To take these issues forward, on 15 September 2022, IDOS, on behalf of FFVT, and the Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) jointly organised the online workshop “Forced Migration Studies and Policy Dialogue: Promoting New Ways of Knowledge Production and Policy Transfer”. Participants included German and Canadian government representatives, public and private research funders, refugee-led organisations, and forced migration researchers from the Global South, North and East. The workshop established that localised and contextualised knowledge is necessary to identify new approaches in forced migration studies, provide more legitimacy to the field, and challenge the prevailing policy paradigms dominated by forced migration conceptualisations from the Global North.
Refugee-led research and localisation can unlock context-specific solutions, innovation, and best practices that cannot be developed and conducted otherwise. New ways of knowledge production must therefore ensure the participation of people with a lived experience of forced migration in funding, research and policy from the outset. However, this does not remain without challenges since current structures of knowledge production uphold significant barriers for scholars and practitioners from the Global South and East. Hence, to reach the objectives of localised research, refugee participation and equitable partnerships, a systemic change is needed, and communities of practice must reflect on and deconstruct predominant politics of knowledge production in forced migration studies while acknowledging that they are embedded in postcolonial structures with unequal power relations.
FFVT will further pursue these objectives by moving forward in two directions: (1) advancing the decolonisation of different elements of knowledge production, including funding structures, approaches to research and research methodologies, and (2) fostering cooperation with and among Global South and East networks working on forced migration. This includes building strategic partnerships with actors that combine humanitarian and development approaches among researchers and funding institutions as well.
For further information please refer to the project website: https://www.ffvt.net/