Reducing Protracted Internal Displacement: A Snapshot of Successful Humanitarian-Development Initiatives

Greta Zeender and Bronwen James Crowther

OCHA Policy and Studies Series, June 2019


This report presents examples of projects that enhance humanitarian-development cooperation in order to reduce the vulnerabilities of IDPs and host communities and work towards durable solutions. Projects were selected to cover a variety of internal displacement situations (in Colombia, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine) with a primary focus on the improvement of the lives of IDPs, taking into account the needs of host communities, and covering issues such as education, training, livelihood support, housing and protection. Based on a desk review of available evaluation reports, the authors identify the following factors contributing to the success and sustainability of projects in the context of protracted internal displacement:

  • Humanitarian and development organizations have combined their respective expertise or relied on specific local knowledge for the project.
  • Project design is flexible enough to adapt over time and respond to the evolving needs of IDPs.
  • Strong coordination with national and local authorities to enable government ownership, as well as knowledge transfer, is built within the project’s design.
  • Projects take into account local business and market needs, identifying the need for specific skills or profitable products.
  • Projects are tailored to the local environment, using an area-based approach that benefits IDPs and host communities and include them in project planning and implementation. Successful projects also took into account the needs of specific vulnerable groups.
  • Projects in cities include strong urban planning elements to provide innovative housing solutions and ensure sustainability.
  • Projects are part of wider strategies, supported through multi-year funding.