Home Lands Pilot Research

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Notes and misc information on the research being conducted by Andrew Garton for the Home Lands Pilot Project. This entails results from meetings in South Africa and Kenya towards the pilot being run in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, northern Kenya.


Outcomes to date

An overview of research outcomes as of 28 April 2008.

Online resources

Established wiki pages to track various aspects of this project including the provision of introduction information and documents for prospective project partners, associates and supporters.

In addition, provision had been made to publish material onto the apc.au blog to track the project as it evolved.

Research presentation

Preparation and delivery of Home Lands Research presentation to APC Board, management and staff.

This resulted in an enthusiastic response from attendees to the presentation and a commitment to assist in obtaining UNHCR contacts to enable details for a site visit to Kakuma, Kenya.

Furthermore, information regarding like-projects was provided by APC staff who have worked across these fields in countless countries.

This presentation also secured support from ALIN's, James Nguo, who provided a budget should we require their assistance. This entailed costs for guide/translator, use of a car from their car pool and some administrative assistance.

UNHCR briefing paper

Briefing paper prepared for UNHCR detailing research requirements for Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. This document was requested by APC management to assist in their efforts to secure UNHCR support to this project.

Road to Kakuma

APC management assisted in securing support from UNHCR Geneva towards sourcing personnel and logistics information that would ensure safe passage from Nairobi to Kakuma.

UNHCR assistance

Various layers of assistance have been provided by the UNHCR. This includes support from officers in Geneva, Nairobi and Kakuma.

These contacts have been invaluable in securing the information required to gain access to Kakuma as well as overall support for Home Lands in general.

UNHCR officers, in every instance, have been responsive, reliable and very supportive.

Logistical support


UNHCR officers have cleared our consultant for travel on their chartered flights to Kakuma. All related logistics are detailed in the January 2008 advisory.


Nairobi based Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) have offered to provide logistical support, where possible, to Home Lands.

Regional Director, Jame Nguo, sent through a listing of costs on 8 February which was forwarded to the Home Lands team in Melbourne. James also offered to assist with UNHCR communications and any other logistical requirements.

To date, ALIN have organised accommodation in Nairobi and airport pick-up and drop-off at their own expense.


UK based NGO, ComputerAid, have also offered logistical support via their office in Nairobi. In addition, they have provided information on the status of the violence post-election and the state of play in Nairobi in general.

To date, ComputerAid have provided a list of alternative accommodation options in Nairobi as well as general costs for taxi, food, etc.

Road to Mae Sot

With Home Lands Project Officer, Kirsty Baird, introducing our consultant to various colleagues and contacts in Thailand, interest in a visit to Mae Sot had emerged. Ongoing communications suggested such a visit would be possible.

Willow Kellock had made arrangements for various groups to meet with our consultant in and around Mae Sot. We were keen to follow through on this, but only if there was capacity within the budget to do so. The consultant sought to draw resources from the first, original research budget, to make this trip possible.

In addition the following groups had expressed interest in meeting with the consultant, and or discussing their experiences in working along the Thai/Burma border.

  • PETA Mekong: Philippine's based theatre group running extensive performing arts workshops and events in the region. Their Mekong Director is a personal friend of our consultant and was making provisions to meet with him in BKK.
  • TacticalTech: International organisation providing Thai based NGOs with ICTs/communications training in the use of wireless, portable and open platform technologies. Although meetings to coincide in early March did not take place, email communication has been sustained.
  • Both organisations and individuals within these groups who have worked with the consultant in the past, had offered introductions to other groups in the region working specifically with media / video tools for social reform, health and education.

Communications overview

The program to date has provided for considerable information regarding ICT capabilities in Kenya, particularly as the consultant has had to navigate various communications options to gain access to personnel there.

This information, indicative of the reality of working in Africa, will be provided in the final report.


It is recommended that Home Lands make use of innovative and appropriate technologies. In doing so it:

  • investigates best practice in the use of available and appropriate tools given capacity of communications infrastructure;
  • ensures technologies are compliant with local conditions;
  • gains value from the expertise of open platform communications tools and services, specifically that which has been tried and tested in remote communications requirements;
  • innovates in the use of open platform tools and methodologies if applicable given the circumstances and conditions at location sites.

For instance, it may *not* be appropriate to create a production strategy that replicates conditions in Kakuma to that of our crew in Melbourne. In fact, I would be recommending an entirely different approach for such locations, that which is responsive to:

  • local environmental conditions;
  • limited access to on site communications infrastructure;
  • political sensitivities;
  • an active repatriation program.


Schedule revised 30 March (includes trip to Istanbul, as part of a Secession / Toy Satellite project):

  • 06 Apr, Sun: Dep Cape Town
  • 07 Apr, Mon: Arr Nairobi
  • 10 Apr, Thu: Dep (Late flight) Nairobi
  • 11 Apr, Fri: Arr J'burg
  • 13 Apr, Sun: Dep J'burg
  • 14 Apr, Mon: Arr BKK / Dep BKK for Istanbul
  • 27 Apr, Sun: Dep Istanbul / BKK / Melbourne

If Istanbul proves too costly, the schedule will be as follows:

  • 06 Apr, Sun: Dep Cape Town
  • 07 Apr, Mon: Arr Nairobi
  • 10 Apr, Thu: Dep (Late flight) Nairobi
  • 11 Apr, Fri: Arr J'burg
  • 13 Apr, Sun: Dep J'burg
  • 14 Apr, Mon: Arr BKK
  • 21 Apr, Mon: Dep BKK / Melbourne


See Home Lands Research Options for budget details and related narratives.



James Nguo
Regional Director
Arid Lands Information Network - Eastern Africa (ALIN-EA) Tel. +254 733 888 164

Alice Munya
Kenya ICT Action Network
Tel. +254 20 4453671

Emily Hughes
Slum TV
Tel. 071 125 6177

Gladys Muhunyo
Africa Programme Manager
Computer Aid International
4th Floor International House
P.O BOX 1491-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel. +254 (0)20 2230827
Fax. +254 (0)20 2230828
Mob. +254(0)722 707140

Ezekiel Okello
Slum Cinema (not Slum TV)
Tel. +254 (0) 722 338055
Email. doacomedia@yahoo.com

Grace Githaiga
EcoNews Africa, Kenya Community Media Network
Tel. 254-20-2721076, 2721655, 2725743
Email. ggithaiga@econewsafrica.org


Lydia Gachungi
Tel.254 20 7622566/347/348/616
Email. Lydia.Gachungi@unesco.unon.org

UNHCR, Geneva

Ahmed Warsame
UNHCR, Geneva
Email. WARSAME@unhcr.org

UNHCR, Kenya

Mahmood Syed Hussain
UNHCR Branch Office, Nairobi
Email. HUSSAINM@unhcr.org

Bernard E.H. Quah
UNHCR Branch Office, Nairobi
Email. QUAH@unhcr.org

Catherine Masha
UNHCR, Kenya
Email. MASHA@unhcr.org

Contact Catherine to arrange reservations for UN chartered flights to Kakuma.

Mohammad Arif
OIC Sub-Office Kakuma
Email. ARIF@unhcr.org


Mr Peter Kusimba
Refugee Affairs Department
Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons
Tel. +254 020 317 393, +254 020315 086
Fax. +254 020 313 012


Getting to Kakuma

Nyuol recommends Peter Mabouch as traveling companion and adviser for Kakuma vist.

From Archangelo N. Madut, Counsellor/Advocate, Foundation House: Peter Mabouch who is currently in Nairobi-Kenya, Peter is a young Sudanese refugee who has been in Kakuma refugee camp since 1992, he has strong network and connections in Kakuma and he is happy to travel with Andrew to Kakuma.


Kakuma, Kenya Research Briefing Paper

Type: Briefing paper

Abstract: Briefing paper prepared for UNHCR detailing research requirements for Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.

Home Lands Research Proposal

Type: Proposal

Abstract: Proposal prepared towards the provision of information required to support the Home Lands Pilot Project.

UN Kenya logistics

Type: Briefing paper

Abstract: Logistics information for journalists (and researchers) visiting refugee camps in Kenya. Issued January 2008.




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