Forced migration

Our research on forced migration and displacement explores the experiences of refugees and other displacement-affected people across the world (both in the 'Global North' and 'Global South'); we also critically examine government, humanitarian and societal responses to displacement. Particular areas of expertise include the experiences of protracted displacement, and the education and wellbeing of refugees.

Kalehe Camp, Democratic Republic of CongoKalehe Camp, Democratic Republic of Congo (Photo: Nzogo, 2021)

Forced migration

Read more below about selected current and past projects on forced migration, displacement, refugee (re)settlement, and related issues.

  • Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC)

    The intersection of protracted conflict and displacement with recurring climate shocks, alongside the shifting nature of humanitarian responses, presents multiple challenges for how to provide social assistance more effectively in protracted crises.

    BASIC is a project examining why, how and when to use social protection approaches in different crisis contexts, to deliver more effective social assistance so that vulnerable people cope better with crises and meet their basic needs.

    You can read more about the project on IDS's BASIC website

    Funder: FCDO

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer, Tahir Zaman, Suda Perera

    Partners: IDS; University of Wolverhampton

    Project dates: 2020-2024

  • Protracted Displacement Economies

    How do protracted displacement economies operate and how can they be supported to really thrive? The long-term goal of this project is to help realise the vast economic potential of displacement-affected communities around the world.

    You can read more about the project on the Displacement Economies website.

    Funder: GCRF (UKRI)

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer (project lead), Ali Ali, Priya Deshingkar,Anne-Meike Fechter, Ceri Oeppen, Tahir Zaman  

    Partners: Basmeh & Zeitooneh (Lebanon); Covenant Institute (Myanmar); Group de Recherche et d’ÉtudesStratégiques sur le Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo); Institute for Development Studies (UK); Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (Ethiopia); Queen Mary University of London (UK); Sawa for Development and Aid (Lebanon); University of Peshawar (Pakistan). 

    Project dates: 2020-2023

  • Well-being and the Digital Worlds of Refugee Children

    This project aims to examine the multiple ways in which Unaccompanied Refugee Children and Young People (URCYP) engage with digital resources. In doing so, we seek to identify the resources which offer support to URCYP, for example, online resources and social media which support education, language learning and the building of social connections and belonging. We will also explore the risks that access to unfamiliar social media, online material and (transnational) social connections can present for the safety and well-being of URCYP.

    Funder: UKRI

    SCMR people: Linda Morrice

    Partners: Hummingbird; KRAN; University of Brighton

    Project dates: 2022-2023

  • Transnational Figurations of Displacement (TRAFIG)

    Current policies struggle to find solutions to forced displacement. Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are often stuck in ‘limbo’, i.e., living in situations of vulnerability, dependency and immobility, due to continuous cycles of displacement and a lack of durable options. The project therefore explores whether and how protracted displacement, dependency and vulnerability are related to the factors of connectivity and mobility. It further looks at how in turn, connectivity and mobility can be operationalized to enhance the self-reliance and resilience of displaced people. 

    TRAFIG final report 

    A special issue based on TRAFIG was published in JEMS.

    You can read more about the project on the TRAFIG website.

    Funder: Horizon 2020

    SCMR people: Nuno Ferreira, Anne-Meike Fechter, Russell King, Pamela Kea, Laura Moro┼čanu 

    Partners: BICC (Bonn International Center for Conflict Studies); Addis Ababa University; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute); Danube University Krems; Dignity Kwanza – Community Solutions; FIERI (Forum of International and European Research on Immigration); ICMPD (International Centre for Migration Policy Development); SHARP (Society for Human Rights & Prisoners’ Aid); Universiteit Leiden; Yarmouk University. 

    Project dates: 2019-2022

  • RefugeesWellSchool

    The overall objective of the RefugeesWellschool is to further the evidence-base on the role of preventive, school-based interventions in promoting refugee and migrant adolescents’ mental well-being, and on how they can be implemented in diverse educational settings. A specific aim is on interventions furthering social support networks and social cohesion. The project mission is to build and spread knowledge on how psychosocial support interventions work for adolescent migrants and newcomers in schools.

    You can read more about the project on the RefugeesWellSchool website.

    Funder: European Union

    SCMR people: Charles Watters

    Partners: Ghent University; KULeuven; NKVTS; University of Copenhagen; University of Tampere; Uppsala University

    Project dates: 2018-2022

  • Assessment of education strategy responses to the Syrian crisis in Jordan

    The Assessment of Education Strategies and Interventions Adopted in Jordan as a Response to the Syrian Crisis mixed methods research project examined how educational interventions in Jordan have enabled access to quality education for Syrian and Jordanian students and fostered social cohesion in Jordan. Quantitative data was collected from over 3,000 students at different categories of MoE schools (host community, Syrian second shift, regular and camp schools), and non-formal learning settings (NFLCs). In depth qualitative data was collected via interviews with school principals and teachers, classroom observations, and focus groups with students and parents.

    Project Report

    You can see links to other outputs on the project website

    Funder: Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development

    SCMR people: Linda Morrice, Mariam Attia, Marcos Delprato, Gillian Hampden-Thompson, Yusuf Sayed

    Project dates: 2018-2020

  • Supporting Exiled Syrian Academics in Preparing Journal Articles

    This project comprises a writing workshop held in Istanbul over five days in 2019. The participants are all Syrian academics in exile who have been undertaking research into the role of Syrian higher education in future post-conflict reconstruction. The findings from their research have relevance beyond Syria and contribute to a broader debate on the role that higher education can play following conflict.

    Funder: British Academy

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer

    Project dates: 2019

  • Aspirations and Experiences of Refugee Background students

    This project focused on refugee background students (RBS), refugee families and foster carers of RBS aiming to highlight the experiences of RBS and their families, and identifying new ideas and approaches for supporting progression to higher education. 

    Final report

    Policy brief

    Funder: Sussex Learning Network

    SCMR people: Linda Morrice

    Partners: The Hummingbird Project; Sanctuary on Sea; the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS)

    Project dates: 2018

  • Optimising Refugee Resettlement in the UK

    Refugee resettlement is a vital tool in the system of international protection. It provides a way for countries, like the UK, to offer support and solidarity in responding to refugee movements occurring elsewhere. This project used a combination of focus groups, quantitative survey research and individual interviews to investigate well-being and integration of resettled refugees in Brighton & Hove, Greater Manchester, Norwich, and Sheffield. It was the largest longitudinal study of refugee resettlement ever undertaken in the UK. Ultimately, we hope that the research will contribute to improving the resettlement experience for refugees in the UK and beyond.

    Read the Project Report.

    Read blogs from particpants at the Optimising Refugee Resettlement conference.

    Funder: ESRC

    SCMR people: Michael Collyer, Rupert Brown, Linda Morrice 

    Project dates: 2013-2017