Ten Years after Humanitarian Reform: How have IDPs Fared?

This study assessed whether institutional reforms of the humanitarian system have improved IDP protection and assistance. It was also determined what the extent was to which national authorities are protecting and assisting IDPs within their borders. In answering the research question ‘what impact has humanitarian reform had on the lives of IDPs, this study concludes that overall humanitarian reform has strengthened the international response to IDPs and that many IDPs are better off in 2014 than they were in 2004. But some are better off because of changed political conditions rather than humanitarian reform while others remain in terrible situations despite the efforts of the international community. IDPs are not protected by either their governments or by the international community in many instances. The international humanitarian response to IDPs is more coordinated and more effective, but this study underlines that there are limits to humanitarian action in preventing and resolving displacement. While overall international response to IDPs has improved (although there are still distressing shortcomings even in response) it is hard to be too positive given the increasing number of IDPs in the world and the protracted nature of their displacement.