Evaluation of Refugee-Led Organisations in East Africa and the Middle East

Refugee-led organisations and initiatives play an often important but neglected role in situations of displacement. It is commonly claimed that refugee-led organisations (RLOs) are sometimes more effective, efficient, and legitimate in providing assistance and protection compared to other actors. However, there is a lack of systematic evidence to support such claims. The study is carried out by the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network at Carleton University and the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford – and conducted by researchers with a refugee background. It aims to understand the nature of refugee-led initiatives and the factors that influence their impact and response. The study focuses on the regions of East Africa and the Middle East. The goal is to create an evidence base that policymakers, funders, and practitioners can use to justify and target support for RLOs.

Supporting refugee-led groups in Lebanon

In Lebanon, where every sixth resident is a refugee and which has been hit by mutually reinforcing crises, Refugee-Led Organizations (RLO) have proven to address needs and problems with a high degree of innovation, effectiveness, and efficiency. RLOs in Lebanon intimately know the needs of the communities in which they work and can build on well-established support structures and employ effective forms of support. The Funders for Refugee Leadership in Lebanon Initiative, a collaboration of nonprofit organizations and foundations, consisting of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Global Whole Being Fund, Choose Love, Open Society Foundations and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, aims to systematically strengthen the role and impact of RLOs in Lebanon. To this end, the initiative pursues a coordinated and participatory funding programme in Lebanon.

Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT)

R-SEAT promotes the inclusion of refugees at the national and international policy-making levels to enhance the effectiveness of policies created to serve refugees and to contribute to legitimate policy-making and processes. In particular, R-SEAT's goal is to advance meaningful refugee participation by enhancing refugee inclusion within states’ decision-making bodies that affect them, as well as by promoting an approach in which refugees are central actors in global refugee policy-making. The practical approach is an inclusion of refugees as advisors in national delegations to the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. To this end, it will build networks in respective countries between their governmental personnel, policy influencers from academia and civil society, and refugee leaders and refugee-serving organizations, as well as provide training on good practices to advance meaningful refugee participation in policy design with relevant stakeholders. Learn more