On May 24 and 25, 2017, LSE Middle East Center, the American University in Dubai, and IRIS held a training course on the humanitarian response to the internal displacement crises in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. The course was taught by Jeff Drumtra, who has extensive experience of international refugee and internal displacement work at both policy and operational levels with NGOs, governments and United Nations.
The course took place over one and a half day, and looked at humanitarian response from an international and comparative perspective, drawing insight from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Colombia, for exmaple. Participants were brought to contextualize their experiences globally, and to assess areas where the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) had been more or less effective in responding to the crisis. International guiding principles on internal displacement, as well as the international humanitarian system and operating procedures, were also contrasted with pinciples and policies applied in the KRI.
36 people participated in the course, including local and international humanitarian workers, academics and analysts, as well as KRI officials for the Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCCC), the Ministry of Interior, the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, and Asayish and representative from the Government of Iraq's Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM). AUIS students and faculty also participated.
The course was funded through a collaborative research project led by Dr Zeynep Kaya of the LSE Middle East Centre and Dr Deniz Gokalp of the American University in Dubai, the research project looks at the complexity of humanitarian responses to internal displacement in the KRI. This training course was an important capacity building component of the research project, and intended to inform participants about the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, legal rights of the IDPs and effective ways of developing programmes and policies to assist and protect IDPs.