Comprehensive analysis on legal stay for Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Somaliland

  • Contract
  • Somalia
  • TBD USD / Year

Norwegian Refugee Council

Tender Reference number: 8202439/SOFM2205

Title: Comprehensive analysis on legal stay for Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Somaliland

Travel: No travel required for this consultancy (home-based)

Duration: 30 working days (Between November and December 2022)

Organization: Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Critical interfaces: ICLA Specialist, ICLA regional adviser and ICLA project coordinator Somaliland


According to UNHCR, Somaliland hosts 16,841 (9,466 refugees and 7,375 asylum seekers) registered refugees and asylum seekers, mostly originating from Ethiopia or Yemen.[1] Most refugees and asylum seekers are in Hargeisa, Borama and Berbera. A mix of economic factors and violence are key drivers for most refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to move to Somaliland. The Somaliland Constitution provides that international agreements entered into by the Republic of Somalia, which includes the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, will continue to be respected by the Republic of Somaliland. Whilst currently Somaliland does not yet have any Refugee Act, in 2011, there was an endorsement of the Somaliland National Asylum Policy. Somaliland’s National Displacement and Refugee Agency (NDRA) is the national mandated agency that initially receives asylum seekers and conducts the registration. Somaliland authorities recognize refugee status accorded by UNHCR, which conducts first instance Refugee Status Determination (RSD) and appeals. Yemenis, Syrians and Palestinians are accorded refugee status on a prima facie basis in Somaliland.[2] All other nationalities are required to undergo individual RSD. Currently, there are no reception centers for refugees on the border between Somaliland and Ethiopia, except in Berbera which has one reception center for both returnees and refugees from Yemen. Yemen and Somaliland have a centuries-old relationship of trade between the ports of Aden and Berbera.[3] Both Somalis and Yemenis attest to shared cultural values. Furthermore, before the Yemeni war, educated, middle-class Yemenis had been coming to Somaliland for business.

Refugees and asylum-seekers mainly reside in urban locations. Without adequate access to quality public education and health, there is a high dependency of children and youth on UNHCR and partners for assistance.[4] Asylum seekers are protected from refoulement and largely from arbitrary arrest and detention. While the protection environment for Yemenis remains more favourable due to religious, cultural and historical ties with the host community, Ethiopian and Eritrean People of Concern (PoCs) face greater challenges in terms of access to work, freedom of movement and socio-economic integration. Additionally, there are several instances where asylum seekers who are not familiar with process of applying for asylum face illegal deportation in Somaliland. For example in 2022, there were reports of some refugees and asylum seekers arrested in villages and streets and taken to a transit site where those who have asylum cards or an appointment slip were released, while those without were immediately deported. Such operations have affected women, children, the elderly, and business people.

Furthermore, other groups such as vulnerable migrants are exposed to protection risks. Some migrant families who remain in Somaliland to engage in casual work and after months or years they travel onwards through a network of smugglers. Approximately 450,000 children are also on the move in Somaliland each year. These children face a number of risks, from child marriage, rape and sex-trafficking to mental health problems and even death.[5] Legal stay is not an end in itself but rather a pre-condition to ensure protection and durable solutions.[6] Without securing a legal stay, refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants are exposed to protection risks such as refoulement, deportation, trafficking and other forms of abuse.[7] Displaced populations in an irregular situation in a host country will face serious constraints or even be prevented from accessing education, health care or employment.

UNHCR has contracted NRC to implement the Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN)[8]. The UNHCR-led trend analysis project uniquely designed to monitor, document and report on protection challenges and displacements, including returns of populations in Somalia and Somaliland. The project is conceptualized on protection and population movement trend analysis framework. PRMN generates a wide range of vital protection information. PRMN partners have consistently collected information on the protection challenges faced by vulnerable groups such as refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Somaliland. A comprehensive analysis on barriers and obstacles to legal status and stay faced by these groups is critical.


Overall objective: The study aims to assess the current protection environment in Somaliland within the context of legal stay and subsequently document barriers and obstacles to legal status and stay faced by PoCs in Somaliland.

Specific Objectives:

  • To identify legal challenges and prohibitive conditions faced by Persons of Concern (PoCs) in obtaining legal status in Somaliland;
  • To develop recommendations for programming and, policy influence with the context of legal status and stay in Somaliland.
  • To make concrete proposals for project design on legal stay and status in Somaliland.

Kindly note that further details to the specific objectives and scope of this work can be added during the inception period.


Information for this report will be gathered through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. This will include a desk review of existing literature and the NRC Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) and PRMN programmes’ experience with these issues, complemented by qualitative research. For this effort, research will be conducted Somaliland.

  • The qualitative fieldwork will include focus group discussions (FGDs) with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, and other key stakeholder interviews (KIIs).
  • Enumerators will record data generated during the KII and FGD on detailed data collection sheets used for the analysis. The NRC ICLA team will conduct the FGDs and share with the consultant who will then analyse and documents the findings.
  • The quantitative field work will include household surveys. This will be discussed in detail with the consultant.
  • In addition, NRC shall collect a number of case studies to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues and how they affect DACs. All names of individuals shall be withheld to respect respondents’ privacy.
  • The consultant shall triangulate all the findings across multiple data sources, in particular the comparison of the qualitative findings with ICLA and PRMN programme’s experience and data.

Consultant’s tasks and deliverables

Under the overall supervision of the ICLA Specialist, the consultant will:

  • An inception report max. 10 pages, providing an overview of scope of work detailing the approach including the focus, methodology, format and an annex of tools.
  • Conduct a targeted literature review: The consultant will conduct a desk study/ literature review of all available documentation including a review of different program documents, study reports, advocacy action plans and reports, research, policy and influencing products etc
  • Interviews with Key Informants: The consultant is expected to conduct some key informant interviews. NRC will guide the consultant to prepare the inception report and identity actors for the data collection.
  • Analyse findings from the focus group discussions and interview notes from the key stakeholder interviews (KIIs).
  • Produce a 30 page report that outlines the challenges, gaps and recommendations, including a compelling rationale as well as practical policy and implementation options. This should include pathways for stakeholders to operationalize the available innovative tools, frameworks and approaches to ensure legal stay for PoCs.
  • Produce a 5 page Policy Brief that distils the key findings and messages for decision makers and key stakeholders.
  • Produce a check list on identification and implementation of projects on legal stay and status in Somaliland.

Under general coordination of the ICLA specialist, a technical advisory committee for the study will be established to provide technical guidance. The committee shall review the inception report, review the final report and facilitate a debriefing workshop. An inception report outlining the approach, based on the desk study and the list of relevant stakeholders, as well as a work plan for the assignment shall be developed and finalised before the assignment starts.


  • A Master’s or PhD degree in law, development studies, social or political science or other field relevant for the consultancy;
  • Research experience and publishing with an emphasis on forced displacement;
  • Experience in transdisciplinary work on refugee, migrant and IDP issues;
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English with demonstrated writing skills is required.

Submission of application

  • All Bids should include:
    • A cover letter introducing the consultant. In the case of a firm, the cover letter should introduce the team composition and specifying the role to be played by each team member.
    • A technical proposal of not more than 5 pages outlining how to execute the task with a clear framework, methodology and timelines. Proposed methodology should demonstrate a clear understanding of the ToR.
    • Resume of the consultant, or each team member for firms
    • Evidence of experience conducting similar assignments
    • Proposed budget indicating consultancy fee and all auxiliary costs in USD.


[2] UNHCR Multi-year Multi-partner protection and solutions strategy


[4] See note 2


[6] NRC Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance Global Strategy 2022-2025.

[7] Ibid


How to apply

Submission: Consultant/firm that meet the requirements mentioned above are invited to submit detail technical and financial proposals on or before 1st November 2022 and should be addressed to [email protected] referencing: “Comprehensive analysis on legal stay for Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Somaliland.”

*Closing date: 1-Nov-22