Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (MADAR) Network Plus

Lead Research Organisation: Keele University
Department Name: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


The Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (MADAR) Network Plus is a regional approach to protection in contexts of conflict and displacement in central Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). MADAR deploys an interdisciplinary approach, a wide range of regional and national research expertise, and established and equitable partnerships with civil society organisations to respond to the complex protection needs of refugees and other displaced people in the region.

Maghreb is an important migration hub with links to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. While it is often assumed to be a region of emigration and transit (South-North), the Maghreb is increasingly a destination, including for thousands of displaced people fleeing conflict and endemic poverty in countries across Africa and the Middle East (e.g. Syria and Libya). Europe relies heavily on the cooperation of its neighbours south of the Mediterranean Sea to manage and curb migration in an attempt to reduce arrivals on European shores. In the case of Maghreb, states are not equipped to deal with the increasing number of displaced people; they have inadequate infrastructures to ensure the humanitarian protection of those who are vulnerable, the rights of displaced people are routinely infringed, and relationships with host populations are often fraught. As a consequence, Maghreb hosts a large number of vulnerable displaced people at risk and in need of protection.

MADAR (Arabic for 'path') responds to SDG16 to: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels". MADAR addresses issues faced by Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to make a transformational impact on the humanitarian protection of vulnerable, displaced people across the Maghreb region. Through interdisciplinary, challenged-led and solution-focused research MADAR aims to:

1) Facilitate interdisciplinary research collaborations drawing on the regional expertise of UK and Maghreb-based scholars from across the arts and humanities and the social and political sciences.
2) Foster partnerships amongst research institutes in the Maghreb and beyond (e.g. MENA) through MADAR's commissioned, high-impact research projects across the region.
3) Promote research-focused partnerships, developing and sharing best practice amongst academics, activists, artists, and practitioners working on displacement.
4) Identify measures to overcome barriers and enhance access for displaced people to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.
5) Inform policies, legislation and practices on asylum and migration and promote effective institutional frameworks to support displaced people.
6) Collaborate with civil society organisations in tackling the region-specific causes of racism and xenophobia across the Maghreb to develop strategies for lobbying, advocacy and awareness-raising.

MADAR's research findings will contribute to reducing risk and improving protection for displaced people in the Maghreb. It will shape and influence national and regional policies and practices that stimulate and facilitate protection for displaced people in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia respectively. In addition, given its geographical focus, MADAR will generate knowledge which will affect and impact neighbouring regions and beyond.

MADAR's key benefit is enhanced protection for people at risk in the contexts of conflict and displacement in the Maghreb. It will also strengthen the research capacity of scholars in the Maghreb region and beyond. MADAR's sustainable partnership with CSOs in the Maghreb will build capacity and enrich relationships and networks across the region.

Planned Impact

MADAR aims to directly impact the lives of those affected by displacement and to enhance the research and advocacy capacity of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Maghreb and other South-South displacement contexts, especially LMIC countries bordering the Global North (e.g. Turkey, Mexico etc.). Drawing on expertise from across the arts and humanities and the social and political sciences, and from partnerships with CSOs, MADAR will generate evidence-based solutions to the diverse and gendered protection challenges facing displaced people across the Maghreb. Co-designed and co-delivered with our partners in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, MADAR will have implications for direct beneficiaries (i.e. institutions and individuals directly involved in MADAR Network Plus activities) and indirect beneficiaries (i.e. those who are not directly involved in MADAR Network Plus activities but will benefit from MADAR's outcomes):

1. DISPLACED PEOPLE IN MOROCCO, ALGERIA, AND TUNISIA. MADAR will generate positive societal impacts by commissioning research to address the challenges of how to effectively affirm protective rights and mitigate harm to vulnerable, conflict-induced internally displaced people, refugees and asylum seekers in the Maghreb. Displaced people directly involved in MADAR activities and funded research projects will benefit from opportunities to contribute to designing effective solutions to the challenges they face. Displaced people across the Maghreb will benefit indirectly from improvements to protection practices and policies that are informed by MADAR research conducted across the region. Displaced people across the Maghreb will benefit indirectly from improved community relations as a result of the touring/online exhibition and complementary outreach activities that aim to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by displaced people and to improve attitudes and discourses amongst wider publics towards displaced people in the region.

2. MADAR PROJECT PARTNERS AND OTHER CSOs WORKING ON CONFLICT AND DISPLACEMENT ACROSS THE MAGHREB. MADAR Project Partner CSOs will benefit directly from the enhancement of their organisational culture and research and advocacy capacity through the co-design and co-delivery of MADAR. MADAR Project Partners and other CSO practitioner participants in MADAR activities (e.g. advocates, human rights and humanitarian organisations, and lobbyists) will benefit directly from enhanced capacity to support displaced communities, developed through training workshops and networking activities designed to foster sustainable cross-sector partnerships amongst researchers and practitioners. More generally, CSOs and individual practitioners working on conflict and displacement across the Maghreb will benefit indirectly from enhanced research and advocacy capacity to support displaced communities through MADAR's handbook on protection in contexts of displacement in the Maghreb region.

3. POLICY AND OTHER DECISION-MAKERS ACROSS THE MAGHREB AND BEYOND. Relevant policy-makers and state bodies in each of the Maghreb countries (i.e. Parliamentary working groups on migration and Ministries of the Interior and of Migration), international institutions with a presence in the Maghreb (e.g. IOM and UNHCR), and relevant institutions beyond the Maghreb (African Union, European Union Commission, and UK FCO, DfID, and All-Party Parliamentary Group on migration and refugees) will benefit from multilingual, up-to-date, evidence-based research findings (in the form of country-specific policy briefs) to inform changes in practice, policy, and legislation (e.g. anti-racism, asylum, and migration) at the local, national, and transnational levels.


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