Emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development in refugee crises

Question

In the context of refugee crises, what is the evidence base that moving from emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development-focussed activities that promote refugee self-sufficiency and resilience reduces overall operational costs and saves money in the long run?

Summary

This report provides a rapid literature review of the evidence on emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development in refugee crises. While the scope of the report did not allow for complex judgements to be made about the quality of the body of evidence, or of the strength of individual pieces of evidence, an evidence table is provided in Annex A to enable the reader to undertake such analysis if needed in the future, using the DFID How to Note on Assessing the Strength of Evidence.

This report was written in five days. This report was designed to provide a brief overview of the key issues, and a summary of pertinent evidence found within the time permitted. The author recognises that the review process was non-systematic and non-exhaustive. All the evidence included was in English, no more than 10 years old. The resources were identified through a desk-based search. A number of experts in the field were also consulted.

No evidence was found, within the scope of this report, to either support or refute the hypothesis that, in the context of refugee crises, a shift from emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development-focussed activities reduces operational costs. However, some evidence was gathered, which is relevant to approaches to refugee crises with regards to longer term development outcomes. From the literature reviewed, it is clear that the current situation with regards to refugees requires action, with unprecedented numbers of people currently being displaced (UNHCR 2016, Omata 2016). Refugee crises were found to be increasingly protracted. The Syrian crisis in particular has resulted in new challenges emerging for refugees (Mitri 2015).

Enquirer:

Suggested citation

Thompson, S. (2017). Emergency humanitarian response to longer-term development in refugee crises. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies