Research on forced displacement reveals a wide gap between policy processes and the people that such processes seek to assist. This paper proposes actionable recommendations on how to operationalize the concept of ‘meaningful refugee participation’ in decision-making processes that affect the lives of refugees. There is a need to go beyond tokenistic participation and to genuinely empower refugees to have influence over the design, implementation and evaluation of refugee-focused programmes. The contributions of refugees themselves must also be enhanced in ways that can help contribute to a paradigmatic shift in the global infrastructure of refugee governance.
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