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Call for Papers: Impacts of Refugees and IDPs on Host Countries and Host Communities

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Nearly 65 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide – within and across borders – due to conflict and persecution at the end of 2015. 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. The development impacts of forced displacement, however, remain poorly understood. There is very limited sound analytical work to date on the impacts of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) on host communities. Social scientists have largely neglected these important policy and conceptual challenges. As the number of protracted displacement situations is increasing, the lack of rigorous impact assessments is a major gap that needs to be filled. Therefore, a number of case studies have recently been undertaken by the World Bank, UNHCR, independent researchers, and other actors.

Against this background, the Thematic Working Group on Forced Migration of the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) organized a Methodological Workshop on Measuring Impacts of Refugees and IDPs on Host Countries and Host Communities in November 2015 in Washington, DC, jointly with Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, the Solutions Alliance, and UNHCR. The workshop assembled important pieces of published research as well as some ongoing research.

This call for papers aims to capture further ongoing work in this growing field of impact assessments. Authors of papers selected will be invited to present the paper at a conference on the impacts of refugees and IDPs on host communities in May 2017. The papers selected can be published as KNOMAD Working Papers. A selection of papers will also be considered for a special issue in a journal.

We welcome submission of empirical papers that provide evidence of impacts of refugees and IDPs on their host communities and host countries in specific situations. This includes, but is not limited to impacts on: 
  • labor markets, trade and entrepreneurship,
  • prices,
  • environment,
  • health,
  • education,
  • public revenue and expenditure,
  • welfare and poverty,
  • crime and national security, and
  • social cohesion among others.
Papers can look at impacts on the national or local level and cover different scenarios (urban or rural settings as well as encampment (closed or open), settlement or cohabitation). Papers that discuss the possible generalization of the results, and include policy recommendations based on the evidence presented in the paper are encouraged.

Please submit abstracts of around 500 words (pdf files) no later than December 11, 2016 to Kirsten Schuettler ( Invitations to submit full papers will be communicated by January 9, 2017. Submissions of full papers (pdf files) are expected by February 28, 2017. Decisions will be made by March 21, 2017.

The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is a global hub of knowledge and policy expertise on migration and development issues. KNOMAD draws on experts from all parts of the world to synthesize existing knowledge and generate new knowledge for use by policy makers in sending and receiving countries. The head of KNOMAD is Dilip Ratha (World Bank).

KNOMAD’s Thematic Working Group on Forced Migration is chaired by T. Alexander Aleinikoff (Colombia University), Ana María Ibáñez (Universidad de los Andes) and Xavier Devictor (World Bank). The focal point in the KNOMAD Secretariat is Kirsten Schuettler (World Bank).


Dilip Ratha

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

Kirsten Schuettler

Senior Program Officer, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank

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