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Seminar Series on Global Refugee Policy

Global refugee policy is a formal statement of, and proposed course of action in response to, a ‘problem’ relating to protection, solutions or assistance for refugees or other persons of concern to the global refugee regime. It is discussed and approved within UNHCR’s governing structures, and is intended to either limit the behaviour of governments or guide UNHCR’s activities. Despite the time and resources invested in the making, implementation and evaluation of global refugee policy, and concerns about the elements and implications of particular policies, our understanding of the process that leads to these policies at the global level, and factors affecting their implementation at the local level, is surprisingly limited.

Building on discussions at the RSC’s 30th Anniversary Conference and the December 2014 Special Issue of Journal of Refugee Studies on the topic, this seminar series will examine particular aspects of the global refugee policy process to further our understanding of how global refugee policy is made, implemented and evaluated, and the extent to which a more critical understanding of this process contributes to our ability to influence outcomes.

This week Dr Jeff Crisp (independent consultant and RSC Advisory Board member) and MaryBeth Morand (Senior Policy and Evaluation Officer, UNHCR) will speak on the topic 'Better late than never? The evolution and implementation of UNHCR's urban refugee policy':

For almost a decade (1999 - 2009) UNHCR struggled to formulate a new policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas. In this seminar, Dr Jeff Crisp, who was centrally involved in the policy formulation process throughout that time, will attempt to explain why the organisation was prompted to introduce its new urban refugee policy and why it took so long for that process to be completed. He and a former colleague at UNHCR, MaryBeth Morand, will also examine the steps that have been taken to ensure the effective implementation of the new policy, examine the origins and implications of UNHCR's 2014 policy on 'alternatives to camps' and conclude with some broader observations in relation to the policymaking process within UNHCR. 

About the speakerS

Jeff Crisp joined Refugees International in September 2013. Previously, he served as Head of the Policy Development and Evaluation Service at the headquarters of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Geneva, a position that he had held since 2006. Jeff has also held senior positions with the Global Commission on International Migration, where he served as Director of Policy and Research; the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian issues; and the British Refugee Council. Jeff has first-hand experience of refugee situations and humanitarian operations in more than 60 countries around the world, and in May-June 2013 he led an evaluation mission to examine the international response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. He has published and lectured extensively on refugee, humanitarian and migration issues, and he was responsible for the publication of two editions of UNHCR’s flagship publication, The State of the World’s Refugees. His most recent publications have focused on the issues of refugee protection and solutions in urban areas, protracted refugee situations and the linkage between refugee protection and international migration, as well as the gap between humanitarian relief and development aid. A British national, Jeff has a Master's degree and a PhD in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

MaryBeth Morand is a Senior Policy and Evaluation Officer at UNHCR. She has worked in complex humanitarian emergencies and staff development for most of her career with UNHCR and the International NGOs Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee. In the United States, MaryBeth has worked for Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club and social action agencies. She is a graduate of the CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) program at the European Graduate School, and has a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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In search of solutions: refugees are doing it for themselves (Refugee Voices, Opening Plenary) | Jeff Crisp News & Media

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

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