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Forced Migration and Refugees

 Projects    Experts 

Due to multiple crises and conflicts worldwide, the global population of forcibly displaced people increased substantially in the last decade. 42.7 million people were forcibly displaced in 2007, reaching 68.5 million in 2017. 25.4 million of the forcibly displaced are refugees. Durable solutions are necessary for the protection of refugees and improving their wellbeing. Additionally, actions regarding child-specific outcomes like education are important since 52 percent of the refugees are children. Effective solutions require collaborative efforts from multiple partners including international organizations, donors, and host countries.  Development Analytics focuses on forced migration and refugees in its work programme in the Middle East and Africa region with a focus on Turkey and Lebanon, specializing in mixed methods evaluations for the assessment of the projects providing support for refugees.



Addressing 'Grey Areas' in Regulations for the Financial Inclusion of Refugee Entrepreneurs and Digital Identity/Digital Credit Solutions

Refugees, Financial Inclusion, Digital Identification

July 2020 - Ongoing

The financial inclusion of Syrian refugees is one of the vital issues of the Turkish economy. Both as employees and entrepreneurs, Syrian refugees, have been contributing to the economy; however, they face various challenges in their daily lives vis-a-vis authorities and financial institutions.  In response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD") has developed a Refugee Crisis Response Programme. This study is designed under this Programme, and the overall objective of the study is to support the EBRD's efforts in improving the financial inclusion of refugee entrepreneurs in Turkey. Better access to financing opportunities is likely to help Syrian enterprises grow their business and thus, accelerate the Turkish economy's growth and increase export potential.

The study aims to shed light on the current situation about the financial inclusion of refugee entrepreneurs, determine how Digital Identification Technologies might play a role in refugees' access to finance, and identify global approaches and best practices regarding refugees' access to finance. The study will also provide the design of a pilot project with potential partners to employ these tech-based solutions to support refugee entrepreneurs.

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Annual Update of the Targeting System for Multipurpose Cash and Food Assistance in Lebanon

Poverty, Cash Transfers, Targeting, Refugees, Proxy Means Testing

July 2020 - Ongoing

Since 2018, the Development Analytics team has developed, calibrated, and assessed the accuracy of the proxy-means targeting model for the annual unconditional cash assistance programs to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This study takes a mixed-methods approach the developing the targeting system. On the quantitative side, the study relies on recently developed econometric tools that use a combination of survey and administrative data and out-of-sample testing methods to target the vulnerable population in an environment with imperfect information on the vulnerability. The qualitative work harnesses extensive interaction with field staff and refugees to identify the core challenges with the systematic quantitative approach to help develop a grievance redress mechanism for implementing agencies.

Read the Paper: "Targeting humanitarian aid using administrative data: Model design and validation"


ESSN Mid-Term Review 2018/2019

Refugees, cash transfers

October 2019 - February 2020

Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country in the world. There are 4 million registered refugees in Turkey, of whom 3.6 million are Syrian refugees. The ESSN launched in December 2016 with the objective of stabilising or improving living standards of the most vulnerable out-of-camp refugee households. The ESSN was designed in conjunction with the Government of Turkey and is implemented through a partnership between WFP, TK, the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services (MoFLSS) and Halkbank.

The World Food Programme (WFP) Turkey Country Office on behalf of the ESSN stakeholders commissioned this mid-term review of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), funded by the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO). The first phase of the ESSN (ESSN 1) ran from September 2016, with roll-out starting in early 2017; while ESSN 2 commenced in January 2018 and will run until March 2020. This review covers the period from May 2018 to November 2019. In collaboration with Oxford Policy Management (OPM), Development Analytics was involved in organising fieldwork, carrying out focus group discussions and key informant interviews, and conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis for the study.

📖 Download the Report 

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Annual Re-estimation of the Proxy Means Test Regression Model Used to Target Refugees for Multipurpose Cash in Lebanon

Poverty, Cash Transfers, Targeting, Refugees, Proxy Means Testing

April 2018 - October 2019

To determine the socio-economic vulnerability of the population of concern and subsequently target families to benefit from cash and food assistance programmes, UNHCR, WFP, and partners in relevant sectors use an econometric formula, predicting expenditure (proxy means test) of refugee households in Lebanon. The Basic Assistance and Food Security Sectors use these predictions as the Desk Formula to select beneficiaries for multi-purpose cash and food assistance programmes. To ensure that up-to-date information is feeding into the targeting methodology and that there is the consistency of implementation between UNHCR’s multipurpose cash programme, WFP’s food assistance programmes and programmes of relevant sector partners, the Desk Formula is re-estimated on an annual basis.

In 2018, Development Analytics re-estimated the Desk Formula and thereby refined the targeting approach for multi-purpose cash and food assistance interventions to meet the food and other basic needs of refugees in Lebanon. This year, Development Analytics has been re-contracted for the 2019 annual re-estimation.


Decentralised Evaluation of the ECHO funded Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) in Turkey

Refugees, cash transfers

May 2017 - April 2018

Turkey has the largest refugee population of any country in the world with 2.8 million Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey. The Emergency Social Safety Net Programme (ESSN) will provide at least 1 million refugees with an unconditional and unrestricted cash transfer of 100 TL per month making it the largest ever EU-supported humanitarian cash transfer programme. The programme is available to all foreigners with refugee status who live off-camp and are under temporary protection or international protection. The programme is funded by the European Commission through European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is implemented through the Turkish government social welfare system by means of an ATM cash card. The WFP is a key stakeholder in the project and worked closely with ECHO to design and implement the programme. The interim evaluation assesses the first year of the programme’s implementation and is aimed to be used to inform decision-making in the second year. In collaboration with Oxford Policy Management, Development Analytics was involved in organising fieldwork, carrying out focus group discussions and key informant interviews, and conducting qualitative data analysis.

📖 Download the Report 


Thematic Studies on the Extension of the CCTE Programme to Refugees in Turkey

Refugees, cash transfers, education

May 2018 – February 2019

As of 2018, over 3.8 million Syrians were under temporary protection of whom 1.8 million of them are children. The magnitude of the problem and the high number of Syrians in the country required establishing various social protection programmes. The Government of Turkey along with UNICEF and other partners have put a significant amount of effort as a response to this crisis. One of these actions is the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE). This CCTE programme has cash and a protection component where families receive financial support for every child attending school. This study analysed the key aspects related to the access and effects of the programme for working children, including (i) seasonal agricultural labour, (ii) boys and girls, (iii) children of different age groups (1-4th grade, 5-8th grade, 9-12th grade). The aim of the study was to understand the supply and demand-side bottlenecks that hinder these children’s access to the CCTE programme and payments as well as Child Protection visits. To this end, 23 FGDs with children and their parents were conducted in three provinces, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Adana in addition to 14 key informant interviews with programme implementers and MONE staff in these provinces. 


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Meltem Aran, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Meltem is a human development economist with research focusing on poverty, inequality, and overall distributional impact of social policies. Since 2004, she has been involved in various research projects and impact evaluations relating to poverty and human development with the World Bank in East Asia, ECA, and MENA regions.

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Gökçe Baykal, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Gökçe is a political scientist and her work focuses on the political and socio-economic impacts of poverty alleviation programs on poor people. Most recently she has been working on conditional cash transfers in Turkey and her work investigates whether transferring cash with conditions to the poor empower their social citizenship or produce/reproduce linkages, their obligations to reciprocate in terms of supporting the political party allocating them.

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Kristen Biehl.Ph.D
Research Associate

Kristen is an anthropologist with a primary interest in studying migration, diversity, and urban change.  Since 2006 she has worked both professionally and academically in the field of immigration and asylum policy and practice in Turkey and has taken part in different research projects funded by the British Council,  the European Union, Husnu M. Ozyegin Foundation, and  UNICEF.  


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Onur Altindag, Ph.D_
Onur Altindag, Ph.D
Research Associate

​Onur Altindag is an assistant professor of Economics at Bentley University. His research interests lie primarily at the intersection of population and health economics. His early work focused on fertility preferences and their impact on maternal and infant health. In his dissertation.

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Emre Eren Korkmaz, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Dr. Korkmaz is a political scientist and his departmental lecturer in Migration and Development at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID). One of his main research areas includes the analysis of the actual and potential results of blockchain and AI-based humanitarian projects and digital identity initiatives on dealing with refugee questions.

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Aytuğ Şaşmaz
Aytuğ Şaşmaz
Research Associate

Aytug Sasmaz is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Government Department of Harvard University. He holds degrees in political science from Bogazici University (BA), LSE (MSc), and Brown University (MA). Prior to his doctoral training, he worked as an education policy analyst at the Education Reform Initiative in Turkey, executing research and evaluation projects in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education, UNICEF, and World Bank. 

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Şenay Özd
Şenay Özden
Research Associate

Şenay is a cultural anthropologist and a researcher. Her research areas include international migration, refugees, Turkish state’s refugee policies, politics of humanitarian aid.

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Zeynep Balcioglu
Zeynep Balcioglu
Research Associate

Zeynep is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University. She passed doctoral exams in the fields of comparative politics, public policy, and research design and methodology. She studies forced migration, social policy and welfare provision mostly in the Middle East and Balkans. 

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Marc Petzoldt
Marc Petzoldt
Humanitarian (refugee and migration) and development specialist

Marc is a Targeting Assistance Expert and humanitarian aid project manager. He has over twenty years of international experience in migration and refugee program management. Marc has specialized knowledge in targeting, notably designing and managing cash-based-interventions in humanitarian projects.

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Laetitia Lemaistre
Refugee and Education Specialist

Laetitia Lemaistre is an education specialist who focuses on refugee education, education in emergencies and conflict contexts, and humanitarian coordination. She is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Education at University College London and her research interests lie in urban refugee children’s access to formal education.

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Nazlı Aktakke Quantitative Research Anal
Nazlı Aktakke
Senior Quantitative Research Analyst

Nazli is a senior quantitative researcher at Development Analytics with experience working on a wide range of topics including cash transfer programs, labour force participation of women, and health and education outcomes of children. 

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satanay kaghadou
Satanay Kaghadou
Arabic Speaking Field Coordinator

Satanay holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Sustainable Urban Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Damascus University. She has experience in working with private, public sectors, and NGOs. She speaks, Arabic, English, and French.

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