The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2022.

Cities around the world are experiencing the emergence of an unprecedented refugee situation that is often sudden and massive in scale. Forced displacement is at an all-time high: over 70 million people worldwide are fleeing their homes as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations. Whether they are crossing international borders or seeking refuge within their own countries, most refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are now living in urban or semi-urban areas, instead of camps or purpose-built settlements.

This shift has put considerable pressure on cities, especially fast-growing secondary cities in developing countries that are already struggling to meet the needs of their population. The situation is especially acute in the Horn of Africa, which hosts approximately one-fifth of the world’s refugees. Uganda is one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, closely followed by Ethiopia and Kenya. 

With support from the European Union, Cities Alliance is launching a Call for Papers to identify, compile, and disseminate best practices, methodologies, and strategies on migration and refugee management at the local level in the Horn of Africa. 

The call is part of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF): Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility - Regional Network and Dialogue Action, supported by the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa.

The objective of this Call for Papers is to learn and disseminate best practices on migration and refugee management from the cities of the CRRF Action: Arua and Koboko, Uganda; Borama and Gabiley, Somaliland/Somalia; Assosa and Jigjiga, Ethiopia; and Kakuma/Kalobeyei, Kenya. 

The top papers will be edited and published in a compendium of regional best practices produced by Cities Alliance. The author of the winning paper will be invited to present the findings to key local and national authorities during the final peer-learning event of the Action in Koboko, Uganda, in March 2023.


Eligibility Criteria


The call is open to graduate and undergraduate students from universities in the Horn of Africa. The papers should focus on (at least) one city participating in the Action: Arua and Koboko, Uganda; Borama and Gabiley, Somaliland/Somalia; Assosa and Jigjiga, Ethiopia; and Kakuma/Kalobeyei, Kenya.

Papers can be co-authored, but they must include at least one university student. (In this case, only one author will attend the conference and present the paper). 


Focus Areas


The paper must focus on the topic of migration and refugee management at the local level, drawing on research on local best practices for improved inclusion and participation of displaced persons in local economic and social life.  

Examples of potential focus areas include, but are not limited to, the sub-topics outlined below:

  • Successful practices from cities in the social and economic inclusion of refugees, displaced persons, and host communities 
  • How to strengthen the role of cities in migration and refugee management 
  • How to promote local inclusion and adequate service delivery for all
  • The impact of the CRRF on refugee inclusion 

Selection Criteria


The papers will be reviewed by a panel of international experts and local stakeholders, including key local authorities. 

  • Abstracts should present a clear, compelling research question.
  • Preference will be given to the presentation of original, field-based research.
  • Papers should be policy-based and solutions-oriented and should critically examine existing projects and/or propose new strategies for tackling issues related to migration and refugee management at the local level.

The selection process is expected to be completed by December 2022. The selected papers will be edited and published in a compendium.


Requirements for Submissions

  • Length: Maximum of 10 pages (approximately 5,000 words)
  • Language: English
  • Deadline: 1 October 2022 by midnight CET

All submissions must include:

  • A photo (high resolution, jpg or png) to illustrate your best practice 
  • A short description of the author with a photo
  • An abstract (maximum of 500 words) that contains a title, description of the key findings, author name, affiliation, and city.

Applications are to be sent to with the subject line: Call for Paper 2022 + the name of the city studied.


About Cities Alliance

Cities Alliance is a global partnership supporting cities to deliver sustainable development. Cities Alliance has made a long-term commitment to support secondary cities in low-income countries which have to manage large inflows of migrants and refugees through a Global Programme on Cities and Migration.

By supporting the implementation of the CRRF: Inclusive Urban Development and Mobility Action, the Cities Alliance aims to facilitate regional networks and dialogue that will foster peer networks and knowledge exchanges about the challenges and opportunities related to refugees in urban settings in the Horn of Africa. 


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