Factors influencing refugees access to social services. The case of Hagadera camp, Dadaab refugee complex in Garissa county, Kenya.
The study was to establish the factors that influence refugees‟ access to social services in Hagadera refugee camp within Dadaab refugee camp, Garissa County, Kenya. It was guided by the following specific objectives: to establish the extent to which donor funding influence refugees‟ access to social services in Hagadera refugee camp, to determine if social factors influence refugees‟ access to social services in Hagadera refugee camp and to find out if institutional factors influence refugees‟ access to social services in Hagadera refugee camp. The study adapted a descriptive survey research design. A descriptive survey examines a situation as it is and yields quantative information that can be summarized through statistical analyses. The sample of respondents was determined using random sampling which relies on mere chance to determine who would be selected in the sample. The target population was 1800 households. In total two types of stakeholders were involved in the study: the refugees and workers in humanitarian organizations. Methods of data collection used were both primary and secondary. Primary data was collected from questionnaires that were distributed to the refugees, NGO employees, and even security agents. Secondary data was obtained from UNHCR and NGO records. The qualitative data obtained was summarized and organized according to common themes and presented using statistical package for social science (SPSS) to generate frequency distributions and percentages to assist the researcher in answering the research questions. The main findings of the study indicated that donor funding was a major contributor to refugees accessing social services in Hagadera camp with all the humanitarian agencies depending wholly on donor funding. The respondents were of the view that the provision of social services to the refugees was directly proportional to the amount of donor funding released. It was also noted that humanitarian organizations were not receiving enough funds to drive their humanitarian agenda. They also indicated that corruption, wastage of resources, insufficient, poor quality services, misappropriation of resources, poor administration, poorly trained teachers and school management and unequal service distribution were some of the problems they faced in accessing education as a social service within Hagadera refugee camp. The study concluded that refugees were not receiving adequate social services and therefore recommended a number of things. The refugees should be made more aware of the services that are provided within the camp by various agencies through the most effective means possible. Donor funding should be increased and made more flexible. Humanitarian organizations should diversify their sources of funds to ensure that they have a solid financial base as well as having a clear organization structure with well-defined criteria for selection of service providers, their qualifications, in-service training timetables. They should also minimize wastage of resources assigned to them by donors by coming up with strict guidelines on financial matters. The refugees should also be empowered and helped to feel that they have a role to play in shaping their destiny. Finally security surveillance should be enhanced more within the camp to ensure that refugees feel safe while going to access social services within the camp.