Georgia has a significant number of IDPs living in protracted displacement as a result of conflicts in the early 1990s and in 2008. The country has established a legal and policy framework to support their integration, and as of 2016 the government has been moving away from temporary strategies toward longer-term measures to address internal displacement. However, these have focused primarily on housing strategies and to a lesser extent on livelihoods and economic integration.
JIPS received a request from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in May 2016 to advise on a potential durable solutions analysis with the aim of informing the planned reform of the country’s national policy on IDPs.
Exploring opportunities for durable solutions analysis (2016)
DRC’s request for support, submitted in May 2016, was timed so that initial discussions coincided with a follow-up visit to Georgia by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs.
The Special Rapporteur had previously stressed the importance and benefit of an in-depth durable solutions analysis to the government and the humanitarian and development organisations working in the country.
The aim of such a durable solutions analysis would be to inform the planned reform of the country’s national policy on IDPs and its shift from a status-based to a needs-based approach, by providing a comprehensive analysis of the situation and the needs of the displacement-affected populations.
We undertook a scoping mission to Georgia in November 2016 to explore the feasibility and relevance of an analysis in line with IASC’s 2010 framework on durable solutions, and to support the establishment of a coordination platform to steer it.
During the mission, we met a wide range of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation (MRA), other government entities, humanitarian and development organisations, and technical partners including the National Statistics Institute.
We supported efforts to map existing analyses, reports and datasets against the IASC framework to identify information gaps in the analysis of internal displacement, and to establish a common understanding of key durable solutions questions to be included in the new analysis. We also helped to identify potential training and capacity-building needs of the various partners.
As a result of the scoping mission, recommendations were shaped to set up a collaborative platform to oversee the work of a comprehensive durable solutions analysis aimed to inform the policy reform process. Despite the value of this proposal being recognised by many, it was decided not to pursue this avenue at the time.
Against this background, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) then conducted an assessment aimed to identify gaps hindering IDP integration in five municipalities in East Georgia, including:
Despite JIPS’ recommendations for a more joined up effort not moving forward, we still continued with our commitment to provide remote support during the development of the methodology and the discussions around sampling approaches, in spring 2017. The report is being prepared by DRC.
We highlighted the value of a durable solutions analysis, not only to inform the planned reform of the country’s national policy on IDPs, but also to better understand the specific vulnerabilities, needs and challenges IDPs face along with a shift from a status-based to a needs-based approach.
Using a phased approach to conducting such an analysis – starting with a desk review of existing surveys and data, as we recommended during our scoping mission – would help tailor an appropriate methodology and data collection tools, taking into account existing information and gaps from the perspective of IASC’s framework.
The assessment conducted by DRC in East Georgia, report pending, can be one of the steps contributing to this discussion.