Displaced Livelihoods Initiative

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In this image:A Rohingya refugee entrepreneur in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who runs her chilli paste business from her home. © 2017 Krisha Vishinpir / Shutterstock
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Logos for Displaced Livelihoods Initiative, IPA, J-PAL, and IKEA Foundation, all in a row

Displacement is at an all-time high and is projected to climb in the coming decades, pushing the international donor, practitioner, and researcher communities to seek more cost-effective, long-term solutions to displacement. This has led to an increased effort to strengthen livelihoods, self-reliance, and economic inclusion. More evidence is needed, however, about what interventions best support sustainable livelihoods for displaced populations and host communities, and at what cost.

The IKEA Foundation is supporting Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) to generate and share new evidence on the impacts of livelihoods programs for displaced populations and host communities. Under this Initiative, IPA and J-PAL manage calls for proposals, form partnerships with displacement actors and researchers, and support the translation of funded research into policy and practice. Ultimately, research supported by the Initiative will support the design of better policies and programs to enable refugees and others forced to flee to rebuild their lives.

Please see the list of projects funded by the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative here.

Calls for Proposals

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IPA hosts a call for proposals for research in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

IPA Call for Proposals


J-PAL hosts a call for proposals for research in Europe and MENA.

J-PAL Call for Proposals


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Africa, Asia, and Latin America


To connect about research in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, please reach out to displacement@poverty-action.org.

Contact IPA

Europe and MENA


To connect about research in Europe or the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), please reach out to dli@povertyactionlab.org.

Contact J-PAL
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Innovations for Poverty Action’s 2023 Pledges to the Global Refugee Forum

In the lead-up to the Global Refugee Forum, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is pledging to advance our work in closing the gaps in understanding how best to meet the needs of displaced populations and the communities that host them. With more than 110 million displaced people globally, now more than ever, we need reliable, comparable, and timely data to identify durable solutions and achieve predictable and equitable outcomes for refugees, other forcibly displaced and stateless people, and host communities.

Evidence from rigorous research can help decision-makers better understand how to improve the design, reach, targeting, relevance, delivery, and effectiveness of policies and programs responding to displacement. While the number of rigorous impact evaluations of policies and programs for displacement-affected populations has grown since the last Global Refugee Forum in 2019, there are still significant knowledge gaps and, therefore, a need for more evidence on which policies and programs meaningfully strengthen outcomes for displacement-affected communities, and at what cost. With this in mind, IPA has made the following pledges while acting as a technical co-convener on the Data and Evidence pillar of the Multistakeholder Pledge on Economic Inclusion and Social Protection, aiming to advance measurement and evidence generation on self-reliance, economic inclusion, and social protection outcomes.

Equipping Decision-Makers with Evidence for Effective Responses and Sustainable Solutions to Displacement

Over the past five years, IPA has been supporting Section 3.3 of the Global Compact on Refugees on Data and Evidence by conducting and funding many of the first rigorous impact evaluations of policies and programs for displacement-affected populations. IPA intends to continue this work between now and the 2027 Global Refugee Forum, by conducting and/or funding at least 15 rigorous impact evaluations and related research projects on livelihoods, early-childhood development, dual generation approaches, service provision, social cohesion, and decision-making among displacement-affected populations. Based on this research, we will engage with policymakers, practitioners, and donors that work on displacement to: 1) Ensure evidence is applied in policy and program design, 2) augment support for evidence use and rigorous evaluation, and 3) catalyze investments in further evidence-generation.

The Displaced Livelihoods Initiative: Evidence for Sustainable Economic Inclusion

In addition, IPA and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), with funding from the IKEA Foundation, pledge to support at least 20 rigorous impact evaluations and related projects on sustainable livelihoods for displacement-affected populations through the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative (DLI). Through the DLI, IPA and J-PAL will a) invest in new and existing partnerships with major displacement actors working on pathways to livelihoods and self-reliance for displacement-affected populations; b) translate supported research into practice and influence by sharing results strategically and equipping decision-makers to use this evidence in the design of policies and programs; and c) host at least four research incubator workshops designed to introduce implementing partners, who have identified important policy and programming questions, to the fundamentals of rigorous impact evaluations. These workshops will support implementer teams in the process of designing research projects and build the capacity of partners to participate in rigorous research.

IPA and J-PAL are committed to supporting the work of those with lived experience of displacement and local researchers, as well as investing in local partnerships. We will continue to report on how many supported projects include a) the meaningful involvement of individuals with lived experience of displacement and b) researchers from the country where the research takes place.