New Working Paper: “Forced Displacement and the Humanitarian‐Development Nexus: A Roundtable Anthology”

This Working Paper summarises three roundtable discussions arranged by EBA during Spring 2021 under the theme “Forced Displacement and the Humanitarian‐Development Nexus.” The three roundtables looked at challenges and opportunities for working within the nexus, with a respective focus on internal displacement, livelihoods and financial health, and coherence between donor and host country measures. The latter roundtable was co-organised by EBA and the OECD Development Centre.

The paper features the three keynote statements that were authored by experts prior to each roundtable, as well as summaries of the discussion that took place (under the Chatham House Rule). The paper also contains overarching reflections in line with the cross-cutting conclusions that were drawn throughout the roundtable series. The discussion summaries and the overarching reflections were authored by the EBA secretariat.

Main findings:

  1. Addressing protracted displacement requires an area-based approach that takes into account the impact of displacement both on displaced persons and the host community.
  2. Displacement responses should focus on several “levels” of interventions, starting with the local, and scaling up to the national and regional.
  3. When it comes to addressing forced displacement, contextual analysis is necessary for effective responses – such analysis also needs to take place on a macro, meso, and micro level.
  4. The issue of displacement is inseparable from larger, structural challenges, most notably economic development; work related to the latter must be strengthened to foster resilience for displaced persons and host communities.
  5. Donors and practitioners need more and better evidence and data to guide strategies and programming.
  6. Global instruments for forced displacement play an important role, but on-the-ground implementation may be limited due to a lack of enforcement mechanisms.
  7. Preventing, managing, and resolving forced displacement are fundamentally political activities; humanitarian and development interventions are essential, but they cannot substitute political will and effort.


Alexander Burlin (editor), Programme Manager, the Expert Group for Aid Studies

Dr. Sarah Miller, Senior Fellow with Refugees International and adjunct faculty at Georgetown University

Dr. Karen Jacobsen, Henry J. Leir Professor in Global Migration at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Kim Wilson, Senior Lecturer at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Dr. Jason Gagnon, Lead for the Migration and Skills Unit, OECD Development Centre

Mona Ahmed, Junior Policy Analyst at the Migration and Skills Unit, OECD Development Centre