Approaches to Strengthen the Social Cohesion between Displaced and Host Communities

Chathuranganee Jayakody, Chamindi Malalgoda, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Champika Liyanage, Emlyn Witt, Mo Hamza, Nishara Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A cohesive society is not only characterised by the availability of basic services and facilities, but also promotes economic equality and inclusion, democracy, and social solidarity. Forced displacement due to disasters and conflict constantly disrupt the path to a sustainable and cohesive society. Displaced communities often struggle with a lack of access to livelihood and a lack of financial independence and social and family stability. With these challenges, a lack of provision of basic services and facilities will create a competition for housing, health, and education between the displaced and host communities. Additionally, the economic competition for jobs and the role of international aid in terms of fairness create social tension between the displaced and the host. Likewise, multiple aspects weaken the social cohesion between displaced and host communities. Within this context, we investigated approaches to enhance social cohesion following disaster-induced and conflict-induced displacement. With the identification of this research need, the research team of the project titled REGARD (REbuild-inG AfteR Displacement) conducted 47 in-depth interviews in four partner countries (U.K., Sweden, Estonia, and Sri Lanka) with community representatives, social support networks, agency networks, officials, etc. Moreover, focus group discussions were conducted with community members in Sri Lanka. The collected data were analysed through a qualitative data analysis procedure. The findings present eight approaches to strengthen the social cohesion between displaced and host communities. These eight approaches include the adequate provision of basic services and facilities without limiting the capacity of the host, support services aimed at local integration, economic integration between the displaced and host, and social cohesion through the built environment
Original languageEnglish
Article number3413
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022

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