Impact and costs of forced displacement
Collaborator(s): Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva and Dr Isabel Ruiz
Donors: The World Bank, Danish government and Norwegian government
Forced displacement and its humanitarian consequences often create short and long-term developmental impacts affecting human and social capital, economic growth, poverty reduction efforts, and environmental sustainability and societal fragility.
Since the 1970s, academics, practitioners and policy-makers from across the humanitarian and development fields have recognised the importance of recording and evaluating the multifaceted impacts of forced displacement on diverse stakeholders, including in particular displaced populations, host populations, sending and hosting governments, and international donors and agencies.
However, despite a wealth of theoretical and conceptual discussions vis-à-vis the importance of measuring the impacts of displacement on refugees and internally displaced people on the one hand, and on host populations on the other, there are relatively few empirical studies which draw on and analyse reliable data.
This project aims to develop a comprehensive mixed-methods framework to assess the balance of the positive and negative impacts on interconnected levels and interconnected actors, and to identify and evaluate means to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive opportunities arising from specific contexts of displacement.
Activities and impacts
The first phase of the project, completed in October 2011, comprised a state-of-the-art literature review, a methodological guide on measuring the costs and impacts of displacement, and a pilot desk study testing of the methodology. The findings from the first stage were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Informal Consultation Group of the World Bank Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD) in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2011.
In the second phase, the emphasis will be on conducting in-depth field testing of the methodology for selected case studies (tentatively, Colombia, Uganda and Bosnia).
A range of academic publications, working and policy papers, country studies and reports will be produced. Operational recommendations and guidance notes – relevant to governments, and international and national actors – on approaches to analyse the impact and costs of displacement, and on policies and programmes to mitigate these impacts and support solutions will also be developed.
To complement this project, Forced Migration Review will include a major feature on Fragile States in late 2012 (view call for articles). This issue will be further used to inform a series of workshops to be organised by the Refugee Studies Centre in early 2013 in the UK and in regional locations, as well as a Forced Migration Policy Briefing on ‘Fragile states and displacement’.
Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Ruiz, I., Vargas-Silva, C. and Zetter, Z. (2011) 'Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Forced Migration: A State-of-the-Art Review', Oxford: Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (submitted to the World Bank).
This project was commissioned by the World Bank and the initial phase was funded by the Danish government and the Norwegian government. The project also involves the participation of the Institute for Labour and Social Research (FAFO) and International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Norway, and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Clingendael.