Displacement Practice - Instiglio

Displacement Practice




Type of Project


Long-term deep country systems change


Strategic Pillars


Government Partnerships

Scale Partnerships



Early Childhood Development



Poverty Alleviation

Public Institution Management

Social Support




Latin America and the Caribbean

Sub Saharan Africa








While migration can be a boon to countries that manage it well, in the short-term host countries are often faced with the financial and logistical challenge of providing services to an influx of vulnerable people. There are over 100 million people in the world that have been displaced due to various factors such as conflict, environmental disasters, and human rights violations, and most of them are living in low-and middle-income countries. Of the 36 million that have crossed borders in search for refuge, 76 percent are being hosted by low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, as of 2022, the global migrant population reached a total of 184 million, with a significant majority, over 80 percent, moving to other countries in pursuit of economic opportunities. Migrants, and especially those that have been forcibly displaced, often face challenges with having their rights recognized and accessing basic services.


Instiglio’s Displacement Practice supports partners in enhancing the effectiveness of policies and programs aimed to improve the lives of displaced households and the host communities.


fundacion hilton resultados impacto
medellin social proyectos migrantes

The issue

Poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to job opportunities are some of the barriers migrants and displaced people face. Governments often struggle to deliver services to this population, as they have different characteristics and vulnerabilities than non-displaced population. Migrants and displaced people often have high levels of mobility, they are often unregistered in national databases and do not have national identification credentials, which are typically required to access social services or enter formal labor markets. While the international community funds programming to improve conditions for migrants and displaced people, these funds are often underleveraged, and local community organizations and refugee-led organizations—which are on the ground and ready to respond—are underfunded. These challenges to integration have negative social and economic impact on host communities and countries—ranging from lower gross domestic product to rising citizen discontent. When governments fail to provide services to migrants and displace people, host communities often bear the costs. In contrast, if migrants and displaced people are successfully integrated into society, they quickly provide enormous benefits for both destination and origin countries and communities. There is therefore an urgent need to support governments, donors, and implementing organizations at improving outcomes for migrants, displaced people, and host communities  

The response

Instiglio’s Displacement Practice boosts the results and cost-effectiveness of interventions and funding aimed to support migrants, displaced people, and host communities. Instiglio is supporting various partners by providing them with practical advice on how to incorporate outcomes-based strategies into their program delivery. We are also looking to jointly explore new approaches and gather knowledge on good funding practices. Instiglio’s displacement work is divided into three pillars 

  • Working with governments to incorporate innovative and effective ways to deliver services to refugees and migrants.  
  • Working with scale partners—such as multilateral organizations and donors—to transform the way spending is done in the refugee space and enhance burden and responsibility sharing. 
  • Share tools with governments, scale partners, and implementing organizations beyond the ones we are directly working with by disseminating and leveraging knowledge and good practices. 

Some examples of Instiglio’s work with governments under the displacement practice are:  

  • Working with the City of Medellin to design a Performance Based Contract of the Housing Assistance component within the Emergency Care program, with the aim of enhancing participants’ ability to generate their own resources and become self-sustainable after leaving the program. 
  • With the Social Prosperity Department of the national government of Colombia, Instiglio designed a results-based program to increase job placement and retention among both Colombians and migrant population. 
  • Instiglio, in partnership with the city of Barranquilla and USAID’s Comunidades Saludables program, supported the design of a pilot Performance Based Contract to incentivize maternal health results among Venezuelan migrants. 

Our work with scale partners so far includes:  

  • Working with UNHCR in Colombia to improve implementation of livelihood programming, including scoping the opportunity for an Impact Bond.
  • Instiglio is also exploring opportunities to support other scale partners such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) at the State Department, and USAID, as they are important actors in the space with the ability to radically change the way spending takes place.

Instiglio is also currently gathering learnings from our Displacement Practice to share them with other actors involved in working with these populations around the world. We will do this by participating in forums and exchanging learnings and ideas through cases studies, knowledge products, and thought pieces, as well as through our direct engagement with partners. 


The impact

In its early stages, this Displacement Practice has already engaged multiple governmental actors in four countries that are among the largest hosts of refugees and migrants: Colombia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ecuador.  

In Colombia, the national government has already launched its Empleate Sin Fronteras program, through which more than a thousand Venezuelan migrants, returnees, or host community members will be placed into jobs.  

In Barranquilla, the Fundación Santo Domingo is about to launch a performance-based contract through which health care providers will be incentivized to provide better maternal and child outcomes for Venezuelan migrants who are not elegible for national healthcare. 

In Medellin, the city is about to launch its first performance-based contract, with the objective of supporting unhoused population enrolled in the Emergency Care Program—of which a majority are Venezuelan migrants—to find a sustainable housing solution.  

Beyond these examples, we are actively engaging government officials, program leaders, and decision-makers, to collaboratively explore avenues for improving the focus on results and boost the effectiveness of service delivery for migrants, refugees, and host communities. Our team works with partners to identify if a results-based solution will add value to their programming, and if so, we are able to quickly mobilize to support partners at building a stronger focus on results.

Join the results movement!