Following a military coup in Mali in March 2012, rebel groups occupied the three northern regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu. The occupation and military operations to retake the regions led to many thousands of people being displaced both internally and to neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.
In the absence of a comprehensive picture of the internal displacement situation in Mopti, a central region that was hosting large numbers of IDPs, JIPS was asked to support a profiling exercise there in the second half of 2012.
The profiling exercise in Mopti was instigated by the Mali protection cluster’s Commission on Population Movement (CMP). It was overseen by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and undertaken by InterSOS and INSTAT, Mali’s national statistics office.
The aim of the exercise was to estimate the size of the displaced population in Mopti, and to collect and analyse information on IDPs’ displacement histories, their socio-demographic profile, assistance and protection needs and future intentions.
We undertook a mission to Mali in November 2012 to support the profiling partners in finalising their methodology and data collection tools, and in securing interagency support for the process. Building on the remote support and feedback provided before the mission, the methodology and questionnaires InterSOS and INSTAT had developed were revised and consolidated during extensive technical working sessions.
Recommendations to strengthen CMP’s data collection practices were also agreed in order to establish a more comprehensive picture of the internal displacement situation in Mali. We later supported the INSTAT field team remotely during the data collection phase, and continued to provide support through the analysis and reporting phases of the process.
As Penelope Muteteli, the UNHCR and protection cluster coordinator, put it: “JIPS helped to clarify the problems with what we were doing and that was of great value: understanding what was being done, what could have been done and what was missing.” Along these lines, the profiling exercise provided several significant findings impacts:
The exercise also served as a reminder of a number of profiling lessons: