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Call for Papers: Forced displacement and gender issues

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Forced displacement is a multifaceted phenomenon caused by persecution, conflict, repression, natural and human-made disasters, ecological degradation and other situations that directly endanger lives, freedom and livelihoods. Displacement may be triggered by such diverse actions as development projects, land and assets expropriation and human trafficking, among others. Since women and men traditionally have different socio-cultural-economic roles and positions they are also affected in different manners by forced displacement. Gender play an important role in the decision to flee, throughout the displacement process as well as in the decisions and experience related to finding solutions. The different dimensions of displacement have gender differentiated impacts, requiring a better understanding of how different parts of displaced and host communities are affected at each phase of the displacement cycle.

Forced displacement is not only a humanitarian issue, but also has important economic, social, political, and environmental impacts on the places of origin and destination, requiring longer-term and very often development oriented interventions. Consideration of longer-term effects needs to take into account the different capacities of men and women, girls and boys, and how their experiences affect them differently. It is furthermore important to consider that youth in particular, and depending on their gender, may be treated and affected differently than adults and may often be more vulnerable during forced displacement. Short term risks and longer-term impacts and opportunities need to be considered for the different members of displaced and host populations.

While the development impacts of voluntary labor migration have been widely explored, connections between forced displacement, in its various aspects, and gender issues remain poorly understood. As the number of protracted displacement situations is increasing, it is especially important to fill the knowledge gaps regarding gendered socio-economic impacts of forced displacement on host countries and host communities.

Call for papers

To improve an understanding of the relationship between national policies and concerns about gender issues and forced displacement, the working group for the Cross-cutting Theme of Gender (CCT Gender), in collaboration with the working groups on forced migration and on environmental change and migration, within the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is commissioning papers analyzing national policies in four countries, associated with forced displacement-related outcomes for women and men, girls and boys (enhanced incomes, resilience to shocks, wellbeing, equality, empowerment, etc.).

The intention is to improve knowledge on a) how traditional gender roles influence the process of force displacement (decision to flee, resettlement process, etc.) and b) how gender roles may be affected by force displacement and c) how such an understanding may contribute to the reconstruction of the livelihoods of affected individuals, boost national development, including improvement in public service provision and the enjoyment of human rights, as well as increased preparedness for situations that may evolve due to displacement. The latter is particularly important in disaster prone areas threatened by flooding due to climate change, or areas affected by drought.

Policies aiming at mitigating the effects of forced displacement ought to take into consideration gender issues while trying to build self-reliance among people shaken by overwhelming experiences. Gender issues have also to be taken into consideration in any effort made to influence attitudes prevalent in host communities that might be unprepared to receive the newcomers, as well as in efforts to improve the general public perceptions of displaced persons, and how these people affect the economy in host countries, as well as in their communities of origin.

Research Objective

The primary focus will be to analyze the influence of different policies to leverage the positive outcome of paying attention to gender issues in relation to forced displacement and to demonstrate how such policies may influence social-economic transformation, wellbeing (increased incomes and livelihood opportunities) and human rights, as well as building resilience and preparedness for upcoming crises.
Research questions may include:

  • How women, men and youth are affected differently by various emergencies.
  • Are Governments´ emergency plans and strategies taking into account different needs and social roles of women and men, before, during and after forced displacement?
  • Are statistics and plans emerging from disaster mitigation effectively disaggregated by sex and age?
  • Are women, men and youth affected by forced displacement granted equal treatment, rights and access to services and resources?
  • Do displaced women, men and youth adapt differently to the new areas, livelihoods, prerequisites, problems and possibilities they encounter?
  • In what way are remittances sent and received in connection with forced displacement influenced by gender?
  • Are plans and strategies for resettlement and relocation, adaptation/inclusion of displaced persons gender sensitive?
  • Are displaced women, men and youth, benefitting from community education, awareness-raising, and training?
  • Are displaced women and men able to participate in decision making processes?
  • Are women and men in host communities being affected differently by the presence of forced migrants?
  • Are partnerships, consultations, and involvement of stakeholders during an emergency, gender sensitive?

The research would provide lessons learned and policy recommendations particularly for countries which are experiencing, or expecting large-scale forced displacement and are aiming to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. In order to identify good practices, the work will carry out in-depth case studies to determine whether, and the extent to which, attention to gender issues have contributed to improve the wellbeing of displaced families and reduce risks and insecurity.

KNOMAD will commission four country case studies which will be published as KNOMAD working papers. KNOMAD will produce also a comparative analysis based on these four country case studies. No preference is given to the selection of the country for the case study, but KNOMAD will choose the case studies to have a balance of different types of countries (geographically, low-income/high-income countries, etc.) and different types of forced migration (internal/cross border, conflict-induced/environmentally-induced, emergency phase/protracted). Completed papers should be between 7,500 to 10,000 words including an Executive Summary and Bibliography. The papers should be in English. The commissioned four country case studies, will serve as a basis for a comparative analysis and policy briefs prepared by the KNOMAD team.

Research Outcomes

The research will hopefully result in improved understanding of the importance of assessing gender issues while addressing forced displacement. Analytical findings from this project are likely to contribute to identification of the gaps that exist in research in specific national and regional contexts and provide analytical underpinning for further research on those areas. It is also likely to help shape ideas for comparative research across various countries and regions and thus help create an effective evidence base for emergency preparedness and policy change. Findings from the in-depth case studies will help policy makers to formulate evidence-based policies on managing issues related to gender equality, migration and development. The research will identify policies that have been associated with positive outcomes for displaced and host families and for women’s empowerment.


The research papers will be disseminated through the KNOMAD website and presented at conferences and international fora.

Proposal Format and Timelines

Proposals for the country case study should be no more than 3-4 pages single spaced. They should provide a brief summary of the paper to be produced under the consultancy, an outline of the paper’s contents and a short bibliography. The proposal should include 1) concise summary of the paper to be produced, 2) outline of the paper’s contents, 3) methodology, 4) short bibliography, and 5) team composition indicating principal researcher. The proposal must also indicate that the consultant will be able to meet the TWG’s deadlines for these papers:

Draft paper: May 15, 2016

Final paper: July 30, 2016

Please note that the consultancy will not support new research. As stated above, proposed analyses should be based on already collected empirical data. Proposals should also include CVs of the principal authors.

Honoraria An honorarium of $3,500 will be offered to those invited to prepare papers.

Please submit proposals no later than February 17, 2016 to:

Rosemary Vargas-Lundis, Chair of KNOMAD’s CCT on Gender at

Hanspeter Wyss, Focal Point for the CCT on Gender, KNOMAD Secretariat at


Dilip Ratha

Lead Economist and Economic Adviser to the Vice President of Operations, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, World Bank

Hanspeter Wyss

Senior Program Officer, DECIG/KNOMAD, World Bank

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