Towards development solutions to internal displacement: a political economy approach (June 2021) – World




Internal displacement represents a major global challenge that raises serious implications in terms of sustainable development. In 2020, 40.5 million people were newly displaced in 149 countries and territories, bringing the total population living in the displaced world to 55 million (IDMC 2021a). This report examines the ways in which political economy analysis can be used to understand the drivers, dynamics and implications of displacement for development processes. He argues that political and economic interests guide political will, including commitments to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the Responsibility to Protect and the framework of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Durable Solutions. Asking who has everything to gain or lose from maintaining the conditions that lead to displacement, and seeking comprehensive solutions, helps to achieve a practical and promising promotion of sustainable development-oriented solutions.

The report provides a synthesis of empirical research conducted through four case studies in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Iraq and Sudan, as well as interviews with UNDP teams in the Central African Republic, Colombia, Somalia and Syria and one consultation of the available literature on displacement, sustainability solutions and the triple link between humanitarian and development and peacebuilding.

The report argues that an early and proactive approach to anticipate displacement and integrate the needs of communities affected by displacement into national development plans, strategies and laws is necessary to achieve fully sustainable solutions. Political economy analysis is essential in this process, as it forms the basis for mobilizing political will and promoting the restoration of the rights of internally displaced persons as citizens.

This report and its associated case studies are part of UNDP’s submission to the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. It presents ten recommendations, which can be briefly summarized as follows:

  1. Development actors should engage with displacement issues early and systematically, preferably using political economy analysis to analyze the horizon of displacement before it occurs.

  2. Focus development solutions on achieving the eight indicators defined by the IASC Framework on Durable Solutions, complementing humanitarian and peacebuilding work, not replacing it.

  3. Look for development-oriented allies — within government, civil society, the donor community, the United Nations system, at community and municipal levels, and within the private sector.

  4. Promote robust data systems widely regarded as legitimate by those working for comprehensive sustainable solutions.

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