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UnSettlement: Urban displacement in the 21st Century

The increasingly long-term and intractable nature of displacement, particularly for people in low and middle-income countries, means that camp settings are not a viable option in the long term.

In the 21st century urban centres have increasingly become destinations for internally displaced people. This is not a new phenomenon, but its real scale at regional and global levels is not known. We also know little about the extent to which cities provide safe havens for those internally displaced and the degree to which they are able to establish new urban lives. And we have only limited insights into how displacement shapes urban systems as well as the way displacement risk is generated within cities.

Our new thematic series seeks to fill the information gap by exploring the scale, nature, and dynamics of urban internal displacement across the world from the perspective of both internally displaced people and that of the cities they flee to.



Research agenda and call for partners


Research agenda and call for partners

We are embarking on a programme of research that will involve partnerships with a wide range of experts and institutions. For this, we invite those interested to join our effort.

Download research agenda and call for partners (PDF, 0.6 MB)


City of challenge and opportunity - Employment and livelihoods for internally displaced people in Maiduguri, Borno State (Nigeria)

City of challenge and opportunity

Almost 300,000 internally displaced people live in Maiduguri, Nigeria, a country where displacement is driven by a number of factors including insecurity – mainly due to Boko Haram - weak governance and climate change. The large-scale influx of IDPs in urban centres challenges existing social dynamics as competition for scarce jobs and resources increases, however at the same time it can create socioeconomics gains as IDPs bring skills, resources and other assets that benefit cities. The first case study of the thematic series explores the challenges and opportunities for IDPs in Maiduguri and their participation in the city’s economy.

Download the case study (PDF, 0.4 MB)

Download all documents (ZIP, 0.9MB)