Effects of Cash on Social Cohesion in Kalobeyei Settlement, Kenya: A Do No Harm Assessment
In summer 2019, CDA in partnership with UNHCR Kenya’s Sub-Office team released a small piece of research examining peace positive contributions of UNHCR’s cash assistance programming. To those familiar with CDA’s Do No Harm approach, optimal programming in areas of fragility and conflict not only minimizes harm but identifies and utilizes opportunities to build on the connectors and cohesion that are present in all contexts. UNHCR’s multi-pronged cash assistance work in Kakuma, Kenya aims to achieve sustainable development for refugees in Kalobeyei settlement and surrounding communities, as part of a longer term commitment to the Kalobeyei Integrated Social and Economic Development Program (KISDEP) and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. Though, shortly after piloting a new approach to cash for shelter assistance, UNHCR felt opportunities to build social cohesion through the project were also being optimized. A closer assessment with the team revealed important conflict sensitivity lessons for how to identify and capitalize on existing social cohesion opportunities when implementing cash assistance projects.