The social and political dimensions of internal displacement in Uganda: Challenges and opportunities–a systematic review

Joseph K. Kamara, Sheila Cyril, Andre M.N. Renzaho

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Internal displacement has been a common occurrence in Uganda since the late 1800s. However, studies that examine the entire spectrum of the social and political dimensions of internal displacement in Uganda are scarce. The aim of this systematic review was to (1) examine the social and political dimensions of internal displacement to inform policy and practice to better meet the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Uganda; and (2) evaluate the advances made in addressing IDPs’ needs and their protection. Both quantitative and qualitative studies on internally displaced persons in Uganda, published between 1962 and 31 July 2014, were included in this systematic review. A total of 2,529 relevant studies were identified of which 25 met our inclusion criteria. The findings suggest that living conditions, physical and mental health, vulnerability and adaptive capacity, livelihood, and settlement are key factors in internal displacement. These social dimensions were governed by political factors, including foreign policy, human rights abuses, and land dispossession. The findings suggest that the government did not comply with its IDP protection policy and the international standards that it advocated for. Contextual solutions addressing political and social aspects are needed to prevent and mitigate the impact of internal displacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-473
Number of pages30
JournalAfrican Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • conflict
  • human rights violation
  • internally displaced persons
  • land dispossession
  • Uganda

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