As the number of people who are forcibly displaced reaches all-time highs, with the vast majority living in developing countries, the displacement challenge has moved to the top of the global development agenda. This was recognized by the International Development Association (IDA)-- the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Currently, the IDA19 Window for Host Communities and Refugees and host communities, dedicates $2.2 billion to help low-income countries hosting large numbers of refugees.
During displacement, families are often separated, assets and livelihoods are lost or disrupted, and language barriers, legal constraints and discrimination may arise. The nature of these impacts, and barriers and opportunities, may well differ between women and men. But development policies and programs are often designed without taking these gendered factors and differences into account, and also often fail to monitor how outcomes and impacts vary between men and women, girls and boys.
A series of papers has been published about the Gender Dimensions of Forced Displacement by researchers from a range of disciplines from inside and outside the World Bank, with strategic guidance from a Senior Advisory Panel.
The research has examined a range of interrelated drivers and manifestations of gender inequality – including income and multi-dimensional poverty, livelihoods, gender norms and the risks of experiencing intimate partner violence and child marriage.
The Gender Dimensions of Forced Displacement: A Synthesis of New Research presents an overview of the main findings. The research shows that gender-related constraints and barriers are often amplified in situations of forced displacement and consider how policies and programs can help to overcome obstacles and enable new opportunities to be realized. Additionally, our findings were published in the Quarterly Digest of the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement, highlighting our empirical analysis as a unique contribution to this area of study.
A major contribution of the research is to demonstrate novel and important insights that can be generated using existing datasets that are available for many countries – like the Demographic and Health Surveys – and new efforts, like the High Frequency Surveys. This is not to minimize the importance of data constraints, which are large, but it is important to carefully examine what can be done with existing information, as well as call for improvements in the coverage of forcibly displaced people in surveys, and in the coverage of topics where data is needed to understand gender inequality.
The Gender Group at the World Bank has partnered with researchers at: Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; International Security and Development Center; Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security; the Economic Research Forum; St. Catherine University; USAID; Action Kivu; Wageningen University; University of Minnesota; UNHCR; and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
This work is part of the program Building the Evidence on Protracted Forced Displacement: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership'. The program is funded by UK aid from the United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and managed by the World Bank Group (WBG). It was established in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The scope of the program is to expand the global knowledge on forced displacement by funding quality research and disseminating results for the use of practitioners and policy makers. This work does not necessarily reflect the views of FCDO, the WBG or UNHCR.
Senior Advisory Panel Members:
Kristin Kim Bart; Global Development and Humanitarian Consultant
Elizabeth Dartnall; Executive Director, Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI)
Rebecca Eapen; Senior Community Based Protection Officer, UNHCR
Elizabeth Ferris; Research Professor, School of Foreign Service, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University
Patricia Justino; Senior Research Fellow, UNU-WIDER
Anne C. Richard; James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor, Miller Center, University of Virginia (January 2020-June 2021)
Daphne Jayasinghe; Director of Policy, Europe, International Rescue Committee
Philip Verwimp; Professor of Development Economics, ECARES, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université libre de Bruxelles
Cindy Huang; Vice President of Strategic Outreach, Refugees International*
*Until February 2021