Original Source: Carleton Newsroom 

As levels of forced displacement continue to grow around the world, Carleton University is contributing to improved responses through partnered research, teaching and community engagement at a global scale.

Carleton’s James Milner, Associate Professor of Political Science has been appointed as co-chair of the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN) ─ a group of 213 university members from countries around the world formed from the Global Compact on Refugees.

A professionally dressed man wearing glasses looks away from the camera while holding a pen and a book.

Prof. James Milner (Photo: Aryan Barzani, 2023)

Through his initial three-year term as co-chair, Milner will work alongside Professor Liliana Lyra Jubilut, Universidade Católica de Santos, Brazil, to advance the international effort that higher education can take in response to the growing and complex topic of forced migration and displacement. They will facilitate research, training and scholarship opportunities in support of the objectives of the Global Compact.

“GAIN members believe that rigorous academic research can contribute to better responses to forced migration, that the awareness raised through teaching makes publics more understanding of refugee protection principles and that institutions of higher learning can play tangible roles as partners responding to displacement,” said Milner at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December.

One of Milner’s key priorities as GAIN co-chair is to support and promote the inclusion of refugees and other forced migrants as equal partners in all stages of the research process. Each of the priorities set by GAIN acknowledge that the perspectives and knowledge of individuals with lived experiences strengthen and legitimize the evidence-based solutions that contribute to transformative, lasting change and the vital role that universities play in identifying and creating the conditions that foster inclusivity.

GAIN, alongside leadership partners including Carleton’s LERRN: Local Engagement Refugee Research Network, also led by Milner, and the International Development Research Centre Canada (IRDC), will deliver on key outcomes of a multistakeholder pledge, supported by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.

“The core objective of the pledge,” said Milner, “is to contribute to more effective right-place responses to displacement by investing in and amplifying locally-produced knowledge, and quality partnerships with academia, globally.”

The Global Compact that GAIN is a part of was affirmed by the UN General Assembly in December 2018.

Milner is the current Project Director of LERRN: The Local Engagement Refugee Research Network, researcher, practitioner and policy advisor on issues relating to migration and diaspora in the context of policy and politics.