Oxfam’s Pledge on Meaningful Refugee Participation

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Global Compact on Refugees, signed by the international community in December 2018, provided that a Global Refugee Forum should be convened every four years. In December 2019, the first ever Global Refugee Forum took place in Geneva, Switzerland. During the Forum, states and other actors announced some 840 pledges and contributions to advance the objectives of the global compact.

Oxfam supported a pledge on meaningful refugee participation that was proposed by the Global Refugee-Led Network:

In accordance with the commitments established under goal 6 of the Grand Bargain to support a “Participation Revolution,” we, Oxfam, pledge to support the meaningful participation of refugees and host communities in decisions that affect their lives.

Participation should take into account the diversity within communities, including age, gender, and disability.

This pledge will support the agency of those we seek to assist while improving the relevance, quality, transparency and accountability of that assistance.

We, Oxfam, furthermore commit to share experiences on the implementation of this pledge at subsequent Global Refugee Forums and/or high-level officials’ meetings.

In addition, Oxfam made the following specific commitments:

Support refugee-led organisations to become robust organizations that continuously improve their role and share in the overall global humanitarian response by increasing and supporting multi-year investment in the institutional capacities of local and national responders, including refugee-led organisations.

Involve refugees and host communities in the design of programmes from the outset and enable them to participate in decisions and monitoring of Oxfam’s programmes and partnership policies.

In communications to the international and national media and to the public, Oxfam will promote the role of local actors, particularly refugees and host communities, and acknowledge the work they carry out.

Advocate for the inclusion and participation of refugees in national development plans and NRVs for the SDGS.

Include local and national responders, including refugees and host communities, in international, national and local coordination mechanisms.

Advocate for improved leadership and governance mechanisms at the level of the humanitarian country team and cluster/sector mechanisms to ensure engagement with and accountability to refugees and host communities affected in refugee crises.

Strengthen local dialogue and harness technologies to support more agile, transparent feedback to refugees and host communities.