Burundi - JIPS - Joint IDP Profiling Service


Burundi is marked by a complex and varied displacement context. Since 1993, numerous waves of internal and cross-border displacement have occurred due to political crises, conflicts and violence. The displacement situation is further compounded by climate-related factors: as of May 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) approximates that Burundi has over 76,000 internally displaced individuals, with more than 80% affected by these environmental factors. Notably, the socio-economic environment is challenging, with high poverty rates and significant disparities between urban and rural areas, making it imperative for sustainable solutions to consider these factors within the developing Nexus approach in Burundi.

JIPS first engaged in Burundi in 2011, providing technical support for a government-led profiling exercise. In January 2019, we were again approached for technical assistance, this time for a country-wide profiling exercise led by the Protection Cluster (UNHCR and DRC). Unfortunately, the exercise faced interruptions due to the May 2020 elections and the global COVID-19 pandemic. Although discussions resumed in April 2021, regrettably, the exercise was put on hold. In 2023, JIPS and IOM joined forces on a project utilizing Collective Intelligence approaches to enhance data accuracy and empower communities in shaping climate-induced displacement responses based on their knowledge and priorities.

Project overview

Informing national solutions for IDPs & returnees (2011-2012)

The exercise aimed to inform the implementation of the national strategy on reintegration and the development of a national policy. It also sought to provide all stakeholders with up-to-date information on the displaced and returnee populations.

More specifically, the exercise aimed to:

  • Compile a list of sites hosting IDPs and returnees
  • Collect demographic information on their inhabitants, including the number of individuals and households, disaggregated by sex and age
  • Collect socioeconomic information, as well as data on their status, land issues and intentions for the future
  • Assess the viability of the sites themselves, including land issues, access to basic services and relations between IDPs, returnees and their host communities

JIPS was tasked with providing comprehensive technical and collaboration support for a profiling exercise. This included developing the methodology, conducting analysis, creating reports and story maps, facilitating collaborative working sessions, and conducting capacity building at various stages. During a mission in August 2011, JIPS remotely assisted profiling partners in defining exercise objectives, facilitated the development of the methodology and tools, and initiated an awareness campaign for community participation. JIPS also trained field supervisors and facilitators, deploying a technical consultant from August to November 2011 to support the implementation, analysis, and reporting phases of the exercise.

Key outputs include:

  • Profiling report

Exercise partners

  • Burundi’s Ministry of National Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
  • Thematic Group Responsible for the Pursuit of Durable Solutions for IDPs in Burundi (GTPDI)


Our support helped to create momentum for the profiling process and encourage collaboration among the GTPDI members – which included government entities, UN agencies and international NGOs – and their partners. This not only helped identify the main protection concerns related to displacement, but also paved the way for joined-up efforts vital to achieve the overall objectives of the exercise.

Informing the development of national-level frameworks

The evidence base established was used to inform the development of Burundi’s national reintegration policy and the broader implementation of its national strategy. The profiling results also underpinned GTPDI’s planning and advocacy activities.

Understanding IDPs’ intentions vital for effective solutions responses

The profiling results emphasised the importance of understanding beneficiaries’ intentions in terms of durable solutions before planning for and investing in major resettlement campaigns.

The results also revealed IDPs and refugees in Burundi were not homogeneous communities in socioeconomic terms. An agreed definition of vulnerability thresholds would have added insight into their status, which in turn would have helped to better target humanitarian assistance.

Lessons learned

The overall process and the final decision not to publish the report highlighted the importance of undertaking a political risk assessment before the implementation phase. A good understanding of the political dynamics and the different interests of each stakeholder is vital in establishing consensus.

Nevertheless, the profiling process suffered from discontinuity in terms of in-country leadership. This highlights the importance of devising leadership and management approaches that can be handed over with relative ease.

Project Overview

Proposed durable solutions analysis (2019 – 2022)

The collaborative data process was initiated in January 2019 following a request for support by the Protection Cluster and the Durable Solutions Working Group (DSWG) in Burundi.

During a two-week exploratory mission in September-October 2021, JIPS facilitated the elaboration of joint objectives and the establishment of a collaborative platform for the technical work and joint decision making linked to the data process. We also held two training sessions to enhance partners’ knowledge on the strategic analysis of Durable Solutions on the one hand, and to strengthen their capacities for the implementation of a collaborative data process on the other.

A follow-up mission was organised by JIPS in June 2022, to reconfirm partners’ buy-in to the exercise and its objectives as well as clarify available resources for its implementation. During the mission, we also worked with partners to generate a shared understanding of the broader data ecosystem on forced displacement in Burundi. Regrettably, efforts in Burundi were halted due to challenges in maintaining momentum.

Key outputs include:

  • A set of key recommendations (see summary below)



JIPS’ recommendations at a glance:

  • Strengthening coordination on displacement-related data through the Durable Solutions Working Group, starting with a focus on harmonising key definitions
  • Integrating data on populations affected by displacement into the national official statistics system
  • Using an area-based approach that can inform localised and multi-sectoral solutions analyses
  • Conducting a two-level analysis, at the community and household levels

Project Overview

Collective intelligence approaches for improved responses to climate-induced displacement (2023-ongoing)

While environmental degradation is hard to isolate from other drivers of displacement, new methodologies and data collection approaches can help to gather diverse and grassroots information, expanding data available to support planning and anticipatory action related to internal displacement. By combining IOM’s operational footprint with JIPS methodologies for community engagement, the joint project will explore the viability of using collective intelligence approaches to improve data on environmental degradation.

An initial scoping exercise conducted by IOM, JIPS and UCL Ground X in Burundi in March 2023 identified areas of focus for the data collection through consultations with data users and affected communities in Burundi. A kick-off workshop brought together government actors, UN agencies, NGOs, CSOs, and representatives from displaced and local communities involved in disaster-induced displacement response and solutions for internal displacement in Burundi. The workshop outcomes also included a shared understanding of project next steps, a validated workplan, and increased buy-in from various actors, particularly government authorities.

Since then, JIPS has been supporting remotely the development of training materials, conducting remote training with community facilitators, and facilitating community consultations and validation sessions, ensuring the inclusion of diverse community perspectives in the data collection process.

Key outputs expected:

  • A collaborative case study on collective intelligence authored by IOM and JIPS
  • A comprehensive report featuring various case studies and critical recommendations intended for extensive distribution to primary stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels.
  • Two targeted workshops involving pertinent stakeholders, one to launch the project and another at the conclusion to showcase the case studies and conclusions.

Exercise partners


JIPS plays a crucial role in the project by employing community engagement strategies to enhance collective intelligence in addressing environmental degradation and displacement.

JIPS is particularly involved in two key activities:

  1. Community consultations on research objectives and target groups, involving sub-group discussions on relevant themes to inform data collection tools.
  2. Community validation, contextualization, and prioritization of findings through sessions structured for feedback and prioritization based on the most pressing needs.

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