Skip to main content

Repository of Practices

Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V)

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dates

2018 - Present

Type of practice

Partnership/Multistakeholder initiative

Summary

As of August 2023, there are over 7.7 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants living outside their country of origin, including 6.5 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. On 12 April 2018, the UN Secretary General confirmed that the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) co-lead the coordination of a response of Venezuelan outflows. The two agencies subsequently established R4V in Panama City, Panama. The R4V comprises 17 countries that host Venezuelan refugees and migrants across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It includes a regional platform located in Panama which is complemented by local coordination mechanisms, dedicated national and sub-regional platforms, working directly with host country governments, and responsible for the operational coordination and implementation of the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP). The R4V is also organised by sectors of assistance and working groups. In 2023-2024, the RMRP includes 228 partners (over 90% of non-UN agencies), of which 47 are refugee and migrant-led organisations. The R4V, through its Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA) and RMRP, aims to raise the profile of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and drive consistent advocacy and fundraising efforts to the benefit of R4V partners, including through constant engagement with institutional and non-traditional donors and annual donor events; ensure an informed, efficient, and coordinated response, including through a wealth of information management and reporting tools, reports and briefings; promote positive policies and related dialogues for refugees and migrants, including with the Quito Process; convene all relevant stakeholders, including R4V response actors, host governments, the donor community, and affected refugee and migrant communities; and deliver humanitarian and integration/inclusion-focused assistance at the regional, national and subregional levels. Activities related to WASH, shelter, food security, health as well as protection (child protection, gender-based violence, and support to survivors of human trafficking) contribute to preventing distress and loss of life of migrants in transit. Assistance delivered in particularly dangerous areas such as the Darién Gap and the Andean Corridor between Peru and Chile also prevents distress and loss of life. According to the RMRP 2023-2024, all planned R4V activities are to be guided by the following approaches and guiding principles: people-centred, rights-based and community-based approaches, and by the principle of "do no harm" and other humanitarian principles, in particular the principles of partnership and Centrality of Protection. Over the past five years, the R4V has supported the mobilisation of more than two billion USD in funding for the response. Overall coordination costs are covered predominantly by IOM and UNHCR, while UN agencies and NGOs co-leading sectors are responsible.

There are 228 partners across the region, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO), civil society organisations (CSO) including refugee-led and migrant-led CSOs, faith-based organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and academia.

Collaborators

Main Implementer

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Other Organizations

IOM and UNHCR

Partners

228 partners across the region

Benefit and Impact

The R4V has a broad-based approach based on the needs identified in the region, in line with the humanitarian-development nexus, with strategic objectives related to humanitarian, protection, and integration and inclusion support, of which many activities contribute to the prevention of distress and loss of life, particularly for those in-transit. In 2023, all R4V partners combined helped millions of refugees and migrants to access food assistance, nutritional counselling, safe water, sanitation and waste management services, hygiene items (including menstrual health products), primary health care, mental health and psychosocial services (MHPSS), sexual and reproductive health services, housing, and safe transportation services. R4V partners also supported strengthening access to territory, asylum procedures and regularization initiatives, specialized protection services, recognition of professional degrees and certification processes, and cash and voucher assistance to ensure access to school supplies, meals and transportation.

Monitoring and reporting procedures are agreed in consultation with all the platforms, and the corresponding data are regularly posted on the R4V website R4V.info, while updated financial information is available on the R4V and OCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS) websites. The data collected is used to inform decision-making processes, communicate accurately, implement response efforts efficiently, and address any existing response gaps quickly and effectively. R4V monitoring and reporting efforts result in regular Movement Reports detailing population movements and trends on a quarterly basis, people reached through R4V activities (5W Monitoring Dashboard) and special situation reports on significant events related to Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region.

At the macro level, the Platform is the world's largest example of crisis coordination co-led by UNHCR and IOM and could be replicated in other mixed movement situations. The platform works both at a “high level” in terms of coordination and negotiation, and in the field, having implemented over 16,000 activities in 2023 so far.

Established in 2018, R4V will continue as long as it is needed. According to the R4V Scenarios and Planning Workshop and the RMNA 2023, outflows from Venezuela are expected to continue in 2024 and beyond, affecting multiple countries, both those that host significant numbers of Venezuelans and transit countries. It is therefore expected that R4V will remain a coordination mechanism for the required regional response.

Key Lessons

The challenges faced during implementation relate to the lack of reliable and predictable funding, lack of a broader donor engagement (a large majority of the funding comes from the US Government – 78.5% as of 21 September 2023), and the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the response to the needs of refugees and migrants in various ways. While some R4V sectors at regional level, such as WASH and Education, are led by the same organizations and individuals in respective OCHA REDLAC working groups that coordinate the response for internal/IDP-related matters, a key informant interviewed about the R4V WASH Sector also mentioned a perception that the R4V platform resulted in the creation of additional local and regional structures, which may at times not have sufficiently recognised the work and expertise of some local partners. Therefore, what may be done differently in the future, for example, is strengthening efforts to enhance synergies and more closely involve local expertise.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Good practices highlighted by key informants interviewed for this practice include:
The involvement of both national and international NGOs/civil society actors in leading the sub-regional and national platforms and sectors;
The involvement of 47 refugee and migrant-led associations and the inclusion of all types of partners in events, processes, training, and technical meetings;
The promotion of localisation (for example in the Dominican Republic, there is a strong link between Venezuelan associations and R4V);
The decentralised nature of the structure: R4V works at the regional, subregional and national levels to promote a coherent and cohesive response to the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in diverse contexts;
The change from an annual to a biannual Response Plan which facilitates the inclusion of medium to long term projects, such as activities focusing on integration;
Complementarity and added value of each of the 228 partners, leveraging technical expertise and operational capacity through the world's largest coordinated response mechanism, to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Innovation

The sheer scale of the coordination platform, working across 17 countries, at the regional, sub-regional, and national levels, across 12 thematic (sub-)sectors, with almost 300 partners is considered innovative by key informants: it is a vast multi-level response to extensive and complex regional movements. Moreover, the level of data transparency implemented by R4V is also deemed to be unprecedented in the humanitarian world. Such data transparency efforts reflect R4V's commitment and accountability to affected populations, host governments and the donor community through constant and open communication of all available data. Finally, the Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA), which includes multi-stakeholder and sectoral analyses by Platforms and Sectors at all levels of the response, capturing also sizable in-transit movements of different population groups, with fully disaggregated data on the different population groups, across countries and sectors is also considered to be innovative. These analyses include, at minimum, a joint needs assessment workshop and a secondary data review with R4V partners and host country governments, and for those platforms with capacity and sufficient funding a comprehensive primary data collection exercise, focus group discussions and/or key informant interviews, based on the information needs and dynamics of each Platform.
According to key informants, this practice could be replicated in other mixed movement situations where the resources exist. An R4V Inter-Agency Coordination Handbook will be published in 2023, which is aimed at new and existing R4V staff, but could also be relevant to train staff working in inter-agency coordination platforms for mixed movement contexts in other parts of the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced the level of needs and vulnerability of migrants and refugees everywhere, including those from Venezuela. The R4V response aimed to strengthen protection mechanisms and deploy new avenues of assistance in the context of the constraints imposed by the pandemic that hit the region very hard. The Regional Platform placed protection at the centre, advocating for access to territory and border protection systems, greater access to regularisation and asylum mechanisms, measures for the protection of children and adolescents, prevention of human trafficking and smuggling and assistance to victims, systemic response to situations of gender-based violence, and promotion of family reunification.

Additional Resources

Date submitted:

04 December 2023

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V)

Dates:

2018 - Present

Type of practice:

Partnership/Multistakeholder initiative

Summary

As of August 2023, there are over 7.7 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants living outside their country of origin, including 6.5 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. On 12 April 2018, the UN Secretary General confirmed that the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) co-lead the coordination of a response of Venezuelan outflows. The two agencies subsequently established R4V in Panama City, Panama. The R4V comprises 17 countries that host Venezuelan refugees and migrants across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It includes a regional platform located in Panama which is complemented by local coordination mechanisms, dedicated national and sub-regional platforms, working directly with host country governments, and responsible for the operational coordination and implementation of the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP). The R4V is also organised by sectors of assistance and working groups. In 2023-2024, the RMRP includes 228 partners (over 90% of non-UN agencies), of which 47 are refugee and migrant-led organisations. The R4V, through its Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA) and RMRP, aims to raise the profile of refugees and migrants from Venezuela and drive consistent advocacy and fundraising efforts to the benefit of R4V partners, including through constant engagement with institutional and non-traditional donors and annual donor events; ensure an informed, efficient, and coordinated response, including through a wealth of information management and reporting tools, reports and briefings; promote positive policies and related dialogues for refugees and migrants, including with the Quito Process; convene all relevant stakeholders, including R4V response actors, host governments, the donor community, and affected refugee and migrant communities; and deliver humanitarian and integration/inclusion-focused assistance at the regional, national and subregional levels. Activities related to WASH, shelter, food security, health as well as protection (child protection, gender-based violence, and support to survivors of human trafficking) contribute to preventing distress and loss of life of migrants in transit. Assistance delivered in particularly dangerous areas such as the Darién Gap and the Andean Corridor between Peru and Chile also prevents distress and loss of life. According to the RMRP 2023-2024, all planned R4V activities are to be guided by the following approaches and guiding principles: people-centred, rights-based and community-based approaches, and by the principle of "do no harm" and other humanitarian principles, in particular the principles of partnership and Centrality of Protection. Over the past five years, the R4V has supported the mobilisation of more than two billion USD in funding for the response. Overall coordination costs are covered predominantly by IOM and UNHCR, while UN agencies and NGOs co-leading sectors are responsible.

There are 228 partners across the region, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO), civil society organisations (CSO) including refugee-led and migrant-led CSOs, faith-based organisations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and academia.

Collaborators

Main Implementer:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Other Organizations:

IOM and UNHCR

Partners:

228 partners across the region

Benefit and Impact

The R4V has a broad-based approach based on the needs identified in the region, in line with the humanitarian-development nexus, with strategic objectives related to humanitarian, protection, and integration and inclusion support, of which many activities contribute to the prevention of distress and loss of life, particularly for those in-transit. In 2023, all R4V partners combined helped millions of refugees and migrants to access food assistance, nutritional counselling, safe water, sanitation and waste management services, hygiene items (including menstrual health products), primary health care, mental health and psychosocial services (MHPSS), sexual and reproductive health services, housing, and safe transportation services. R4V partners also supported strengthening access to territory, asylum procedures and regularization initiatives, specialized protection services, recognition of professional degrees and certification processes, and cash and voucher assistance to ensure access to school supplies, meals and transportation.

Monitoring and reporting procedures are agreed in consultation with all the platforms, and the corresponding data are regularly posted on the R4V website R4V.info, while updated financial information is available on the R4V and OCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS) websites. The data collected is used to inform decision-making processes, communicate accurately, implement response efforts efficiently, and address any existing response gaps quickly and effectively. R4V monitoring and reporting efforts result in regular Movement Reports detailing population movements and trends on a quarterly basis, people reached through R4V activities (5W Monitoring Dashboard) and special situation reports on significant events related to Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region.

At the macro level, the Platform is the world's largest example of crisis coordination co-led by UNHCR and IOM and could be replicated in other mixed movement situations. The platform works both at a “high level” in terms of coordination and negotiation, and in the field, having implemented over 16,000 activities in 2023 so far.

Established in 2018, R4V will continue as long as it is needed. According to the R4V Scenarios and Planning Workshop and the RMNA 2023, outflows from Venezuela are expected to continue in 2024 and beyond, affecting multiple countries, both those that host significant numbers of Venezuelans and transit countries. It is therefore expected that R4V will remain a coordination mechanism for the required regional response.

Key Lessons

The challenges faced during implementation relate to the lack of reliable and predictable funding, lack of a broader donor engagement (a large majority of the funding comes from the US Government – 78.5% as of 21 September 2023), and the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the response to the needs of refugees and migrants in various ways. While some R4V sectors at regional level, such as WASH and Education, are led by the same organizations and individuals in respective OCHA REDLAC working groups that coordinate the response for internal/IDP-related matters, a key informant interviewed about the R4V WASH Sector also mentioned a perception that the R4V platform resulted in the creation of additional local and regional structures, which may at times not have sufficiently recognised the work and expertise of some local partners. Therefore, what may be done differently in the future, for example, is strengthening efforts to enhance synergies and more closely involve local expertise.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Good practices highlighted by key informants interviewed for this practice include:
The involvement of both national and international NGOs/civil society actors in leading the sub-regional and national platforms and sectors;
The involvement of 47 refugee and migrant-led associations and the inclusion of all types of partners in events, processes, training, and technical meetings;
The promotion of localisation (for example in the Dominican Republic, there is a strong link between Venezuelan associations and R4V);
The decentralised nature of the structure: R4V works at the regional, subregional and national levels to promote a coherent and cohesive response to the needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela in diverse contexts;
The change from an annual to a biannual Response Plan which facilitates the inclusion of medium to long term projects, such as activities focusing on integration;
Complementarity and added value of each of the 228 partners, leveraging technical expertise and operational capacity through the world's largest coordinated response mechanism, to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Innovation

The sheer scale of the coordination platform, working across 17 countries, at the regional, sub-regional, and national levels, across 12 thematic (sub-)sectors, with almost 300 partners is considered innovative by key informants: it is a vast multi-level response to extensive and complex regional movements. Moreover, the level of data transparency implemented by R4V is also deemed to be unprecedented in the humanitarian world. Such data transparency efforts reflect R4V's commitment and accountability to affected populations, host governments and the donor community through constant and open communication of all available data. Finally, the Refugee and Migrant Needs Analysis (RMNA), which includes multi-stakeholder and sectoral analyses by Platforms and Sectors at all levels of the response, capturing also sizable in-transit movements of different population groups, with fully disaggregated data on the different population groups, across countries and sectors is also considered to be innovative. These analyses include, at minimum, a joint needs assessment workshop and a secondary data review with R4V partners and host country governments, and for those platforms with capacity and sufficient funding a comprehensive primary data collection exercise, focus group discussions and/or key informant interviews, based on the information needs and dynamics of each Platform.
According to key informants, this practice could be replicated in other mixed movement situations where the resources exist. An R4V Inter-Agency Coordination Handbook will be published in 2023, which is aimed at new and existing R4V staff, but could also be relevant to train staff working in inter-agency coordination platforms for mixed movement contexts in other parts of the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced the level of needs and vulnerability of migrants and refugees everywhere, including those from Venezuela. The R4V response aimed to strengthen protection mechanisms and deploy new avenues of assistance in the context of the constraints imposed by the pandemic that hit the region very hard. The Regional Platform placed protection at the centre, advocating for access to territory and border protection systems, greater access to regularisation and asylum mechanisms, measures for the protection of children and adolescents, prevention of human trafficking and smuggling and assistance to victims, systemic response to situations of gender-based violence, and promotion of family reunification.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Additional Resources

Date submitted:

04 December 2023

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.

 

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).