Urban Refugee Research and Social Capital: A Roundtable Report and Literature Review

Lyytinen, E. & Kullenberg, J.
Publication language
Date published
19 Feb 2013
Research, reports and studies
Livelihoods, Forced displacement and migration, Urban

On November 15, 2012, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) convened a Roundtable discussion on urban refugee research. Four presenters shared their research around protection strategies, profiling, livelihood and advocacy for refugees in urban areas. During the discussions among the practitioners, policymakers and researchers, critical gaps regarding urban refugee programming and research were identified. In brief, seven main themes emerged: 1) challenges for programming in urban environments; 2) urban mindset; 3) advocacy; 4) data for programming; 5) livelihoods; 6) role of private sector and technology; 7) and communities, social capital and networks. The first part of the report gives a brief overview of the Roundtable’s presentations and summarizes the discussions.

For the second part of the report, the issue of urban refugee communities and social networks, widely discussed at the Roundtable, was selected as the theme for a literature review. This analytical part of the report focuses on the possibilities and challenges of leveraging social capital and networks within urban refugee communities for improving advocacy, policy and programmatic efforts.