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The humanitarian landscape is changing rapidly, with record numbers displaced worldwide over longer periods of time, fewer living in settled camps, and large funding shortfalls. As a result, business-as-usual is no longer working for refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and their host communities. Refugees and IDPs who are displaced for 5, 10, or 20 years need access to basic social services and legal work—opportunities that will enable them to not only survive, but also recover and thrive.
There is emerging agreement around the need to bridge the divide between humanitarian and development actors, and deliver sustainable solutions that are integrated with host government systems. Driven by increasing global momentum, new financing platforms and mechanisms are emerging to address some of these challenges, and there is tremendous opportunity to shape their design and structure.
What effort is CGD undertaking to address this challenge?
CGD and IRC are convening a joint study group to explore what a sound partnership framework between host governments and development and humanitarian actors might look like in protracted displacement scenarios. This effort is guided by a vision of displaced people having meaningful opportunities that promote long-term economic, social, and institutional development.
The group will focus on two sectors with significant need and tremendous scope to enable displaced populations and host communities to achieve self-reliance: education and livelihoods.
The agenda is built around the following initial set of guiding questions:
What policy considerations can help harness the resources and expertise of both the humanitarian and development communities to deliver sustainable solutions for displaced populations and their host communities?
How can actors encourage evidence-based approaches and a commitment to generating new evidence?
What incentives are needed to foster new innovations and facilitate increased private sector collaboration?
CGD study groups are consultative in nature, bringing together a small group of diverse experts to address a challenge that does not necessarily have a clear answer or solution. Members of the Forced Displacement and Development Study Group include current and former experts from donor and host governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and academia. All written products (e.g., policy brief, final report) resulting from this work stream are grounded in guidance and feedback from study group members, but do not necessarily reflect their views or endorsement.
Study Group Co-chairs
Cindy Huang, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development Nazanin Ash, Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee
Study Group Members
Alice P Albright, Global Partnership for Education Alex Aleinikoff, The New School and Migration Policy Institute Owen Barder, Center for Global Development Rick Barton, Princeton University Colin Bruce, World Bank Group Xavier Devictor, World Bank Group James Habyarimana, Georgetown University Nancy Lee, Center for Global Development and previously Millennium Challenge Corporation Joanna Macrae, Give Directly and Center for Global Development Amal Mudallali, Bridges International Group Garreth Spillane, Global Innovation Fund Theodore Talbot, Center for Global Development Jeremy Weinstein, Stanford University Leah Zamore, Center on International Cooperation, New York University
Study Group Staff
Madeleine Gleave, International Rescue Committee Janeen Madan, Center for Global Development Lauren Post, International Rescue Committee Cynthia Rathinasamy, Center for Global Development
As we mark World Refugee Day, it is increasingly clear that there is a desperate need to fill the gap between short-term humanitarian response and long-term development need. Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury and CGD senior policy fellow Cindy Huang join the CGD podcast to discuss an innovative solution: refugee compacts.
The location for this year's G7 Summit, in the Sicilian coastal city of Taormina, is a reminder that Italy's shores are a frontline for refugees making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean from North Africa and the Middle East. For the summit dignitaries who will attend, IRC's David Miliband has some advice on how to address the refugee crisis, which he shares in this edition of the CGD Podcast.
How can the world find realistic, workable solutions to bridge the divide between humanitarian response and development assistance? This question was front and center at a high-level discussion, co-hosted by CGD and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in the run up to last week’s Spring Meetings. The event marked the launch of a new CGD-IRC report, which puts forth one emerging solution to the refugee crisis—compact agreements between host governments and development and humanitarian actors. The discussion featured three global leaders on the frontline of today’s displacement challenge: Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, and IRC President and CEO David Miliband. Here are three takeaways.
Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Still, as this report points out, the challenge is manageable—if the international community is able to get its response right. This report offers key principles for closing the humanitarian-development divide and practical guidance for designing effective compacts. We encourage policymakers and implementers alike to carefully consider these recommendations to ensure that humanitarian and development dollars have a real impact on the lives of refugees and host communities.
The global refugee crisis will undoubtedly be top of mind this week as representatives from ministries of finance and development, international finance institutions, the private sector, civil society, and academia descend on Washington, DC to discuss issues of global concern. As conflicts and crises continue to burn on, forcibly displacing more and more people worldwide, 2017 must be about turning rhetoric into action. This week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF therefore come at an opportune moment—one where key actors can reflect on progress against last year’s commitments; determine and learn from what is and isn’t working well; and put measures in place to ensure that efforts moving forward lead to a real and positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of refugees and their host communities. Our new report, Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement, the result of a study group co-chaired by CGD and the IRC, is one input towards this end.
Today’s refugee crisis poses serious challenges to the international order. Conflict and crisis have pushed some 21 million people to seek refuge outside their home countries, including 5 million who have fled Syria since the civil war began in 2011. We offer three key principles and 10 recommendations for policymakers to build effective compacts for refugee-hosting nations.