Leveraging change to policies, laws and practices in refugee hosting countries

Question

What lessons can we draw from Bangladesh and other refugee-hosting countries on how to leverage change to policies, laws and practices applied to refugees? In what situations have we seen drastic shifts towards more protective legal and policy frameworks? What endogenous and exogenous factors and incentives have contributed to those shifts and what were the associated risks?

Summary

This rapid review synthesises data from academic, policy and NGO sources on influencing government polices on refugees, with a particular focus on Rohingya in Bangladesh. However, it must be noted that this is an under researched topic with only the work of Jacobsen (1996) focusing specifically on the subject. Additionally, there are very few successful cases in the literature with most scholars focusing on failures. However, important lessons can be drawn from failures as well as successes. Although the data on influencing government refugee policies is extremely limited, a number of scholars have written on Targeted Development Assistance (TDA), whereby host countries refugee policies are influenced through providing development assistance.

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Suggested citation

O’Driscoll, D. (2017). Leveraging change to policies, laws and practices in refugee hosting countries. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies