This report considers how political economy analysis can be used to understand the drivers, dynamics and implications of internal displacement for development processes. It provides a synthesis of empirical research carried out through four case studies in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Iraq and Sudan, as well as interviews with UNDP teams in Central African Republic, Colombia, Somalia and Syria.
The report argues that an early and proactive approach to anticipating displacement and integrating the needs of displacement-affected communities into national development plans, strategies and laws is needed to achieve fully durable solutions. Political economy analysis is essential in this process, as it forms the basis for leveraging political will and promoting the restoration of displaced persons’ rights as citizens. The report presents ten recommendations, which may be briefly summarised as:
- Development actors must engage early and systematically on displacement issues, preferably using political economy analysis to scan the horizon for displacement before it happens.
- Focus development solutions work on achieving the eight indicators set out by the IASC Framework on Durable Solutions, complementing humanitarian and peacebuilding work, not replacing it.
- Look for development-oriented allies—within government, civil society, the donor community, the UN system, at the community and municipal levels, and within the private sector.
- Promote data systems that are robust and widely regarded as legitimate by those who are involved in working for comprehensive durable solutions.
- Work to make development policies and strategies more ‘mobility friendly’.
- Work at a pace that matches the interests, needs and concerns of the local area.
- Take a participatory approach; follow, don’t lead to understand IDPs’ priorities, needs, challenges, and sources of resilience.
- Clearly communicate the benefits of an inclusive development solutions approach to help bring all stakeholders on board.
- To guide interagency collaboration, it is essential for organizations to approach their mandates flexibly, through cooperation rather than defensiveness.
- Develop operational processes for embedding a political economy analysis within UN agencies.