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Reports and Resources

The IRC uses our learning and experience to assist people affected by crisis and shape humanitarian policy and practice. Browse our research and resources. 


The long road home—Achieving durable solutions to displacement in Iraq: Lessons from returns in Anbar

In December 2017, after three years of conflict which displaced 5.8 million people, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State group (ISIS). As Coalition-backed Iraqi forces slowly regained territory, many people returned home to start the long process of rebuilding their lives and communities.

February 28, 2018

Violence, uncertainty, and resilience among refugee women and community workers: An evaluation of gender-based violence case management services in the Dadaab refugee camps

Reports of gender-based violence (GBV) are common in camps for refugees and displaced populations. In the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and CARE International (CARE) implement programmes that aim to both respond to and prevent GBV.

February 23, 2018

What Works Dadaab Policy briefing

An evaluation of gender-based violence case management services in the Dadaab refugee camps.

February 23, 2018

Supporting Iraqis to Recover and Rebuild their lives

Investing in a people-centered approach to ‘reconstruction’ At the Iraq Reconstruction Conference hosted by Kuwait in 2018, participants should pledge to build back more than just buildings and roads— supporting the Iraqi people and ensuring that national institutions are effective and accountable will be critical for promoting a peaceful and resilient Iraq. • While 3.2 million people have returned to their areas of origin and many more may desire to do, returns must be voluntary and informed. Donors should prioritize funding for clearance of explosive remnants of war, discourage Iraqi authorities against forced, premature, or blocked returns, and promote alternative solutions to displacement for those who are unwilling or unable to return. • For those displaced by the conflict in Iraq, the ability to work and generate income is consistently reported as one of the highest needs. Donors should invest in longer-term market-based livelihoods interventions across Iraq, particularly for young male and female entrepreneurs who can harness this potential to support their families and revitalize communities. In February 2017, nearly 50% of IDP families were estimated to be missing some form of civil documentation, which are needed to register for humanitarian and governmental assistance, and access education and employment opportunities. Donors should encourage the Iraqi government to expedite judicial processes to issue or replace civil documentation and ensure that national social protection systems are accessible. • Throughout the conflict, many people have been injured or had their property destroyed, and have been unable to attain compensation from Iraqi or Coalition authorities. The Iraqi government should strengthen judicial mechanisms on accountability for conflict-related crimes and allocate adequate resources for formal compensation mechanisms. Members of the Coalition should provide compensation to Iraqi civilians for injuries, loss of life or property resulting from Coalition actions during the conflict. • 50% of public schools in Iraq require rehabilitation. By June 2017, more than 3 million children did not attend school regularly and more than 1.2 million children (including 90% of children in conflict-affected areas) were out of school. Donors should invest in school reconstruction and rehabilitation, as well as clearance of explosive remnants of war from schools. To improve the accessibility and quality of education, the Government of Iraq should ease barriers that inhibit children from re-integrating into formal education and donors should support the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education to ensure teachers are paid their salaries. • After years of exposure to war, insecurity, and risk, millions of Iraqis need to heal from the individual and collective trauma they endured. Donors should invest in family and community-based psychosocial support approaches, encourage the Iraqi government to reduce barriers that inhibit GBV case referrals and sexual assault care in Department of Health facilities, and invest in expanding the mental health and psychosocial support practitioner workforce. • To ensure that collective efforts are sustainable, the donor community must invest in the structures and people who are best placed to champion a peaceful and inclusive Iraq: communities, local civil society, and government institutions. Donors should support INGOs to continue and scale ongoing capacity strengthening efforts with communities and government institutions, and complement our investments by channelling at least 25% of funding for Iraq to local CSOs and by removing barriers that prevent INGOs from partnering with local organizations, in line with commitments made in the Grand Bargain. • Ensure the Iraqi people are kept at the heart of policies and resources. As undertaken by DFID and the EU, all donor governments should clearly define a comprehensive strategy for their activities in Iraq moving forward, underpinned by a people-centered approach which is developed in close consultation with civil society. The expertise and role of civil society and the Iraqi people should be integrated into the conference through comprehensive pre-consultations, representative participation at the event, and speaking roles for international and local civil society actors and affected communities. Finally, any funding mechanisms developed for the conference should be directly accessible by civil society and in order to meet the ongoing humanitarian and protection needs, the 2018 HRP should be fully resourced alongside any additional funds pledged at the conference.

February 8, 2018

From Response to Resilience: Working with Cities and City Plans to Address Urban Displacement

This paper argues for an improved humanitarian response to urban displacement crises by working directly with municipal authorities and through a resilience lens. It draws on the International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and engagement with two municipal authorities, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). The IRC first worked with Amman, a member of the 100RC network, to support their city resilience planning. While Kampala is not in the 100RC network, the IRC replicated its approach in Amman with KCCA to support their own plans and strategies and bring an urban resilience lens to displacement within Kampala. By discussing these relationships and the process behind them, this paper highlights how humanitarian-municipal partnerships can achieve the following benefits: 1. Strengthening coordination, sustainability, and impact of multi-stakeholder responses to urban displacement; 2. Linking humanitarian programming to long-term development goals of the city; 3. Improve the understanding of municipal authorities in relation to the needs and preferences of urban displaced; and 4. Ensure the inclusion of displaced and marginalized residents in municipally-provided public services. Urban displacement cuts across city and humanitarian sectors. It is the collective responsibility of the international community and the localities we serve to strengthen city resilience in the face of urban displacement, and we cannot do so without relying on both humanitarian and municipal actors. Whereas humanitarians have the expertise to respond to crises, municipal actors have the mandate to build from them. Urban resilience asks for both; that we learn to not only respond to displacement crises and aid the communities they affect in equal measure, but, in doing so, to improve those communities to be better prepared for future crises and have a higher overall quality of life; especially for displaced and marginalised city residents.

February 6, 2018

Dangerous ground: Syria's refugees face an uncertain future

As the military situation changed in Syria, and against a backdrop of increased anti-refugee rhetoric and policies across the world, governments began in 2017 to openly contemplate the return of refugees to the country. In this report, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children, Action Against Hunger, CARE International, the International Rescue Committee and the Danish Refugee Council warn that the situation in Syria is far from safe, however, and that the prevailing interest in securing the return of refugees is undermining their safety and dignity in neighbouring countries, creating push factors and increasing the likelihood of forced returns in 2018. It also threatens to limit the options for making a life beyond the region through resettlement or other safe and legal routes.

February 5, 2018

Public service delivery in contexts of urban displacement

This paper discusses how humanitarian actors may help strengthen existing service delivery infrastructures and assist local service providers to meet increasing demand from displaced populations.

December 21, 2017

Transitioning to a government-run refugee and migrant response in Greece: A joint NGO roadmap for more fair and humane policies

More than 2,000 unaccompanied children are on the waiting list for safe shelters in Greece, according to a new report by 12 organizations, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The chronic shortage of accommodation for children is just one of the gaps in services that is worsening as the Greek Government prepares to take full control of the refugee response. 

December 13, 2017

Protecting and empowering adolescent girls from gender-based violence in emergencies

Violence is a daily reality for many adolescent girls around the world, largely due to deeply entrenched social norms and practises that perpetuate gender inequality.

December 8, 2017

No Safe Place: A lifetime of violence for conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan

More than half the girls in South Sudan reported domestic violence, which is exacerbated by the ongoing conflict

November 28, 2017