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LERRN-IDRC Webinar | By Refugees, For Refugees: Refugee leadership beyond the pandemic

December 15, 2020 at 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Location:Online Event

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The third webinar in the LERRNIDRC webinar series on forced displacement builds from this blog published by the Kaldor Centre in April 2020 and focuses on refugee participation and leadership.

This webinar will explore the factors that influence the impact of refugee-led organizations (RLOs) as service-delivery providers in humanitarian settings before and during COVID-19. In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, when international actors are limited in their mobility and access, RLOs are increasingly becoming frontline responders that provide vital assistance to displaced communities. This webinar aims to discuss how we can move the debate from a normative commitment to refugee participation and leadership to concrete measures that address the many barriers refugees-led organizations face in responding to local needs. Panelists include refugee leaders, donors, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers, who will consider innovative solutions with and for refugees and engagement of refugee-led organizations during the pandemic and beyond.

Video recording & post-webinar report


Opening and closing comments from Kathryn Toure, Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, IDRC


  • Pascal Zigashane, Action pour le Progres, Kenya
  • Diala Ayman, Molham Team, Lebanon
  • Stella Ogunlade, UNHCR Geneva
  • Gillian Gillen, Global Affairs Canada

The LERRN-IDRC webinar series on forced displacement serves to create a forum for engagement between localized perspectives by actors from significant refugee-hosting contexts with Canadian and global policymakers. Engaging with current forced migration debates within the context of COVID-19, the webinars seek to amplify the voices and perspectives of partners closest to the issues. These seminars will address several dimensions of forced displacement, such as education, health, and refugee leadership, within broader questions on migration drivers and sustainable knowledge ecosystems in the Global South.

The first webinar discussed the recommendations brought forth by the Honourable Bob Rae’s report on Canada’s role in mobilizing a global response to the enormous global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the specific challenges faced by the international refugee system. The webinar attracted almost 200 participants, bringing together scholars and practitioners from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Please access a summary and recording of this webinar here.

The second webinar, focusing on refugee education, raised pertinent questions on how we can collectively leverage returns on investment in refugee education for durable solutions and livelihood outcomes and prioritize gendered and intersectional cleavages to ensure accessible quality education for refugee girls and boys. Notably and timely, it explores the lessons learned from the COVID-19 context on distance/online learning to inform disaster preparedness within refugee camps and urban settings to sustain access to education for refugees. Please access a summary and recording of this webinar here.