From July 2020 to February 2021, the Women’s Refugee Commission and a Core Working Group co-led a research study with the overall goal of understanding experiences of responding to crises and forced displacement, garnering insights into what the essential components of a feminist response could be. Using Active Sensemaking methodology, Core Working Group research collected over 100 experiences from individuals working globally in humanitarian response.
This report presents findings from the research as well as the process through which the project promoted a participatory approach to mixed methods research. The research findings provide insight into how to shift to a more inclusive, anti-racist, and feminist humanitarian response to crises and forced displacement. Notably, the research calls into question the utilization of terms such as inclusivity and localization, emphasizing the need to go beyond buzzwords and rhetoric to shift decision-making power.
Equally important are the lessons learned from the research process; over the course of six months, the Core Working Group, composed of 17 experts and stakeholders from 14 countries, co-led the design of an innovative research tool and enriched the findings through a series of coanalysis workshops. This highly participatory approach to research serves as an example of how humanitarian actors can begin to shift power and advocate for others to do the same.