Research Papers

This paper explores the ways in which refugee “voices” can be concretely translated into policy affecting refugees directly (most obviously through the policies of the UN Refugee Agency and other refugee-protection agencies and their implementation). The author makes four arguments: first, that incorporating refugee voices is ethically required; second, that besides being the right thing to do, it is also practically desirable; third, that taking refugee voices seriously can dramatically improve the effectiveness of policy implementation; and fourth, that refugee voices can greatly enhance the intelligence of policy and institutional design. Read Paper
Traditional financing mechanisms for the global refugee system do not reflect current realities on the ground. Today’s trends of displacement call for new responses, and compact agreements are a promising model for achieving reform. Using the 2016 Jordan and Lebanon compacts as case studies, the authors recommend several protocols to follow in developing compacts and propose two new global governance tools to aid in creating focused, informed, coordinated and transparent host country policy changes that can enable refugee self-reliance. Read Paper
Refugee entrepreneurship has substantial benefits for the business owner and host community alike and can be facilitated through the establishment of supportive policies and initiatives; however, newcomers aspiring to begin their own businesses face several obstacles. This paper identifies some of these challenges and aims to provide a foundation on which further investigation, strategic planning and efforts to implement solutions could be based. Read Paper
This paper examines xenophobia in the refugee context, exploring its definition and many complex aspects, including its roots, expressions, impacts and key challenges. The author outlines the lessons that successful efforts in combatting xenophobia offer those involved in research and advocacy, and recommends actions ranging from holding states and individual leaders accountable, to strategically using media campaigns and improving coordination at international, national and local levels. Read Paper
Understanding the impacts of hosting refugees is at the centre of crafting responses that minimize the costs and risks assumed by host countries and communities, maximize the protection available to refugees, and utilize resources efficiently and effectively. Since the early 1980s, there have been numerous efforts to measure the costs and benefits associated with hosting refugees. This paper summarizes some of this literature and highlights the lessons from these efforts. Read Paper
This paper explores the international refugee regime’s failure, despite significant international law and policy developed over the past 30 years, to meet the protection needs of refugee women and girls and to promote gender equality in policy and service provision. The authors propose ways to address structural and operational problems so that meaningful change can occur. Read Paper
Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation. Read Paper
Many commentators have suggested that the displacement of people across international borders is caused by a lack of “political will,” and that refugee situations could be averted, mitigated or resolved if only such will existed. However, there has been little serious analysis as to what “political will” means and how to generate and sustain it in a refugee context. This paper is an initial attempt to address these neglected issues. Read Paper