JLI Refugees & Forced Migration Hub Meeting

Friday Sept 8, 9am ET- On Zoom

Attendees:

– Atallah, Shannon Scribner (Oxfam America), Christian Wolff (ACT Alliance), Dave (U Mass in Boston), Lance Laird (BU), Mark Simmons (Cord),  Kathryn Kraft (Univ East London &WVI), Susanna Trotta (Philippines), Rachel & Caleb Stephens (Merath), Christina Tobias- Nahi (IR-USA), Olivia Wilkinson (JLI), Joey Ager, Stacy Nam (JLI)

– Elena Fiddian- Qasmiyeh (UCL & JLI hub chair)

Regrets: Allan Mckinnon, Hiruy Teka (Samaritan’s Purse), Jo Mountford (Christian Aid), L Astonitas (World Bank), Suzie Lahoud (Merath), Daniel Sturm (US Catholic Council Bishops), Josh Ayers & Matt Ellingson (Food for the Hungry) Jim Kuh (Catholic Charities), Kat Eghdamian

 

Key Actions:

  • Members: Invitation to all members to send comments on the scoping study
  • Call for submissions of case studies, interviews to fill the gaps (especially global south in the context of resettlement and transnational systems)

Please feel free to submit comments on the draft scoping- tight timeline as will be printing for Localisation forum 16-18 October in Sri Lanka: please see lrf2017.org

  • If anyone is more interested in a thorough read through or proofreading, please let us know
  • Further next steps: as we prepare policy notes- we will prioritize key topics & let us know if you would like to author or co-author
  • Stacy will send details of the Oct 3 – 9am JLI Webinar with Oxfam America, Local Humanitarian Leadership and Faith Actors- Tara Gingerich- please rsvp to Stacy if you would like to attend

Summary:

Scoping Report Draft Overview

  • Introduction: definitions overview (pg 4)
  • Methodology (pg 9): based on both the literature review of over 293 publications and 21 key informant interviews
  • Brief overview of Localisation & urbanisation debates (pg 12)
  • LFC Response to urban protracted displacement: review of the evidence (pg 16)
  1. Roles of LFCs (includes acknowledgement of negative up front then constructive- pg 18)
  • Includes Basic services & Psychosocial and spiritual support
  • Asylum & Resettlement (pg 26) – this is currently mostly on global North. Can we include more case studies from global South?
  • Peacebuilding in Contexts of Displacement (pg 29)
  • Influencing public and political opinion around displacement and refugees (31)

2. Structures & Norms of humanitarian systems and LFAs (pg 33)

  • Different structures (pg 34)
  • Different Norms (pg 40)

3. Transnational religious networks (pg 44): also interested in more global south case studies on how south-south religious networks are used in contexts of displacement

Still accepting case studies: from the global south, especially on resettlement, transnational religious networks though open to all case studies in other areas as well

 

Comments?

Kathryn: Phenomenal effort: these scoping studies bring so much together.

Question: as we acknowledge the role of LFCs (esp the negative up front) & spend a fairly significant part of it saying what we know- this may possibly be something readers already know. How do we move beyond that?

  • Elena: Thanks – very important debate, depends who the audience is; if the audience is not part of the JLI, then we need that section
    • Policy notes can help to move the debate forward
  • Olivia: Completely agree, maybe an awkward title right now (more editing needed) try to touch briefly on those ideas to acknowledge it, then later sections go into more detail about the analysis of the full situation and challenge assumptions about the areas
    • Except for the one section that is just on negatives, I’m comfortable w/overarching structure that’s not just binary of good & bad. The problem may be if someone is just glancing at the report- someone may just pick up on these nuances.
    • Kathryn: I do see how the scoping study should be as thorough as possible, so maybe the policy reports are the place to hone in

Atallah: One of the areas I’m looking at is potential collaboration w/ UNHCR and other agencies- looking at a systems approach, or process to implement the new comprehensive response framework (CRF

    • They state that faith leaders & partners are important, but very little evidence about how they’ve systematically done that-have interviews w/ UNHCR or other major agencies  indicated their response?
  • Olivia: In the interviews, we prioritised views from global south & local faith communities (LFCs) or national faith orgs & don’t have that agency overarching position. We could look into this further in the 2nd report. We did speak w/ each interviewee about issues at stake in relation to international agencies & have included some points of tensions. Have included UNHCR docs in the review. Would have to go back to joey about his perspective
  • Elena: The research in resilience hub specifically identified the need to capture voices of global south, local, national discussions. We tried to identify as many local stakeholders as possible, and acknowledge that there are still many we haven’t engaged;
  • The next step would be to unite the intl, natl and local level evidence. & catching up on changes as they occur, but want the policy notes to address specific questions & debates; ex UNHCR dev as they unfold and make sure we can contribute to those policies and implementation. & fill those gaps as we see them
  • Atallah: Then maybe agree to a set of broad guidelines to affect industry/ sector process, then look at pilot projects to try to implement those- Possibly set up an advisory body from UNHCR, Red Cross etc
  • Christian:  Since we’re in Geneva & many regions- we’re following UNHCR and CRF very closely & hope to feed into that process. In our experience, the way the CRF has been implemented through pilot countries has been a bit choppy- largely concentrated in Africa and Latin America. no engagement in other regions, which has to do with lack of commitments in other govt to be a part.
  • CSO efforts: under Antonio Gutierrez, there was a dedicated initiative to engage FBOs, though not much follow-up in practice. We have been contacted by UNHCR to revive the conversation. Looking for ways to do mapping w/ partners who are in ongoing areas of displacement: what are specific activities of faith actors & what are they involved in.
  • Hope that the scoping study could be a tool to structure that process – esp for advocacy and education

Elena: Important to hear from hub members about who to contact- UNHCR was involved in resilience hub (Jose Riviera) and enabled us to share evidence & have bilateral communication- look forward to suggestions of who we can speak with or provide case studies to help document what is taking place & move forward these debates

  • Brief caveat: Olivia & joey have been tasked with a difficult evidence search for a certain nexus: local faith response in urban settings in the global south; that means certain questions have fallen aside, so helpful to see how these can contribute to bigger and more global debates
  • Suggestions, comments, gaps, offers of submissions?

Elena: Is there value in restructuring the section on resettlement or asylum seekers?

  • Christian: How was asylum and resettlement defined?
    • Not many resettlement countries in global south: ie central America b/c of increasing US restrictions & MX, now people are seeking asylum more south
    • If including asylum, then can find more examples, cairo, Lebanon & jordan- CSOs including FBOs are working under very difficult conditions- w/ restricted environments legally
    • Looking for only resettlement work or various approaches to providing asylum?
  • Elena: Yes & key question: what’s the role of LFCs in supporting people to be identified in the global south for resettlement to the global north; as US resettlement orgs usually are FBOs, what’s the connection b/t global south & north & fbo role in those processes (esp refugee status determination)- central & s america are increasingly resettlement solidarity areas; & further informal safe & sanctuary spaces
  • Should this report focus just on global south or is it helpful to also focus on global north given the importance of resettlement processes or hold off to the 2nd scoping? & is there enough material, people to speak with etc?

Kathryn: What about language & translation? Brazil has a lot of LFCs are active in this area. In terms of the research process,  is there tension between what’s really happening on the ground vs the limited way that research is conducted

  • Olivia: Always underlying tension around language in research; we conducted the literature research, English, Spanish and French; interviews were conducted in those languages; however, some significant gaps still- arabic and also portuguese
  • Caleb: For case studies are we hoping for active resettlement for the study or could it be for a past conflict/migration? I thought of Brazil first as well for an opportunity for case studies
    • Elena: Many thanks for this – this is a good question and a past example could still be helpful – would you have a suggestion on how to move forward with the Brazil case-study, for instance? Thanks
  • Elena: Could do translation through some creative funding- if we could identify a key interviewee or case study to trace that would require an additional translation, then please do let us know
  • Kathryn: Great to highlight the significant efforts you have already invested in getting broad perspectives in multiple languages. This is always a challenge

Elena: Other topics for inclusion and comments on the transnational topic? Otherwise please send us comments by email

 

Next Steps:

  • Call for submissions of case studies, interviews to fill the gaps
  • 2nd round of meetings to discuss key topics for 2nd scoping
  • Please feel free to submit comments on the draft scoping- will be printing for Localisation forum 16-18 October in Sri Lanka: please see  lrf2017.org
  • If anyone is more interested in a thorough read through or proofreading, please let us know
  • Further next steps: as we prepare policy notes- we will prioritize key topics & further if you would like to author or co-author

 

Updates from members (please send to Stacy)

  • Relevant in-person events for JLI members (please feel free to submit events & resources on the JLI website)
  • Joint Learning Opportunity – October 3, 9am JLI Webinar with Oxfam America, Local Humanitarian Leadership and Faith Actors- Tara Gingerich
  • Scoping Survey launch in London (details tba late October)
  • PPT on JLI and Refugee Hub work will be available for members to present at relevant meetings/events (please email Stacy and/or Elena if you are interested)

Thanks!

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