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This article presents a case study of the urban internally displaced people (IDP) response in Adama, Ethiopia, the former capital of the Oromia region. In 2018, approximately 1,340 registered households and many unregistered IDPs, who were mainly ethnic Oromo, arrived in Adama. Most of the IDPs arrived by way of a planned relocation scheme from camps, having fled ethnic conflict in the Somali region of the country. The article provides an overview of the response and presents four key policy-relevant findings, reflecting on both the initial success and the longer-term challenges faced in assisting and integrating urban IDPs, as well as the lack of assistance offered to undocumented IDPs in Adama, a challenge compounded by a lack of data about their existence. Specifically, the article discusses the locally-led response, the ongoing relief-development gap present in Adama, the need for better data on urban IDPs and the issues that face those IDPs lacking formal identification, and the ongoing yet often overlooked challenges in integration faced by IDPs.

More information Original publication




Journal article


Oxford University Press

Publication Date





525 - 536