Development and Peace Responses to Forced Displacement: The Role of Political Will

Examining the importance of political will for shaping development and peace responses to refugee and IDP situations

Date Published
24 Jul 2023
Project Type
Project Status

Recent policy developments have provided the framework for responses to refugee and Internally Displaced Person (IDP) situations across the spectrum of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus. However, while there is momentum at the global policy level on development responses to forced displacement, and on the benefits of the socio-economic inclusion of refugees and IDPs – reflected, for example, in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) – differences remain in host country policy and practice.

While some host countries are very open to integrating those who are forcibly displaced, recognizing the importance of local integration for development, social cohesion, and meeting international commitments to “leave no-one behind,” others face challenges in translating global policy commitments into national policy and practice.

There are also important differences between what is stated in policy and what actually happens on the ground. For example, a recent baseline study on social protection for refugees and IDPs found a significant implementation gap between national policies for the inclusion of refugees and IDPs and actual access and coverage in practice (OECD Development Policy Paper No. 43, 2022). One of the key factors identified was the political economy of the hosting context, and the prevalence (or lack) of political will to systematically integrate refugees and IDPs into national systems.

This development policy project focuses on the political economy of refugee hosting contexts in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) and examines the importance of political will for shaping development and peace responses to refugee and IDP situations. It explores the role of political will in facilitating solutions to forced displacement; examines how political barriers shape responses to forced displacement across the HDP Nexus; and maps out the roles of “development actors” and “peace actors” in mobilizing political will towards the best possible policy responses.

This initiative is jointly managed by the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, the OECD Development Centre, and UNU-CPR. It forms part of the DAC INCAF (International Network on Conflict and Fragility) work-stream on forced displacement and will contribute to the delivery of the GCR and to the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement.

The findings and key recommendations will be presented in related policy dialogues and international fora, including through a joint OECD/UNU-CPR migration policy seminar (July 2023) and at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) scheduled to take place in December 2023.

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