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Think Change episode 27: refugee leadership – how do we move from talk to action?

Written by Sara Pantuliano, Rez Gardi, Jean Marie Ishimwe, Anila Noor

Think Change episode 27 SM card

To mark Refugee Week, we are highlighting the transformational impact that refugee leadership and expertise can bring to refugee responses.

The importance of refugee leadership is now widely recognised. It is a key focus of the Global Compact on Refugees, which pledges to support refugee-led organisations (RLOs) and enable meaningful participation.

But is this rhetoric materialising into practical action on the ground? Is refugee leadership taken seriously at an international level? Why is there a gap between theoretical pledges and tangible support? And what needs to happen now to strengthen refugee leadership and drive meaningful change?

Experts from some of the world’s leading refugee-led organisations discuss the opportunities and challenges they face.


  • Sara Pantuliano (host), Chief Executive, ODI
  • Rez Gardi, international lawyer, human rights advocate & Co-Managing Director of Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT)
  • Jean Marie Ishimwe, refugee advocate, journalist, and Partnerships Lead & Co-Founder At Youth Voices Community
  • Anila Noor, refugee activist, speaker, researcher and Founder of New Women Connectors

Related resources

Look out for the next edition of the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine online, which will focus on refugee-led organisations.