People on the Move: Migration, Displacement, Refugees, and Urbanization

Over the past five years, we have worked with a range of organizations to increase our knowledge and understanding of urban migration.

Our evidence-based field research continues to document and analyze the experience of urban migrants of all kinds, but especially refugees and internally displaced people.

Remittances to Conflict Zones, Phase 2: Sudanese Refugees in Cairo

Refugees and migrants in transit countries like Egypt are linked into wider diaspora networks that help support them, and in turn enable the migrants to support their families and communities back home.

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Developing A Profiling Methodology for Displaced People in Urban Areas

Our methodology will help aid agencies better explore the livelihood issues confronting displaced people vis-à-vis non-displaced locals in urban settings.

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Refugee Livelihoods in Urban Areas: Identifying Program Opportunities

For refugees in urban areas, there is little evidence about which humanitarian programs work, what livelihoods initiatives refugees undertake themselves, and where opportunities for programming interventions lie. Our research seeks to address this knowledge gap.

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Our academic courses at Tufts and our partnerships with African universities are a key part of our research and our mission. As part of the Feinstein Center’s academic program, the following academic courses, taught by Karen Jacobsen, are taught at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy:

  • DHP D236: Global Migration and Displacement
  • DHP D235m: Research Seminar in Forced Migration and Human Security

Related courses offered by faculty at the FIC, and taught at either the School of Nutrition or the Fletcher School, include:

  • DHP D230: Humanitarian Assistance in Complex Emergencies (taught by Daniel Maxwell);
  • DHP D213: Humanitarian Studies in the Field (taught by Peter Walker)
  • DHP D232: Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (taught by Dyan Mazurana);
  • DHP D231: Human Rights Protection of Civilians During Armed Conflict (taught by Dyan Mazurana);
  • DHP D237: Nutrition in Complex Emergencies: Policies, Practice and Decision Making (taught by Kate Sadler and Helen Young).

African University Partnerships

The R&FMP is partnered with Forced Migration programs at two African universities:

These partnerships include joint research programs, and provide exchanges of faculty, students and interns, as well as materials and other teaching support.

“It’s Better to Sweat than to Die:” Rural-to-Urban Migration, Northern Karamoja, Uganda
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Much of the literature on urbanization focuses on migration to large cities. In contrast, this report traces the process, challenges, and opportunities of rural-urban migration to towns and small cities…

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Guidance For Profiling Urban Displacement Situations: Challenges And Solutions
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By Karen Jacobsen, Ivan Cardona, JIPS | June 2014

Over the past two years, the Feinstein International Center has supported the Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS) to develop a Guidance for Profiling Urban Displacement Situations. The Guidance highlights the…

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Structural Violence and Social Suffering among Marginal Nepali Migrants
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Over the past decade, Nepal has witnessed a rapid process of social transformation which has accelerated after the end of the “people’s war”. In this report, the third in our…

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Urban Profiling of Refugee Situations in Dehli Refugees from Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia and their Indian Neighbours: A Comparative Study
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By JIPS, UNHCR, Feinstein Center | September 2013

India is host to refugees from all its neighboring countries, and in addition, in New Delhi, UNHCR assists over 24,000 urban refugees and asylum-seekers originating from Myanmar and non-neighboring countries…

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Ransom, Collaborators, Corruption Sinai Trafficking and Transnational Networks
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Each month thousands of men, women, and children flee Eritrea as a result of grave violations of human rights committed by the Eritrean government. Traveling via Sudan and Egypt, 36,000…

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Refugee Livelihoods in Urban Areas: Case Study Israel
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By Feinstein Center | October 2012

Refugees in urban areas face a specific set of livelihoods problems, and in recent years many aid agencies have begun to try to address these problems by supporting refugees through…

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Refugee Livelihoods in Urban Areas: Case Study Ecuador
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By Feinstein Center | October 2012

Refugees in urban areas face a specific set of livelihoods problems, and in recent years many aid agencies have begun to try to address these problems by supporting refugees through…

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Refugee Livelihoods in Urban Areas: Case Study Egypt
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By Feinstein Center | October 2012

Refugees in urban areas face a specific set of livelihoods problems, and in recent years many aid agencies have begun to try to address these problems by supporting refugees through…

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Refugee Livelihoods in Urban Areas: Identifying Program Opportunities Recommendations for programming and advocacy
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By Feinstein Center | October 2012

Refugees in urban areas face a specific set of livelihoods problems, and in recent years many aid agencies have begun to try to address these problems by supporting refugees through…

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Developing a Profiling Methodology for Displaced People in Urban Areas Final Report
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Increasing numbers of the world’s rural population are moving to urban areas, and refugees, internally displaced people and humanitarian populations are amongst the recently urbanized. UNHCR estimates that almost half…

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Examining Linkages between Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihoods Literature Review
By Feinstein Center | February 2011

In the disaster context emphasis has been generally placed on the initial humanitarian and emergency response. However, recently there has been an increasing recognition of the importance and value of…

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African Migration to Israel Debt, Employment and Remittances
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This report details the migration experience and livelihood choices of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and migrants in Tel Aviv. The research is based on a scoping study conducted by…

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Aid and Violence Development Policies and Conflict in Nepal
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The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) launched its “People’s War” in 1996. The Maoists’ rise to power was impressive by any standard. After a successful showing at the polls for…

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Livelihoods, Migration and Conflict Discussion of Findings from Two Studies in West and North Darfur, 2006 - 2007
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This briefing paper discusses findings from a study conducted in Darfur from 2006-8 that explored the changing role of migration and remittances in the livelihoods of conflict-affected people. We conducted…

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Internal Displacement to Urban Areas: the Tufts-IDMC Profiling Study Case 3: Santa Marta, Colombia
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By Karen Jacobsen, Kimberly Howe | September 2008

The report was done in collaboration with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Geneva. For more than 40 years, Colombians have been subject to chronic violence perpetrated by left-wing guerillas, paramilitaries,…

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Internal Displacement to Urban Areas: the Tufts-IDMC Profiling Study Case 2: Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire
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By Karen Jacobsen | September 2008

This report was done in collaboration with Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Geneva. After a series of political crises, Côte d’Ivoire’s armed conflict erupted in 2002, leading to the division of…

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Internal Displacement to Urban Areas: the Tufts-IDMC Profiling Study Case 1: Khartoum, Sudan
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By Karen Jacobsen | September 2008

This report was done in collaboration with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Geneva. In recent decades Sudan’s North-South civil war and the conflict in Darfur have generated one of the…

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Out-migration, Return, and Resettlement in Karamoja, Uganda The case of Kobulin, Bokora County
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As part of a larger project entitled “Livelihoods and Human Security in Karamoja,” this briefing paper presents findings on causal factors and broad patterns in out-migration among the Bokora population….

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Darfur: Livelihoods Under Siege
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It is almost two years since the beginning of the rebel insurgency in Darfur, but the conflict continues, the ceasefire has been frequently violated, and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis…

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The Alchemy Project: Final Report, 2001-2004
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By Karen Jacobsen | November 2004

The Alchemy Project began in 2001 as a pilot program to explore whether income generating interventions do support the livelihoods of forcibly displaced people. Our long-term goals were to work…

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