Expert Roundtable: The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Ethiopia: Meaningful Involvement of Regional and District Governments

In 2017, Ethiopia initiated a policy shift aimed at phasing out the purely camp-based approach to refugee response in the country. Following this decision, the country has become one of the implementing countries of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), a comprehensive set of commitments that provides the framework for a lasting alternative to the protracted stay of refugees in the refugee camps. This framework aims to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including regional and district governments, through a whole-of-society approach.

However, the issues of local participation and involving the voices of local actors in shaping efforts to find more predictable and inclusive solutions to the protracted plight of refugees have been the subject of recent academic and political debates. The Tigray war has complicated the matter even further. At this roundtable, we seek to present the views of various stakeholders on how regional and county governments (the second and third tiers of government in Ethiopia) could become agents of change in efforts to implement a comprehensive refugee response framework. By analysing the mechanisms for adapting the implementation of CRRF to local contexts in Ethiopia, we will contribute to the discussions on the main challenges and lessons that could be learned from the current CRRF implementation.

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