This report draws on the findings of a two-year HPG research project on ‘Dignity in displacement: from rhetoric to reality’. The goal of the project was not to define dignity, but to understand what it meant to affected people in different places, with different cultures and at different times. It explores how refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Lebanon, the Philippines and South Sudan understand dignity, and whether (and how) they feel that their dignity has been upheld in displacement.
It then compares their understanding with that of humanitarian workers in these responses, analysing what this means for humanitarian policy, programme design and implementation more broadly, and the localisation agenda more specifically.
It suggests six recommendations for incorporating dignity into a humanitarian response including:
- Invest time and resources in listening to the affected population from the start of the response, and use this information to inform project design and implementation.
- Use more face-to-face communication, especially in the assessment phase of the humanitarian response, and pay attention to what means of communication are appropriate at each stage.
- To better understand the local culture and language, include anthropologists, sociologists, translators and others in the response, who can help in understanding the affected population and the dynamics of their situation.
- Invest in programmes that promote self-reliance, where possible, and encourage more participation by affected communities in project design and implementation.
Click here for full report.