In partnership with UNHCR and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the World Bank is leading a series of 26 working papers, broadly themed on Forced Displacement and Social Cohesion. The Bank commissioned these papers from academics with expertise in the field of forced displacement. These papers explore the linkages between forced displacement, inequalities, access to services, policies, and social cohesion between forcibly displaced persons and their host communities in a variety of low, middle, and high-income countries across Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Europe. This series of papers is part of a broader initiative on Building Evidence on Forced Displacement.
Overall, the findings demonstrate that displacement can exacerbate inequalities and the potential for conflict, especially in areas that have limited access to services and few economic opportunities. However, inclusive policies and development investments for both those who have been forcibly displaced and host communities can mitigate the negative effects of displacement effectively and can foster social cohesion. Several of the studies show that progressive policies that accord refugees and IDPs the right to work, freedom of movement, access to social services, as well as property, can promote social and economic integration without causing a backlash.
1. The role of baseline conditions in host communities
These papers assert that the social, economic, and political landscape of host communities matters deeply for how the presence of displaced populations impacts social cohesion.
2. Socioeconomic conditions, attitudes, and behaviors of host communities
These studies consider how displacement affects social cohesion by impacting social and economic outcomes in host communities, including the level of public goods and services, labor markets, and attitudes and perceptions.
3. Contributions of refugees on socio-economic conditions
The arrival of displaced populations can influence behavior (e.g., job search, interpersonal engagement, conflict) and socioeconomic conditions (e.g., economic inequality, wealth) in ways that affect social cohesion.
4. Policy Interventions that Affect Social Cohesion in Displacement Contexts
These papers analyze specific policy interventions that might facilitate the integration of refugees and IDPs into host communities.
5. Socioeconomic conditions, attitudes, and behaviors of the displaced
These studies focus on how displacement affects social cohesion outcomes among refugees and IDPs by shaping the lives of the displaced, including their socioeconomic status, educational outcomes, civic engagement, and psychological experience.