Development Award: Interdisciplinary Network on Internal Displacement, Conflict and Protection

Lead Research Organisation: University of London
Department Name: School of Advanced Study

Abstract

The vast majority of the estimated 40 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally live in conflict-affected low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Like refugees, these IDPs have been forced to flee their homes. But, unlike refugees, IDPs remain within their own country, often at the mercy of the same armed groups that forced them to displace in the first place. The opportunities for IDPs to access 'protection' from dangers such as the risk of violence or other human rights violations can thus be quite limited.

Moreover, the 'stop-gap' humanitarian response often traps IDPs, who have left behind homes and belongings, in long-term cycles of poverty. In many LMICs, internal displacement due to conflict is not only a serious protection concern but also an entrenched development challenge.

There is an acute need to provide innovative evidence-based solutions to improve the protection of IDPs. However, new thinking on this topic remains elusive. In part, since the mid-2000s, this reflects a lack of robust and context-sensitive local research on IDP protection in situations of conflict.

To remedy this shortcoming, and squarely address this development challenge, we propose to create an Interdisciplinary Network on Internal Displacement, Conflict and Protection (INDCaP).

In the UK and in LMICs affected by conflict in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, our shortlisted four-year Network+ project will aim to promote pioneering research, and develop the evidence base, on 'protection' in contexts of internal displacement.

To make an innovative research contribution, that project pursues three main objectives:

1. Creating a new global research community on this development challenge. Research around internal displacement is currently both disparate and fragmentary, despite the vast scale of such displacement globally and the acute protection challenges involved;

2. Capacity-building with researchers (academic, NGO, community-based etc.) in LMICs to enhance local knowledge production, impact and public engagement on the societal, legal and operational protection challenges of internal displacement during conflict;

3. Leading and promoting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research to showcase how arts and humanities disciplines, working with the social sciences and STEM subjects, can contribute to crafting context-sensitive solutions to protection challenges in conflict and displacement.

The present one-year Development Award (DA) project lays the groundwork for pursuing these three main objectives through an integrated programme of network-building activities by INDCaP partners.

These DA project activities are jointly-designed by project partners as a way to consolidate equitable and sustainable partnerships between UK and LMICs for research on protection, conflict and displacement. The planned activities focus on three main areas of work: (i) promoting cross-cutting research development; (ii) allowing development of the Network+ bid; and (iii) facilitating sustainable legacies for the resulting network.

The INDCaP DA project is an international collaboration between leading arts, humanities and social research centres: the 'IDP research programme' at the Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London (UK); Chair in Humanities and Human Rights of the University of Birmingham (UK); Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria (South Africa); Centre for Socio-legal Research of University of the Andes (Colombia); and Qperspective social research consultancy (Jordan).

The expertise, contacts and networks of these specialised research centres underpin the success of this incipient network, which draws in researchers from universities, research institutions and civil society in the UK, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as key protection policy-makers from LMICs seriously affected by internal displacement.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Developed foundations of network on internal displacement, protection and conflict 
Organisation Birkbeck, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead this collaboration, which regional hubs co-led by colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
Collaborator Contribution They are developing intra-regional networks to build capacity among researcher in academia, policy and practice on this issue
Impact We are currently working on producing a range of impacts, which will be completed and reported during next reporting period. This involves collaboration between a range of disciplines from the arts, humanities, health and social sciences, including literature, law, public health, politics, sociology and anthropology.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Developed foundations of network on internal displacement, protection and conflict 
Organisation Parallel Perspective Consulting
Country Jordan 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I lead this collaboration, which regional hubs co-led by colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
Collaborator Contribution They are developing intra-regional networks to build capacity among researcher in academia, policy and practice on this issue
Impact We are currently working on producing a range of impacts, which will be completed and reported during next reporting period. This involves collaboration between a range of disciplines from the arts, humanities, health and social sciences, including literature, law, public health, politics, sociology and anthropology.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Developed foundations of network on internal displacement, protection and conflict 
Organisation University of London
Department School of Advanced Study
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead this collaboration, which regional hubs co-led by colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
Collaborator Contribution They are developing intra-regional networks to build capacity among researcher in academia, policy and practice on this issue
Impact We are currently working on producing a range of impacts, which will be completed and reported during next reporting period. This involves collaboration between a range of disciplines from the arts, humanities, health and social sciences, including literature, law, public health, politics, sociology and anthropology.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Developed foundations of network on internal displacement, protection and conflict 
Organisation University of Pretoria
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead this collaboration, which regional hubs co-led by colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
Collaborator Contribution They are developing intra-regional networks to build capacity among researcher in academia, policy and practice on this issue
Impact We are currently working on producing a range of impacts, which will be completed and reported during next reporting period. This involves collaboration between a range of disciplines from the arts, humanities, health and social sciences, including literature, law, public health, politics, sociology and anthropology.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Developed foundations of network on internal displacement, protection and conflict 
Organisation University of the Andes
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I lead this collaboration, which regional hubs co-led by colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East
Collaborator Contribution They are developing intra-regional networks to build capacity among researcher in academia, policy and practice on this issue
Impact We are currently working on producing a range of impacts, which will be completed and reported during next reporting period. This involves collaboration between a range of disciplines from the arts, humanities, health and social sciences, including literature, law, public health, politics, sociology and anthropology.
Start Year 2019