Translating Academic Research into Effective Responses to Forced Displacement Session 1: The transformative potential of inclusive and localized refugee and forced displacement research

Join us for a series of online discussions in which we will explore how academic findings and initiatives that can support decision-making processes to improve the lives of refugees, forcibly displaced persons, and host communities. Over two sessions on 24 and 25 May, a range of diverse research partners will showcase findings and initiatives that can support GCR stakeholders in making evidence-based decisions and policies based on reliable, independent research conducted by academics and persons with lived experience of forced displacement.

Key donors and supporters will also discuss the importance of producing actionable and relevant research that is led, co-designed and co-implemented with refugees and forcibly displaced persons.

Launched at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN) brings together universities, academic alliances, and research institutions, together with UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, as well as International Sign Language.


Spotlighted Research

Panel 1: Inclusive and localized refugee and forced migration research

Beyond Consultation: Unpacking the most essential components of meaningful Participation

Presented by: Anila Noor

Research on forced displacement reveals a wide gap between policy processes and the people that such processes seek to assist. This paper proposes actionable recommendations on how to operationalize the concept of ‘meaningful refugee participation’ in decision-making processes that affect the lives of refugees. There is a need to go beyond tokenistic participation and to genuinely empower refugees to have influence over the design, implementation and evaluation of refugee-focused programmes. The contributions of refugees themselves must also be enhanced in ways that can help contribute to a paradigmatic shift in the global infrastructure of refugee governance.

Panel 2: Gender, Refugee Agency and Forced Displacement

Gender and Forced Displacement

Presented by: Brad Blitz

The project seeks to understand and measure how gender inequalities are affected by forced displacement (internal and international) in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey, and to examine how these inequalities might be addressed in policies of international protection and assistance in settlement in Sri Lanka so as to facilitate the empowerment and acquisition of skills of displaced girls and women.

Return, Reintegration and Political Restructuring

Presented by: Janroj Keles

This project explores and analyses the gender experiences of returnees and changes in families and communities in conflicted and/or post-conflict societies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It reviews return policies of these countries to understand the possibilities, challenges and obstacles for returnees in the process of participating in re-construction of their countries through human, social and cultural capital.

Speaker bios

Professor Brad Blitz

Brad K. Blitz is Professor of International Politics and Policy in the Department of Education, Practice and Society at the University College of London’s Institute of Education, Visiting Professor at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics & Senior Fellow of the Global Migration Centre, Graduate Institute, Geneva. He is also a co-Investigator on Gender and Forced Displacement (Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Turkey) at the UKRI Gender, Justice and Security Hub

Caroline Ford

Director, Democratic and Inclusive Governance Division, International Development Research Centre, Canada. Caroline Ford has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of governance, justice, human rights and development. She worked in Africa, the Balkans and at a global level on human rights, international development, humanitarian emergency response, and communications for development. Caroline has held senior management positions at BBC Media Action, Amnesty International and UNICEF. She joined IDRC in February 2021 and leads the work with southern institutions on inclusive, accountable, and transparent governance.

Dr. Janroj Keles

Senior Research Fellow in Politics at Middlesex University Law School and a Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics (LSE), researching on peace and conflict, gender, political violence, ethnicity and nationalism, statelessness, migration, diasporas and international relations, social movements and media and political communication. He is one of the Co-investigators for the GCRF HUB – Gender, Justice and Security led by the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security in partnership with Middlesex University and other 17 institutions around the world. He was an editor of Work, Employment and Society, a leading peer-reviewed journal of the British Sociological Association (2018-2022).

Eleonore Kofman

Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship, Middlesex University London and Co-Director of the Migration and Displacement stream, UKRI Gender, Justice and Security Hub (2019-2024) led by the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security and co-Investigator of the project Gendered Dynamics of Labour Migrations. She is the Joint Editor in Chief of Work, Employment and Society, a journal of the British Sociological Association and co-Director of the Social Policy Research Centre. She is a member of the Executive Board and Board of Directors of the International Migration, Social Cohesion and Integration, the largest European network of scholars in the area of migration and integration.

Ulrike Krause

Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), University of Osnabrück and FFVT initiative, Germany. Since January 2019, she is a junior professor focusing on forced displacement and refugee research at IMIS and at the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Osnabrück. The focus of the junior professorship is on three areas: (1) the global refugee regime, local reception processes and humanitarian practices, (2) the nexus of conflict and flight and the meaning of peace, and (3) agency (power and ability to act) of refugees from gender-sensitive perspectives. Since June 2017, she is affiliated as a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Center and the Oxford Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. Her PostDoc focused on "Global Refugee Protection and Local Refugee Engagement. Extent and limits of agency in refugee community-based NGOs” (2018).

Anila Noor

European Coalition of Migrants and Refugees, The Netherlands. Anila is the founder of New Women Connectors, a movement striving for mainstreaming the unheard voices of migrant and refugee especially women living across Europe. New Women Connectors is a perspective-shift to the refugee agenda and advocates inclusion than integration as a policy choice. Anila is currently working on the subject of Receiving Refugees in Urban Settings: Narratives from the Netherlands and other European countries. As a human rights advocate she wants more positive stories of migrants/Refugee to be heard.

Dulo Nyaoro

Senior lecturer and researcher in the Department of Political Science, Moi University, and Coordinator at the Peace and Reconciliation Institute. He coordinates the MA degree programme in Forced Migration at Moi University. Nyaoro holds a BA in Political Science from Moi University and an MA in Migration Studies from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Nyaoro is the team leader of the Kenya Geographic Working of LERRN and has conducted research on displacement in Kenya, South Africa and Somalia.

Mark Okello Oyat

Project Director at the Dadaab Response Association, a community-based research organization in Kenya. Some of their work on refugee education has been published in LERRN’s Working Paper Series, such as Mark’s Working Paper “Investigating Corporal Punishment in Refugee Secondary Schools in Dadaab, Kenya.” Mark is a Ugandan refugee residing in Dadaab, Kenya. He is the director of a graduate of the Master of Education and a research-based study in Language, Culture and Teaching, from York University through the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project in 2020. He had a Bachelor of Arts at the same University and passed with the highest honour, Summa Cum Laude.

Pascal Zigashane

Executive Director at Action Pour le Progres, a refugee led Initiative in Kakuma Refugee Camp empowering youth through transformative learning. Pascal is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management at Southern New Hampshire University in the USA; and holds a Diploma in Social Work from Regis University. Pascal is the lead coordinator of Amala education program in Kenya and facilitates Online Peace Building course. He recently joined LERRN and worked in URISE Initiative for Africa as the Executive Director from 2016 to 2020.


Brad K. Blitz BioSpotlighted research
Professor of International Politics and Policy, University College London
Caroline Ford Bio
Director, Democratic and Inclusive Governance Division, International Development Research Centre, Canada
Madeline Garlick Senior Legal Coordinator, UNHCR
Dr. Janroj Keles BioSpotlighted research
Senior Research Fellow, Middlesex University
Eleonore Kofman Bio
Co-Director of the Migration and Displacement Stream of the Global Challenges Research Fund Hub on Gender, Justice and Security
Ulrike Krause Bio
Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), University of Osnabrück and FFVT project, Germany
Anila Noor BioSpotlighted research
European Coalition of Migrants and Refugees, The Netherlands
Mark Okello Bio
Chair, Dadaab Response Association, Dadaab, Kenya
Janemary Ruhundwa Executive Director, Dignity Kwanza
Pascal Zigashane Bio
Director, Action pour le progrès, Kakuma, Kenya


Geoff Gilbert Chair, Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN)