Knowledge, voice and power

FMR 70

People with lived experience of displacement need to be heard. Their perspectives, strategies and solutions should be at the centre of discussions about policy and practice. The authors in this issue reflect on progress made but also on the road still to travel. They challenge attitudes, highlight injustices and make practical recommendations for change. 

We are very grateful to the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) for their partnership on this issue and for the generous financial support of both the International Development Research Centre of the Government of Canada and LERRN (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)).

Forced Migration Review issue 70 includes a major feature on ‘Knowledge, voice and power’ exploring issues of representation, influence, privilege, access, discrimination and more.

The issue also includes a feature on ‘Social cohesion in refugee-hosting contexts’, exploring the role of social cohesion in contexts of protracted displacement, with a particular focus on Kenya and Lebanon. It has been produced with the financial support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Contents
Heather Alexander, James Milner and Alice Philip

Feedback from authors who participated in a new mentorship scheme offers useful insights into how to increase the inclusion of under-represented perspectives in forced migration publishing.

Fnan Mhretu and Lokpiny Bol Akok

Experience gained in developing a Youth Advisory Board within Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services in Cairo highlights the importance and the challenges of including the voices of unaccompanied refugee children and youth in discussions about issues that directly impact their lives.

Lilian Obiye

The involvement of refugees in recent legislative changes in Kenya demonstrates how public participation can be used as a tool to empower refugees and give them an opportunity to influence policy.

Aleksejs Ivashuk

Enabling stateless people’s voices to be heard more strongly and more widely is a fundamental requirement for a better understanding of the problem of statelessness and how to tackle it.

Sahat Zia Hero, Alison Kent, Alexandra Kotowski and Parmin Fatema

Insights from the Rohingya refugee response reveal how art and digital technologies can offer opportunities for refugees and IDPs to lead, advocate and share their voices in forced displacement contexts.

Sefa Secen

Refugees are increasingly creating alternative news media platforms in order to better represent their own perspectives.

Bahati Kanyamanza and Emily Arnold-Fernandez

Refugee representatives should form 50% of UNHCR’s Executive Committee to ensure that the UN Refugee Agency is governed by the people it exists to serve.

Tristan Harley, Suyeon Lee and Najeeba Wazefadost

The 2019 Global Refugee Forum was significant for its inclusion of refugee representatives. There is much to be learnt by paying close attention to the speeches they gave – that is, by really listening to their voices.

Sana Mustafa, Deepa Nambiar and Rahul Balasundaram

Organisational learning, commitment and action focusing on both refugee leadership and localisation are essential if there is to be a shift of power in the forced displacement sector.

Daniel Davies and Emily Elderfield

Frameworks for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning need to take into account what languages people use, how they prefer to access information, and what words participants understand and are comfortable with.

Christa Charbonneau Kuntzelman and Anila Noor

Due to embedded power inequities, the voices of persons with lived experience of displacement are often minimised or silenced across humanitarian, governance and academic sectors. We propose a model for meaningful partnership that goes beyond consultation.

Abdullah Sarwari, Musa Ahmadi and Tracey Donehue

From their experience of working together on refugee education in Indonesia, the authors identify four modes of refugee inclusion and exclusion in decision-making processes and discuss the roles and responsibilities of allies in overcoming the silencing of refugee voices.

Meh Sod Paw, Minkyung Choi and Jihae Cha

To better understand and respond to the real needs of refugees, we need to learn from the stories of people like Meh Sod who resettled in the USA aged 12.

Rachel Silver, Mark Okello Oyat, HaEun Kim and Sahra Mohamed Ismail

In this article, we draw on our diverse experiences as a transnational research team affiliated with the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees Project to reflect on how current funding practices continue to constrain refugee-led research in Dadaab, Kenya.

Rossmary D Márquez-Lameda

Academics in the Global South who are conducting research on the Venezuelan displacement crisis confront a number of challenges relating to funding, credibility and visibility. Interviewees reflect on how to tackle these challenges in light of realities on the ground.

Kirandeep Kaur

My reflections on publishing inclusively through co-writing highlighted many barriers faced by refugee researchers and research participants in the quest to be published on an equitable standing with western, non-refugee researchers.  

Ahmad Akkad

Multi-layered support is needed for displaced academics to be able to participate in academia and to be heard as academics in their own right – not only as displaced academics.

Asma Rabi, Noor Ullah and Rebecca Daltry

While refugee voices are increasingly valued in research and policymaking, Afghan refugees continue to face barriers to access and participate in these conversations. Their insights offer recommendations for how to increase inclusion to inform decision making.

Abis Getachew, Mary Gitahi, Uwezo Ramazani and Andhira Yousif

Four displaced researchers who are leading a study on refugee-led organisations in East Africa discuss the benefits and challenges associated with being an ‘insider’ researcher.

General Articles
Cory Rodgers

Improving ‘cohesion’ has become a common objective in refugee-hosting contexts. But the term is often used without clear definition, which has consequences for policy and programming.

Dawn Chatty

In recent decades, civil society has played a fundamental role in supporting social stability in Lebanon, including efforts at improving social cohesion between different groups.

Watfa Najdi

Tensions can intensify in contexts of overlapping crises: humanitarian actors must recognise the different kinds of tension resulting from aid distribution and respond accordingly.

Michael Owiso

Since 2013, Kenya has embraced contradictory policies to manage its refugee affairs, with simultaneous calls for encampment, socio-economic integration and camp closure that affect both refugees and host communities.

Ekai Nabenyo

Extending refugee aid and services to host communities is a strategy to preserve the humanitarian ‘protection space’, but may drive unrealistic expectations for host entitlements.

Stephen Hunt and Cory Rodgers

Various surveys have been constructed to measure social cohesion in contexts of displacement. But the results must be interpreted carefully by those seeking to inform policy and programming.

Danielle Vella and Diana Rueda

In a series of working discussions, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has identified common barriers to reconciliation. Making progress to overcome these barriers starts with individuals.

 

Disclaimer
Opinions in FMR do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors, the Refugee Studies Centre or the University of Oxford.
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