Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement: Phase II. A Critical Evaluation of Methodological and Analytical Progress on Designing Development-led Strategies and Interventions in Forced Displacement
Significant progress has been made by intergovernmental organisations and donors in designing and implementing macro- and micro- economic policies, strategies, programmes and tools to mitigate the socio-economic impacts of forced displacement and to promote longer term sustainable development and resilience strategies for refugees, IDPs and host populations. However there has been little evaluation of the tools and methodologies to support these initiatives. The study addresses this gap. Commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, researched by the Refugee Studies Centre University of Oxford and facilitated by the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group of the World Bank, this study investigates and assesses the strengths and limitations of the methodological and analytical apparatus that supports current World Bank development-led strategies and interventions in humanitarian crises. The study briefly assesses trends in addressing the development challenges of forced displacement crises and extant econometric research on the cost and impacts of forced displacement. Following discussion of the purpose and scope of the extant evaluations, and using a desk study method, the core of the paper provides a critical assessment of World Bank methodologies and analytical and diagnostic tools deployed to measure the socio-economic impacts and costs of forced displacement on: a) national economies; and b) affected populations – refugees, IDPs and local communities. The study examines the methodologies used for quantifying and modelling economic impacts focusing on the partial equilibrium modelling (PEM) methodology which has been used. The study then explores then explores the challenges in quantifying and modelling the impacts on affected populations. Here the focus of the study is on tools for poverty, vulnerability and welfare (PVW) measurement. Next the study examines some of the cross cutting methodological challenges: these include dealing with counter factuals and exogeneity and the quality and scope of data that is available to undertake impact measurement. The study concludes by reviewing the key findings, the main lessons learned and highlighting the remaining methodological and analytical gaps in current praxis.