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Scenarios for the migration issue in Northern Uganda

In 2018, Jesters Jeroen Toet and Linda Kaput traveled to the north of Uganda (East Africa) to train three districts and a municipality (local authorities) in the methodology of scenario planning. Uganda is home to more than a million refugees from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most important question is whether the flow of refugees will continue or whether it may decline and even reverse in the future. How many children will have to go to school in a few years? How many people will use the clinics present? Do the differences in culture lead to alienation or integration?
For a long time, northern Uganda was itself the site of armed conflict and is therefore the poorest region in already one of the poorest countries in the world. The refugees are received hospitably, but the large numbers lead to all kinds of challenges. Some districts have as many refugees as their own residents, but are allocated their budget only based on the number of inhabitants.

Three-day scenario planning training

Scenario planning is a way to get a grip on these types of questions as a basis for strategic decision-making. During a three-day training, approximately 20 participants per district learned the steps of the scenario process. Based on their own case, they worked out compact scenarios and thought about challenges and options. This provided interesting insights, from the very significant influence of climate change to the importance of lobbying the national government. Without exception, the participants were enthusiastic about the method and understood the concept well.

Scenario planning in a development context

After previous experiences in a similar context in Jordan, Jeroen and Linda also went home with an important insight. In the Netherlands, scenario planning is often used to weigh the relevance and risks of the success of a particular option. This works differently in a development context. In principle, the most important options, such as improving education, care and infrastructure, are always relevant. It is much more about the balance between large and small interventions and choosing a number of options, while partners must be sought for the other options. Nevertheless, scenario planning for migration issues is a valuable tool because they almost always have a high degree of uncertainty. Scenarios offer the opportunity to get a grip on this uncertainty.

Sharing insights

On March 6, 2019, Linda Kaput gave a workshop 'Scenario planning and migration' as part of the training 'Migration and local governance' from The Hague Academy.

Find out more about this project? Please contact Linda Kaput

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