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Project information

Empowering Refugee Voices in Diplomacy

ID will bring diplomatic support and advice to the Coalition of Refugees, in order to facilitate their participation in international decision-making. This will remedy the glaring deficit of refugee voices in Europe's response to the current crisis.

March 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: Independent Diplomat

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  • Need


    All too often refugees are included as token victims of the crisis, not agents of change or worse, they are seen as a burden. The absence of refugee contributions to policy decisions has caused the global response system to fail, leading to the increasing isolation of refugees who are often forced to choose between life in a camp or destitution. The international community's failure to include the perspective of refugees has thus far proved a weakness in resolving the crisis.


    ID provides strategic advice and diplomatic support empowering refugees to affect change in policies that concern them most. This project will work with the Coalition to develop their shared political demands and capacity to influence international policy-makers, UN institutions, European Parliamentarians and other key actors. Specifically, ID will facilitate interviews, provide media coaching and talking points, draft op-eds and produce social media materials to improve visibility.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Development of effective international policy through the participation of refugees.


    » Empowering the Coalition of refugees to contribute recommendations grounded in their reality and that of their host communities.
    » Getting refugees in the same room as decision makers allowing them to inform global policy.
    » Working with civil society and partnering with local institutions to effectively implement the goals of the refugee Coalition.

    What success will look like

    Through refugees gaining a consultative role within international institutions as well as advising municipal and national governments on best practices.

  • Impact


    Improved protection and asylum practices to reflect refugee needs while also striving to develop culturally sensitive programs that reflect the concerns of the refugees and the host communities. The project will contribute to a more legitimate and sustainable refugee policy on national and international levels. This improved dialogue will broaden awareness within society about the long term aspirations of many refugees. These skills will empower the refugee community to rebuild their lives.


    One of the main risks in working with a coalition is the diversity of views within the network, this may prove problematic when coming to finite decisions and lead to difficult compromises. We targeted this risk by developing areas of mutual interest within the Coalition of Refugees. In order to avoid alienating host communities who are experiencing rapid societal change, it is imperative to maintain a healthy relationship with local governments and civil society ensuring cooperation.


    We would be happy to provide quarterly updates to donors as well as a final grant report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Flights & Accommodation Facilitating refugee participation at international negotiations
      £10,000 Staff time Creating training and advice for refugees to ensure their effective participation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Open Society Foundation £50,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Europe has seen a dramatic shift over the last 6 years with refugees from Syria fleeing to the safety of Europe from the brutal civil war. Southern Europe, which has taken the brunt of the crisis, is struggling with its capacity to provide necessary assistance and resources. Our project will be based out of Geneva, due to the city's position as a diplomatic hub where international policy makers gather to discuss.


    The major beneficiaries are Syrian refugees. A fairer representation of Refugees at international negotiations on which refugee issues are discussed will protect the interests of refugee communities whilst also enabling the international diplomatic and humanitarian community to more effectively provide the services or protection that the refugee and host communities need.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Independent Diplomat has developed an extensive network of Syrian refugee and Syrian civil society groups. ID has contacts, access and influence in the diplomatic arena, including at senior levels in key member states, at the UN and its agencies (including UNHCR, IOM, ILO, OHCHR, OCHA, OECD). No other organisation has the diplomatic expertise and relationships of trust to deliver this service.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Guillaume Charron (Geneva)

    Director of the Geneva office and Refugee Project Manager, Guillaume has 15 years of experience of refugee issues in the field and internationally.

    Ryan Allman (New York)

    Ryan is ID’s UN Officer for the refugee project, she coordinates access to international meetings and directly supports the network of refugees.

    Carne Ross (London)

    ID’s Founder & Executive Director, Carne supports the project through strategic direction and connections to partners.

    Joanna MacGregor (London)

    ID’s European Fundraising Officer, Joanna supports the project through fundraising efforts.