Inclusive Prosperity and Wellbeing in the context of Mass Displacement

The inaugural Frontiers of Development Symposium took place from Monday 12 February - Wednesday 14 February 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, bringing together approximately 70 researchers and practitioners across a variety of disciplines from the UK and around the globe. 

During the symposium, participants discussed the challenges of mass displacement, focussing on what drives mass displacement; the pressures that are created by it; and how we can prevent it, adapt to it, and work towards better inclusion of displaced persons in society. 

Event Chairs


  • Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga BSc (Hons), PhD, FHEA, FRICS. Professor of Disaster Risk Management and Reduction and Head of Global Disaster Resilience Centre, University of Huddersfield
  • Professor Henrietta L. Moore FBA. Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL

Symposium sub-themes

At the core of each symposium is three or four multidisciplinary, workshop-style sessions which focus on different sub-themes. Participants are obliged to attend every session to maximise the opportunity to make new contacts and build collaborative relationships. Whilst a session may not directly relate to an individual's research area, it is expected that participants attend all sessions to learn how their work can link in with the work of researchers from other disciplines, in order to address development challenges. 

1. Drivers of Mass Displacement

Session Chair: Danielle Botti, Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, Danish Refugee Council


  • Natural Disasters: Displacement, relocation and returnDr Nishara Fernando, University of Colombo 
  • Fluid status of refugees and IDPs and their return to conflict-affected areasDr Irina Kuznetsova, University of Birmingham
  • Can Ethiopia use the CRRF to give a durable solution to the problem of refugees?Tsion Abebe, Institute of Security Studies   


2. Shared Spaces and Services 

Session Chair: Dr Jayati Das-Munshi, Kings College London/Kings College Hospital


  • Healthcare performance and resilience: redesigning the systemDr Nebil Achour, Anglia Ruskin University 
  • Mental health services and disaster response in low resource settingsDr Stephen Sevalie, Sustainable Health Sierra Leone
  • Concerning mass displacement: roots, causes and effects and inclusive integration: Case study of Rwandan refugees in Burundi (1959-1994)Dr Gaspard Gapayari, University of Rwanda
  • Access to education and health services among refugees in NairobiEdmund Lang'at, Xavier Project      


3. Enhancing Value

Session Co-Chair: Professor Siri Hettige, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Session Co-Chair: Corinne Gray, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • Conflict-sensitive employment: Doing things differently in FCAS settingsRabia Nusrat, International Alert
  • Job Creation in complex contexts: Challenges from post-war Sri LankaDr Udan Fernando, Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) Colombo
  • Large-scale displacement of civilians during the three decades of civil war in Sri Lanka and the challenges of resettlementDr Ganesh Murugesu, University of Colombo
  • Integrating refugees into the Labour Market: Experiences from GermanyEva Degler, OECD Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs      


4. Rwandan Refugee Camps Case Study Session

Session Chair: Dr Anh Tran, Coventry University 

  • Anna Okello, Practical Action Consulting
  • Denyse Umubyeyi, Practical Action Consulting
  • Jelte Harnmeijer, Scene Community         


Participants also had the opportunity to hear from three keynote speakers: H.E Jo Lomas, UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, non-resident Ambassador to Burundi; Jakob Oster from UNHCR Rwanda; and  Naome Nayebare from the Gender Monitoring Office, Rwanda.

​Frontiers Insights

This session is designed to capture key messages and discussions from the symposium. Participants were split into groups, and asked to analyse key questions/challenges drawn from the themed sessions.

This paper has been compiled by the organisers, and reviewed by the session chairs and the programme Steering Committee. The contents of this report are reflective of the discussions of the cohort that attended the Frontiers of Development Symposium: Inclusivity and Wellbeing in the context of Mass Displacement 11th – 14th February 2018. They are not formal statements or positions of any of the National Academies, nor should they be attributed to any individual participant.

Frontiers Insights Report (564.88 KB)

How to Get Involved

If you would like to express interest in attending a Frontiers of Development event, or know someone who would like to do so, please visit the How to Get Involved page to fill out an Expression of Interest or Nomination form. 

To get more of a flavour of the event, take a look at our other past symposia or explore #FrontiersDev on Twitter.