Local communities: first and last providers of protection


It is often people’s immediate community that provides the first, last and perhaps best tactical response for many people affected by or under threat of displacement. In the 23 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR, authors from around the world – including authors who are themselves displaced – explore the capacity of communities to organise themselves before, during and after displacement in ways that help protect the community.

FMR 53 also includes eight ‘general’ articles on other aspects of forced migration.


This issue of FMR will be available online and in print in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. The English version of each article is also available in audio format. Podcasts of the whole issue are also available at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/local-communities-first-and-last-providers-protection-forced-migration-review-53 and on iTunesU at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/itunes-u/id1166142681.

Also available is the FMR 53 digest to help you gain easy online access to all the articles published in FMR 53. It provides for each article: the title, the author(s) and their affiliation, the introductory sentences and links to the full article online. The digest will be available online and in print in all four languages.

If you would like printed copies of either the magazine or the digest, please email us at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk.

If you are printing them out yourself, please note that both the magazine and the digest are published in A5 format (half of A4). In order to print them out properly, please use your printer’s ‘Booklet’ setting.

Requesting copies
If you would like to receive a copy of the magazine or the digest for your organisation, or if you require multiple copies for distribution to partners and policy/decision makers or for use at conferences/workshops, please contact the Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk. We will need your full postal address. (We prefer to provide the digest if large numbers are required for conferences and training, to save on postage costs.)

Please help disseminate this issue as widely as possible by circulating to networks, posting links, mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook and adding it to resources lists. We encourage you to circulate or reproduce any articles in their entirety but please cite: Forced Migration Review issue 53 www.fmreview.org/community-protection.

We would like to thank DanChurchAid, the Global Protection Cluster, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and UNHCR for their financial support of this issue.

Why this cover image? In Caqueta, Colombia, a community leader took the initiative to help her community find a safe, dignified and healthy place to live after they were displaced by guerrillas. In contrast to most of the images and metaphors that spring to mind when we look for an illustration of ‘protection’ – a sheltering roof, maybe, or a helping hand – to us this picture reflects a displaced community striving to rekindle the vestiges of normality. It speaks also of resourcefulness and creativity, and of a place that someone can flourish in, a place where there is belonging and safety: the coming together of community and protection. “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”, as the film star Audrey Hepburn once said.


Could FMR support your funding bid?

FMR has on occasion been included in successful programmatic and research funding bids, to the mutual benefit of all parties. If your organisation is applying (or is part of a consortium applying) for external funding, would you consider including FMR in your proposal narrative and budget, to support the dissemination of learning and results on your particular subject matter? We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this. Please contact the Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk.