Recent publications

TRAFIG Synthesis report

TRAFIG Synthesis report
June 2022

'Nothing is more permanent than the temporary' – Understanding protracted displacement and people's own responses

Final report sums up findings of 3 1/2 years of TRAFIG research.

Across the world, 16 million refugees and an unknown number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) experience long-lasting conditions of economic precarity, marginalization, rightlessness and future uncertainty. They live under conditions of protracted displacement.... Read more

TRAFIG policy brief no. 7

TRAFIG policy brief no. 7
June 2022

Creating a way out of the maze: Supporting sustainable futures for displaced persons

As displacement continues to rise globally, more and more people are ‘stuck’ in situations of protracted displacement, where they find themselves in a long-term situation of vulnerability, dependency and legal insecurity, lacking or actively denied opportunities to rebuild their lives. Drawing lessons from more than 3 years of research, this policy brief highlights critical entry points for European stakeholders seeking solutions for (protracted) displacement. Read more

TRAFIG working paper no. 10

TRAFIG working paper no. 10
December 2021

Figurations of Displacement in and beyond Germany

Empirical findings and reflections on mobility and translocal connections of refugees living in Germany

This working paper presents the findings of the empirical research on the role of connectivity and mobility for displaced people in Germany in the framework of the TRAFIG project. The findings are based on qualitative fieldwork in Germany, with 73 qualitative interviews with displaced peop... Read more

TRAFIG practice note no. 12

TRAFIG practice note no. 12
July 2022

In the shoes of a Congolese refugee:

Online game helps to understand urban refugees' legal struggles

The TRAFIG team developed an interactive story-based online simulation to sensitise practitioners and the public to the multiple challenges urban refugees in Dar es Salaam face. Feedback workshops with refugees, government officials and other local stakeholders in Tanzania and with scholars and students in the Netherlands helped to refine the... Read more

"Some things should be kept unclear"

April 2022

Researching Congolese in The Netherlands

By Catherina Wilson, Oussama El Khairi and Sapin Makengele, 11.04.2022

A small team from Leiden University undertook exploratory research amongst the Congolese community in The Netherlands to better understand both their local embeddedness and their transnational networks. Yet, the researchers often encountered skepticism, silence and rejection. What can we learn from their experience, about the ‘ongoi... Read more

Special Issue in JEMS

Special Issue in JEMS
August 2022

Unsettling Protracted Displacement: Connectivity and Mobility beyond Limbo

Key results and reflections from the TRAFIG project have just been published in a special issue in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS).

The 9 contributions present novel insights of empirical research in African, Asian and European countries on the role of connectivity and mobility in the lives of displaced people, they critically engage with policies,... Read more


TRAFIG, Transnational Figurations of Displacement, is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 research and innovation project. From 2019 to 2022, 12 partner organisations investigate long-lasting displacement situations at multiple sites in Asia, Africa and Europe and analyse options to improve displaced people’s lives.

Displacement is normally regarded as a temporary phenomenon. Yet, about 16 million people— more than two thirds of 20.4 million refugees worldwide—have been in exile for long periods of time without prospects of return, resettlement or local integration. The number of internally displaced persons who cannot return is unknown. Both groups find themselves in protracted displacement.

The project aims at generating new knowledge to help develop solutions for protracted displacement that are tailored to the needs and capacities of persons affected by displacement. TRAFIG looks at how transnational and local networks as well as mobility are used as resources by displaced people to manage their everyday lives.


  • provides academic evidence on refugee movements and protracted displacement
  • analyses which conditions could help to improve displaced people’s everyday lives
  • informs policymakers on how to develop solutions to protracted displacement.

TRAFIG Poster - 10 Key takeaways from our research

TRAFIG Poster - 10 Takeaways These 10 takeaways are further explained in the TRAFIG Policy Handbook.