5 Strategy implementation and the role of UNHCR
This chapter assesses implementation progress against the objectives spelled out in the High Commissioner’s Special Initiative document in 2008. The chapter also analyses the role of UNHCR in implementation including the internal coordination in UNHCR.
5.1 Implementation against objectives
The following sections assess progress against the three main objectives of TANCOSS as well as the fourth objective (on fund raising). Progress is, to the extent possible, assessed as of June 2010 (please refer to Annex 5 for an overview).
Voluntary repatriation and reintegration
- Objective 1: Burundian refugees who opt for voluntary repatriation will be repatriated by September 2009 and be successfully reintegrated in their areas of return.
The Intention Survey (August-October 2007) found that 20% of the refugees in the Old Settlements indicated a wish to return to Burundi (eventually, 25% opted for return).
During 2008, UNHCR put in place the infrastructure, logistical and human support needed to return those who had opted for repatriation, and to date some 53,600 refugees have been repatriated to Burundi. The destinations were almost exclusively the Southern provinces of Makamba, Bururi and – for a smaller number of returnees – Rutana (close to Tanzania). A small number remain in Tanzania, i.e. some 2000 people, who expect to be repatriated by October 2010 (a map of Burundi is found on the inside of the back cover of the report).
The evidence available suggests that UNHCR was the main actor in repatriation. The role of the two Governments seems to be at the level of pushing for repatriation (Tanzania) and acceptance (Burundi). Initially, the 1972 group of refugees was assessed by UNHCR as needing less support to assist their repatriation than the support given to the group of 1993 refugees. The 1972 group was considered to be thriving agrarian communities with considerable financial and material resources. The study report presented in December 2007, i.e. the basis for TANCOSS and the plan of operation, seems to have underestimated both the repatriation and the reintegration challenges of the 1972 group. The initial support package was insufficient but adjusted to include unlimited allowance and a larger cash grant. Cargo wagons for the train convoys were hired to deal with a large quantity of luggage including livestock. The needs of vulnerable refugees, such as separated children and orphans, were assessed and taken care of specifically. The repatriation was, according to observers, eased when the initial material difficulties were solved, which apparently also happened rather swiftly.
The real challenge was the reintegration of the returnees. According to a recent study: “Some 82% of those registered in the Old Settlements had been born in exile, and, located far from the border, they had largely lost touch with their home communities, were out of reach of Burundian radio, had been educated in the Tanzanian school system and sometimes spoke Kiswahili rather than Kirundi. Most significantly, unlike the 1993 group, they had experienced institutionalised deprivation of their land which was frequently confiscated by the Government or sold fraudulently by family members”.
It is not possible to establish the full extent to which reintegration in Burundi has occurred but it is suggested that there were considerable difficulties of absorption capacity. The returnees from the 1993 group were said to have had fewer problems in reclaiming and accessing land than the 1972 group but most returnees seem to have faced problems. The land shortage in Burundi is highly politicised and conflict prone and although this has been recognised at a certain level, the consequences in terms of pointing towards durable solutions seem to have been underestimated by UNHCR.
The UNHCR Annual Report for Burundi (2009) acknowledges the particular difficulties of the 1972 group and confirms that the lack of access to land constitutes the biggest single challenge for the reintegration of returnees and also emphasises the particular challenges for the 1972 group. The report states – without being specific on numbers and locations – that a substantial number of returnees, who had returned during the previous year, still did not have access to land in 2009. One major reason is that former family land had been redistributed by the authorities or occupied in the 1970’s. Some returnees do not even know their family’s place of origin or do not have social support structures to accommodate them while waiting for the restitution of their land and are therefore requesting, from UNHCR or the authorities, temporary shelter. Finally the report finds that a positive trend has been observed since the second half of 2008, with fewer returnees requesting temporary shelters thanks to improved support in Burundi and Tanzania.
Another UNHCR study, here quoted at some length confirms the above: “The major focus of the UNHCR operation in Burundi in 2008 was the repatriation of refugees from neigh-bouring countries, mainly from Tanzania. The operation represented an increase of about 58% in the returnee population assisted by the Office, compared to the previous year. Solutions were found for the local integration of a significant part of this group of refugees who were living in camps in Tanzania. However, a large group of those, who had fled in 1972, chose to return in 2008. Such returns posed significant challenges in particular in the area of land and property rights, a problem, which Burundi has been facing for a long time”.
Some assessments and the ongoing monitoring by UNHCR of both groups of returnees (1972 and 1993) find that most returnees have good relations with their neighbours and the authorities, even if the number of land conflicts have been rising in Southern Burundi related to the return of long-term refugees. The problems affecting the majority of returnees are mostly of a socio-economic nature and concern issues such as food security, health care or education.
According to the “Money Matters” study, the refugees came unprepared for the situation. “The refugees were largely unaware of the land challenges they would face upon return and the various routes to claiming their land, receiving alternative land or reaching a mediated agreement.
In relation to the return package the study found that, “Whilst the assessment that these refugees had largely achieved self-reliance and had acquired assets in Tanzania was correct, the most critical asset in Burundi is one which is not moveable – land. Without this, the 1972 returnees were destined to encounter serious problems in re-establishing livelihoods, given that non-agricultural options for making a living are very limited in Burundi. The smaller cash-only return package was to prove insufficient to provide the extensive bridging support needed for this group”.
The number of planned returns to Burundi (of the 1993 group) had to be revised downwards throughout 2007 because of the difficult socio-economic situation. This stands in contrast to UNHCR’s move in 2006 to “promote return” based on the increased political stability in the country. The “Money Matters” study finds Burundi’s socio-economic situation extremely challenging and highlights that “with 90% of the population dependent on agriculture, the population density on arable land in Burundi is extremely high, resulting in reduced land fertility due to over-exploitation and a high incidence of land conflicts”. The same study finds that UNHCR initially took the approach of facilitation rather than promotion for the 1972 group, because there was a fear that the reintegration, which would include land claims and acquiring of land could fuel land disputes and the process could become highly politicised in the lead up to the elections of 2010. It is in this difficult situation that the repatriation of the 1972 group took place starting in April 2008.
To mitigate the difficult situation encountered, UNHCR has put up temporary housing centres. Furthermore, the Government of Burundi, assisted by UNHCR, has set up a land commission to assist with the mediation of conflicts and negotiation of solutions. Returnees have had to stay in the reception centres for a long time while waiting for their land issues to be resolved. UNHCR is working with UNDP to develop alternative livelihoods and find alternative solutions. The concept of establishment of peace villages is promoted to ensure reintegration. In a recent presentation to UNHCR staff, Milner notes that there is a key shift in approach to returnees, who are no longer seen as simply a humanitarian challenge but also as a key element in successful peace building.
Given the apparent difficulties of reintegration, the question is whether the situation could have been anticipated and whether UNHCR given its presence in both countries could have made a realistic assessment and shared this with the Governments and the 1972 group of refugees. The socio-economic study into the settlements in Tanzania (2007) showed that the decision making by the refugees whether to repatriate or become naturalised centred on their future access to livelihoods of both options and the insecurity faced with regard to both options. Those interviewed in the study were certain that they could reclaim their old land in Burundi and a major conclusion of the study is that the refugees had to make tough choices with limited information and that these uncertainties made many families opt for repatriation, especially in cases of older family members remembered Burundi.
It was also reported that the church had considerable influence in Katumba settlement and that the number of refugees opting for repatriation increased through the influence of the church. This explains the relatively higher number of returnees from this settlement compared to the other two settlements (Mishamo and Ulyankulu).
Box 5.2 Where is Home?
The Evaluation held a focus group discussion with youth groups of newly naturalised Tanzanians in the Katumba settlement. The interviewees were between 14 and 23 of age, and born in Tanzania. They all said that they never wanted to return to Burundi, as it would be like “returning” to a new unknown country.
“When I think about Burundi, I think about nothing. It is not my country and I have no memories from there” (18 year old boy).
“I feel Tanzanian. I am Tanzanian. All my friends are Tanzanians. I never think about Burundi. I don’t know anything about that country” (14 year old boy).
“What should I do in Burundi? My life is here. I was born here. It would be like a new country for me” (21 year old woman).
Some of the interviewees pointed out that their grandparents and parents were often dreaming about Burundi and often talked about the possibility of returning. “My grandfather always talks about how people and the food is better in Burundi. He wanted to return but he is too old and sick”.
Other interviews held in Katumba settlement confirmed that it was the older generation, who were dreaming about return. They still have memories of life in Burundi and still have a sense of belonging, whereas the younger generation does not have any ties or memories associated with Burundi. Several of the interviewed young people mentioned that there had been disagreement within the household regarding the decision to opt for repatriation or naturalisation. The younger members of the families wanted to stay in Tanzania, whereas the older generation often had been less certain about which option to choose. In some of the families these disagreements had resulted in families deciding to split up. Some of the interviewees explained that they had decided to stay in Tanzania and opt for naturalisation, while their parents had returned to Burundi.
“My parents and grandparents returned to Burundi. I decided to stay in Tanzania alone. I am here alone now. I have better options in Tanzania. It will be easier for me to get an education here” (23 year old woman).
The Evaluation concludes that the repatriation process was completed with issues of allowances and individual needs being solved in the course of the process. UNHCR was the key implementer and instrumental in solving such “practical” issues.
UNHCR reports about Burundi paint a less bleak picture of the reintegration problems encountered than other sources. A similar positive view of the reintegration is found in a major study of the refugees reintegrated in Burundi between 2002 and 2008, (“Impact Evaluation of PRM Humanitarian Assistance to the Repatriation and Reintegration of Burundi Refugees (2003-08)” by Terra P. Group Inc, September 2008). However this study was carried out before the repatriation of the 1972 group and therefore does not include their particular problems of integration. Based on other written sources, the Evaluation is of the view that UNHCR underestimated real difficulties of reintegration both at the strategic level and in implementation i.e. the land scarcity and the political issues of related to land ownership and distribution.
- Objective 2: Burundian refugees who opt to remain, will be naturalised under the citizenship laws of Tanzania by the end of 2008 or early 2009.
As of April 2010, the Minister of Home Affairs had granted citizenship to 162,256 refugees, or 98.7% of the applicants. The delay of more than one year was due to a decision made by the Minister of Home Affairs (Lawrence Masha). Although he continued the overall strategy as first decided by his predecessor, he changed the naturalisation procedure from “fast track”, i.e. to issue citizenship through a Presidential Decree to all refugees as a group, to an “expedited”, i.e. an individual procedure. The “expedited” procedure followed an individual screening but simplified some of the existing procedures. The “fast track” procedure is associated with some unresolved legal issues, such as questions about the citizenship of children, while the expedite process has meant that there will be no legal issues in the future. Newborn children will, for example, automatically qualify for Tanzanian citizenship, because of the introduction of the “expedited “procedure.
The change was also explained to the Evaluation, as a way of instituting the feeling among the refugees that citizenship is something you qualify for and also intended to mitigate negative sentiments in public opinion that citizenship can just be given with the stroke of a pen.
The decision had consequences in terms of resources and timing because all operations of individual naturalisations had to be set up in and outside the settlements. Government officers (immigration and police) had to be trained to manage the process and the local Security Committees had to get involved. The change of process opened up for involvement of a broader group of stakeholders and the challenges were considerable, also due to resistance especially among local officials. It was reported to the Evaluation that almost half of the applicants were simply rejected by the local officials at a certain point in the process. The rejections were not legally valid and typically based on hearsay, speculation or on alleged administrative misdemeanours (such as going outside the settlement without permission).
UNHCR has assisted MoHA with an electronic database to allow the ministry to separate out the different categories of rejections and address them accordingly, for example rejection on grounds of being accused of poaching, without evidence, trial, conviction, was not considered a valid reason for rejection.
About 2,000 applicants still remain in the rejected category and appeals processes are ongoing. UNHCR is currently engaged in assisting the rejected refugees and expects that there will be positive results in most of the cases. More recently, another group of the 1972 refugees has been given attention. This concerns about 24,000 persons, who live in villages primarily around Kigoma. Issues concerning this group were brought up at the Tripartite Commission meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2008. It was decided that this group would not be addressed until the bulk of the work in the settlements was concluded. The decision was that the refugees in Kigoma villages would be offered the same options as the people in the settlements (although they would not be likely to have to relocate after their naturalisation). They are presently being registered and more than 99% have expressed that they would like to apply for naturalisation.
The majority of interviewees stated that it was the competent leaderships of MoHA and UNHCR that made the unprecedented step of naturalisation possible. At the time when the HC’s Initiative was launched, extensive advocacy efforts were being carried out by the then Home Affairs Minister and the former UNHCR Representative to gain support from other ministers, the prime minister’s office and from local governments. The Government of Tanzania also showed the sincerity of its intentions by reducing the naturalisation fees from USD 800/person to USD 50/person.
UNHCR contributed to the capacity building of the immigration department by introducing an electronic processing system, rehabilitation of offices and provision of training. UNHCR also financed vehicles and motorcycles to Government and security offices. Apart from paying USD 3.6 million for naturalisation fees, UNHCR also spent some USD 4.9 million on the processing of naturalisation applications (clerks, lawyers, clearance by local defence and security committees) and for capacity building (including the computerisation of the Citizenship Processing Unit in the Immigration Department).
The Evaluation finds that the implementation of Pillar 2 of the strategy is an extraordinary decision and action taken by the Tanzanian Government. Both the decision to naturalise such a large number of refugees, the reduction in the applicant fee and finally the change from “fast track” to “expedite” underline the extraordinary decisiveness of the Government in offering a durable solution to this group of refugees. The role of UNHCR is assessed to be constructive and adaptable to changing conditions and options. Furthermore, UNHCR played an instrumental role in safeguarding the rights of the applicants in the process.
However, when the naturalisation status of the NNTs was announced on large boards in the settlements in April 2010, it was also communicated that the certificates would not be given until relocation has taken place (as mentioned elsewhere). This is of concern, because the NNTs are presently in a state of “limbo”.
The rights advocacy role calling for the situation to be resolved has been taken on by civil society and national and international observers. The International Research and Rights Initiative (et. al.) has the following view:”To refer to them as citizens seems somewhat premature given that these ’Tanzanians’ are neither allowed freedom of movement, nor the security of having the necessary and vital documentation to prove their status” .
Similar concerns are also expressed in research carried out by the Centre for Forced Migration and the International Refugee Rights Initiative. Meanwhile, UNHCR and the international development partners have been rather quiet.
Full integration of newly naturalised Tanzanians
- Objective 3: Naturalised refugees will be integrated in their new host communities by the end of 2010.
In June 2010 the strategy on local integration (NASCIP) was presented. The plans leading to the strategy have been discussed and worked on over a period of two years. The strategy is a well thought out document. It has been negotiated prior to the launch and a stakeholders’ meeting with high-level presentation (ministerial level) showed that the Government (both local and national) is fully behind the strategy. The strategy deals with sensitive and difficult issues, and the agreement within Government on locations for relocation and local integration, which has been a sore point, appears to be settled. This contrasts to the early days of TANCOSS, when a local consultation was carried out by the Prime Minister’s Office and found that only nine regional commissioners replied that they were willing to accept NNTs. It was said in one interview during the Evaluation that at that time, one district had came up with a large infrastructure plan to be financed and in return the district would accept 30 refugees.
The endorsed strategy includes the final government decision on relocation and local integration and it lists the 50 districts in 16 regions, which have been selected to host NNTs. The document notes that the list includes eight of the top ten regions identified in the household survey conducted in 2008/09, which means that there is some correlation between the wishes of the households and areas designated for relocation. The strategy implementation will run from July 2010-14 and the cost is USD 144 million.
The strategy divides the 35,000 families into three batches or segments:
- Those who are already living outside the settlements and would prefer to continue living in their current locations together with their families (10%);
- Those currently living in the settlements, but who are ready to move on their own initiative to one of the 16 selected regions, with support for moving and for establishing themselves in the local communities there (30%);
- Those who will need greater assistance in selecting a suitable destination, in relocating and in establishing themselves (60%).
UNHCR foresees that the first batch will receive their certificates in July-August 2010and that most of these families will move after the elections to be held in October 2010. The first batch is not a physical move. This batch concerns people who already live outside the settlements with their dependents in the settlements, who will be allowed to join them. The process to move batch B will start after the elections. Batch C will start at the same time but it is anticipated that individual needs will entail longer processes and that the implementation of this batch will take place throughout the strategy implementation.
The strategy includes brief sections on operational support, land acquisition and ownership and community based support. It lays out principles, which aim to secure that rights and protection principles are adhered to. The strategy also acknowledges the losses of existing livelihoods and a large cash grant of USD 500 per person will be given to cover transport, lodging, land transaction fees; shelter and building materials and food assistance. While it is not completely clear in the strategy, it seems that this is a package mainly designed for batch B. Acquisition of land is proposed to be in the open market from individual land owners. It is the intention to avoid, to the extent possible, block allocations of land. This would, according NASCIP, lead to the formation of small enclaves. Associated with the relocation and local integration community based support will include support to a) basic services; b) co-existence programmes (for example environmental protection and health sensitisation campaigns to enhance the integration of host community and NNTs) and lastly support to agricultural production. The community programmes will follow the priorities in the national development plan and be in line with the MDGs. The strategy mentions community-based organizations as service providers. The strategy sees the broader partnerships between the Government and the broader group of UN agencies and other international development partners as partners to the implementation of NASCIP. But the exact modalities are not outlined in the strategy. According to the strategy, larger projects should be done through “implementing partners, using qualified contractors through public tendering processes, which has shown the ability to deliver quality work within a very short time. This statement runs counter to the strategy of UN Delivering As One, which has the local governments as implementers. It also runs counter to the efforts to enhance government ownership and building the capacity of local authorities to implement community projects.
The Evaluation is of the view that the problems of NASCIP are not so much the issues covered in the strategy; it is rather the issues, which are not covered. As it often happens the “devil is in the details”. The strategy lists some principles, one of these principles is to ensure “that NNTs receive their naturalisation certificates in a timely fashion, preferably at the Regional Immigration Office of the concerned region; ensuring proper records of management of naturalisation certificates so that those claiming not to have received their certificates, or to have lost these, or new families… can be issued with replacement certificates, or new certificates. While the strategy is very specific and it is underlined that it is the Government’s policy to close the settlements and the NNTs will be issued with a clearance note when they leave the settlement, the strategy is silent on when in the process the NNTs will receive their certificates. It is stated as a principle, as quoted above but in a way that almost leaves the statement as a wish of the authors of the strategy.
The Evaluation could not establish how and when the certificates will be issued, but was told that this will be elaborated in the plan of operation of the strategy being worked at present. The issuance of certificates has now become a main element of Pillar 3, while it originally was the main objective of Pillar 2.
In order to ease the sentiments of local officials, a number of activities in Rukwa and Tabora and in Mwanza Regions have been carried out. These were strategically targeted activities to establish better infrastructure in the current hosting regions because both regions insisted that none of the NNTs “would ever be allowed to remain in those regions”. The community activities included the rehabilitation of government and community infrastructure such as schools, clinics and water boreholes, as well as activities on forestation. The support to host communities even included a non-traditional activity such as the upgrading of an airstrip in Mpanda. The total UNHCR expenditure for the host community support already amounts to some USD 5 million for 2008 and 2009. In 2010, over USD 2 million is allocated to similar activities, financed as part of Pillar 2.
UNHCR staff also informed the Evaluation that the delays had shaped policy decisions in respect of a more “mature” and balanced approach to the relocation/local integration in Government and the delays had diffused the initial strong resistance of the regional governments. UNHCR has played a key catalytic role in the lengthy and challenging planning process, but it is also noted that it took a long time both for the Government and for UNHCR to create positions in their organizations to deal specifically with Pillar 3 indicating that the challenges were underestimated. When UNHCR recruited a staff member with expertise in local integration in the second quarter of 2010, the process of working out a strategy was speeded up, and after only two months, a document could be presented. The delay should also be looked at in the light of the overall role of UNHCR as a humanitarian agency and the “development challenges” of this pillar. The development of the strategy and the implementation involves other actors than UNHCR’s core clients and this may also be a factor explaining the lengthy process.
The delay in relocation and local integration as well as the apparent lack of information on the conditions is also a sticking issue. At the visit to Katumba settlement it was conveyed that the present uncertainty was unbearable for many. Some families were very concerned about their future move; others appeared to have relatives waiting for them in other locations and one headman interviewed by the Evaluation optimistically said: “a move out of the settlements in turn for citizenship is a small price to pay when you look at the long-term gains”. Nevertheless, this delay and the insecurity created in conjunction with the holding back of the citizenship certificates could potentially jeopardise what is generally considered a success and a remarkable step by the Tanzania Government.
Critical voices are also raised and human rights organizations and public sentiments have pointed to the (unrealised) complexity and the negative aspects of the implementation, i.e. undermining of present economic self-sufficiency and the cultural identity.
Mobilisation of support for TANCOSS
- Objective 4: International support will be mobilised, with UNHCR playing the catalytic role, to ensure burden and responsibility sharing in the implementation of TANCOSS.
The progress on this objective comprises UNHCR’s efforts in resource mobilisation and partnership with development actors (Partnerships are discussed in Chapter 6).
In February 2008, just before the start of the High Commissioner’s Special Initiative, UNHCR launched a supplementary appeal for “Comprehensive Solutions for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania’s Old Settlement”. The appeal, with two-year budgets for both Tanzania and Burundi, was originally at USD 34.2 million, and USD 22.5 million was spent in 2008. The budget for 2009, originally at USD 11.5 million was then revised upwards to USD 28 million, most of which was funded. Funds were mainly raised locally and the visit of the High Commissioner served to boost the visibility of the initiative. Keeping in mind that the supplementary funding appeal for the “expedite” naturalisation process was responded to favourably by the international development partners, indicates a sense of trust that the undertaking would be successful.
The full extent of the budgetary resources to move the NNTs out of the Old Settlements and integrate them in the regions in Tanzania was, according to UNHCR staff, not fully appreciated. The requirements in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment for local integration in 2010 were valued at USD 23.4 million out of which to date UNHCR at present has a spending authority (IBT) of approximately USD 10 million.
UNHCR Tanzania remains engaged in local fund-raising and it is anticipated that it will be possible to bridge the funding gap following the recent approval of Pillar 3. During interviews it was said that if funding would not be forthcoming from the international community, it would be a major disappointment to Tanzania. The Government has taken major steps and also waived most of the fee for naturalisation (mentioned above) and the initial understanding was that the partnership with international development partners would remain intact throughout the implementation. The increased costs of implementation of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2, have meant that funds for Pillar 3 have been “borrowed” to pay for activities in these pillars (as discussed earlier). In meetings with international development partners the Evaluation found that there was preparedness for continued support but there was obviously also a keen interest to learn more about the strategy for Pillar 3 prior to committing funds. One of the international development partners expressed concerns of the human rights aspect of the closure of the settlements and the forced relocation step of Pillar 3. However, at the launch of the strategy for Pillar 3 in June 2010, the same donor did not voice concern and expressed interest in further discussions with UNHCR and the Government on potential support.
Age gender diversity mainstreaming in implementation
UNHCR Tanzania has conducted a participatory assessment with Burundian refugee men, boys, women and girls from the 1972 group to ensure that their different needs were incorporated into the design, planning and implementation of TANCOSS. In October and November 2009 teams from UNHCR and its implementing partners conducted a second round of participatory AGDM assessments with the refugees, who had opted for naturalisation. The assessments aimed to ascertain the issues faced by the refugees and how they prepared themselves both psychologically and materially, as well as their intended coping strategies in relation to the challenges of the movement and local integration.
The refugees shared their views, concerns, and strategies with the teams. Five hundred individuals in Katumba, 400 in Mishamo and 400 in Ulyankulu were involved. They were sampled in such a manner as to ensure that the survey was representative of the population. An overwhelming majority indicated their concerns to move to unknown areas and would prefer to stay in the same regions/districts. Another major concern was the availability of productive land in the final destinations. Many expressed that they do not wish to be perceived as former “refugees” but as Tanzanians. As the majority of the population are productive farmers, most people expressed their desire to be informed by the Government about their destinations and how they would be allocated land. Many in the population expressed that they would prefer to organize their own transportation if they were provided with individual cash assistance. The vulnerable individuals preferred support for the travel through organized transport. Many of the refugees were worried that the movement would disrupt their children’s education and several of the refugees mentioned that the relocation would be a challenge for the older generation in the households as they often have a fragile state of health. Several mentioned that the younger element of the family might leave before older family members in order to prepare the plot of land.
The findings from the age, gender and diversity assessments will be mainstreamed into implementation of NASCIP, which includes the findings of the assessments and strongly advocates for the protection and rights principles to be adhered to. It was reported by UNHCR field staff that budget constraints often limit the chances of AGDM initiatives being implemented. However, the conduct of the AGDM assessments does strengthen UNHCR’s attention to protection needs of different groups.
5.2 UNHCR internal coordination and staffing
The internal coordination in the implementation of Pillar 1, was considered by UNHCR staff, by implementing partners and by the Tanzanian Government to be smooth and well coordinated at all levels. This view could not be triangulated with the views of families being repatriated. The Evaluation is of the view that, the unsolved situation for a large number of returnees in Burundi and the fact that families continue up to the present to be placed in reception centres could possibly have been lessened, as discussed elsewhere in the report. If UNHCR coordination between Burundi and Tanzania offices had taken a regional perspective, the result could have been more nuanced with regard to the situation in Burundi and the particular land issues facing the 1972 group. Analyses in Burundi, similar to those undertaken in Tanzania, could have been generated and given a more realistic picture of the situation to be faced by those choosing repatriation.
The internal coordination in the implementation of Pillar 2 was considered by UNHCR staff to be excellent. Field offices, the Dar es Salaam office and the engagement from Geneva, including the role played by the HC himself, were considered to have been valuable in assisting the Tanzanian Government carry out the vast naturalisation exercise and overcome resistance on the way. This view was shared by the refugee department in the Government and by implementing partners.
The internal coordination in UNHCR on the implementation of Pillar 3 is too premature to assess. The internal coordination in UNHCR is not the main issue in local integration; it is the broader coordination issue among the UN agencies under the auspices of DaO as well as the coordination with Government and within Government and other partners.
UNHCR had at the start of the operation seven offices, 11 international staff, 28 staff national staff and one volunteer. In 2008, to complement the operational capacity to implement TANCOSS, UNHCR created 53 additional posts within a short time, mainly in Tanzania, but also some in Burundi. Moreover offices were established for implementation purposes in Mpanda, Mishamo and Ulyankulu.
Both the MoHA and the implementing partners interviewed were of the view that UNHCR staff were capable. However, the implementing partners interviewed also found the UNHCR staffing pattern, with many international short-term staff with very limited working experience to be frustrating. The implementing partners said that they had to spend time building the capacity of young and inexperienced UNHCR staff. This view was challenged by UNHCR staff, who found that the implementing partners also had staffing problems with frequent vacancies and difficulties in retaining qualified staff in Western Tanzania.
It was apparent in the interviews of the Evaluation that the staff profiles and personalities of UNHCR at the time of strategy formulation were instrumental in “seizing the opportunity” for a durable solution offered by the Tanzanian Government. This has for the Evaluation raised the issue of the role played by UNHCR staff as catalysts. The ability
of UNHCR staff in such a situation to network with a broader range of stakeholders, to engage with Government and to take swift action on opportunities seems to have played a major role initially in Tanzania. According to “UNHCR News Stories” (October 2008) this was not incidental but also a strategic change in the operations of the Tanzania office. In the publication, the former Representative phrases it as: “UNHCR Tanzania has made an important transition from a relatively stable care-and-maintenance operation to a dynamic operation which aims to find a dignified solution for each refugee”. This was also the view of a senior UNHCR official, who said that the country operations are those that have to use their initiative and skills to be catalytic and instrumental in finding durable solutions. The role of the headquarters is then to support and assist bringing in the more global picture, solutions and resources.
It was also pointed out to the Evaluation that strategic deployment in the Tanzania office should have focused on getting a local integration expert with networking and facilitation skills on board earlier in the strategy process. This staff member was only deployed in the second quarter of 2010, and from the time of his deployment, it only took a couple of months to formulate the strategy for Pillar 3 with the Government. A senior UNHCR official did not agree, and pointed out that internal processes in Government had to be negotiated and cleared before Pillar 3 could be developed. The Evaluation has not been able to assess this issue in more detail.
5.3 Conclusions on strategy implementation and the role of UNHCR
Based on the materials available to the Evaluation the reintegration in Burundi has not been as smooth as anticipated. There seems to have been insufficient acknowledgement and understanding of the particular difficulties faced by the 1972 group (in particular their loss of rights to land). This has led to a prolonged situation where returnees have remained in temporary situations. The naturalisation has been completed with the crucial exception that citizen certificates will only be issued upon relocation (Pillar 3). The strategy for relocation and local integration was completed recently and is an agreed document within the Government of Tanzania following some initial disagreements between the national and local governments, as the local governments did not want to receive the refugees. The strategy still has open ends on implementation modalities, also with regard to when and how the citizen certificates will be given. A positive aspect of the strategy is that the understanding of the needs of different segments of the NNT population is to be taken into account. Human rights organizations and public sentiments have pointed to the (unrealised) complexity and negative aspects of the implementation of relocation and local integration. This delay and the lack of information, as well as the insecurity created in conjunction with the holding back of the citizenship certificate, could potentially jeopardise what is generally considered a success and a remarkable step by the Tanzanian Government.
The Evaluation is of the view that the reintegration element of Pillar 1 and the local integration (Pillar 3) are the most difficult elements in TANCOSS. UNHCR did not foresee the difficulties ahead of reintegration although the agency has substantial operations in both countries and a long-time engagement in the Great Lakes Region. The achievement of the objective for local integration depends both on a dignified relocation through a cash grant (including a “travel/movement of assets” component and a “resettlement/ livelihood/land component), and suitable settlement conditions for the families (access to land) but also on the attitude and social acceptance by local governments and host communities, which needs to be carefully designed and monitored. The uncertainty with regard to when in the process the NNTs are likely to become “real” citizens could in, a worst-case scenario, result in the creation of a group of internally displaced persons. Even with certificates in hand the local reintegration is risky and complex and could result in destitution for some families, who are relocated but will not be able to establish a livelihood and be integrated.
UNHCR intends to monitor the situation for some years to come and to mitigate the risks of such situations, even if the implementation will be in a larger group of development partners (including UN DaO) and the Government. It is the view of the Evaluation that UNHCR is playing an important catalytic role in establishing the platform and conditions for the implementation of Pillar 3. However, seen in a broader context the protection mandate of UNHCR would not apply to Tanzanian citizens and this questions the role and authority of UNHCR to act in these circumstances.
UNHCR has been a main catalyst and has been instrumental in the implementation of TANCOSS, which has been driven forward by a clear vision of the Tanzanian Government. All stakeholders point out that UNHCR has played a tireless role as catalyst, given the political intentions of the Government form and modalities and ensured that international standards in line with the mandate of UNHCR have been followed – possibly with the exception of the reintegration in Burundi. The HC Special Initiative has raised awareness at early stages of implementation but has not been visible throughout the process. This is the impression of the Evaluation, although it is recognised that the Evaluation did not have an opportunity to speak to high level decision makers in the Tanzania Government with whom the HC has engaged.
 Protracted Refugee Situations, High Commissioner’s Initiative, pp.26-27, UNHCR 2008.
 Reference is made to the limitations of the Evaluation with regard to the assessment of the repatriation in Burundi. This was discussed in Chapter 2: Methodology.
 TANCOSS IV, p 12.
 UN High Commissioner for Refugees Visit to Tanzania: UNHCR Tanzania Background Information, 2010.
 “Money Matters” (July 2009), p 5.
 UNHCR’s memo on Tanzania 2009 Annual & Supplementary Programme Interim Review, TAN/ DSM/PRG/0251, dated 30 July 2009.
 Ibid, p 11.
 UNHCR: Internal Review, UNHCR’s Engagement in the Peace Building Fund. (March 2010), p 38.
 UNHCR Annual Report Burundi (August 2009).
 Chambeyron, Nathalie: Land Issues in the Context of Refugee Return to Burundi. SOAS, September 2009.
 “Money Matters” (July 2009), p 13.
 Ibid p 5.
 UNHCR has shared the presentation with the Evaluation, but no date for the presentation is available.
 Centre for Study of Forced Migration/International Refugee Rights Initiative/Social Science Research Council: Going Home or Staying Home? Ending Displacement for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania (November 2008).
 Interview with UNHCR staff.
 Interview with senior UNHCR officials and the Refugee and Immigration Departments, MoHA.
 Immigration department, UNHCR senior staff, UNHCR field staff Mpanda.
 Country Report 2009; Interview with senior UNHCR official.
 In accordance with UNHCR’s protection mandate.
 Hovel, Lucy: Naturalisation of Burundian refugees in Tanzania: A New Home? http://www.pambazuka.org/ en/category/comment/64063. Similar views are raised for example in Naturalisation of refugees in Tanzania: Nyerere’s Vision. Daily News: Online edition: Feature: June 1 2010.
 Centre for the Study of Forced Migration/IRRI: “I don’t know where to go”: Burundian Refugees inTanzania under Pressure to Leave, September 2009, and Centre for the Study of Forced Migration/ IRRI/Social Science research Council: “Going Home or Staying Home: Ending Displacement for Burundian refugees in Tanzania, November 2008.
 National Strategy for Community Integration Programme (NASCIP) 2010-14, Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government. The strategy was shared at a “stakeholder meeting” on 22nd June 2010, and the Evaluation received a copy of the strategy on 28th June. During the field visit the Evaluation did not have access to the strategy and interviews were conducted on basis of oral summaries of the draft strategy.
 Interview with senior UNHCR official.
 Tanzania has 26 regions, and 127 districts. The figures show that the relocation will affect about 2/5 of the districts.
 NASCIP, p 4.
 Interview with senior UNHCR official.
 NASCIP p 5.
 Ibid p 10.
 Ibid p 3,
 The success of this strategy may be reflected in the acceptance by the Government that significant numbers of the newly naturalised now will be allowed to fulfil their wish to stay in Rukwa and Tabora Regions (see NASCIP), June 2010.
 Two notably large-scale activities are the upgrading of Mpanda Airstrip and the rehabilitation of Tabora Secondary School for girls. Each project costs over USD 1 million. Source: Country Reports 2008-09; Local integration interventions, solution strategy for Burundian refugees in Tanzania’s Old Settlements provided by UNHCR Tanzania during the Evaluation.
 This view was not triangulated with other sources.
 Interview with headmen in Katumba settlement.
 Tanzania Times 1st June 2010 quoting the International Refugee Rights Initiative.
 Interviews with development partners and UNHCR staff.
 The strategy was presented at a stakeholder meeting on June 22nd 2010.
 Interviews with development partner representatives and UNHCR senior official.
 Limited coordination between ministries and local and central government was an obstacle. The Evaluation did not have a possibility to triangulate these statements.
 TANCOSS I p 10.
 TANCOSS III p 6.
 This view came through strongly in interviews with Government officials, but also with UNHCR staff.
 Q&A: UNHCR in pursuit of durable solutions for refugees in Tanzania, News Stories, 10 October 2008.
 Discussion at debriefing meeting of the mission (UNHCR management and staff).
 Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government: National Strategy for Community Integration Programme: NASCIP 2010-2014.
 Interview with PMO-RALG programme coordinator and UNHCR staff.
 This finding is cursory due to the methodology of the Evaluation.
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