Advancing the Localisation of Forced Migration Research

FFVT works together with international partner institutions and networks active in the field of Forced Migration Studies to highlight

  • the relevance of localised research and knowledge production, equitable partnerships,

  • the promotion of research infrastructure and academic teaching in countries of the Global South,

  • the access to tertiary education for forcibly displaced persons, and

  • the active participation of refugees in research processes.

The core partners are the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the UNHCR Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), and the UNHCR Sergio Vieira de Mello Academic Chairs (De Mello Chairs). This kind of locally grounded research is crucial for humanitarian and particularly development endeavours, as it strengthens local research capacities and, through appropriate local participation throughout the research process, it leads to context-specific solutions that enable more tailored policy advice.

One of the major achievements to date is the Multistakeholder Pledge: Shifting Power - Advancing Localization of Research and Elevating the Voices of Host and Forcibly Displaced Communities Globally that was announced one of the plenary sessions at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December 2023. The pledge was develped in partnership with persons with lived experience of displacement, academic institutions, research funders, governments, and the private sector. A pledge draft was presented at the closing plenary session at the UN High Commissioner’s Dialoge on Protection Challenges: Development Cooperation in Geneva in December 2022.

If you are interested in the initiative and in supporting our efforts you are invited to submit your pledge here (and thereby contribute to the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees) or contact us (...).

Contact persons:

  • For FFVT:

    • Merlin Flaig (German Institute of Development and Sustainability, IDOS, Germany; ...)

    • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Krause (Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies, IMIS, Germany; ...)

  • For IDRC:

    • Roula El-Rifai (International Development Research Centre, IDRC, Canada; ...)

  • For LERRN:

    • Heather Alexander (Carleton University, Canada; ...)

  • For GAIN (...):

    • Prof. Geoff Gilbert (University of Essex, United Kingdom; ...)

    • Prof. Liliana Lyra Jubilut (Universidade Católica de Santos, Brazil; ...)

  • For UNHCR / the De Mello Chairs:

    • Laura De Somer (UN Refugee Agency, Switzerland; ...)

List of supporting networks and institutions:

  • German Network for Forced Migration Studies (Netzwerk Fluchtforschung e.V, NWFF)

  • German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)

  • IDRC Research Chairs

  • International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM)

  • International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Sanremo Institute)

  • Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, UNSW Sydney

  • Latin American Academic Network on the Law and Integration of Refugees (LAREF Network)

  • Maqsut Narikbayev University (MNU)

  • Organization of Women Scientists for the Developing World (OWSD)

  • Refugee-Led Research Hub (RLRH), University of Oxford

  • Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT)

  • Robert Bosch Foundation

  • Tertiary Refugee Students Network (TRSN)

  • University for Peace - Latin American Observatory on Human Mobility, Climate Change and Disasters (MOVE-LAM)

  • University of Essex

  • U.S. Refugee Advisory Board (USRAB)

  • […]

Related activities


Pledge announcement in plenary at the GRF 2023

14. Dezember 2023 – Palexpo

Stakeholders involved: De Mello Chairs, IDOS, GAIN, IDRC, LERRN, UNHCR

Announcement of the Multistakeholder Pledge “Shifting Power” in the plenary of the GRF 2023.


Promoting Evidence-based Implementation of the GCR through Teaching, Research and Solidarity

12. Dezember 2023 – Geneva & online

Stakeholders involved: the Government of Canada, the Government of Brazil, the Graduate Institute, GAIN, IDRC, LERRN, UNHCR

This is a linked event as part of the Global Refugee Forum session on Shifting Power and Expanding Refugee Access to Higher Education and Self-Reliance Multi-Stakeholder Pledges.


Pre-GRF Academic Workshop​ Evidence-based implementation of the GCR: What role for academia?

11. Dezember 2023 – Geneva

Stakeholders involved: Graduate Institue, GAIN, LERRN, FFVT

Co-hosted by the Graduate Institute, the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) and Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer (FFVT), this workshop aims to facilitate exchange among researchers on common issues related to the role of academic research in advancing the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).​


Equitable International Research Cooperation – From affirmations to practice

23 - 24. Oktober 2023

Stakeholders involved: FFVT, IDOS, German Commission for UNESCO

This workshop discusses concrete recommendations on what framework conditions are needed such that research collaboration (including also local stakeholders from low- and middle-income countries) can live up to the affirmation of equity. Individually selected experts from ministries and research funders as well as scientists, including from the field of development and forced migration research, will be invited to join the debate.


UNAI SDGs Workshop "Advancing refugee inclusion through the 2030 Agenda"

20. Juni 2023

Stakeholders involved: UNHCR, GAIN, De Mello Chairs, UNAI

This workshop emphasises the contributions of academia in fostering refugee inclusion and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.


Meaningful Refugee Participation: Taking Stock and Charting the Way Forward

20. Juni 2023

Stakeholders involved: R-SEAT, LERRN, RAN Canada, USRAB

Recent years have witnessed potentially significant developments in the meaningful participation of refugees in the governance of the global refugee regime. This panel engages with examples of efforts to develop mechanisms to facilitate the meaningful participation of refugees in the engagement of Canada, New Zealand and the US in the global refugee regime.


Academia in the Service of Refugee Inclusion

19. Juni 2023

Stakeholders involved: FFVT, UNHCR, KUL

On the occasion of World Refugee Day and the completion of the 2022/2023 academic year, the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) and UNHCR is pleased to organize an international panel, bringing together experts in the fields of academia, research, humanitarian assistance, and refugee inclusion, to discuss how academia can support refugee inclusion.


Inaugural Workshop IDRC Research Chairs Network on Forced Displacement

30 - 31. Mai 2023

Stakeholders involved: LERRN, IDRC

Twelve experts from some of the places most impacted by forced displacement gathered in person for the inaugural workshop of the IDRC Research Chairs Network on Forced Displacement. Funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and with support from Carleton University, they came from countries where mass displacement is not just an abstract talking point, but a daily lived experience, countries that host the majority of those fleeing the world’s most urgent humanitarian emergencies.


Second edition of the European Summit of Refugees and Migrants

17. Januar 2023 – Berlin

Stakeholders involved: European Coalition of Migrants and Refugees (EU-COMAR), Global Refugee-led Network (GRN), UNHCR, FFVT, German government representatives, private research funders


Promoting localised research and equitable partnerships in Forced Migration Studies at the UN High Commissioner’s Dialogue

7. Dezember 2022 – Geneva

Stakeholders involved: UNHCR GAIN, LERRN, FFVT, IDRC, De Mello Chairs, R-SEAT


Forced Migration Studies and Policy Dialogue: Promoting New Ways of Knowledge Production and Policy Transfer

15. September 2022

Stakeholders involved: LERRN, FFVT, German and Canadian government representatives, public and private research funders, refugee-led organisations and international forced migration researchers from the Global South, North and East.


Rethinking international research partnerships: from old hierarchies to new forms of co-creation

30. Juni 2022

Stakeholders involved: FFVT, LERRN, and academics from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Tanzania and Turkey 


LERRN-RRN Webinar | Changing the Structures of Forced Migration Research

31. März 2022

Stakeholders involved: LERRN, FFVT, IDRC, RRN

The webinar engaged with how the structures of research and research funding may be changed. While some changes can be brought-about by individual researchers, we recognize that some of the challenges are deeper and more structural, like unequal access to research funding. What is the role of donors in addressing these issues? What would it take to get more donors on board with initiatives like direct funding to local researchers? What structures need to change and what is the path forward?