Women’s Role in Coordination: Improving the participation and protection of displaced women in camps, informal sites, and out of camp urban neighbourhoods - Summary Report

ANNA HIRSCH-HOLLAND | OCTOBER 2019

Camp Management agencies have a critical role to play in addressing the cultural, structural, and capacity-related barriers to women’s participation in coordination. When these barriers are addressed, women’s role improves the well-being of the whole community, as well as the safety of women and girls.

About the research

NRC has conducted a global qualitative study, which presents practical recommendations for Camp Management agencies to improve the contribution that displaced women can make to the coordination of humanitarian responses in camps, informal sites, and urban out of camp neighbourhoods. The research was conducted as part of a broader project managed by the International Organization for Migration, as the global co-lead of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster. This wider project explores how women’s participation in community governance mechanisms, both inside and outside camps, contributes to enhancing women’s safety.

Ensuring the meaningful and equal participation of men and women in decision making is a fundamental responsibility of Camp Management agencies, alongside ensuring efficient and inclusive coordination of assistance and protection at the level of a camp, informal site, or neighbourhood. Moreover, while there is strong empirical evidence that women’s inclusion in leadership improves humanitarian outcomes, it is also a well-known fact that women participate less than men in the public sphere in almost all contexts. While various research studies have explored how women’s participation in humanitarian response can be improved generally, none have looked specifically at the role of displacement-affected women in coordination, nor the role of a Camp Management agency in facilitating this. Having a role in coordination means being able to contribute to the collaborative process of information sharing and planning to solve problems and address needs; in practice, this means being able to liaise with a range of external stakeholders through activities such as meetings, referrals, reporting, and monitoring.

The objectives of this research were therefore threefold. First, to understand the contributions that women can make to coordination and the impact they can thereby have on their communities, and especially on women’s safety and protection. Second, to analyse the barriers and enablers to women’s participation in and influence on coordination. And third, to suggest practical steps that Camp Management agencies can take to dismantle the barriers while enhancing the enablers to women’s role in coordination, across a range of displacement settings and cultural contexts.

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