Tag Archives: protection

UNHCR reviews its urban policy: an air of complacency?

By Tim Morris and Sonia Ben Ali

Four years after the launch of its new urban policy UNHCR has published an overview of progress on its implementation. The study was overseen by an Urban Refugee Steering Group created by UNHCR in 2012. It  draws on results of a questionnaire sent to 24 country offices working with urban refugees.

While the report is clearly a welcome addition to what remains a relatively limited literature – and elements of it are extremely frank about the magnitude of the tasks required to realize the bold aspirations of the urban policy – it has major shortcomings.

Limitations of self-reporting

Perhaps the greatest is that it is solely based in information from UNHCR. The report recognises that “the inherent biases of staff self-reporting on their work should be kept in mind”, yet does not explain what these are likely to be, nor explain why testimony from urban refugees and asylum seekers themselves, from the refugee self-help groups found in so many cities, from organisations advocating for them or from UNHCR’s own implementing partners were not included. It reports that all 24 offices use participatory assessments with refugees yet there are no details, nor explanation of the lack of refugee voice in the overview. Continue reading “UNHCR reviews its urban policy: an air of complacency?” »

Let’s move the debate forward

This is an independent forum for practitioners, policy makers, researchers and other interested in urban displacement matters to debate key issues, share information and disseminate new ideas.

The idea underpinning this Forum is to establish a long-lasting platform of discussion where consensual ideas will be challenged, misconceptions dislodged and the overall debate on urban displacement moved forward.

Very diverse topics will be discussed on this Forum, from the humanitarian response to current urban refugee crisis (in Syria, Kenya or elsewhere) to the relevance of new approaches to urban refugee and IDP livelihood strategies.

Contributors will write articles that will then be discussed by Forum users. If you are not a Contributor but wish to propose an article for the Forum, please submit it to debate[a]urban-refugees.org We commit to get back to you within one week. You can also leave comments and give your opinion on the topic of your choice.

We hope you will enjoy this debate forum!