 41.3 million, and sub-Saharan Africa was the region most affected globally, with over 10 million people displaced. Ethiopia experienced a huge increase in its IDP population – almost double that experienced by Syria, and more than any other country across the world. This Research in Brief presents some of the major successful humanitarian and development responses, as well as the long-term development challenges that IDPs face, based on research in Adama, Ethiopia, a growing city in the Oromia region close to Addis Ababa. The authors present good practices and recommendations, and highlight key areas for further action. While most research on forced migrants in Ethiopia focuses on refugees, or on internal displacement within the Somali region, this brief presents findings from a little-known case of IDP relocation and resettlement to Adama city, one of 11 cities that received and settled IDPs from camps in 2018. This case study is significant because increasing numbers of forced migrants move not to capital cities, but instead to secondary cities such as Adama, which often lack the resources to attend to them.



Research in Brief


Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date



RSC Research in Brief 16

Total pages