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The Welfare of Syrian Refugees: Evidence from Jordan and Lebanon

UNHCR and the WB Global Poverty Practice section have been cooperating on developing a poverty and  welfare study (the first of its kind) of Syrian refugees (in Lebanon and Jordan), which examines how vulnerability assessment and targeting can be improved and made more efficient through the application of key variables, and supporting a comparative household study (in Lebanon, Jordan, and northern Iraq) to offer insights into the relative poverty and welfare circumstances of refugee and local households. Critical to these initiatives has been the collection and analysis of comprehensive data from UNHCR registration and vulnerability assessments.

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Call for proposal for research projects which can contribute to an improved understanding of how to promote the protection of particularly vulnerable groups in the context of urban humanitarian crises and responses.

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) invites proposals for original research projects which can contribute to an improved understanding of how to promote the protection of particularly vulnerable groups in the context of urban humanitarian crises and responses.

This is the second of a series of thematic calls for research proposals to be issued by the IIED Urban Crises Learning Fund throughout 2016, with the aim of supporting innovative thematic and regional research on key issues shaping humanitarian responses in urban areas.

Please see the attached call document for further details of indicative topics and the application process. Please feel free to disseminate the call through your networks. The information attached is also available online at :www.iied.org/call-for-proposals-for-research-protecting-vulnerable-urban-crises

The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on Monday 29th February, 2016. Submissions and any queries should be sent to Diane Archer, diane.archer@iied.org

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Positive Practices in Refugee Protection in the Asia-Pacific Region

Research Report

Positive Practices in Refugee Protection in the Asia Pacific Region is a new research report from the Asian Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) that comprises seventeen case studies highlighting positive achievements and actions towards increased refugee protection across the Asia Pacific region, including in urban settings.

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Speaking for Ourselves

Hearing Refugee Voices, A Journey Towards Empowerment

To follow up a dialogue with refugee women in Finland, captured in the publication called Protectors, Providers, Survivors: A Dialogue with Refugee Women In Finland, UNHCR Finland revisited this group in May 2014. The purpose of the consultation was to continue to hear from the women and promote age, gender and diversity mainstreaming (AGDM) and refugee participation in Finland.

Speaking for Ourselves: Hearing Refugee Voices, A Journey Towards Empowerment summarizes this dialogue while focusing on good practices in AGDM in Finland.

      speaking_for_ourselves_hearing_refugee_voices.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.87 MB

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Protectors, Providers, Survivors

A Dialogue with Refugee Women in Finland

Age, gender and diversity mainstreaming and participation are a main focus of the Regional Representation regarding the reception of asylum-seekers in Finland. In May 2011, Finland was the only industrialized country to enter into dialogue with refugee women. This conversation resulted in the publication of Protectors, Providers, Survivors: A Dialogue with Refugee Women In Finland.

      a_dialogue_with_refugee_women_and_children.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.94 MB

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Rapid Urbanisation, Economic Growth and the Well-being of Children

In Rapid Urbanisation, Economic Growth and the Wellbeing of Children, World Vision has examined the basic question: How much do we know about the state of urban child wellbeing after parallel periods of sustained urbanisation and economic growth?

The report finds that, despite two decades of strong economic growth in a significant number of developing countries, it cannot be said with any confidence that urban children, particularly the poorest, are clearly better off. In part, this is due to inadequate data on even some basic elements of child welfare in urban environments.

As well as calling for broadening and deepening the range of official data collected, the report points out the opportunity  for international NGOs to test data tools and collect data from their own areas of operation to contribute to a better understanding the state of children in today’s urban areas. 

      rapid_urb_ec_growth_cwb_low_res_final_010414.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.53 MB

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Just Cities for Children

Voices from Urban Slums

Just Cities for Children: Voices from Urban Slums highlights World Vision’s experience in supporting children to express their ideas for a better city to key decision makers on a global platform, and in mainstreaming child participatory processes into its urban programmes.

The paper analyses the ways in which children are able to contribute to safe, healthy, resilient and prosperous cities by influencing urban policies, processes and institutions that better reflect the diverse needs of children.

It also addresses questions about children’s abilities to participate, and how this engagement takes into account their evolving capacities and vulnerabilities.

      jsfcus.png      Doc: Image      Size: 1.06 MB

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Just Cities for Children

Developing an Evidence-Based Framework

Just Cities for Children presents an overview of evidence from a five-year urban action research and learning initiative. The report emphasises that dynamic urban contexts require a flexible, agile, and multi-disciplinary approach to address the unique issues of urban poverty.

These findings will inform World Vision’s Cities for Children Framework, consisting of the four inter-related sectors of health, safety, prosperity, and resilience and will continue to be strengthened during the next phase of action research and learning.

      just_cities_for_children_synthesis_summary_hr_final.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 5.81 MB

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Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees

Americas Regional Workshop Report

This paper is the third in a series of five reports on workshops designed to broadcast and replicate good practices for urban refugee programmes. The workshops are a product of the Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees project funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM). There has been a workshop in each of the five geographic regions. In addition to the workshops there will be a roundtable event in a particular city in each region.

      americas_workshop_report_2.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.23 MB

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Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees

Brazil Roundtable Report

This report summarizes the discussion that took place during a roundtable on integration in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, which was hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

      brazil_roundtable_report_2.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 5.18 MB

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Urban Case Study: Syria Crisis (Lebanon & Jordan)

Adapting to an Urban World

The Syria Crisis exercise is part of a series of case studies explored within the context of the project Adapting to an Urban World. This project was developed to address an identified gap in urban assessment tools. The aim of the project is to develop assessment guidance and tools specifically designed for use in urban contexts. In order to achieve this objective, the project will examine a number of different urban contexts with food insecure populations. These contexts will differ to ensure the spectrum of different factors affecting urban food insecurity are included. It is intended that this will include rapid on-set emergencies, chronic food insecurity, urban refugees, urban slums among others.

The first case study/pilot assessment was conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe in November 2014; it included qualitative primary data collection and field-testing of newly developed tools. For the second case study it was decided, in agreement with the Steering Committee of the Adapting to an Urban World project, to focus on Syrian refugees in urban settings in both Jordan and Lebanon through a secondary data analysis and without including a primary data collection exercise.

      gfsc_wfp_urban_project_adapting_to_an_urban_world_syria_crisis_case_study_report.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.53 MB

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Urban Food Security Pilot Assessment: Harare, Zimbabwe

Adapting to an Urban World

In line with the main objective of the gFSC Working Group on Food Security and Livelihoods in Urban Settings to build  tools and guidelines, a project called “Adapting to an Urban World” was initiated to develop food security vulnerability urban assessment tools by field testing them in six different urban food security contexts, including areas affected by conflict, natural hazards, migration, rising food prices and poverty.

The project aims to strengthen the food security analysis in support of humanitarian responses to food security crises in urban settings by developing guidance which will assist with;

a) Identifying  levels of vulnerability to food insecurity in urban areas;

b) Assessing different types of urban food insecurity and vulnerability;

c) Organise appropriate responses to urban food insecurity;

d) Establish an effective collaborative mechanism for responses to food insecurity in urban crises.

Please read more about the project here

Cooperation among gFSC Partners is significant criteria for success

The project provides an  example of cooperation between gFSC partners. It is co-managed by gFSC and WFP Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Unit (VAM). A Steering Committee has been established to advise and monitor the planning and implementation of the project and members include UNHCR, Oxfam, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision International, IFRC, World Animal Protection and ALNAP.

First case study in Zimbabwe demonstrated the added value of building strong partnership  

The field work was coordinated by a global team of gFSC, WFP and IFRC representatives, with an effective participation at country-level from the Government and several partners including World Vision International, Oxfam, Red Cross Zimbabwe and Catholic Relief Services. Apart from the main objective of developing global tools for the humanitarian community, the Harare exercise and its findings have been useful not only to strengthen ongoing urban programmes of country partners but also to serve as a basis for a national urban assessment to be carried out by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2015.  Please read the report here

      adapting_to_an_urban_world_harare_report.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.15 MB

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In Search of a Home - Access to adequate housing in Jordan

This NRC report analyses a key aspect of the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan – the lack of adequate, affordable and secure shelter and its impact on both Syrian refugees and Jordanian host communities.   It looks at the shelter challenges and conditions for Syrian refugees in northern Jordan through the lens of NRC Jordan’s Urban Shelter programme.  The report also highlights the interplay between economic vulnerability and Syrian refugees’ inability to meet their families’ shelter needs and concludes with a series of policy recommendations to address shelter and wider issues impacting Syrian refugees and host communities. 

      nrcjordan_insearchofahome_june2015.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.31 MB

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Jordan Refugee Response - Vulnerability Assessment Framework Baseline Survey

Objectives of the VAF Baseline Report

1. To present the results of the Vulnerability Assessment Model from a randomised statistically representative survey across the Kingdom of Jordan.

2. To present an introduction to both the Welfare Model and the Sector Vulnerability rating models and to provide context and background to their design.

3. To identify the limitations of VAF data and models thereby providing guidance on their application.

A key finding: The VAF Welfare Model results show that 86% of Syrian refugee individuals are living below the Jordanian poverty line of 68 JOD per capita per month, and are therefore rated as being highly or severely vulnerable.2 This corresponds with 68% of family units or ‘cases’. Further 10% of Syrian refugee individuals, or 6% of cases, are living below the abject poverty line of less than 28 JOD. This demonstrates that in general highly and severely vulnerable families have larger family sizes.

      vaf_baseline_survey_jordan.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 11.44 MB

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Refugee Health and Wellbeing: Differences between Urban and Camp-Based Environments in Sub-Saharan Africa

Refugees are increasingly migrating to urban areas, but little research has been conducted to compare health and wellbeing outcomes of urban refugees with those based in camps. This analytic cross-sectional study investigated differences in health-related quality of life (QoL) for urban and camp-based refugees in sub-Saharan Africa, and assessed the influences of both the environment and the perceived environment on refugees’ health-related QoL using the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life scale (WHOQOL-BREF.) Data for urban refugees were drawn from an administrative database used by an international agency that serves refugee populations in South Africa. Data for campbased refugees were collected via surveys conducted at two refugee camps in sub-Saharan Africa. Refugees in urban environments reported significantly higher satisfaction with overall health, physical health and environmental wellbeing than refugees placed in camps. In multivariate analyses, urban environments were associated with better physical health for refugees, compared to camp environments. In addition, refugees’ perceptions of their environment, particularly feeling safe in daily life and in the home environment, as well as being satisfied with living conditions, were more strongly associated with physical health than the environment itself, whether urban or camp-based.

      jrs_fev003_full.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 131 KB

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Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees

South Africa Roundtable Report

This report summarizes the discussion that took during a roundtable on coexistence in Gauteng Province in South Africa, which was hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM).
 
This roundtable is part of a global project on urban refugees.

      sa_roundtable_report_final.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.07 MB

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Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees

Africa Regional Workshop Report

This paper is the second in a series of five reports on workshops designed to broadcast and replicate good practices for urban refugee programmes. The workshops are a product of the Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees project funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM). There will be a workshop in each of the five geographic regions. In addition to the workshops there will be a roundtable event in a particular city in each region.
 

      africa_workshop_report_final.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.24 MB

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Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees

Asia Regional Workshop Report

This paper is the first in a series of five reports on workshops designed to broadcast and replicate good practices for urban refugee programmes. The workshops are a product of the Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees project funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM). There will be a workshop in each of the five geographic regions.
 
The workshops are an opportunity for UNHCR staff and their partners in each region to learn from each other through sharing their good practice examples, as well as the challenges and lessons learnt along the way. The Building Communities of Practice for Urban Refugees project will deepen and expand upon regional networks of professionals working with refugees and asylum seekers in cities through this exchange. Most importantly, the workshops provide practitioners with real, detailed, and tested ways of implementing the Urban Refugee Policy. A review of the literature of the past three years shows that there is a growing body of evidence on the specifics of the challenges faced by urban refugees and asylum seekers as well as the organizations that serve them. Many of these documents make general recommendations on what organizations should do; yet the recommendations lack precision on how guidelines could be implemented. A forum where service providers to urban refugees and asylum seekers can meet and describe in detail their ongoing programmes, and where they can ask questions about the specifics of each other’s programmes, fills the gap of “how to” in the collective knowledge base and provides an expanded evidence-base. In addition to sharing the specifics of how best to implement these activities, the workshops and roundtables advance interagency discussions for how to collaborate on advocacy, innovations, new partnerships and refugee relations.

 

      asia_workshop_report_final.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.41 MB

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Political Economy of Control: Urban Refugees and the Regulation of Space in Lusaka, Zambia

Although Zambia is routinely praised by the international community for accepting the overwhelming majority of asylum seekers, it attempts to control refugee movement and residency by keeping the majority in refugee camps and settlements and limiting the number allowed in urban areas. However, many refugees continue to live in cities without the required urban residency permits and despite risks of arrest and exploitation. This article examines the efforts of the Zambian government to limit and control its urban refugee population in Lusaka, linking the structure of the global political economy to treatment of refugees. As the Ministry of Home Affairs implements its urban residency policy and registration systems and immigration officers often arbitrarily enforce it through raids on markets and neighborhoods, refugees negotiate the spaces of the city, discovering where to live and move; find work and housing; seek assistance and social services; and become detained, imprisoned, deported, or released. This article further considers not only how power is exercised in this context but also how and why systems of control fail to work effectively or efficiently.

By Rebecca Frischkorn, 8 January 2015; 

      frischkorn_2015_economic_anthropology.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 4.16 MB

Online Link to Article

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UNHCR's Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Persons of Concern

Global Review - 2013

It has been widely documented that the legal, social and financial impacts of being a refugee can
be complex and deleterious. It is now coming to the fore that much the same can be said for the
psychological impact of being a refugee or internally displaced person. This evaluation reports on
how well UNHCR considers and provides for the well-being and mental health of the Persons of
Concern to this agency. A perspective on the Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS)
to Persons of Concern offers a new way to look at humanitarian assistance. It calls into question
the appropriateness, sensitivity, and empathy of humanitarian interventions and demands that
humanitarian agencies support avenues for displaced people to address and heal their own trauma.
These demands pose a significant challenge for humanitarian organizations since many of the
countries we work in do not have well developed mental health infrastructures and therapeutic
solutions need to be resourced or developed within the displaced community. In some cases,
addressing mental health also requires a technical expertise that has not always been present in the
usual roster of humanitarian responders. Yet despite these challenges, the field based staff surveyed
for this evaluation overwhelmingly agreed that “MHPSS programs contribute toward the protection
of Persons of Concern”.
 
Nevertheless, MHPSS is an emerging and sometimes ambiguous perspective for UNHCR as well
as for many other humanitarian actors. Thus, the evaluation begins with definitions of psycho-social
support and examples. As this evaluation discovered, MHPSS activities in UNHCR may exist as
an adjunct to other programmes or by another name.

      unhcr_mhpss_for_persons_of_concern.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 879 KB

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UNHCR's Engagement with Displaced Youth

A Global Review

UNHCR aims to be a fully age, gender and diversity inclusive organisation within the next four years.
Yet the 2011 global analysis of UNHCR’s accountability frameworks for Age, Gender and Diversity
(AGD) revealed that only 14% of its managers worldwide reported full achievement of targeted actions
for adolescents. This stands as one of the top four gaps in implementing the AGD policy.
 
This review explores UNHCR’s engagement with displaced youth, refugees and IDPs, by analysing
the agency’s mandate in relation to youth through its policies, guidelines and strategies, institutional
infrastructure, approaches to identifying and responding to the needs of displaced youth, current
funding, programmes and monitoring and evaluation processes. As general guidance this review uses
the UN definition of youth, that is, the age group of 15-24 years; yet it recognises ‘youth’ as a social
construct reflecting local understandings.
 
As age-disaggregated data is not currently collected for young people in the age group of 15-24
years, this report draws heavily on primary data collected as part of this review. The methodology includes a survey of selected UNHCR staff, interviews with field-based staff and implementing partners,
and focus group discussions with youth in different displacement settings giving fascinating insight
into current views, perceptions, programmes and operations from UNHCR itself as well as young
displaced people.

      unhcr_engagement_with_displaced_youth.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.44 MB

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Colombia Situation Newsletter

December 2014

This edition of the Colombia situation newsletter recounts recent events in the Americas, including how UNHCR has helped the voices of some of the victims of FARC's violence in Colombia be heard during the peace process, how microcredit and seed capital are helping refugees rebuild their lives in Panama, and the story of a young Afghan woman living in Venezuela who UNHCR has helped resettle. 

      colombia_situation_newsletter_december.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 495 KB

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Colombia Situation Newsletter

October 2014

This issues of the UNHCR newsletter covers stories from Colombia and Panama, touching on women survivors of sexual violence, the benefits of giving permanent residence, and how UNHCR helps indigenous communities regain pride in their culture.

      colombia_situation_newsletter_october_edition.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 648 KB

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Emergency Economies: The Impact of Cash Assistance in Lebanon

An Impact Evaluation of the 2013-2014 Winter Cash Assistance Program for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

This report describes the impacts of the winter cash transfer program run by UNHCR and partners from November 2013 to April 2014. The program gave $575 USD via ATM cards to 87,700 registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon with the objective of keeping people warm and dry during cold winter months.

      irc_the_impact_of_cash_assistance_in_lebanon.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 1.89 MB

http://www.rescue.org/sites/default/files/resource-file/Emergency%20Economies%20Evaluation%20Report%20FINAL%2009.09.14%20%282%29.pdf

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Urban Refugee Assistance and the Informal Settlement: Past Precedents and Unrealized Potentials

This paper focuses on three geographically disparate countries - Jordan, Tanzania, and Ecuador - to shed light on 'local communities' of informal settlements located outside of both the formal housing market and economy, hoping to encourage future research to expand the protection space in urban areas.

      128b.pdf      Doc: Pdf      Size: 2.69 MB

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