Strengthening knowledge, evidence use and leadership in the Global South on forced displacement: Focus on Anglophone West Africa
West Africa has witnessed growing levels of conflicts, political violence, the proliferation of armed groups and extreme weather events that have put the lives of millions of people at risk of further displacement in the region. While existing research has identified the drivers, survival strategies and solutions of the vulnerabilities faced by displaced populations, limited knowledge exists on how to support them, and not much is known about the level of access that displaced populations have to existing public services, including education and health. Moreover, little is known about how existing governance systems, legal frameworks and mechanisms can be strengthened to promote services to displaced populations in Burkina Faso and West Africa and there is little knowledge of how gender and intersectionality intersect with the drivers of displacement and livelihood opportunities.
This proposed research chair program on forced displacement, which will be hosted by the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, seeks to address these issues. It will draw on multi-disciplinary, gender-transformative and inter-sectional approaches to conduct research to inform policies and innovative approaches (including the use of art-based materials to address the challenges of forced displacement in West Africa). Through this research chair, the Centre for Migration Studies will contribute to the generation of a localized body of knowledge and to bringing gender-transformative solutions to influence policymaking processes in diverse communities in West Africa. By mentoring early career scholars, this project will contribute to raise the voices and enhance the leadership of young West African scholars on issues pertaining to forced displacement.
This project is part of a cohort of research chairs that will be established in West, Central and East Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Research questions will underline the need to develop and design inclusive rights-based approaches to promoting and protecting the rights of forcibly displaced populations in Ghana and in West Africa more broadly. There will be an emphasis on promoting exchanges between research chairs in these regions.