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Local Integration

  • Author: Sarah Meyer
  • Date: August 2008
  • Last updated: 6 August 2008

Abstract

This research guide provides an in-depth examination of local integration as a durable solution and focuses on three key developments within research, policy and practice. Firstly, it looks at local integration at a policy level, as a potential durable solution to the impasse of protracted refugee situations. Secondly, it examines the increased policy, scholarly and advocacy interest related to the issue of self-settled refugees. Thirdly, contemporary work on ‘refugee livelihoods’ has revealed that integration can be a form of livelihood strategy for refugees. It also examines local integration as a process of interaction between refugees and host communities, examining the issue of ‘de facto’ local integration as well as self-settled refugees. As such, this research guide will also examine the implications of an ‘actor-oriented’ view of local integration. This requires analysis of what integration implies for refugees and host community members. Fieldwork-derived examples are presented that display the importance of host and refugee relations in the process of integration, thus emphasizing the ‘local’ in local integration. The research guide aims to outline and delineate these debates and issues. Beginning with definitional issues, the guide will also outline the various methodological challenges in researching local integration. Some of these issues are generalizable to research in forced migration more broadly. Nonetheless, researching local integration does raise some specific challenges, including identification of integrated refugees and methods of measuring integration.

Keywords

Local integration, durable solutions, self-settled refugees, de facto integration, refugee livelihoods.

Last updated Sep 08, 2011