The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
With 2018 marking the 7th anniversary of the Syrian conflict, this issue of FMR explores new insights and continuing challenges relating to the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally and in neighbouring countries. What we learn from responses to this large-scale, multi-faceted displacement is also relevant to other situations of displacement beyond as well as within the Middle East.
FMR 57 contains 27 articles on ‘Syrians in displacement’, plus six ‘general’ articles on other topics.
Read the issue: http://www.fmreview.org/syria2018.html
The latest issue of Forced Migration Review, focussing on Syrians in displacement, is now online.
What difference does it make to be a refugee? RSC publishes new report on Refugee Economies in Kenya
Kenya hosts nearly half a million refugees and limits refugees’ right to work and freedom of movement. This new research is based on 4366 survey responses and covers both Nairobi and the Kakuma refugee camp.
Written by Alexander Betts, Naohiko Omata and Olivier Sterck, the report compares and tries to explain refugee and host outcomes in three areas: livelihoods, living standards, and subjective well-being.
In Kakuma camp, refugees are better off than the surrounding host population. For example, even though they have comparable employment levels, working refugees’ self-reported median income is almost three times higher than for the local Turkana (around $55/month compared to under $25/month), and refugees have better diets, higher consumption, and more assets. Despite the gap, the Turkana hosts benefit immensely from the refugee presence.
In Nairobi, although refugees are better off than they would be in camps, they are worse off than the local host population across almost all metrics. For example, comparing Somali refugees with local hosts, the employment levels are 44% and 60% and the income gap is $150/month compared to $200/month, while refugees do worse across all other living standards indicators.
Four sets of factors seem to explain these gaps between refugees and hosts: regulation (how you are governed), networks (who you know), capital (what you have), and identity (who you are).
In some cases these factors may advantage refugees, and in other cases they may disadvantage refugees relative to hosts. For example, in terms of regulation, refugees are disadvantaged, and we show the cost to refugees of these restrictions. In Kakuma, refugee entrepreneurs are disproportionately likely to incur ‘business tax’ (30% of Somalis businesses pay compared to 10% of Turkana businesses), and to be forced to pay police bribes (10% of the Turkana, compared to 54% of South Sudanese, 43% of Congolese, and 23% of Somalis).
But in terms of networks, refugees often have advantages. In Nairobi, for example, 43% of Somalis receive remittances (at a median level of $2500/year) compared to 36% of the surrounding community ($1200/year).
Three practical insights stand out: 1) even in a country with restricted regulations, refugees are economically active; 2) refugees’ and hosts’ economic lives are interdependent: a good refugee policy must also be a good host community policy; 3) every major refugee-hosting context should have an economic policy and strategy specifically for refugees and the immediate host community, based on robust analysis and consultation.
The research is the first part of a broader multi-country, multi-year panel dataset, which also focuses on Uganda and Ethiopia, and will follow refugees and host communities over time.
The report is being launched alongside a new Refugee Economies Programme. The programme’s website, which is also launched this week, is available at www.refugee-economies.org
Download the report here.
A new report published by the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) at ODID, Refugee Economies in Kenya compares socio-economic outcomes for refugees and the surrounding host communities.
CIS Sponsored Book Launch: The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11 (Problems of International Politics)
Further details to follow.
This talk has been cancelled in solidarity with UCU strikes
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Sir Michael Dummett (formerly Blue Boar) Lecture Theatre, Christ Church</h3>
Investment needed to meet the SDGs in the water supply and sanitation sector is estimated at several times historic levels of spend during the MDG period. Governments must therefore seek innovative ways to deliver results in a cost-effective manner. Performance-based contracting (PBC) is one possible way to achieve this. The design of PBC contracts for use in developing countries is, however, particularly challenging given additional uncertainties such as poor quality data and weak capacity.
This talk reflects on how models that work in UK or Europe may not work in a developing country context and the need to avoid cut-paste approaches to policy-making.
<strong>About the speaker:</strong>
Bill Kingdom is a Lead Water Supply and Sanitation specialist in the Water Global Practice of the World Bank. During his career he has worked extensively in South and East Asia, the Middle East, UK, USA, Canada, and now in Southern Africa.
He has led water supply and sanitation projects for public enterprises in developed & developing countries, supported regulators, provided policy advice to governments and implemented a number of innovative PPP projects including performance-based leakage reduction contracts in Vietnam, and delivering 24/7 water supplies in India. He has authored many papers including on the challenge of financing the SDG agenda and the characteristics of well-run utilities.
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In this paradox, resilience is simultaneously accused of being politicizing and depoliticizing. Scott-Smith writes, 'The scholarly critique suggests that resilience depoliticizes everything it touches, producing acquiescent subjects who are discouraged from protest. The practitioner critique, on the other hand, suggests that resilience politicizes relief by focusing mistakenly on systems, structures and states… the essence of the scholarly argument is that resilience shifts attention from the state to the individual and encourages us to embrace precarity. The essence of the practitioner argument, however, is that resilience shifts attention from the individual to the state'.
So who is right? 'Both sides are wrong', he argues, 'but in different ways'.
Tom Scott-Smith (2018) ‘Paradoxes of Resilience: A Review of the World Disasters Report 2016’, Development and Change, DOI:
In a new article in Development and Change, Tom Scott-Smith reviews the ‘World Disasters Report 2016 – Resilience: saving lives today, investing for tomorrow’ and considers the ‘resilience paradox’.
Capitalist development and political institutions in Tanzania: Explaining variation in party cohesion and legislative power
The Tanzanian Bunge was long judged one of the weakest parliaments in a region where the legislature is often dismissed as a “sideshow”. Yet between 2005 and 2015, Bunge repeatedly forced then President Jakaya Kikwete to reshuffle his cabinet following corruption probes. Hardly evidence of a rubber stamp institution, these events raise the question, what accounts for Bunge’s heightened assertiveness? And what is its significance? In answer, this paper presents a political economy theory of when legislative institutions strengthen under single and dominant party rule, which it then illustrates through the Tanzanian case. Contra a more homogenizing “neo-patrimonial” analysis, the paper argues that contrasting institutional outcomes result from differences in the distribution of power across economic elites. In the Tanzanian case, economic liberalisation from the 1980s led to the expansion of a wealthy private elite and a gradual change in the structure of patron-client networks within the ruling party. During the 2005-2015 period, rival patronage networks aligned such that intra-elite contestation intensified executive-legislative tensions and encouraged the above-mentioned legislative assertiveness. This heightened parliamentary activism is nevertheless subject to ongoing changes in the distribution of power across patron-client factions, as recent developments under the new President John Magufuli show.
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The network was created by a group of former IMI researchers. These include three former directors, Oliver Bakewell, Mathias Czaika and Hein de Haas, along with Agnieszka Kubal, Simona Vezzoli and Gunvor Jonsson, who teaches on the MSc in Migration Studies at ODID.
According to the founders, IMIn is committed to continuing the thriving interdisciplinary dialogue and new research perspectives that emerged at IMI, and to further expanding IMI into a global research network.
The core aims of the IMIn are:
- To develop a long-term looking perspective on migration and human mobility as an intrinsic part of global change instead of a 'problem to be solved’.
- To explore new ways of understanding and researching migration processes, seeking to challenge conventional theory and to look for new innovative approaches.
- To build capacity by actively stimulating the participation of students and researchers from around the world, particularly from Africa, Asia and Latin America in research, publications and public debates.
- To create new public narratives on migration that challenge polarised debates between ‘pro-’ and ‘anti-’ migration voices.
You can follow the activities of IMIn on their new website, www.imi-n.org.
The International Migration Institute, which was based at ODID between 2006 and 2017, has now relaunched as an international research network, IMIn.
Oxford Writers’ House and the Oxford Migration Studies Society are hosting an event to explore one of the crucial questions of our age – the movement of people. A night of spoken word, live music and open mic. Find the event here.