Forced Displacement and Development Study Group


What is the challenge?

The humanitarian landscape is changing rapidly, with record numbers displaced worldwide over longer periods of time, fewer living in settled camps, and large funding shortfalls. As a result, business-as-usual is no longer working for refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and their host communities. Refugees and IDPs who are displaced for 5, 10, or 20 years need access to basic social services and legal work—opportunities that will enable them to not only survive, but also recover and thrive.

There is emerging agreement around the need to bridge the divide between humanitarian and development actors, and deliver sustainable solutions that are integrated with host government systems. Driven by increasing global momentum, new financing platforms and mechanisms are emerging to address some of these challenges, and there is tremendous opportunity to shape their design and structure.

What effort is CGD undertaking to address this challenge?

CGD and IRC are convening a joint study group to explore what a sound partnership framework between host governments and development and humanitarian actors might look like in protracted displacement scenarios. This effort is guided by a vision of displaced people having meaningful opportunities that promote long-term economic, social, and institutional development.

The group will focus on two sectors with significant need and tremendous scope to enable displaced populations and host communities to achieve self-reliance: education and livelihoods.

The agenda is built around the following initial set of guiding questions:

  • What policy considerations can help harness the resources and expertise of both the humanitarian and development communities to deliver sustainable solutions for displaced populations and their host communities?
  • How can actors encourage evidence-based approaches and a commitment to generating new evidence?
  • What incentives are needed to foster new innovations and facilitate increased private sector collaboration?  
  • What are some concrete policy recommendations—specifically process and policy requirements—to shape the design and structure of emerging financing platforms, such as the World Bank Global Crisis Response Platform and the Education Cannot Wait fund?

Study Group Structure

CGD study groups are consultative in nature, bringing together a small group of diverse experts to address a challenge that does not necessarily have a clear answer or solution. Members of the Forced Displacement and Development Study Group include current and former experts from donor and host governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and academia. All written products (e.g., policy brief, final report) resulting from this work stream are grounded in guidance and feedback from study group members, but do not necessarily reflect their views or endorsement.


Cindy Huang, Visiting Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Nazanin Ash, Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee

Study Group Members

Alice P. Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education
Alex Aleinikoff, Visiting Professor of Law, Columbia University, and Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute
Owen Barder, Vice President, Director of Europe and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Rick Barton, Lecturer, Princeton University
Sarah Cliffe, Director, Center on International Cooperation, New York University
Xavier Devictor, Program Manager, Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD), Fragility, Conflict, and Violence, World Bank
James Habyarimana, Associate Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Nancy Lee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation
Joanna Macrae, Senior Partnerships Manager, Give Directly and Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development
Amal Mudallali, CEO, Bridges International Group
Garreth Spillane, Chief of Staff and Vice President, Global Innovation Fund
Gizem Sucuoglu, Senior Program Manager, Center on International Cooperation, New York University
Theodore Talbot, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Global Development
Jeremy Weinstein, Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow, Stanford University

CGD Experts

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