Helpdesk Research Report: Preventing conflict between refugees and host communities

Report
from Governance and Social Development Resource Centre
Published on 19 Oct 2012 View Original

Question

Preventing conflict between refugees and host communities: Provide examples of good practice/programmes in preventing/addressing conflict between refugees and host communities

Helpdesk response

This report includes programme examples from 13 countries. It highlights three main types of programme designed to tackle tensions and conflicts between refugees and host communities:

  • Integrated humanitarian and development programmes – these seek to balance assistance to both refugee and host communities, or integrate services provided to them.
  • Conflict resolution programmes – these encourage workshops, discussions or regular meetings between both communities.
  • Environmental management programmes – these seek to improve the management of environmental resources in order to promote co-operation and reduce tensions.

The literature on good practice in this area is patchy and there are few general studies that address these issues directly. However, one of the main barriers to effective programming has been donors’ tendency to separate humanitarian assistance for refugees from broader development assistance.

The literature also notes the importance of:

  • providing both humanitarian and long-term development assistance to both refugee and host communities
  • advocacy and host government policy
  • unintended positive consequences of conflict resolution and refugee-hosting area programmes – building social relationships
  • potential unintended negative consequences e.g. of income-generation and environmental management programmes
  • participatory approaches
  • in-depth analysis
  • inclusive, open, flexible and long-term processes.