RUB Research School

Doctoral Candidate Abdirahman Mahamud

Social Science

Transnational engagements of the Ethiopian-Somali diaspora and the social protection role of their remittances

Migrants’ remittances, that is, the money sent by migrants to their relatives, friends, and families in places of origin, have been extensively studied in the last decades by policy makers, practitioners, and researchers. These remittances are considered a vital lifeline and an important resource for reducing poverty in migrant-origin countries. Additionally, they have been linked to violent conflicts in these regions. My dissertation aims to investigate the case of the Ethiopian-Somali diaspora, an ethnic Somalis from the Eastern Ethiopian region called the Somali Regional State (SRS), and the role that remittances play as informal social protection for their relatives in place of origin. Given the income fluctuations, and vulnerability to disasters experienced by most households in developing countries and the low capacities of governments to provide functional social protection to all members, the significance of informal social protection mechanisms in these countries cannot be underestimated. Households in poor areas like the Somali region need to have access to social protection mechanisms that provide appropriate welfare levels.

This dissertation uses a qualitative approach to examine the informal social protection role that remittances play for migrants' families in their countries of origin. Grounded Theory Methodology serves as the basis for the research design. The study will employ a mix of snowball and purposive sampling techniques to select a multi-sited (and unliked) sample of remittance recipients in the Somali region and senders in selected Western countries.

Supervisor: Prof.  Dr. Margit Fauser


About Abdirahman Mahamud

Short CV (Education)

  • Since October 2022, Ph.D. candidate at the chair of Sociology / Transnationalization, Migration and Work
  • 2014-2016 master’s degree in social Structure and Social Change, Istanbul University, Turkey
  • 2008-2011 bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Jigjiga University, Ethiopia
  • Fellowship: Fellowship under the SYLFF Fellowship Program from the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research
  • Fellowship: Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT). IDOS, Germany. December 2021 – April 2022.
  • Scholarship: Turkish Government Scholarship for International Students for studying MA in Social Structure and Social Change at Istanbul University, Turkey. 2014-2016.


Research interests

  • Forced migration (refugees and Internal displacements)
  • Durable solutions
  • Migration and development
  • Diaspora
  • Social protection
  • Transnationalism
  • Abis Getachew, Höckel, L., Jana Kuhnt, Abdirahman A. Muhumad, & Armin von Schiller, Improving Employment and Social Cohesion among Refugee and Host Communities through TVET. IDOS Policy brief, Bonn.
  • Samuel K M Agblorti, Abis Getachew, Jana Kuhnt, Abdirahman A. Muhumad (2023). Context Matters: The Implications of the Mode of Service Provision for Structural and Relational Integration of Refugees in Ghana and Ethiopia.Journal for Refugee Studies
  • Abdirahman A. Muhumad, Grävingholt J., Flaig, M. (2023). Displacement cases: Ethiopia. In Jochen Oltmer, Marcel Berlinghoff, Franck Düvell, Ulrike Krause, Andreas Pott (Eds.), Report Global Flight 2023. Fischer. ISBN: 978-3-596-70890-1  
  • Abdirahman A. Muhumad & Rose Jaji, (2023). Somali Refugees, Informality, and Self-Initiative at Local Integration in Ethiopia and Kenya. Journal on Migration and Human Security.
  • Abdirahman, A. Muhumad, Fadal, M., Hussein, M., Iyer, P., and Brain L. December 2022. ‘Bridging the gap: environmental change, mobility and policy in Ethiopia’s Somali Region and Somaliland’. London: EU Trust Fund for Africa (Horn of Africa Window) Research and Evidence Facility. Ibrahim Bangura, Ananya Chakraborty, Ana Garcia-Hernandex, Lennart Kaplan, Jana Kuhnt, Abdirahman A. Muhumad, Janina Steinert, Dayana Tellez. (2022)., Ethical failures in global research: violations of Sustainable Development Goal 8, ‘decent work for all’. The Lancet Global Health, 10(5), e619
  • -Abdirahman A. Muhumed, Elizabeth Stites, Elizabeth Alexion, Delia Burns (2021). “Livelihood Components of Durable Solutions for IDPs: Assessment of three cases in Somali Region, Ethiopia”. Boston, MA: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Binkert E., Flaig, M., Frucht L., Grävingholt J., Konig J., Kuhnt J., Lendie P., Muhumad A., Potinus K., (2021) Local governments and sustainable integration of refugees in Ethiopia. German Development Institute Discussion Paper No 21/2021. Available at
  • Muhumad A. (2019). Impediments to civil registration: The case of Somali regional state in Ethiopia. Journal of Social Policy Conferences, 77,


(Latest conferences and workshops)

  • Co-organized the 1st Jigjiga International Book fair, Jigjiga, Ethiopia. November 2022.

Professional experience

  • Since November 2023, research fellow at the chair of Sociology / Transnationalization, Migration and Work
  • October 2019 - 2023, Researcher (and lecturer) at the Institute of Migration Studies, Jigjiga university, Ethiopia
  • December 2021 - April 2022, Research fellow at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS), Forced Migration and Refugees: Networking and Knowledge Transfer Project (FFVT), Germany
  • 2018 - 2019, IDP Protection Specialist at Danish Refugee Council, Ethiopia
  • 2017 - 2018, Child protection officer at UNICEF, Ethiopia


  • Member of the Ethiopian Network of Migration Researchers
  • Member of Ethiopian Network of Academics on Forced Displacement (ENADF)
  • Member of organizing committee of Jigjiga International Bookfair
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