Evidence and Lessons on Integrated Services for Refugees and Host Citizens in Developing Countries

1st May 2020
Author: Luke Kelly

This helpdesk report reviews the evidence on refugee caseloads being absorbed into host government social service provision such as education, health and the right to work in developing countries. Given that integrated services for refugees are a recent phenomenon and their implementation has not been completed, there is limited evidence from the compacts in the Middle East, East Africa or elsewhere. Lessons emerging from available evidence include the following: better measurement of the compacts that focus on outcomes for refugees and host populations, rather than outputs are needed; schemes that seek to integrate refugees into the host country services should involve more stakeholders in order to make sure that they accurately reflect needs and constraints on the ground; more analysis of context-specific constraints, such as bureaucracy or harassment of women, should be undertaken to better adjust policies to local realities; plans based on accurate evidence and data on factors such as local market conditions, refugee skills and resource availability in each context; concrete measures to specifically address xenophobia and any plans regarding integration, self-reliance or other aspects of early and durable solutions must be preceded by efforts to secure identity, upon which the ability to exercise any other rights is premised.

Suggested Citation

Kelly, L. (2020). Evidence and lessons on integrated services for refugees and host citizens in developing countries. K4D Helpdesk Report 804. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


1st May 2020


Continent: Africa, Asia

Country: Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Uganda