Sustainable socio-economic integration:

towards solutions for displaced people and host communities

 

Due out February 2023

Deadline for submissions: 14th August 2022

The quest for sustainable social and economic integration for displaced people is relevant to all three of the traditional ‘durable solutions’: voluntary return, resettlement and local integration. Wherever displaced people move in order to re-establish their lives after displacement, their economic resources and their physical and mental well-being will be better supported if they can achieve solid, sustainable social and economic integration. Furthermore, the quality and sustainability of their integration also have significant implications for the host community, for prospects for a peaceful future, and for the avoidance of conflict.

This FMR feature will focus on the socio-economic integration of refugees, returnees and IDPs, exploring what is needed in order for forced migrants to integrate successfully and sustainably into local economies/societies. This is certainly not a new topic, but if there is to be a concrete and transformative shift in approaches to integration, durable and development-oriented solutions, our understanding of the different elements involved needs to be updated and expanded.

We invite authors to debate a range of general aspects, including what socio-economic integration means and entails, how it may vary between refugee and IDP contexts, and between different countries and geographies, considering factors such as language or culture. We welcome submissions that consider the role of different actors and stakeholders at national, subnational and local levels, including political actors and gatekeepers, the private sector and civil society. In addition, we invite authors to reflect on socio-economic integration particularly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis-related pressures, women’s economic empowerment and the digital economic transformation. We also encourage discussion of how issues relating to age, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation and gender identify may affect integration.

As is usual with FMR, we ask authors to go beyond describing individual projects and contexts in order to debate broader applications and draw out learning of wider relevance. This issue of FMR will provide a forum to share experience and good practice, debate perspectives and offer recommendations. In particular, the FMR Editors are looking for practice/policy-oriented submissions, including case-studies, reflecting a diverse range of experience and opinions, which address questions such as the following:

 

General topics

  • What does socio-economic integration imply? What are the key enabling factors in examples of successful social and economic integration?
  • How does successful integration in turn enable sustainable development solutions?  
  • What examples exist of ‘failures’ of integration, and what lessons can be drawn from these?
  • How do different countries and regions approach socio-economic integration? What can we learn from different contexts, both in terms of geography and in examining recent precedents which might generate useful insights for today?
  • What obstacles do people experience in accessing health care, education, public services and utilities, housing, the job market, finance, leisure, etc? What examples exist of how barriers may be removed?
  • How do different locations – urban/peri-urban/rural, for example – affect opportunities for and approaches to promoting socio-economic integration?
  • How might integration opportunities and barriers differ for refugees, returnees and IDPs?
  • What considerations are specific to socio-economic integration for IDPs? How can these be compared across internal displacement contexts?
  • How can discriminatory behaviour be avoided, tackled or mitigated?
  • How can integration move from a focus on short-term livelihoods provision to longer-term economic security, and from accessing basic services to achieving individual and community well-being – for displaced people and host populations alike? How can ‘solutions’ promote development and resilience?
  • What actors are or should be involved? How do – or how can – political actors at various levels support or hinder sustainable integration? What do local, national and regional policymakers need to consider when working to support sustainable socio-economic integration?
  • What role can or should the private sector play in developing solutions that support integration?
  • How can those most affected – both displaced people and host populations – be engaged and their voices heard in all processes relating to promoting integration?
  • What governance elements – that is, laws, policies and practices – are required to allow social and economic integration to happen? How do issues of governance and rule of law support or obstruct integration and long-term sustainability?
  • How can protection needs be addressed and rights assured when working towards social and economic integration?
  • What is the relationship between sustainable integration and sustainable peace? Under what conditions does socio-economic integration improve social cohesion?
  • How can the degree of sustainable integration be measured?
  • How are tools used for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) and data gathering and analysis engaging with these questions?

 

Special topics

  • What impact is the climate crisis having on the potential for sustainable integration? How can climate impacts be addressed in all areas of planning for integration?
  • What opportunities are offered by digital developments in the work environment and more broadly within communities? What are the negative implications and how can these be addressed?
  • What role does women’s economic empowerment play in achieving sustainable integration?
  • How has social and economic integration been supported and promoted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic? What new opportunities and obstacles has the pandemic created, and what lessons can be drawn from these? 
  • What examples are there of effective inclusion of vulnerable groups’ needs and aspirations in planning for and implementation of social and economic integration? What is the impact of their exclusion?

 

Please note: We ask all authors to give appropriate consideration to the particular relevance of their responses to persons with disabilities, to LGBTIQ+ persons, to older persons, and to other groups with specific vulnerabilities and characteristics, and to seek to include a gendered approach as part of their articles.

Deadline for submission of articles: 14th August

We welcome articles of between 1,200 and 2,500 words. Please note that the maximum of 2,500 words includes any endnotes. We accept articles in English, Arabic, French and Spanish. If you wish to submit your article in another language, please indicate this when you email us to outline your topic and we will discuss options with you.

BEFORE WRITING YOUR ARTICLE: If you are interested in contributing, please visit our webpage Writing for FMR where you will find guidance on 'Writing your article proposal'. Please read that and then email the Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk with your article proposal, so that we can provide feedback. We will then notify you to say if we are interested in receiving your submission, and will at that stage provide you with further guidance and our submission requirements.

We are happy to correspond in English, French and Spanish and have some capacity to respond in Arabic.

As a magazine, we want to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions. If you have suggestions of colleagues or others who may wish to contribute, please do email us; we are happy to work with individuals to help them develop an article and very keen to have displaced people’s perspectives reflected in the magazine.