Washington, DC – Refugee Council USA, Refugee Congress, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council today released Integration Outcomes for Forcibly Displaced Persons, a new report that aims to center the experience and voices of forcibly displaced people (FDPs) in measuring the impact of supports and services intended to promote their wellbeing as well as broader societal outcomes. Co-designed with FDPs themselves, this project proposes a set of FDP-led and data-backed recommendations for reframing the metrics of integration to inform the creation of more effective services and programming.
“The United States is in the midst of an historic, whole-of-society process of rebuilding our systems of humanitarian protection,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “A fundamental component of that work is having a clear idea on what safe, secure, and successful welcome entails from the standpoint of those arriving in the US. Our new report seeks to reconcile how the US government currently assesses integration success with the lived experiences and needs of community members. We trust that the report will be a valuable resource for our coalition members, broader communities of practice, and government partners.”
“As the US rebuilds the humanitarian protection pathways that were decimated under the last administration, we also need to improve upon the way we facilite welcome, inclusion, and integration,” said Refugee Congress Executive Director Nili Sarit Yossinger. “This research represents a groundbreaking approach to better understanding what factors truly contribute to integration of forcibly displaced people in the US, because the approach itself was built and led by people who had themselves experienced forced displacement. We hope the results of this study will provide helpful guidance on how to more accurately measure integration and ultimately, how to better foster welcome and inclusion in our communities.”
RCUSA, Refugee Council, and ECDC believe that affected community members can and should lead efforts to reimagine welcome services and define integration. Through this project, we seek to demonstrate the utility of this constituent leadership approach and outline a path toward refocusing our systems in ways that reflect a comprehensive understanding of integration, one which aligns with the unique needs and goals of FDPs.
“It is important to think about integration as an ongoing journey, rather than a particular milestone to be reached. My own integration journey began sixteen years ago when I was forced to flee my home in Baghdad, Iraq and became a refugee in Syria,” said RCUSA Director of Policy and Practice Taif Jany. “Today, as a new American citizen, that journey continues. I know firsthand that those with lived experience in forced displacement are the best experts to help all of us understand integration challenges and how to alleviate them. I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to help produce this report. I am optimistic that its findings, recommendations, and tools will not only help to bolster our integration policies and services, but also strengthen communities nationwide and build a brighter and more prosperous future for all.”
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RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically