Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has provided asylum to people fleeing armed conflict and persecution in neighboring countries, especially South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. Ugandas progressive refugee policy grants refugees freedom of movement, the right to seek employment and establish businesses, and to access public services such as education, health care and justice. As of end February 2018, Uganda hosted some 1.4 million refugees in the country. Including from South Sudan (73%), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, 19%), Burundi (3%), Somalia (3%) and Rwanda (1%) and others. While many feedback and refugee consultation systems already exist in the Uganda refugee response, recent assessments have shown the need for improvement to enable refugees to reach out, and for such feedback to be systematically managed and acted upon.
There is also a need for all partners to collaborate to overcome scattered siloes in feedback mechanisms. Effective and accountable humanitarian responses require active participation of persons of concern in all decision making that influence their lives. Continuous and meaningful inclusion of persons of concern involves understanding their needs and protection risks, and pursuing protection, assistance and solutions that take into account their perspectives and priorities. As part of the Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) framework, the Uganda refugee response needs to ensure that all formal and informal communications from persons of concern, both positive and negative, inform protection, assistance and solutions programming, and that timely corrective action is taken as appropriate by all partners concerned. To achieve this, it is necessary to ensure coordinated and effective response to refugees needs by establishing an enhanced, robust, and comprehensive inter-agency feedback, referrals and resolution mechanism
The Comprehensive Feedback, Referral and Resolution Mechanism in Uganda will consist of a comprehensive set of common or shared channels for communication with refugees that they can use to provide and receive feedback, including a countrywide toll-free helpline. The tools and protocols will be rolled out gradually and adopted in each settlement taking into account the AAP framework and the age, gender and diversity (AGD) approach. The system will provide data and support to UNHCR and partners operating in the refugee response in the country.