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Document 52016SC0142

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Accompanying the document Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance Forced Displacement and Development

SWD/2016/0142 final

Brussels, 26.4.2016

SWD(2016) 142 final


Accompanying the document

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance
Forced Displacement and Development

{COM(2016) 234 final}


This document accompanies the Commission Communication "Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance" (Forced Displacement and Development)". It provides an overview and assessment of the existing EU policies, instruments and practice in assisting refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and asylum seekers (together referred to as "forcibly displaced people") in third partner countries. It focuses on protracted forced displacement and its context, drivers and consequences for the displaced and their host communities and countries and presents findings and recommendations resulting from the review of past and ongoing stand-alone EU projects and interventions.

2.Context, drivers, complexity and variety of forced displacement situations

For the purposes of this document, forced displacement refers to the situation of people who are forced to leave their homes due to armed conflict, generalised violence, persecution, and human rights violations.

According to the Geneva Refugee Convention of 1951 and the Protocol of 1967, a refugee is an individual seeking protection outside of the country of his/her nationality due to persecution on the basis of religion, race, political opinion, nationality or membership in a particular social group. A recognised refugee has the right to international protection especially through the "non refoulement" principle. IDPs are displaced in their own country. Their rights as citizens are enshrined in human rights law and international humanitarian law. In addition, the rights of IDPs are addressed in the UN Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement 1 (a non-binding document) and a number of regional conventions.

Forced displacement situations are highly complex and differ greatly. A number of factors – such as different drivers for displacement, political and economic conditions of host countries/regions, duration and character of displacement shape and influence each situation. As UNHCR 2 stated, "protracted refugee situations stem from political impasses. They are not inevitable, but are rather the result of political action and inaction, both in the country of origin […] and in the country of asylum. They endure because of ongoing problems in the country of origin, and stagnate and become protracted as a result of responses to refugee inflows, typically involving restrictions on refugee movement and employment possibilities." 

Drivers of forced displacement: Most situations of mass-scale forced displacement are currently caused by violent conflicts which are in turn caused by a wide array of factors (land, resources, ethnic or religious affiliation etc.). Violence is a key factor forcing people to flee. Disasters and climate phenomena have an increasing impact on the security and economic well-being of citizens. Climate change can be a threat multiplier for instability, conflict and state fragility 3 .

Political and economic conditions of hosting countries/ regions: host countries' political and legal frameworks towards forcibly displaced persons can vary greatly regarding for instance the right to work, freedom of movement or other important rights such as land use and ownership and legal registration. These frameworks structure the possibilities for (temporary) inclusion and set the boundaries for humanitarian or development programming. The available political and economic space can also vary significantly between different regions of the same country.

Government policies on the right to movement vary from strict encampment policies to no-camp approaches. The types of settlements vary accordingly. Camps are widespread, but globally, the majority of refugees and IDPs worldwide live outside of camps. Many settle in urban or rural areas or rent housing from local communities. At the end of 2014 more than 50% of displaced populations lived in urban areas. But there are stark country and regional differences: in Kenya for instance, only 10 % of refugees and asylum seekers officially live in urban areas. This diversity of settlements implies different realities and therefore different ways of assisting the populations in need.

Countries hosting a large number of refugees and IDPs vary from Least Developed Countries (such as Afghanistan, Chad, Ethiopia), Lower Middle-Income Countries (such as Egypt, Ukraine and Pakistan) and Upper Middle-Income Countries (such as Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey). 4  

Impact of displacement: The impact of forcibly displaced people on a host region depends on the scale, duration, geographic spread, demographic composition and crucially, the strength and adaptability of existing economic structures and services. Where large numbers of refugees or IDPs live amongst the host population, public services provision will be put under immense strain.

Duration: Between 1978 and 2014, less than one in 40 refugee crises were resolved within three years, and protractedness has usually been a matter of decades. According to UNHCR, the average duration of the 33 protracted refugee situations at the end of 2014 is estimated to about 25 years. Close to 80% (24) of all protracted refugee situations have been lasting for more than 20 years. 5 For instance, three-quarters of the Afghan refugees remaining in Pakistan have lived there for more than 30 years.

Cyclical character of displacement: Displacement situations caused by conflicts most of the time do not take place in a linear fashion moving smoothly from emergency to rehabilitation and development. Violence and displacement can flare up again and again leading to recurring crises and secondary movements in and out of an area of origin.

2.1.    Durable solutions

The type of displacement – whether people flee to another country (refugees), are displaced within their own country (IDPs) or return to their country of origin or original place of residence – determines their legal status. It therefore impacts on available rights, opportunities for self-reliance during displacement and also – the available durable solutions.

The international legal frameworks with regards to refugees distinguish three durable solutions: 6  

Voluntary repatriation: When a country of origin has stabilised, refugees may decide to repatriate voluntarily. This should be done in safety and dignity and should signify the successful end to the trauma of displacement. According to the UNHCR statistics, While the overall number of refugee returns in 2014 (126,800) was already the lowest in more than three decades, current trends indicate that 2015 figures may even be lower 7 . Since 2000 there is a steady declining trend in voluntary repatriation.

Local integration: When refugees integrate fully as members of the host community through legal, economic, social and cultural processes they are considered to be locally integrated. It entails obligation for both refugees and host societies. Acquiring the nationality of the host country can be the final stage of integration. In terms of economic integration, it requires achievement of self-reliance, which is linked to livelihood opportunities. There is little available data on local integration other than through award of national citizenship to refugees.

Resettlement to a third country: In situations in which it is impossible for a person to go back home or remain in the host country, refugees can be resettled in a third state "that has agreed to admit them and ultimately grant them permanent settlement" (UNHCR). In 2014, 26 countries admitted 105.200 refugees for resettlement. Compared to the overall displacement figures, this figure is very small.

Durable solutions for IDPs 8 are achieved when they no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs that are linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination on account of their displacement like other citizens. It can be achieved through:

Sustainable reintegration at the place of origin (often referred to as “return”);

Sustainable local integration in areas where internally displaced persons take refuge (local integration);

Sustainable integration in another part of the country (settlement elsewhere in the country).

Due to lack of political commitment and challenging policy and operational contexts, implementation of the three durable solutions for both refugees and IDPs has been insufficient.

In cases on ongoing armed conflicts and other protracted situations, voluntary repatriation is not a viable option for refugees because of the decade-long high levels of insecurity, instability and underdevelopment in countries of origin. Often refugees’ access to basic rights is restricted in host countries, due to a tendency of rushing towards the durable solution of return to the country of origin and the assumption that expansion of rights may diminish refugees' inclination to return. Countries of origin have often been keen to encourage early return for domestic political reasons. When conditions in the country of origin are neither ripe nor safe to go back due to relapses into conflict and violence, repatriations result in returnees moving back into exile or becoming internally displaced. In addition, the lack of livelihood opportunities in refugees' and IDPs’ places of origin is a serious obstacle to return. In rural areas of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Uganda, where access to land is synonymous with access to livelihoods, IDPs’ inability to repossess land and property that was occupied or destroyed makes return not feasible and thus prolongs displacement. 9  Resettlement has only been available to less than 1 percent of the global refugee population.

In sum, while it remains important to advocate for attaining durable solutions, there is an increasing shift towards improving the situation of both displaced and their hosts during displacement. Programmes and strategies designed to prevent and respond to protracted displacement could focus on ways of enhancing the self-reliance of refugees and IDPs during their displacement rather than rely on the availability of the ‘durable solutions’. A shift towards securing better quality of life for refugees and IDPs during displacement and their hosts could ultimately enhance their human development and contribute to preventing displacement from becoming protracted.

3.Current EU policy framework

No EU legislation, policy or action plan exists to address protracted forced displacement in a comprehensive manner. However, a number of policies are relevant in this context. In May 2013, the Communication on 'Maximising the Development Impact of Migration' 10  highlighted that "the presence of refugees and other forced migrants can also result in new opportunities and benefits for national and local economies through refugees’ human capital, including by providing labour skills and creating demand for goods and services. Measures to harness the potential of refugees to drive development improve their self-reliance, and thereby strengthen the quality of refugees' protection, also to the benefit of the host countries". In addition, the Communication includes a commitment to "ensure that refugees and other forced migrants are included in long-term development planning", placing a specific focus on protracted refugee situations.

Further, the Foreign Affairs-Development Ministers Council in its Conclusions of 12 December 2014 on "Migration in EU Development Cooperation" acknowledge the urgency that arises from conflicts and crises throughout the world and the resulting unprecedented challenges related to refugees and IDPs as well as to host communities and countries. The Council requests a coordinated development cooperation approach to forced displacement (i.e. refugees and IDPs). In addition, in the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 11 , adopted in July 2015, the EU gave a commitment to support partner countries to promote and protect the rights of refugees and IDPs, including through capacity building and the promotion of the ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol.

Migration also stands among the most important priorities of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) 12 , with a view to finding the common ground where European interests and those of partner countries can both be served. This includes assistance to partner countries in developing their asylum and protection systems and in ensuring that basic needs of the displaced are guaranteed, their human rights are protected and their socio-economic and human potential is not wasted but is made available to host societies and communities.

The overarching framework of the EU external migration and asylum policy, the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) defines how the EU conducts its policy dialogues and operational cooperation with third countries, based on clearly defined priorities which reflect the strategic objectives of the EU, and embedded in the EU’s overall foreign policy framework, including development cooperation. The GAMM is focused on four thematic priorities: (1) better organising legal migration and fostering well-managed mobility; (2) preventing and combating irregular migration and eradicating trafficking in human beings; (3) maximising the development impact of migration and mobility; (4) promoting international protection and enhancing the external dimension of asylum. The respect of human rights is a cross-cutting priority.

3.1.Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) and resilience

The relationship between humanitarian aid and development cooperation has become known as LRRD. The initial conceptualisation of LRRD was a linear, sequential transition from relief to development. Links entailed applying exit strategies to prepare the ground for the next phase. Crises and conflicts were regarded as temporary phenomena disrupting the normal development path. Over the 1990s, the model was slowly changed to recognise that relief, rehabilitation and development and related instruments should take place simultaneously.

The European Commission applied the "LRRD" concept in two Communications. The first one adopted in 1996 13 centred on the concept of a linear transition from relief to rehabilitation to development. The 2001 Communication 14 makes a distinction between conflict-induced crises and disasters-induced crises. As far as conflict situations are concerned, the document continues to emphasise "linkages" that will contribute to delivering better aid as well as the need for a handover or "taking over" from humanitarian assistance. The Communication points out that the "transition from relief/humanitarian aid to development cooperation is rarely a linear chronological process. Nor do crises evolve in a linear way. Rather, they oscillate between phases of deterioration, escalation, acute crisis, and de-escalation towards a more or less stable peace. Furthermore, reversals are frequent. Experience shows that peace or cease-fire agreements are fragile, and donors can never been sure that they will last".

The EU has since applied the LRRD approach more often to responses to natural disasters and food crises rather than to conflicts, forced displacement and protracted situations. 15 Moving more and more away from the "handing over" model, in October 2012, the Commission adopted a Communication on the EU Approach to Resilience 16 , which set out key policy principles for action to help vulnerable communities in crisis-prone areas build resilience to future shocks. Drawing on experiences in addressing recurrent food crises and using lessons learned from the SHARE (Supporting the Horn of Africa's Resilience) and AGIR (The Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative), the Communication recognised that strengthening resilience lies at the interface of humanitarian and development assistance.

Further, the EU Action Plan for Resilience in Crisis Prone Countries (2013-2020) 17 recognises the developmental needs of refugees, IDPs and returnees and advocates for longer-term approaches and strategies to address protracted refugee and IDP situations. The resilience policy is centred on a longer-term and a more systemic humanitarian and development approach to "building resilience" and recognises the role of sustainable development in addressing the root causes of crises. Moreover, the focus of the EU resilience strategy is not only on countries and their capacity but also on building the resilience of vulnerable populations. Indeed, whereas the LRRD refers to ‘links’ between different forms of aid, the resilience concept draws attention to the lives and capacities of population in situations prone to crises 18 . Overall, as in the past, EU initiatives on LRRD have been particularly prominent in the field of food security an example being the "Supporting the Horn of Africa's Resilience" (SHARE) initiative. The Commission designed a Joint Humanitarian Development Framework which has been applied as a planning tool to guide analysis. 19  

In 2013, the European Commission and the HRVP adopted a Comprehensive Approach to external conflicts and crises 20 which emphasises a need for a long-term commitment from the EU and calls for a holistic approach, based on the added value of a wide range of tools and instruments, to preventing and addressing conflicts. Indeed, it highlights that "long-term engagement […] and long-term sustainable development are essential to address the underlying causes of conflict and to build peaceful, resilient society". The document, while acknowledging the different mandates, underlines that "natural synergies and complementarities should be ensured by an early, inclusive and intense dialogue between the respective stockholders, in order to have a greater impact and achieve better results". In this respect, the EU should "coordinate and, where possible combine, the use of a full range of EU tools and instruments" spanning the political, security, humanitarian and development spectrum to responding to the challenges of crises and conflicts. Ultimately, the Communication draws attention to the key role that Member States should play: "[c]comprehensiveness refers not only to the joined-up deployment of EU instruments and resources, but also to the shared responsibility of EU-level actors and Member States".

Although the term LRRD is no longer used in recent EU policy documents, it is still used in EU programming. In addition, the LRRD concept is still often viewed in terms of an exit strategy that should be followed by development cooperation.

3.2.Regional (Development and) Protection Programmes (RDPPs)

As part of the establishment of the Common European Asylum System and in response to increasing numbers of protracted refugee situations, in 2005 the European Commission elaborated the concept of Regional Protection Programmes (RPPs). As stated in the Commission Communication on Regional Protection Programmes of 2005 21 "the aim should be to create the conditions for one of the three durable solutions to take place – repatriation, local integration or resettlement". In response to the Communication and related Council conclusions, the European Commission launched two pilot Regional Protection Programmes (RPPs) in Tanzania/Great Lakes Region and in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus). Following the pilot phase, a number of RPPs have been implemented with EU support. All of these programmes were implemented by the UNHCR together with national partners.

In 2013 the Communication on the Work of the Task Force Mediterranean 22 called for moving towards larger programmes with stronger involvement of Member States, a broader set of activities and a much stronger focus on development, including more long term engagement. In addition "the implementation of RPPs/RDPPs should be accompanied by strong political dialogue and advocacy efforts on refugee protection and protracted refugee situations with national authorities in third countries, including at regional level". This new approach was first applied in the design on the Regional Development and Protection Programmes (RDPP) Middle East. RDPPs have since then also been launched in North Africa and in the Horn of Africa 23 .

3.3.EU financial instruments

For the EU Multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020, the EU adopted a revised set of financial instruments for the provision of external assistance to partner countries and regions, with the aim to further rationalise, simplify and increase the effectiveness of EU external cooperation. Among them are:

Humanitarian aid instrument - as the world's largest humanitarian aid donor, the EU plays a central role in tackling humanitarian consequences of natural and man-made disasters. The initial MFF reference amount for 2014-2020 is EUR 6.622 billion;

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which provides assistance to candidate countries and potential candidate countries for accession to the EU, with a reference amount of EUR 11.699 billion;

European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for cooperation between the EU and its Eastern and Southern neighbours, with a reference amount of EUR 15.433 billion;

Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), which is composed of geographic programmes for developing countries not covered by the IPA, the ENI or the European Development Fund (EDF), as well as two thematic programmes supporting global actions or actions in countries covered by the ENI, the EDF or the DCI geographic part, with a reference amount of EUR 19.662 billion;

Partnership Instrument (PI) for cooperation with third countries to advance and promote EU and mutual interests. Its budget for 2014-2020 amounts to EUR 954.8 million;

Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) to respond to crisis situations and global threats, with a reference amount of EUR 2.339 billion;

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) supporting the development of democracy, the rule of law and human rights worldwide, with a reference amount of EUR 1.333 billion.

In addition to these financial instruments providing assistance from the EU budget, the countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States continue to be supported mainly through the European Development Fund (EDF) on the basis of the 2000 Cotonou Agreement. The 11th EDF, to which over EUR 30.506 billion are allocated, covers the period 2014-2020 and is managed by the Commission on the basis of a specific financial regulation 24 .

Most of the external cooperation instruments cover migration-related aspects, albeit to a different extent and from different perspectives, and thus allow addressing GAMM-related aspects at global, regional and/or bilateral level. The most relevant instruments for addressing forced displacement are the geographic instruments (DCI, ENI, IPA), as well as the DCI-funded Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC) Programme, and the IcSP. The crisis response component of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) can be mobilised to provide short term support to measures to address the potential impact of sudden population movements with relevance to the political and security situation. This includes assistance to host communities in situations of crisis or emerging crisis.

The Mid-term review of the programming documents in 2016-2017 provides an opportunity to ensure increased attention for migration and forced displacement in EU cooperation with priority partner countries, where relevant. Under the new EU financial framework, the external cooperation instruments are complemented by other Funds, such as the new Home Affairs Funds: Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), and Internal Security Fund (ISF). .

European Union Trust Funds (EUTFs) – deployed in Central African Republic ('Bekou' Trust Fund), the Middle East (EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the "Madad Fund") and in the Sahel, Lake Chad, Horn of Africa and North Africa region (Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa)) - have introduced new dynamics into programme design and development with implications for the cooperation of EU humanitarian and development interventions. The Trust Funds are designed to pool resources (EU budget, Member States, others) and fast-track and expedite development programming and delivery in crisis contexts. The Facility for the Refugees in Turkey (FRT) is another tool for pooling and coordinating support for the people displaced as a result of the Syrian conflict.

4.Analysis of best practices and gaps

As no formal policy exists to address long-term forced displacement in a comprehensive manner, no fully-fledged evaluation exercise was possible. However, a stocktaking exercise 25 took place in 2015 to map out relevant instruments, programmes and interventions to date at EU level. This chapter summarises an analysis conducted of EU projects and programmes addressing forced displacement. It identifies best practices and ways of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the response and examines the means of strengthening the socio-economic dimension.

4.1. Methodology

For this exercise 37 EU-funded programmes were analysed to provide a meta-analysis of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation in the field of forced displacement. Using a mixed methods approach, 23 development programmes and 14 humanitarian interventions covering 22 countries were examined in case-studies 26 .

The programmes reviewed cover a seven year period from 2011 to 2017 with project budgets varying in scope from just over EUR 750,000 to EUR 40 million. An extensive regional coverage was ensured to include Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and Latin America. The programmes also reflect diverse thematic concerns such as integrated rural development, shelter projects, education and vocational training, gender empowerment, strengthening protection and rights-based capacity and stability-oriented macro-economic policy. It is important to note that the analysis only considers factors that are directly or indirectly related to the humanitarian and development-led interface and interventions. It does not review all the substantive content and procedural components of the programmes 27 .

Development programmes were analysed using primary sources including programme documents, budgets as well as monitoring and evaluation reports. Data for the humanitarian interventions were generated from a questionnaire addressed to the Commission's humanitarian field staff. The difference in methodology used may have led to some double counting between humanitarian and development projects. Also, the questionnaire data introduces a certain level of subjectivity. Where possible, information provided has been triangulated to ensure that the mixed methods approach has produced optimum findings. Nevertheless, there was some limitations concerning the data available and mainly qualitative analysis has been carried out.

The consultations with internal and external stakeholders ongoing since 2014 have also provided input for the analysis 28 .


4.2.1.    Constraints related to political context / political space

EU humanitarian aid and development cooperation in support of displaced people frequently takes place in highly politicised contexts which affects the provision of assistance. Unresolved political issues are at the heart of the protracted refugee and IDP situations in hosting countries such as Kenya, Pakistan, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sudan, Ethiopia, Colombia, Lebanon and Jordan. Palestine is another example of an extremely protracted displacement situation since 1948 29 . Manifold constraints exist in on-going conflict situations such as Sudan, Syria and Iraq. But the constraints are manifest in different ways and have different implications for humanitarian and development actors. By maintaining a strongly principled approach vis-à-vis respect for humanitarian principles, the Commission can navigate complex political settings to support wide ranging assistance delivered by its implementing partners.

Longer–term developmental interventions are subject to political constraints on objectives and operational capacity which limit the potential for development-oriented programmes. Interventions for displaced people by development actors require close working relationships with administrative, governmental and security authorities, even more so where the programmes also include the local populations. In addition, security risks and the fear of fuelling and/or exacerbating social and sectarian tensions can also be limiting factors in exploring sustainable programmes for displaced people 30 . As a consequence, in many hosting countries opportunities for self-reliance and livelihoods of the displaced are severely constrained or non-existent due to restrictive government policy environments. In Bangladesh a clear demarcation of target groups exists between registered refugees in camps and unregistered Rohingya refugees. However, this is not due to lack of complementarity between humanitarian and development programming, but rather the result of a high degree of control exerted by the Government of Bangladesh over the Rohingya refugees and actors assisting them.

The scope of EU actions is also constrained by the lack of political solutions to refugee displacement. For example, several case studies identify strengthening government pressure for refugee pushback although the governments in countries of origin may be unready or unwilling to accept back refugees 31 Even in cases of voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration of returnees can rarely be successful in a context of continuing insecurity and limited capacity in the country of origin despite massive financial efforts to support the return process by EU programmes and those of other stakeholders. These substantial political limitations on development actors make the need to engage in political dialogue with impacted countries to address development-oriented interventions more pressing.

Early engagement of development actors and increased development interventions have been positively highlighted in a number of case-studies whilst recognising that the dynamics of a crisis constrains the provision of assistance. Flexibility is needed to adapt to changing conditions on the ground. For instance in Iraq the impact of EU development programmes aimed at supporting the return and reintegration of IDPs in Iraq was severely limited primarily due to recurrent cycles of government instability and unresolved political and social conflicts. Thus, by 2013, the interventions shifted again to greater humanitarian ‘safety net’, programming for the most vulnerable displaced families. Programming now seeks to maximize the opportunities that new instruments (e.g. the Madad Fund) could bring to a more cohesive humanitarian-development strategy.

Conversely, in Colombia humanitarian assistance fell short of enabling local institutions to support community-based resilience. Whilst EU development programmes have tried to cover this gap through subsequent funding of peace building and rural development, this has not taken place in the areas most affected by the conflict as access is restricted by security constraints.

4.2.2.    Limited evidence base for interventions

So far, the main instrument of sustainable and development oriented programmes by the Commission have been livelihood interventions. The stocktaking exercise demonstrated that often limited evidence is provided to justify selection of promoted types of skills and livelihoods. Where evidence is available this usually comprises qualitative assessments by the contractors, not independent research evidence on potential uptake or beneficiary preferences, or the research of labour market and business activity data sets from government sources or surveys of refugee populations. For example, promoting skills and vocational training should be based on analysis of labour market conditions and gaps and workforce composition. Similarly, the structure and dynamics of the formal and informal economies are important conditioning factors in the potential uptake of employment for refugees and IDPs graduating from skills and vocational training.

Another lesson learned from the analysis is the need to improve the project baseline and assumptions. The assumptions in many projects are conceived mainly to reflect the political and institutional commitment of host governments and not the needs of the displaced and host communities. Failure to fully specify and test assumptions undermines project implementation and reduces the potential to prepare contingency strategies that are inevitably required in the highly dynamic situations of forced displacement.

4.2.3. Lack of quantification of aims and measurement outcomes

In the Commission development programmes analysed, there is a clear dominance of ‘soft’, qualitative indicators and lack of quantifiable project targets or quantified economic measurement of the outcomes in the evaluations. EU humanitarian interventions do set quantitative targets but these are mainly target indicators and lack coverage of economic variables.

Possible quantification at micro-economic level:

Possible quantification at macro-economic level:

The lack of comprehensive studies that establish baseline indicators to measure progress (or in this case deteriorating progress) towards indicators of access to basic services (education, health), livelihoods, food security, combined with poor performance monitoring, make it difficult to assess the impact of projects such as RAHA (Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas) in Pakistan.

While at the micro-economic level the impact of project interventions is more easily identifiable, it is more difficult to provide quantifiable measurement of the impact of a project for refugees and host communities, because many variables that lie outside the project need to be factored into such an equation (see box for possible quantifications).

4.2.4.    Targeting the specific vulnerabilities

Targeting both refugees and host populations is an essential component of a development-led approach which has been successfully implemented in EU programmes.

Joint targeting:

Uganda: most services are provided to both refugees (ca. 60%) and the host community (ca. 40%); Cameroon: joint targeting of refugees (ca. 70%) and host population (ca. 30%)

For example a 2014 evaluation 32 commended the foresight of the EU project in Lebanon for investing in multiple beneficiary groups. At this point few other major development donors were operating in Lebanon and therefore Lebanese host communities and institutions most affected by the influx of Syrian refugees were poorly supported. The EU added significant value by prioritising these groups at an early stage.

External assistance can be both needs- and rights-based at the same time. In accordance with the principle of impartiality, a number of humanitarian actors follow a needs-based approach and allocate resources to those with the greatest needs and highest levels of vulnerability in an unbiased manner. The needs-based approach is informed by rights, and therefore is not in contradiction with the rights-based approach to guide the design and implementation of humanitarian assistance in a manner that, consistent with human rights principles, those in need of assistance are respected as right-holders. Applying this approach in a development-led strategy to protracted forced displacement means helping to realise the different rights of refugees, IDP's and voluntary returnees in host communities and designing interventions that target the most vulnerable, including in the host community.

In particular in the context of protracted displacement, it is critical to move quickly from status-based relief and development assistance towards a differentiated, vulnerability-based assistance. For instance in Darfur, humanitarian programming followed a blanket approach for a long time by targeting the population based simply on their IDP status without taking into consideration the wide range of vulnerabilities. IDPs displaced for longer periods have adapted and developed livelihood capabilities. Their needs are thus quite different from an IDP target group comprised of recently displaced people. By failing to differentiate needs, a blanket approach has resulted in an inefficient allocation of resources which has ultimately undermined strategies to develop self-reliance. The response should be tailored according to the concrete vulnerabilities, needs and capacities of different populations of similar status in line with a graduation approach from basic emergency aid towards longer-term development assistance

4.2.5.    Challenges in working together

The different roles, mandates and funding cycles of EU humanitarian and development actors are complementary. In practice, while there are examples of complementarity, different operating contexts present different challenges to working together. The complex context, the interplay between humanitarian and development objectives, the different duration of engagement and funding cycles may complicate complementarity and result in lack of joint vision, joint analytical frameworks and coordination.

As a consequence, for many years there was insufficient complementarity between EU humanitarian and development strategies to address protracted displacement. In Sudan humanitarian assistance has supported vulnerable displaced people, while development assistance has focused on rural development and agricultural productivity targeting non-displaced communities in rural areas. 33 More recently, cooperation has become more effective, by developing an innovative short/medium-term resilience strategy to tackle the needs of people in protracted crisis led by the Commission, HRVP and the Member States in 2015. The exercise, in preparation of the new funding envelop of EUR 100m, aimed to address the coordination gaps by seeking complementarities between the humanitarian and the development programmes, with a special (but not exclusive) focus on the protracted caseload of forced displaced people, IDPs and refugees.

Insufficient coordination may often be attributable to a lack of effective coordination by the UN system and/or weak host government capacity. Severe crises such as the Syrian crisis and related new contingencies emerging continuously make it difficult for host governments to follow up on activities. In this respect the EU, alongside other intergovernmental organisations, have a vital role to play in facilitating the development and implementation of coordination mechanisms, as it is doing in Jordan with tailor-made support to the Ministry of Planning and International Coordination. In Colombia, the Commission has been advocating for the integration of humanitarian stakeholders in the peace building and development platforms, through the Humanitarian Donors Group 34 . And in Cameroon, it has supported the opening of an OCHA office in the country in 2015 in order to strengthen the coordination.

Conversely, lack of joint programming in the past has generated a patchwork of interventions, only partially covering needs and reducing the potential for synergies between humanitarian and development-oriented interventions. Improving complementarity and coherence of strategies and programmes and more structured collaboration and knowledge-sharing would help overcome some of the limitations and obstacles to co-ordination in programme delivery.

In a number of countries challenges posed by the different funding cycles and programming regimes are reported. For instance in Sudan, the Commission has been engaged with an on-going programme of continuous support, through short-term (generally for maximum 1 year), project-based financial instruments to fund partners mainly for emergency response and preparedness since 2011 and for more than six years in Dafur. The duration and continuity of humanitarian funding has been achieved with consecutive one-year projects.

A positive example of a working link between the emergency response and longer term activities is the Bekou Fund for CAR refugees in Cameroon. The trust fund has proved to be a good opportunity for joint humanitarian and development operational and programmatic opportunities in Cameroon, even though designing and setting up the programme has taken longer than anticipated.

In the case of the Madad Fund, the larger budget and scale of operations clearly require effective safeguards to ensure complementarity. In Syria itself, EU humanitarian aid and the Madad Fund have worked jointly to ensure complementarity of interventions by sector and coordination of partnerships. In the refugee host countries, the Joint Development Humanitarian Frameworks 2015-2016 are a positive step in formalizing this process and promoting convergence.

In sum, where linkages between humanitarian and development approaches have taken place, this has mostly been through implementing organisations and crucially, neither at the stage and level of a strategic programme design, nor involving government actors.

4.2.6.    Sustainability and the role of host governments

In Afghanistan and Kenya, the stocktaking exercise points to the critical need to align development-oriented programmes to national development strategies if they are to be sustainable. Given that migration – let alone forced displacement – is rarely, if ever, included in a Country or Regional Strategy Paper for EU partner countries, the programmes can mostly be considered as stand-alone interventions. Few of the projects have been explicitly designed to: a) align with other actors’ and agencies’ programmes; b) support strategies at regional or national level, to mitigate the wider economic and developmental costs and impacts of displaced people; or c) support longer-term developmental strategies for displaced people and their hosts. As a best practice, the project to enhance refugee self-reliance in South Western Uganda provides a good example of a micro-economic programme that directly tackled livelihood support through a comprehensive strategy 35 .

Government and sometimes NGO/CBO capacity building is a central component of most development projects. However, the question is posed whether improved capacity remains after the conclusion of the projects. For instance in Lebanon project participants found the training relevant and of high quality, but from the point of view of sustainability follow-up was limited. Lack of government capacity is especially problematic in fragile states such as Libya and Somalia. Even where government capacity exists, as in the case of Jordan for example, it is important to ensure that this capacity is at the right level. In Jordan, the Commission interventions engage with national government and municipal institutions; but it is the latter level that is crucial because the bulk of services for the refugees and the host communities are delivered at municipal level.

4.2.7.    Service delivery, education, livelihoods

A predominant feature of the projects reviewed is their emphasis on indirect, complementary measures and securing baseline conditions (protection, nutrition, community management and empowerment) as a platform for developing economic self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods, rather than direct delivery of projects that actively provide income generating and livelihood activities and that connect with local economic conditions such as labour and commodity markets. Main elements include vocational training, employment counselling, skills development and livelihoods training. 

Conflict Reduction through improving Healthcare Services in Lebanon

EU funded project led by the Ministry of Public Health to address the identified primary health gaps in the health system for the vulnerable populations in Lebanon especially where shortage in resources and capacities can lead to tension.

Overall, this project aims to contribute to a reduction of community level conflict by improving service delivery and access.

Symptomatic of this approach is the heavy emphasis, in many of the project budgets, on the contractors’ salary costs for human resources for professional and training staff, co-ordination and technical staff, and associated project supplies and equipment, rather than direct funding of project beneficiaries. For example one project which aims, inter alia, to offer ‘livelihood opportunities to vulnerable refugees and migrants’ in the Horn of Africa, as part of a wider programme to prevent onward migration, has a EUR 2.4 million budget for which there is no direct budget line for project beneficiaries. The transaction costs of the projects are frequently well in excess of 50% and in the case of a EUR 1.4million project for Eastern Europe, an otherwise well focused project incorporating employment counselling, vocational assistance, education for children, and labour market analysis, staff costs comprise 79% of projected budget costs with only 18% dedicated to direct costs of vocational training and just over 3% to ‘integration’ grants to 49 households.

Supporting the infrastructure for self-reliant livelihoods (e.g. through skills development, vocational training and rights protection, etc.) is often necessary and the costs for highly qualified professional staff can be well justified.

Livelihood interventions

Uganda: Enhancing Local Capacities for Promoting Self-reliance of Refugees – Success factors:

Overall, the portfolio of livelihoods interventions is standardised and the range of actions often relatively small scale. Specifically in the context of income generating projects the scope is limited. Innovative activities that characterise other generally smaller donors and humanitarian actors do not feature strongly in EU programmes. As pointed out in section 4.2.2, there is limited evidence and justification presented for the projects that are promoted. An exception here is the project for Myanmar refugees in Thailand which offers a highly articulated programme directly targeting income generation.

In addition, there is only limited evidence of initiatives enabling self-employment and business development setting up micro-finance and savings and loans institutions, promoting micro-enterprises or providing business start-up advice. Exceptions are development projects in Uganda and Pakistan where community engagement of refugees and host communities in business development was a strong feature. The multi-dimensional and multi-scale rural development projects in Pakistan and Uganda evidence longer term developmental thinking that went into their design as well as providing an inclusive approach that targeted refugees and host communities. To an extent they can be considered as prototypes for emerging policy and practice: important as they are in building up a credible portfolio of instruments, they lack a coherent and systematic approach to macro-economic policy making.

Macro-economic interventions

Many of the projects reviewed address essential ‘base-line’ conditions for development-oriented strategies and some projects can be considered as prototypes for emerging policy and practice. But they do not offer a structured approach for mainstreaming longer term developmental strategies, mediating fiscal stress and the costs and impacts of large-scale population displacement. They lack a coherent and systematic approach to macro-economic policy making.

For example, the Commission has been a partner in a large-scale, public sector reform and financial management programme in Jordan and acts along with other donors 36 . Linked to reforms under an IMF Standby Arrangement, the aim of the budget support programme is to implement a stability-oriented macro-economic policy aimed at restoring fiscal and economic stability in the medium term and moving towards sustainability in longer term. Alongside technical reforms to tax collection, audit control, anti-corruption measures and the like, the programme also aims to ensure that: sector strategic plans align with the Jordanian government’s overall priorities and are an effective foundation for annual budget sector plans; more effective use is made of macro-economic indicators and forecasting models that can feed into the medium term fiscal and expenditure frameworks (MTFF); capital project design and budgeting are strengthened; donor assistance is better co-ordinated in its support for government programmes and assistance.

Building on earlier, more modest Regional Protection Programmes (RPP), the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) for the Middle East together with the Madad Fund, mark a major shift in EU thinking and competence in mobilising development-oriented responses to the medium and long term impacts to forced displacement. Whilst the specific actions themselves can be characterised as more micro- than macro- economic, four attributes are particularly noteworthy in the context of development-led approaches: (1) this RDPP is embedded within a coherent policy framework of the EU, giving the action consistency with broader strategic EU development and external migration policy objectives 37 ; (2) the RDPP is designed in line with the national economic development plans and strategies of the three target countries and the wider UNDP Resilience Forum; (3) the RDPP is an inclusive instrument targeting both refugees and host communities in development projects with the aim of maximising the positive developmental opportunities for refugees and host populations alike; and (4) the RDPP envisages that the economic interventions aim to ensure that refugees can access durable solutions through improved livelihood capacities, self-reliance, economic opportunities, and labour market participation. 


The EU disposes with a number of financing instruments to address forced displacement. They have not been applied in a systematic, mutually-reinforcing and coherent way in the past in the context of forced displacement situations. There is however some evidence of better integrated and more coherent development-oriented responses and a shift towards more holistic programmatic and regional interventions. Lessons can be drawn from best practices examples such as the RDDP Middle East and the multi-donor public sector financial reform and management programme in Jordan, together with a small number of integrated projects such as for refugees in Uganda and Pakistan. These projects not only seek to mitigate the costs and impacts of forced displacement by Commission's humanitarian interventions, but also to promote a more proactive and coherent development-led response.

Empirical evidence shows 38 that – if the necessary enabling conditions are put in place – the forcibly displaced can make positive social and economic contribution to host communities in both camps and urban areas by expanding markets, importing new skills, increasing demand for goods and services. The attitude in host countries and local communities vis-a-vis refugees and IDPs and governments’ perceptions of displaced populations, however, often tend to be negative.

Political and development actors were not sufficiently involved from the outset of a crisis to facilitate and conduct political dialogues with countries of origin and asylum in finding durable solutions for refugees and IDPs, including returnees.

A humanitarian assistance-based approach has so far been the main response of the international community to forced displacement crises. This approach to assistance has largely been based on the assumption that once the initial crisis stabilises and immediate needs are met, longer-term solutions will be found to address the plight of the displaced and activities would be handed over to national and international development actors. It should be noted, though, that transition from emergency response to development is not linear. Therefore, although providing vital emergency assistance, this approach is not adapted for delivering durable solutions for refugees, IDPs and returnees. It has often created dependency on continued provision of humanitarian assistance in the absence of any other source of sustainable funding and support. Paired with demographic trends and parallel large-scale complex emergencies, it has led to an exponentially growing pressure on international aid resources with no viable longer-term solutions for displacement and serious implications for security and stability.

Further, both EU humanitarian assistance and development cooperation are constrained by the highly politicised context in which they are implemented. In political dialogues with host countries, the development needs of refugees, IDPs and returnees are seldom – if ever – discussed. Hence, in many cases the enabling political context is missing. With durable solutions not always being available or effective in addressing protracted forced displacement, adequate protection of the displaced is not ensured. There is lack of access to education, labour and basic services and support for their self-reliance and that of their hosts.

Whilst the strength of the Commission's interventions lies in their micro-economic focus, a number of important limitations exist. It is currently unclear to what extent projects effectively reflect a common strategy and shared policy objectives. Likewise, in many cases a better engagement between host governments, international donors, humanitarian and development actors, local communities, civil society, diaspora and the displaced themselves is needed.

Evidence is often missing to underpin context-based interventions. Evidence (including of the socio-economic impact of displacement) for informing policies is different from evidence for programmatic purposes. Project baselines and assumptions are not based on solid empirical data. The lack of quantitative measurement is a major gap in current practice.

As a response to the current gaps a new policy framework is therefore presented in the Communication on forced displacement that this Staff working document accompanies. It underpins the new, development-oriented strategy to address forced displacement. Fostering the self-reliance and resilience of both the displaced and their host communities by targeting those most vulnerable and most in need could end long-term dependencies on emergency assistance and will help build their ability to cope with future crises and shocks.

Annex 1: Synopsis report of consultation activities

The main objective of the consultation activities was to gather expertise and opinions on:

- the EU assistance projects to forced displacement, protracted refugee and IDP displacement and return.

- best practices/success stories as well as gaps/failures in the response;

- the development dimensions of forced displacement and the added-value of a development approach to forced displacement, in particular looking into the creation of self-reliance, livelihoods and socio-economic opportunities for refugees, IDPs and returnees and host communities;

- how humanitarian actors and development actors, could together strive to adopt a socio-economic approach when designing interventions by factoring in, when appropriate, self-reliance initiatives and economic opportunities.

Given the rather specific and technical subject, a targeted stakeholder consultation approach has been chosen. This allowed for more focused interactions with stakeholders and tapped expertise more efficiently. These consultations allowed for an open and targeted policy dialogue and sharing of experiences between the Commission and a broad set of stakeholders from Member States, academia, civil society, NGOs, private sector, international organisations and the UN on the role of development cooperation in addressing forced displacement. All relevant needed input from stakeholders was gathered during the consultation process and there was no need to revise the consultation approach.

The consultation process started in April 2014 on the basis of an Issues Paper "Development, Refugees and IDPs" 39 , presented to the Council working party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) and the Development Cooperation Group (CODEV) in April 2014, shared and informally discussed with selected partners (UNHCR, UNDP, IRC, ECRE, NRC) and made publicly available on ECHO's and DEVCO's web-sites 40 .

The Commission organised four interactive consultation events in the period July 2014-February 2015:

1.    Roundtable on Integrating Migration into Development Strategies, in July 2014, with a dedicated session on 'Mainstreaming refuges and IDPs into Development Cooperation';

The roundtable gathered over fifty selected representatives from international organisations, academia, think tanks, civil society, diaspora, Member States and non-EU partner countries.

The agenda of the meeting and the list of participants are available online 41 and a full report of the roundtable is available at: .

2.    Roundtable on Development Solutions to Displacement, in October 2014, in the framework of the project Dialogue on Migration and Asylum in Development (DOMAID)

The Expert Roundtable brought together representatives of the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the European Parliament, EU Member States, UN agencies and civil society and was held under Chatham House Rules.

The agenda of the event and the list of participants are available online 42 and a full report of the roundtable is available at:

3.    Informal consultation/expert meeting with Member States and selected host countries in December 2014.

Over fifty selected representatives from Member States and non-EU partner countries (Sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, CAR, Kenya), EU institutions and international organisations including UNHCR and IOM gathered for the discussions.

The agenda of the event and the list of participants are available online 43 and a full report of the meeting is available at:

4.    Peer-to-peer to meeting on asylum and international protection with Member States and Neighbourhood South host countries, in February 2015, in the framework of the project Euromed Migration III, with a dedicated session on 'Viable and feasible long-term solutions for forced displacement'.

The meeting gathered representatives of 8 ENI South Partner Countries 44 , 15 EU Member States 45 , the UNHCR, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), international organisations and representatives of civil society as well as officials from the EC, led by DG European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), and accompanied by DG Migration and Home Affairs (HOME), DG Development and Cooperation (DEVCO), and the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

The agenda of the event and the full list of participants are available online 46 and a full report of the meeting is available at:

5. Expert consultations (21 and 22 January 2016)

These consultations allowed for an open and targeted policy dialogue and sharing experiences between the Commission and a broad set of stakeholders from Member States, academia, civil society, NGOs, private sector, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders on the role of development cooperation in addressing forced displacement. To this end, the Commission prepared a non-paper for expert consultation 47 with key issues and four main groups of discussion questions. The four main discussion areas were durable solutions and inclusion, stronger evidence base, socio-economic approaches and levels of intervention.

A whole-day expert consultation with International Organisations, NGOs, CSOs, private sector, diaspora and academia took place on 21 January 2016. The consultation was attended by 40 organisations, including international organisations, NGOs, CSOs, private sector actors, think-tanks and experts from the academia. Another whole-day expert consultation with EU Member States took place on 22 January 2016 and was attended by 23 Member States.

Summary reports from the expert consultations can be found at:

Results and contribution to policy-making

The consultation activities have revealed a broad consensus among the stakeholders on the crucial elements that a new policy should include. In addition, on the occasion of the most recent expert consultations (January 2016), there was a general consensus that the problem statement in the consultation non-paper distributed was correct and the key issues cover the most important elements that a future policy must contain. A new comprehensive approach should include both humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, and engage more systematically with host governments, local authorities, the private sector, and other stakeholders enhancing self-reliance of the displaced and their host communities by creating jobs and development opportunities.

In particular the following aspects/suggestions raised by stakeholders have been reflected in the policy framework outlined in the Joint Communication:

1. Humanitarian and development nexus

The stakeholders, in particular Member States and host countries highlighted the fact there is no one-fits-all solution and all the responses and policies targeting forced displacement need to be context specific, adapted to the specific characteristics of the crisis and unique environment in which it occurs (peer-to-peer meeting, December 2014, expert consultations January 2016).

During the peer-to-peer meeting with Member States and selected third host countries, there was a clear consensus on the need to rethink the provision of support to refugees. Approaches towards durable solutions needed to be readdressed and reengineered with a larger emphasis on the positive contributions and potential of refugees and migrants in a host community. Also, the inclusive approach of placing local communities beside refugees at the centre of consideration seems to be the way to promote inclusion and to address potential social tension. Humanitarian assistance thus needs to be more closely linked with development options from the very start of humanitarian responses to a crisis.

New approaches should be based on an assessment of the development dimension from the onset of a crisis and utilising the existing coping mechanisms developed by the displaced population themselves (expert meeting, December 2014, expert consultations January 2016).

The need to mainstream displacement and migration in all development sectors has been highlighted, notably during the roundtables organised in July and October 2014. Further analytical work on the migration-development nexus is required to inform efforts to more systematically consider migration in development interventions in the various focus sectors discussed.

The need to build strategies and policies based on evidence has also been raised during the consultation activities. For example, during the October 2014 roundtable, it was underlined that more information needs to be collected and shared on the role of different actors and stakeholders in refugee hosting countries while the peer-to-peer meeting with Member States suggested developing tools to collect and exchange technical information on practical cooperation programmes that address the development potential of displaced populations together with their host communities. This was confirmed in the expert consultations in January 2016.

The difficulty to combine the different funding streams and cycles of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation has also been raised while recognising that there is a lot of convergence between instruments and it is often a case of terminology or procedures, rather than objectives, which prevents them from bridging the gap; overcoming the barrier of terms and definitions might be helpful in this direction (October 2014 roundtable). The Joint Communication addresses this issue with a view to ensure a coherent programming. 

The new policy framework took into account the above considerations and suggestions, promoting new approaches as regards the early engagement of all actors, the design of coherent strategies based on evidence and how to turn these strategies into coherent programming by also bridging differences in funding cycles and providing multiannual, predictable and flexible funding.

2. Strategic engagement with partners

The issue of protracted displacement needs to be mainstreamed and target humanitarian, development and socio-economic actors; governments of origin, destination and transit, with an emphasis on local authorities; regional and international organisations (roundtable, December 2014, expert consultations January 2016).

Stakeholders called for integrated and holistic approaches based on good coordination, information sharing and dialogue, and inclusive of all relevant stakeholders. Operational guidelines may be needed to set the framework for cooperation and integrated approaches. Working with host governments and communities is paramount. Rather than a top down approach, dictated by development actors, programming needs to be guided by stakeholders and the needs on the ground and beneficiaries need to be included in this process. stakeholders considered that the forcibly displaced should be included in national development plans (roundtable, October 2014, expert consultations January 2016).

A comprehensive approach was also advocated by stakeholders who suggested seeking avenues to promote economic development strategies which support both host and refugee communities. In particular, it was suggested to explore ways to foster the coordination and align international humanitarian and development assistance with national development strategies in order to streamline efforts and maximise impact on development. It was further suggested to involve better local civil society in many aspects which may be instrumental in capacity building activities to unlock the development potential of people in need of protection. (Peer-to-peer meeting with Member States, February 2015).

On the occasion of the peer-to-peer meeting on asylum and international protection, stakeholders considered that a clear division of responsibilities and a clear understanding and overview of actors involved (with programmes being supported) are prerequisites to using human and financial resources in the best possible way. While cooperation needs to be as broad as possible to include central, regional and local governmental levels, as well as civil society and international organisations, the driving force behind all solutions should be the state concerned. Often only the state has the necessary information and powers and is best able to judge which resources are available.

On the occasion of the Roundtable on Integrating Migration into Development Strategies (July 2014), stakeholders suggested partnerships with host governments through political dialogue, in order to build a common understanding of the impacts of refugee situations and the need for long-term, inclusive strategies.

The issue of the growing numbers of displaced people residing out of camp in rural and urban areas was raised by stakeholders, in particular Member States, host countries and implementing partners, who mentioned the need to adapt and develop tools and methodologies, as well as strategies and solutions in order to reflect this new reality (December 2014 expert meeting, expert consultations January 2016).

In addition, stakeholders referred to experience and good practices of many cities that have established effective mechanisms to involve different stakeholders within larger communities, suggesting that these examples should be used and explored further in relation to displaced populations in urban settings (October 2014 roundtable, expert consultations January 2016). The new policy framework will take these concerns into account by boosting engagement with local authorities, notably through decentralised cooperation.

Stakeholders also underlined the need to foster the role of the private sector and the opportunities it offers, locally and regionally (roundtables, October and December 2014). The Communication proposes several actions in that direction.

3. Sectorial focus

Access to labour markets

Stakeholders considered that political leadership and strong advocacy are required to promote recognition of refugees as potential contributors to development. It was recognised that refugees and IDPs are often economically active, irrespective of the host government resistance or assistance.

As regards employment issues, discussions confirmed that the challenges presented by globalisation to implementation of the decent work agenda are closely linked to migration. Migrants are often disproportionately represented in 3D jobs (dirty, dangerous, and demeaning) and affected by unfair employment practices which undermine labour rights, e.g. care work, construction. Informal or irregular migrant labour is also frequently used to undercut national workforces, including in developing countries. Migrants and migration governance therefore should receive strong consideration as part of efforts to promote decent work and ensure productive employment for all (roundtable, July 2014, expert consultations January 2016).

Access to services

The issue of access to services was raised on the occasion of the roundtable on Integrating Migration into Development Strategies (July 2014). The meeting confirmed the numerous links between migration issues and access to social services, focusing strongly on health and education. Many stakeholders raised the need to address education needs of displaced children ay all level and forms of education and pointed out that enrolment in education serves as protection and enhances the protection space for children. Migrants and returnees must be included in planning for service provision. The importance of the local structural dimension was highlighted. Local authorities frequently lack resources and experience on migration but are at the frontline in provision of services to refugees, migrants and returnees, and are often also best placed to partner with diaspora on e.g. health initiatives.

In line with the above considerations, the new policy framework proposes concrete actions on education, access to labour markets and access to services.

Other considerations have been raised by stakeholders such as:

Public perception:

- Public debate on the topic of forced displacement should be provoked by using media presence more actively to attract political attention and thus secure further funds and interest of actors from beyond the humanitarian circle (expert consultations January 2016);

- The most important first step for participants is to work towards a change in how forced migration is perceived, by all concerned, and to harness and emphasise the opportunities it provides. The challenges are numerous and forced migration affects all countries, whether those of origin, transit or destination.

- Lively exchanges were held on the challenges of integrating refugees and IDPs into development cooperation. Despite growing evidence of the significant negative and positive development impacts of refugee crises, increasing urbanisation of refugee situations, and the prevalence of protracted displacement around the world, the overwhelming perception amongst donors and governments is still that displacement is a humanitarian issue.

- An integrated approach to displacement in the context of the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda is crucial to future developments. Highlighting examples of the positive impact of displaced populations on host communities is important in that context.

Alternative avenues to durable solutions:

- Further explore alternative avenues of responsibility sharing, looking beyond the traditional durable solutions. For instance, EU MS may continue to enhance resettlement opportunities, while further avenues, such as the simplification of family reunification procedures, are equally explored.

- Innovative and sustainable approaches need to be designed to address situations in which the traditional durable solutions for refugees (repatriation, local integration, and resettlement) do not apply and consider revisiting the current definition of 5 years of displacement as “protracted”.

Remittances and diaspora:

- Discussions on migration and inclusive economic growth focused strongly on remittances and diaspora. Significant efforts are still required to reduce remittance transfer costs, in particular for sub-Saharan Africa and South-South corridors. These should include a variety of measures including better regulation (e.g. PCD on anti-money laundering legislation), reducing remittance taxes, promoting competition, promoting use of technologies etc. Furthermore, the potential of tapping migrant savings for development was underlined e.g. through diaspora bonds, though lack of trust from migrants in bonds issued by governments is a potential obstacle to the latter. More attention should be given to integrating remittance and diaspora contributions in sectoral priorities and building links with the private sector.

Conflict-induced displacement/no focus on displacement caused by natural disasters and climatic events:

Climate change pointed as already impacting on migration in numerous ways and an issue that requires policy attention. In the Sahel and other parts of Africa, water scarcity as a driver of conflict and displacement is a key concern. The large majority of flows will be internal or intra-regional (South-South). Greater attention is needed for addressing displacement in work on DRR, resilience and climate change adaptation. The potential of migration to positively contribute to adaptation is increasingly recognised, including in the context of climate discussions on loss and damage. EU policies cover the issue of climate and development elsewhere. The scope of this Communication is therefore limited to conflict-induced displacement/no focus on displacement caused by natural disasters and climatic events.

Annex 2: Projects/countries analysed

Afghanistan: Local Integration of Vulnerable, Excluded and Uprooted People, DCI/ASIE/2013/353-658; Support for Afghan IDPs and Returnees in Badghis, Helmand and Nangarhar, DCA-ASIE/2014/355-020; ECHO questionnaire on Protection and Humanitarian Assistance to North Waziristan Refugees, IDPs and Refugee Returnees in Afghanistan and to Afghan Refugees in Iran, ECHO/-AS/BUD/2015/91023

Bangladesh: Protection, Essential Services and Durable Solutions for Refugees in Bangladesh, DCI-ASIE/2013 314 090; ECHO questionnaire on Essential services to Rohingya Refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UNMs) in South-Eastern Bangladesh

Cameroon: ECHO questionnaire on short- and mid- term response to CAR refugee influx in Cameroon 

Colombia: ECHO questionnaire on Humanitarian Implementation Plan - Colombian conflict

Eastern Europe: Local Integration of Refugees in the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, MIG/2011/279-884

Ethiopia: Fostering health care for refugees and local communities in Somalia Region, Ethiopia, 2010-13; ECHO questionnaire on Cash Assistance to Somali, Eritrean, South Sudanese and Sudanese Refugees

Horn of Africa: Regional Protection Programme in the Horn of Africa – second phase - Strengthening protection and enhance assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, mainly displaced Somalis, DCI-MIGR/2012/309-007

Iraq: Questionnaire on DCI 2013-2017 and ECHO Humanitarian Implementation Plan 2015

Jordan: Overarching Financial Management Reform of Jordan Financial Management Public (Comprehensive Reform Strategy (PFM) 2012-14) National Education - Strategy Educational Reform for the Knowledge Economy, ENI/2014/037-650 and ENI/2015/38501; European Neighbourhood Partnership, JOR/2011/0227 22 July 2013; EU Support to the Second Phase of the Education Reform (EUSSPER) programme for the school years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015; Budget support to the Ministry of Education to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis 2015-2017 Technical and Administrative Provisions (TAPS) Support for Basic Education , ENI/2014/037-650 and ENI/2015/38501; Promoting the participation of Jordan in the work of EASO as well as the participation of Tunisia and Morocco in the work of EASO and Frontex, ENPI/2013/325501

Kenya: Support to Education for Refugees in Dadaab (SERD), Second Education Sector Development Programme (ESDP II) Somalia, FED/2012/295-178, ECHO questionnaire on Kenya Refugee Operations/Programme

Lebanon: Support to Medium and Long term needs for host communities and Syrian refugees in Lebanon, ENP1/2012/296-815

Libya and the Horn of Africa: Thematic Programme of cooperation with third countries in the areas of Migration and Asylum, DCI-MIGR/2011/11

Middle East: Regional Development and Protection Programme for refugees and host communities in the Middle East (Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq), DCI-MIGR 2013/319-137

Myanmar: Improved access to and utilisation of health services, water and sanitation facilities, and rights protection for uprooted people in Kayin State, DCI-ASIE/2012/308-772

Pakistan: Sustainable rural development in the refugee affected and hosting areas in Pakistan (RAHA), DCI-ASIE 2011/260-022

Palestine: Contribution to UNRWA for Improvement of Living Conditions of Vulnerable Palestine Refugees in Jerash Camp, 2012/309-238/ENPI

Thailand: Technical and Vocational Skills Development for Myanmar refugees in Thailand, EuropAid/132791/L/ACT/TH; ECHO questionnaire on Aid to Uprooted People (AUP) Support to Refugees from Myanmar in Thailand

Somalia: Strengthening protection for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen,    DCI-MIGR/2013/282-610; ECHO questionnaire on ECHO Somalia country programme

Sri Lanka: Evaluation of the EU-funded housing reconstruction programmes in Sri Lanka implemented by UN-Habitat, DCI-ASIE/2010/256-210, DCI-ASIE/2012/296-666

Sudan: ECHO questionnaire on several DG ECHO and DG DEVCO programmes

Syria: Emergency restoration and stabilization of livelihoods in affected Syrian Communities, ENPI 2013/355-626; Questionnaire on DG ECHO Syria Crisis Humanitarian Implementation Plan, 2015 (including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Syria) and Madad Trust Fund

Uganda: Enhancing Local Capacities for Promoting Self-reliance of Congolese, Rwandese and Somali refugees in South Western Uganda, DCI-MIGR/2010/228-933; ECHO questionnaire on Refugee Response Plan in Uganda


 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2).


UNHCR: Protracted Refugee Situations, EC/54/SC/CRP.14, 10.06.2004.


Council Conclusions 6061/16, "European climate diplomacy after COP21", 16.02.2016; "The post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action: Managing risks to achieve resilience", COM(2014)216, 08.04.2014; "Climate change, environmental degradation, and migration", SWD(2013)138, 16.04.2013.



"World at War" – UNHCR Global Trends Forced Displacement 2014.



 UNHCR, 2015 Mid-Year Trends, June 2015.


The IASC Frameworks to Protracted Displacement and Development provides a comprehensive overview of achieving durable solutions – including legal framework components.


COM(2013) 292, 21.5.2013.


JOIN(2015)16, 38.04.2015


JOIN(2015) 50, 18.11.2015


COM (96)153, 30.04.1996


COM (2001)153 23.04.2001.


COM(2010)722, 08.12.2010.


COM(2012)586, 03.10.2012


SWD(2013)227, 19.06.2013


Mosel, I. and Levine, S. (2014) ‘Remaking the case for linking relief, rehabilitation and development - How LRRD can become a practically useful concept for assistance in difficult places’, Humanitarian Policy Group (ODI) - BMZ, available at:


See COM(2012) 586, 03.10.2012


Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council The EU's comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises, JOIN(2013) 30 final, 11.12.2013.


COM(2005)388, 01.09.2005


COM(2013)869, 04.12.2013


COM(2015) 240, 13.05.2015


OJ L 58/17, 3.3.2015.


This analysis was supported by Emeritus Professor Roger Zetter, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford.


Listed in Annex 2.


 For example, substantive themes such as SGBV and educational provision are not considered directly relevant to developmental perspectives. Similarly, procedural aspects of the various agreements such as partner co-ordination, monitoring proposals and the quality of evaluations are not reviewed.


 See synopsis report on consultation activities in Annex 1.


 According to UNHCR, 5.1 million Palestinian refugees are currently registered by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


These consideration also impact humanitarian access negotiations and civil-military cooperation to ensure that humanitarian actors can operate.


 Pakistan to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Thailand to Myanmar, IDP return in Sudan and in Iraq.


 Evaluation of “Support to medium and long term needs of Host Communities and Syrian Refugees in Lebanon I and II” Financing decisions ENPI/2012/024-339 and ENPI/2012/024-428, final report, August 2014.


This strong tendency towards rural issues neglected the fact that protracted displacement in Darfur is closely linked to an urbanisation process which has not been comprehensively addressed.


DG ECHO questionnaire response ‘Humanitarian Implementation Plan - Colombian conflict’ notes ‘The total separation between humanitarian and development coordination mechanisms in Colombia makes it difficult to acknowledge what the others (stakeholders) are doing and to link both.


 The same approach in Northern Uganda was much less successful due to differences in availability of good agricultural land.


Other donors are USAID, IMF, and GIZ providing technical support


The two policy instruments define this coherent framework: 'Global Approach to Migration and Mobility' (GAMM) COM (2011) 743 of 18.11.2011, and 'Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change', COM (2011) 637 final.


"Reframing displacement crises as development opportunities", Prof. R. Zetter, 2014; "Political Economy and Forced Displacement", World Bank 2014; "Protracted displacement: uncertain paths to self-reliance in exile", ODI 2015.

(38) . 

(39) . 





Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.


Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania.