14-15 March 2024 (online)

This online conference marks the culmination of five years of increasing international engagement with the pressing challenge of ‘solutions’ to internal displacement.

In 2024, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement will wrap up the work on this issue begun by his High-Level Panel in 2020 and continued under his Action Agenda. These processes reflect a longstanding preoccupation that, despite decades of efforts including the 1998 UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the humanitarian reform, the acute needs of many internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain unmet and, globally, long-term solutions to their situation appear elusive.

This conference provides a forum for researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students from all disciplines to come together to present, debate and reflect on ‘solutions’ to internal displacement and their future. It offers the chance to develop new research agendas and collaborations. Alongside keynote presentations, it will host ‘thematic’ and ‘open’ panel sessions to share research and analysis from academia and from policy/practice.

See the details below, or download the PDF version here.

1. Thematic ‘Solutions’ Panels: Call for Paper and Panel Proposals

Papers on thematic panels must address some aspect of ‘solutions’. Possible topics include:

  • How do we conceive ‘solutions’ to internal displacement? Is it a useful concept? Are ‘solutions’ to internal displacement identical in all contexts? What do newer ideas such as ‘durable solutions’, ‘transitional solutions’ or ‘development solutions’ add
  • On the location of solutions, is return always the ‘preferred solution’ to internal displacement? How does integration in a new host community work in IDP contexts? Where is the relocation of IDPs justified as a solution to their displacement?
  • How to move from short-term humanitarian assistance to IDPs to long-term solutions to their displacement? How to connect with wider approaches, such as development, peacebuilding, disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation and mitigation?
  • What are roles of different institutions and sectors play in IDP solutions, including the IDPs themselves, the host community, wider society, returning refugees, local and national authorities, international agencies, clusters, civil society etc.?
  • How do law and policy frame and shape solutions for IDPs? Do certain kinds of sectoral interventions make an outsize contribution to solutions, e.g. housing, land and property; civil documentation; family reunification etc.?
  • How to measure achievement of solutions? How good is current data on solutions? What opportunities are there to improve data on solutions? What challenges arise? Are there specific methodological issues in researching solutions in IDP settings?
  • What is the impact of the recent UN work on solutions? Have the High-Level Panel report and the Action Agenda effected change? What is the legacy of the activities carried out by the Special Adviser? What next steps are needed?

These are pointers only and we welcome proposals on any aspect of ‘solutions’ for IDPs.

2. Open ‘Internal Displacement’ Panels: Call for Paper and Panel Proposals

Our open panels offer an open platform for a broader range of high-quality research in this field. We welcome new research or analysis concerning internal displacement or IDPs (i.e. other than on the theme of ‘solutions’). This can be from any disciplinary perspective.

3. How to Submit Proposals for Individual Papers or for Whole Panels

Proposed papers or panels must present new research or analysis. This can be from any theoretical or practitioner perspective and disciplinary standpoint. Proposals can address internal displacement in any context (e.g. conflict, disasters etc.), in any region or country and at any level of response (global, regional, national etc.) – but must focus on internal displacement (i.e. not cross-border displacement, refugees or migration generally).

Please send all paper and panel proposals (of 3-4 papers maximum) for ‘thematic’ and ‘open’ panels to idpconference@sas.ac.uk. We welcome proposals from researchers at any stage in their careers and, particularly, from those working in or on IDP protection in the global South. The deadline for proposals is Friday 17 November 2023.

Proposals for individual papers, whether part of a panel proposal or not, should be Word attachments of 300 words max. Please also send a one paragraph biography (not included in the 300 words for the proposal), noting your time zone. The subject line of your email must state whether your proposal is for a ‘single paper’/‘panel’ and for ‘thematic’/‘open’ panels.

Proposals will be selected by the committee based on quality, relevance, and coherence with other submissions. Initial decisions will be notified by Friday 1 December 2023.

Presenters will be given ten minutes to present the main points of their selected paper to the panel. Each paper will be assigned a commentator and, by submitting a paper, you are agreeing to act as a commentator on another paper. We will invite presentations to be submitted as working papers or short pieces to Researching Internal Displacement.

4. Registration

All attendees, including presenters, will need to register for the conference. Conference registration will open from Friday 1 December 2023 via https://rli.sas.ac.uk/events/internal-displacement-and-solutions

There is a standard registration charge of £15 to cover the administrative costs of running the conference. RLI Affiliates and students on our MA in Refugee Protection, as well as displaced persons, can register for free, please email requests to idpconference@sas.ac.uk. Conference registration for one day only is not available. Tickets are non-refundable.