UNHCR and SIPRI join forces to strengthen analysis and research on forced displacement

By bringing their expertise together, the two organisations aim to bring forward solid peace and conflict analysis with the view to better inform policies and strategic interventions on addressing root causes and supporting initiatives focused on solutions.

UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency, and The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) have formed a knowledge partnership with the aim to better understand, through research and analysis, the drivers of forced displacement and how to address their root causes.

More than 71 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and forced displacement has become a major obstacle to the well-being and development of entire regions. By recognising the global challenge to well-being, human security and sustainable development that large-scale and protracted forced displacement situations present, the two organisations acknowledged the need for more investment in research and analysis, including on how to bridge the gap between humanitarian-development-peace nexus actors in practice.

The Stockholm based International Peace Research Institute works as an international platform for researchers from around the world to collaborate on issues related to peace, conflict management, and international security. The institute is financially supported by the Swedish Government and works to identify the sources of different types of insecurity, and to provide policy analysis and recommendations to policymakers, researchers and the public on how to sustain peace.

Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board, remarked that “UNHCR deals with some of the world’s greatest challenges and some of the world’s most vulnerable people. SIPRI also explores urgent issues of peace, security and conflict. I am confident that the partnership between SIPRI and UNHCR will help create innovative policy solutions.”


The collaboration agreement was signed during the visit of the High Commissioner for Refugees to Sweden on 22 October 2019. ©SIPRI


Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board and the High Commissioner are delighted about the new partnership which will help create innovative policy solutions. ©UNHCR/Caroline Bach

This new partnership is also supporting the implementation of the Global Refugee Compact, which presents a multitude of opportunities for academia, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, states and others to collaborate on finding practical solutions to what has become one of the most urgent priorities of this decade. While protracted displacement situations are becoming increasingly complex, the two organisations see research and analysis as a way forward to find new ways to address them and improve the protection of refugees.

“There is an enormous opportunity in this cooperation – which stems from our responsibility towards refugees and host communities, who are looking to us for action.  By working together in the spirit of the Global Refugee Compact we can demonstrate, in practical and concrete ways, why partnerships like this matter, and how solid research can guide us towards solutions,” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi.

The collaboration agreement was signed during the visit of the High Commissioner for Refugees to Sweden on 23 October 2019. Sweden is one of UNHCR’s most important strategic partners, it is UNHCR’s third largest bilateral donor and the largest contributor of unearmarked funding. The Swedish Government also supports SIPRI’s initiatives through a yearly grant.

“I am happy that two of Sweden’s strategic partners, UNHCR and SIPRI, are working closely together. We must continue to explore ways to work across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus,” said Carl Skau, Head of the Department for Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

UNHCR and SIPRI are planning several joint initiatives, including a roundtable on root causes – to take place as a follow up to the Global Refugee Forum which will be held in Geneva on 17 and 18 December 2019.