Refugee Hosts is delighted to announce the launch of a new project, led by our project partner, the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities Refugee Hub, in collaboration with UNHCR, Islamic Relief Worldwide and University College London.

The project, made possible by generous funding from the European Commission Department for International Cooperation and Development, is titled “The Roles of Faith and Local Faith Communities in Supporting Refugees”. This project dovetails with Refugee Hosts research into the roles of local faith communities in responding to displacement in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

You can read more about our research here by visiting our Faith and Displacement blog series. We have also written a report titled “Local Faith Community Responses to Displacement from Syrian in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey: Emerging Evidence and New Approaches“, which touches on themes that will be explored in more detail by this new project. 

The full press release for the project launch is below: 

New Partnership between UNHCR and JLI with UCL and IRW:

The Roles of Faith and Local Faith Communities in Supporting Refugees.




The Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) is pleased to announce a research collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in 2018-2019. Generously funded by the European Commission Department for International Cooperation and Development, the project, titled “The Roles of Faith and Local Faith Communities in Supporting Refugees” aims to examine the ways in which local communities provide different forms of support to, and advocate for the protection of refugees in Honduras, Mexico, Uganda, Germany, and Lebanon.

The research will involve interviews and focus groups with approximately 180 refugees, members of host communities, and faith leaders in Honduras, Mexico, Uganda, Germany and Lebanon. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at University College London and Atallah Fitzgibbon at Islamic Relief Worldwide, the co-chairs of the JLI Refugee and Forced Migration Learning Hub. Dr Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Dr. Olivia Wilkinson, JLI Director of Research, will oversee the action-research project, which aims to generate locally-grounded evidence and identify examples of good practices of community-led responses to refugees across these diverse countries. We will then draw on this multi-sited evidence to inform the development of a pilot training module for local faith actors and international partners seeking to work with each other.

Project activities will examine the role of local communities and local faith actors in responding to the needs and rights of refugees in the above countries within the context of the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and upholding the New York Declaration’s commitment to meaningful consultation and engagement with diverse stakeholders. The first phases of the project include the completion of interviews, a desk-based evidence review, and preparation of case studies of locally-led responses which will serve as inputs to the Global Compact on Refugees.

Other activities will focus on creating a pilot training module to not only build capacity but also raise awareness between local faith actors and international partners. The training will help to inform new audiences in the humanitarian and development field of the existing and growing evidence base on the nuances of religious, and faith-based work for refugee response. It will also provide implementable recommendations for UNHCR and other stakeholders to improve partnership and the effectiveness of humanitarian response to people affected by displacement.

For more information please contact Dr. Olivia Wilkinson at


Featured Image: Baddawi refugee camp in North Lebanon has been hosting refugees from Syria since the outbreak of the conflict. The Masjid al-Quds mosque – in the background – is at the geographical and metaphorical core of the camp. Masjid al-Quds overlooks the cemetery, the camp’s ultimate shared space in life and death for new and established refugees alike. (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 



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