Aligning Refugee Policy with Refugee Realities - July 2017
Today, IRRI is launching a policy paper that draws on six years of field research in the Great Lakes region, incorporating nine units of field research. Each study focused on the links between citizenship and forced displacement in the Great Lakes region and examined both the differences and the interaction between local and national understandings of belonging.
The paper considers both national and local articulations of belonging that came through the studies, and the extent to which these realities resonate – or fail to resonate – with policy approaches. It points to the need for refugee policy to be bottom up, rather than top-down, something that has long been recognised by practitioners and academics alike but has yet to infuse much programming on the ground. It argues that if refugee policy were to be aligned with the coping mechanisms of refugees (rather than the other way around), mobility and inclusion would become the hallmarks of refugee protection.