This report carried out in Uganda, is part of a project to understand how people affected by crises and humanitarian field staff perceive the impact of the Grand Bargain commitments. It is based on answers from two standardised surveys. The first conducted face-to-face with 607 South Sudanese refugees in settlements at Kiryandongo, Bidi Bidi and Rhino Camp. The second with 211 humanitarian staff members from national and international organisations through an online survey tool. Surveys of both affected people (Kiryandongo and Bidi Bidi) and staff were previously conducted in late 2017.
The research is a joint effort by Ground Truth Solutions (GTS) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat with financial support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Uganda is one of the seven countries covered by this research. The others are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia.
This summary covers the key findings from the affected people and humanitarian staff surveys. Detailed answers to all questions are included in subsequent sections, as well as comparisons with the results from the 2017 GTS surveys.
• Despite a modest improvement since 2017, most refugees (53%) do not consider that aid covers their most important needs. Food, healthcare and education are identified by refugees as their primary unmet needs. This compares with 78% of humanitarian staff, who believe that humanitarian aid and services adequately meet the needs and priorities of affected people.
• Areas which received higher scores from respondents include; respect for refugee rights, the relevance of aid received and prospects for self-reliance in the future. While this suggests improvement in humanitarian assistance provided, these were some of the lowest ranking questions last year.
• Fewer people are aware of their rights as refugees in Uganda, despite the fact that most of those aware of their rights as refugees in Uganda do feel their rights are respected (55%), particularly in Rhino Camp.
• On the fairness of aid provision, refugees have mixed views, with the largest cohort (38%) saying that it does not go to those who need it most.
Orphans, disabled people, older persons and single mothers are those most seen as left out of aid programmes. Meanwhile, 92% of staff consider that humanitarian programming adequately targets the most vulnerable population groups.
• The majority (56%) of refugees surveyed do not see themselves as becoming more self-reliant. There has been a slight increase compared to 2017, but work is still needed in this area. What would help refugees live without aid in the future? Initiatives to booster agricultural activities, cash assistance and business capital are cited by participants as key in breaking aid dependency.
• Less than a third feel that their lives are improving. Having better access to humanitarian services, employment opportunities and cash assistance are said to be key in changing people’s optimism towards the future.
• Respondents seem better informed about available services than in 2017, with almost half (46%) saying they have the information they need. Yet, 43% do not feel their views are considered in decision-making. A lack of beneficiary consultation, action based of previous feedback given to aid providers and a general sense that there is inadequate respect for refugees and their rights are highlighted as obstacles to encouraging effective and meaningful refugee participation. In contrast, some 82% of staff say they take refugees’ views into account when they make programme changes.
• Refugees remain positive about their ability to report abuse and mistreatment. 70% say they know how to make a complaint. Of those who have made a complaint – half the sample – 53% received a response, and some 51% were satisfied with the response their received.
• On the humanitarian-development nexus, 68% of staff surveyed feel that development and Humanitarian staff remain mainly positive, their views are still in line with findings from 2017, with the exception of increasingly negative perceptions on the benefits of cash programmes and the adequacy of support available for local and national organisations. Humanitarian staff see a significant improvement in consultation of affected people’s views during project planning and implementation.
• Humanitarian actors work effectively together, although staff in the Kampala offices are less positive about progress on the nexus than staff outside the capital.
• Staff see an imbalance in funding between emergency relief and durable solutions, with a majority of answers (70%) in favour of investing more in durable solutions.