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Karen Jacobsen is the Henry J. Leir Professor of Global Migration at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is also a Research Director at the university’s Feinstein International Center, where she leads the Refugees and Forced Migration Program. In 2013-2014, she led the Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS) in Geneva.
Dr. Jacobsen’s research focuses on urban displacement, and on livelihoods and resilience in disaster- and conflict-affected areas. She works closely with United Nations agencies and NGOs to conduct surveys and profiling exercises of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and migrants in urban settings.
She has numerous publications, including two books: A View from Below: Conducting Research in Conflict Zones (co-editor) and The Economic Life of Refugees (2005), which is widely used in courses on forced migration.
She holds a BA from University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) and a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts institute of Technology.
With the reality that a sizeable share of refugee situations can continue for many years, if not decades, there is growing focus on ways to better integrate refugees into countries of first asylum, particularly by ensuring they have access to livelihoods and economic opportunities. This report explores the pitfalls and promise of livelihood programs.