TRAFIG Meeting in Brighton
The University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) was the chosen location for a gathering of several TRAFIG members over a couple of days (5-6 June 2019). Colleagues from across Europe, with several others from around the globe joining virtually, met to discuss the progress so far in Work Package 3, which is dedicated to analysing the governance of displacement. We heard presentations on the draft reports from Pakistan, Jordan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy and Greece. We discussed in particular overarching policy trends in a cross-country comparison, and how these reports will inform our empirical work in the near future.
In the evening of the first day of our meeting, we presented the TRAFIG project to a wider audience at a public lecture. We introduced the “Transnational Figurations of Displacement” conceptual framework adopted (see TRAFIG Working Paper No. 1), analysed lessons from the past on how protracted displacement situations unfold, and discussed some provisional findings on governing displacement in the Global North and South.
The second day of our meeting at the University of Sussex was dedicated to making progress on our methods handbook and ethical guidelines, in advance of our empirical work soon to start. We also planned our participation in upcoming events (such as the IMISCOE Annual Conference, the CEASEVAL Project Conference, and the IASFM Conference), and brainstormed a few more exciting ideas – watch this space!
Policy Roundtable in Brussels \ What solutions for Protracted Displacement?
The policy roundtable “What solutions for Protracted Displacement?” was organised on May 22, 2019 in Brussels by the International Centre for Migration and Policy Development (ICMPD) and BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion). This event provided a space for 36 participants from a variety of sectors, including EU institutions, governments, civil society organizations, think-tanks, and academia to discuss possible policy options and solutions to protracted displacement. During the event, stakeholders contributed to the discussion with their perspectives and knowledge on policy development and perspectives on how to address the needs of refugees and IDP’s in conjunction to their host communities.
Considering that protracted displacement situations last an average of 26 years, and in many cases far longer, strategies must operate on a multi-level and multi-partner basis in order to be effective. Because of their unique position, transnational communities have a particularly crucial role to play in the preparation processes for crisis responses and information and support provisions for displaced communities. Participants at the roundtable also agreed on the general necessity to work towards a needs-based approach that addresses the vulnerabilities of those concerned, irrespective of the category they belong to – IDPs, refugees, migrants (in countries of crisis), or local host communities, while upholding access to protection of those in need.
During the roundtable, ICMPD’s recent study co-funded by OFID, “Bridging refugee protection and development: Policy recommendations for applying a development-displacement nexus approach” was presented which explores ways to construct effective strategies in the implementation of a development-displacement approach. It acknowledges that strategies should be uniquely tailored in accordance with the features of each individual situation, while keeping in mind important lessons learned from major middle-income refugee-hosting countries, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. As recognised by the EU’s framework on forced displacement and development “Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance”, an indispensable approach to protracted displacement comes in the form of a shift from humanitarian assistance, which provides some short-term relief, to development assistance, which includes a projected plan and long-term funding for certain development goals.
Displaced people are engaged in creating and finding solutions on their own if long-term solutions provided by states are out of sight. Networks and practices, spanning from one place to another, are valuable resources for displaced people to cope with and potentially resolve situations of protracted displacement. Hence, solutions should effectively depart from the practices, capacities and strategies of those concerned (an example being the self-organisations of displaced populations), and create more inclusive and holistic engagement platforms which also consider the role of the diaspora for instance, in creating solutions.
The roundtable was organised in the framework of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research project “Transnational Figurations of Displacement” (TRAFIG) which will investigate long-lasting displacement situations at multiple sites in Asia, Africa and Europe and analyse options to improve displaced people’s lives. To read more about the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project TRAFIG, click here.
You can find the link to the press release here.