Urban Refugees in the Humanitarian System: Strategic Stakeholder Engagement
A Simulation-Based Professional Development Course
Lessons Learned is currently in the process of negotiating a course delivery in Amman, Jordan, in April 2020.
Note that the course title and focus is still under discussion and may change. However, like any LLST course delivery, our delivery shall include an ethical exploration of stakeholders in refugee response, with the goal of re-centering the human subjects of humanitarianism in the minds of current and prospective humanitarian workers.
Course Length: TBA (2 to 3 days)
What will I learn?
Here is a sample outline of a previous course. However, the final course outline will change.
Participants learn to map the goals and motivations of stakeholders in the context of long-term displacement, and study how long-term displacement scenarios require a blend of development and humanitarian approaches. You will explore the complex social, political, and economic dynamics which arise from the interplay between key stakeholders in long-term crises. The course acts as a bridge between cutting-edge academic theory, critical “red teaming” approaches to complex challenges, and humanitarian and development practice.
In completing this course, participants will be able to…
- Describe linkages between development and humanitarian practice in long-term crises.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the social and political dynamics of urban refugee response scenarios, the systems which underlie those dynamics, and how these systems relate to development goals.
- Map motivations and goals of multiple stakeholders in urban refugee response, including those of refugees.
- Communicate possible motivations and goals of people experiencing displacement, and contrast them with common humanitarian assumptions and narratives.
- Describe and predict possible breakdowns in international interventions by discussing past examples.
- Critically but constructively engage with humanitarian and development work in general and their own work in particular, in order to improve the quality of humanitarian intervention.
Who should take this course?
This course is geared towards current development and humanitarian workers, government workers, and other donor staff who are interested in improving their practical understanding of urban refugee response scenarios in particular and improving their communication skills with target communities in general. Other interested parties are welcome to apply, but course material assumes a familiarity with humanitarian or development sectors.
How does this course bring together humanitarian and development practice?
There is an increasing acceptance among humanitarian workers that displacement scenarios can no longer be viewed as emergencies, and instead require long-term development approaches to address the needs of “beneficiaries”. While the chief case study of this course is refugee response, the themes of this course—stakeholder analysis, improved outreach to target communities, and an increased effort to understand goals and motivations of a wide range of actors—apply equally to development and humanitarian contexts.
I represent a donor organization. How is this course relevant to me?
Understanding how target communities and international interveners interact is a major theme of this course, with particular focus on goals and motivations of affected people. When donors better understand the needs and motivations of “beneficiaries” and how to look for signs of communication breakdown, donors will be better able to assess whether proposed projects will succeed in meeting the social and political requirements for long-term success.
Who are the instructors?
Course designer and instructor Matthew Stevens has worked with refugees and migrants globally since 2008, from downtown Cairo to the Peruvian Amazon. Most recently, he served as Country Director for an INGO in Amman, Jordan, delivering online higher education to displaced youth. Course Manager Johanna Reynolds is a global leader in the delivery of professional development courses for refugee response workers.
Lessons Learned courses are built around rigorously designed educational simulations, adapted from the “IN-Simulation” methodology developed by Prof. Natasha Gill (TRACK4) and the innovative simulation-based teaching methodologies of Prof. Rex Brynen at McGill University.