Security On The Move

Everyday security of internally displaced people in rapidly growing Somali cities


This research project addresses the nexus of poverty, environmental sustainability and conflict in Somalia from the perspective of the most vulnerable in-migrants to cities, people who were internally displaced (IDPs).

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The interplay between violent conflict and droughts is described as one of the main drivers of internal displacement in Somalia, but rapid in-migration to cities further increases pressures on the urban and rural environment. The research focus is on the capacities of IDPs to cope with the effects of violence and displacement and to mitigate vulnerability.


NEWS: Project preliminary findings poster and Impact Initiative interview now available here (December 2018)

IDP housing in Mogadishu


The study is conducted in four cities in Southern Somalia (Mogadishu, Baidoa), Puntland (Bosasso) and Somaliland (Hargeisa), which have quite different histories pertaining to in-migration and violence. While IDPs in Hargeysa and Mogadishu have started to gain attention from international organisations, very little is known about IDPs living in secondary or smaller cities such as Bosasso or Baidoa.

This project will conduct interviews and compare IDPs perceptions and practices of security on the move and when settling into the city. The concern with IDPs and cities links the project to the emerging global urban agenda and the need to develop new approaches to urban sustainability, democratic governance and livelihood in cities. With the choice to study this from the viewpoints and experiences of IDPs, people who are most vulnerable are placed at the core of the knowledge production. This informs the choice of research methods, which, in addition to narrative interviews, also includes a photo-voice methodology.