The Solutions Alliance
The Solutions Alliance was launched in April 2014 to advance a partnership-oriented approach to addressing protracted displacement situations and preventing new displacement situations from becoming protracted. With nearly 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide, the Solutions Alliance is a platform for development and humanitarian actors to work together – for the benefit of displaced persons and host communities – to find solutions to protracted displacement and to rethink the way we respond to displacement from the start. An inclusive forum, the Solutions Alliance brings together donor and host governments, UN agencies, multilateral financial institutions, civil society organisations, international NGOs, the private sector, and academia. Solutions Alliance has a board of five members. UNHCR is the current chair of the board and Denmark is the co-chair. UNDP will assume the chair in 2017 with Turkey as the co-chair.
The Solutions Alliance seeks to promote and enable the transition for displaced people away from dependency towards increased self-reliance, resilience, and development through three goals:
- Supporting innovative solutions through the development of appropriate strategies, programmes and projects in selected displacement situations.
- Helping shape the global policy agenda to recognise displacement as a development challenge, as well as a humanitarian and protection issue, and to work with governments in affected countries toward the inclusion of displacement issues as a cross-cutting theme in national and local development plans.
- Ensuring that a diverse and growing group of partners form a vibrant network and seek to maximize the impact of their individual efforts.
The Solutions Alliance works through National Groups (currently in Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia) and Thematic Groups and is looking to expand the range of partners and national groups to ensure a broader network committed to finding solutions to displacement.
What added value can the Solutions Alliance bring?
- It’s a space to exchange views and experiences, align efforts, learn lessons, and strengthen partnerships development, and private sector efforts/actors with those of humanitarians.
- It is an opportunity to inspire existing development programming to include persons of concern and pursue new approaches to solutions.
- It means engagement with non-traditional partners, who may be excluded from existing coordination mechanisms.
- It aims at achieving more than coordination and joint programmes; it is about co-ownership and co-responsibility across key stakeholders on finding solutions for displaced persons.
What is UNDP's role in Solutions Alliance?
At the global level:
- UNDP is one of five members of the board (Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, IRC, UNHCR, and UNDP) and will be assuming the chair for one year in 2017.
- UNDP has been a member right from the start, thanks to the support of some key countries (Sweden and Denmark). We represent the development voice.
- Being part of the board UNDP serves as the global support mechanism to the National and Thematic Groups and produces an annual progress report and organises Roundtables every three year.
- UNDP co-chairs the thematic group on the Private Sector focused on inclusion of displaced people in corporate entities value chains.
At the country level:
- The Country Office determines UNDP’s degree of engagement.
- UNDP, as well as other actors, can take the lead in establishing a National Group; at a minimum UNDP should contribute to discussions about establishing a National Group.
- UNDP, as well as other actors, can suggest that existing coordination mechanisms join the network, benefiting from the global level work.
- UNDP could assist in organizing gatherings or communication/linkage between different actors.
How is the Solutions Alliance different from other solutions initiatives?
- The network is broad-based and does not aim to become an additional institution
- 5 board members -2 UN bodies, 2 states, and 1 NGO - there are no HQ-determined rules or mechanisms beyond the broad principles of engagement.
- Each National Group has a local character and can be fundamentally different from other groups, reflecting the principle to be context specific and evidence based.
- The Alliance is gathering data to concretely reveal how development is affected by displacement, and how solutions require development responses alongside humanitarian efforts.
In February 2016 the second Solutions Alliance Roundtable took place in Brussels. UNDP provided significant support to the Roundtable, which brought together more than 170 participants from across the world and across sectors including from the four focus countries Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. The Roundtable took place in the midst of increasing interest in finding innovative and long-lasting responses to the unprecedented number of displaced persons. The Roundtable aimed to engage participants to identify means to address challenges and obstacles when seeking solutions to displacement, leading to concrete commitments for action and real sustainable results for displaced persons and host communities.