Increasing efforts are being made to better analyse and measure progress towards durable solutions in contexts of displacement. However, conducting durable solutions analyses continues to remain a complex undertaking with many challenges.
These challenges have been raising interesting questions such as, what are the current tools and approaches in the field of durable solutions analysis in displacement situations? What might we learn from past experiences and how might we overcome persistent conceptual, methodological and operational challenges?
On 28th November 2019, JIPS and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS) co-organised a webinar on the subject: “Analysis of Durable Solutions in Places of Displacement and Return: Lessons Learnt from Iraq, Sudan and Somalia”. The webinar took a deeper look into discussing methodological approaches to durable solutions analysis, with a focus on the particular technical challenges and lessons learnt from the different types of studies that have recently taken place in Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.
The session featured three thought-provoking presentations followed by a short Q&A to dig deeper into the topics presented and lessons learned.
Watch the full webinar recording:
The first presentation was provided by Lorenza Rossi, the regional DTM coordinator and the coordinator of the regional data and research unit at the Regional Office for North Africa and the Middle East in Cairo for UN Migration (IOM). Speaking from the lessons learned from the Return Index, realised together with Social Inquiry, and the Longitudinal Study on Durable Solutions for IDPs in Iraq, implemented together with the Georgetown University since 2015, Lorenza pointed out that especially in fragile contexts, there is a need to go beyond household level analysis as many determining factors to solutions are very much linked to the environment.
She also challenged the view that a solution is necessarily linked to the ‘end of movement’ or a finite status such as ‘return’, highlighting that “populations set in place their livelihood strategies along a continuum of mobility, which provides a sustainable means of dealing with the long-term consequences of displacement”. Durable solutions analysis, she emphasised, should be kept flexible to fully capture what happens on the ground.
Khadra Elmi, profiling coordinator at the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, spoke next. Khadra presented the profiling study from El Fasher, North Darfur (Sudan), which combined the analysis of people (comparing IDPs and non-displaced communities) with that of places (looking at the availability of services in displacement-affected areas). The analysis was done using the Interagency Durable Solutions Indicator Library and analysis approach whereby progress towards solutions was measured by comparing the IDPs with the non-displaced in neighbouring EL Fasher. Khadra reflected on the usefulness of such comparative approach particularly in protracted displacement contexts where focus is on measuring local integration.
Linking back to Lorenza’s intervention, Khadra underlined the value of an area-based approach to understand the capacity of the environment to support solutions in fragile contexts. She highlighted that such a combined approach is complex and resource-intensive, but proved particularly useful to better understand the extent to which the El Fasher can accommodate the needs of the displaced population
Finally, we heard from Patience Kiara, a senior research and capacity development officer for the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS). Patience brought attention to durable solutions analysis processes supported in various regions in Somalia, which built on the ReDSS Framework and directly informed programming and policy.
The inclusion of solution indicators in the National Development Plan helped mainstream the way solutions are measured in the country. However, it remains a challenge to bridge from national-level indicators to local-level, contextualised solutions measurement that informs programming.
We hope that this discussion will help improve our collective practice in the area of durable solutions analysis, as well as contribute to the multi-stakeholder efforts of the GP20 initiative on better data and durable solutions for internally displaced persons.
At JIPS we also take this opportunity to launch the durable solutions analysis learning community, where we hope to bring experienced practitioners together on a regular basis to continue peer-to-peer exchange and learning in this area. The many questions raised during this webinar will act as a good starting point for follow up exchanges on the topic.
The webinar is also available on the JIPS Vimeo channel and each presentation can be accessed here:
Through this webinar, JIPS also launches a learning community on measuring durable solutions to displacement. Shaped by and for experienced practitioners of durable solutions analysis, it aims to discuss available tools and tested approaches, as well as to provide a forum to share experiences and lessons learned across contexts and approaches for improved practice on the topic.
The durable solutions analysis learning community constitutes part III of the interagency durable solutions project, a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs. Made possible through generous funding by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), it builds off the experiences from putting the Interagency Durable Solutions Indicator Library and Analysis Guide as well as other tools into practice.