in: Journal of Refugee Studies, first published 28.10.2023
The ever-increasing protracted refugee situations globally have put local integration of refugees into hosting societies high on the international agenda. While recent international frameworks have called for a deeper integration of refugees through the mainstreaming of refugee service provision into national service provision systems, little attention has been paid to the structures and arrangements— the so-called opportunity structures—specifically to how these can either promote or impede integration into host countries. We focus on the mode of social service provision to refugees and how this shapes the context of refugee integration in Ghana and Ethiopia taking into account the implications for structural and relational integration of refugees. We hold the view that mainstreaming service provision to refugees in camps into national systems does not necessarily lead to better refugee integration outcomes. Differences in the quality-of-service provision between humanitarian actors and hosting countries have the potential to determine integration outcomes.