Assistance directed to systems and groups
Other options to assist the recovery of resettled people include
community development strategies where aid is provided through strengthened
local systems and groups. Four examples are noted below: directed services,
area-based services, QIPS, and CIREFCA/PRODERE.
1) Directed public services means the
mobilization of existing services for the benefit of displaced and resettled
persons. In virtually all resettlement situations recovery is dependent upon the
quality of public and private services that underpin society. Special adaptation
is often necessary to ensure that displaced people are granted access and that
services are tailored to needs. Adapted services can be offered by all
government sectors such as social services, banking, public works, education,
health, agriculture, labor, and forestry. In addition, directed services in the
private sector are also important, particularly credit and commerce.
Systems can be creatively modified to more effectively address
needs in unique resettlement situations. In Sri Lanka, based on a strategy of
using already existing systems, a very successful housing reconstruction program
was mounted by establishing special loan programs through the local banking
system. Increased resources can be made available to families, for example,
through grants, regular loans, soft loans with variable repayment schedules,
discounted loans with low interest rates, new guarantee arrangements, lending
tied to training, and infusing capital into lending organizations (Fernando,
2) The area-based services approach is actively
supported by UNICEF, particularly in urban situations. Service delivery systems
are developed to ensure that existing services meet the needs of the most
vulnerable families. The advantage of the area-based approach is that it
strengthens local health and social services to reach all people in need of the
service which includes the displaced or resettled families.
3) Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) was pioneered by
UNHCR in Nicaragua to aid in the reintegration of repatriates. It is
increasingly used as an assistance strategy in other resettlement and recovery
programs as well. Because displaced people often return or resettle to poor and
underdeveloped communities, the QIPs' strategy was developed to support
quick-impact, community-based, micro-projects that are rapid-to-implement and
require a one-time investment. QIPs may improve transportation, health,
infrastructure, education, crop and livestock production, and income generation.
The QIP aims to enhance resources for the initial re-entry and re-establishment
periods and to aid returned families to become "self-supporting initially and
The QIPs approach identifies urgent needs at the
"grassroots" level through discussions with returnees, NGOs, municipal
authorities, and local church and social organizations. These needs are collated
as micro-project profiles, screened to ensure that they meet program criteria
and government development plans, and then funded for implementation by NGO
partners, municipalities, cooperatives and others.
Quick-impact projects alone are insufficient for
Experience confirms that the QIPs strategy enhances the
settlement process and facilitates reintegration. The disadvantage or weakness
of the QIPs approach is that quick-impact projects alone are insufficient for
recovery, as discussed earlier in this paper. A renovated school, a bridge, or a
new health clinic building may be an excellent contribution but they are no
panacea to the long-term process of economic and social integration,
particularly in communities where survival is normally hard.
Consequently, while evaluations of the QIPs strategy
consistently reaffirm its usefulness, the necessity of linking initial
quick-impact projects with longer term development efforts is highlighted.
"Community-based reintegration projects, however well designed, cannot bridge
the gap unless they are undertaken within an organization framework which will
continue to function once UNHCR has phased out its activities" (UNHCR, 1993).
This has lead to collaborative efforts between UNHCR, the major implementor of
QIPs in repatriation/resettlement programs, and UNDP which is committed to the
longer-term development process.
In Cambodia, a joint UNHCR/UNDP QIPs program also emphasized the
need for assertive development efforts in post-emergency situations. QIPs was
channeled through local development task-forces. It was necessary to organize
provincial focal points, encourage other organizations to become involved in
community development activities, and strengthen the capacity of local
organizations, enterprises and official structures. It was also necessary to
ensure that reintegration and reconstruction programs and long-term development
efforts were linked.
4) CIREFCA/PRODERE is a regional assistance program
developed by UNDP in Central America for aiding refugees, returnees and
displaced persons. The CIREFCA/PRODERE strategy grew out of regional
international conference on Central American Refugees (CIREFCA), and assumes
that the regional approach is the most constructive. Therefore in Central
America, all countries with displaced persons receive aid and act as partners in
rehabilitation and recovery programs, which are based on needs and circumstances
in each country and funded through PRODERE (Refugee Assistance
The PRODERE strategy attempts to stimulate
sustainable developmental efforts at the regional, national, and local levels.
It draws no distinctions between types of displaced persons or between displaced
persons and equally needy non-displaced persons, rather it supports whatever
developments are perceived to be helpful, including productive systems,
marketing, human rights, legal system development, credit, technical assistance
and transfer of technology, basic social services, physical infrastructure,
education, women's participation, environment, health, institutional
strengthening, and community training and organization. It is managed as an
international program in collaboration with national and local authorities but
does not channel funds through the government.
Q. 1) What are some of the problems that might
occur in agency planned and built settlements ?
Q. 2) What types of assistance may be included
in settlement packages?
Q. 3) Why are longer term development projects
needed to continue the work initiated by the Quick Impact Projects?
Q. 4) What are some principles for assisting
resettlement and recovery?
1) The settlements may lack employment opportunities, the land
may be of poor quality, residents may be isolated from other communities, the
houses may not be the type preferred by settlers, they may encourage
2) Personal items, household items, seeds and tools, food aid,
3) As mentioned in Part 2, recovery may take up to ten years.
Therefore, ongoing development projects are needed to support the long term
4) Strengthen systems; use a variety of approaches; decentralize
efforts; base assistance on need rather than displacement; keys to success for
resettlers' are participation in resettlement decisions and securing a