Since it erupted in 2014, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine continues to divide the country. Over the last years, it has forced many people to move and live in other parts of the country. Urgent humanitarian needs resulting from the direct impact of live conflict activities still persist in the most heavily affected areas, including around the contact line. However, given the growing protracted nature of the situation, there is an increasing need to support more durable solutions for the large numbers of persons who remain displaced beyond the contact line as well as the many vulnerable populations living in collective centres.
JIPS’ support to addressing internal displacement in Ukraine spans the provincial, national and global levels: it started off with a first exercise with UNHCR and the Shelter Cluster in 2016, and was branched out in 2018-2020 with our support to the collaborative durable solutions led by the State Administration in Luhansk and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Since 2021, we are also working with partners at the national and global levels, to support the national monitoring of IDPs’ local integration and the implementation of the International Recommendations on IDP Statistics (IRIS).
Assessing durable solutions in Ukraine’s collective centres (2016)
The initial support request from the shelter cluster and UNHCR focused on the need to assess the situation of IDPs living in collective centres across the country to inform housing solutions for them. Although a small proportion of the IDP population from both the East and Crimea were residing in collective centres, this was deemed a priority due to their level of vulnerability.
Following discussions with the shelter cluster, however, the scope of the exercise was broadened to cover durable solutions more comprehensively, using IASC’s 2010 framework as basis for the analysis. We were asked to support both the technical aspects and the coordination and advocacy elements of the process.
The exercise led to a closer collaboration with government entities at the national and municipal levels as well as with development actors, including the World Bank and UNDP. It also brought attention to the need and opportunities for profiling in urban centres across the country, given the significant information gaps on the displacement situation further away from the conflict in the East.
Recommendations for moving forward in this direction were laid out; however, the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs had only recently been established and had limited resources, and it was thus decided to revisit the insights and opportunities for action at a later stage.
Durable solutions profiling of the displacement situation in the Luhansk Oblast (2018 – 2020)
The State Administration in Luhansk and NRC took the initiative to lead a collaborative profiling exercise in Luhansk in order to inform a more coordinated and evidence-based local level planning and humanitarian response. The UN and NGO community in Luhansk joined the effort.
A collaborative platform was established at the Luhansk level and the objectives and the scope of the profiling were agreed upon jointly. Due to elections in the spring of 2019 the Oblast-level focal points changed, while the national-level framework on displacement came under review. Subsequently, the methodology, sampling approach, indicators and survey questionnaire were developed. Data collection was done in December 2019 and early 2020, and the analysis and reporting phase took place in the spring and summer 2020.
The profiling report “Profiling of IDP Situation in Luhansk Region, Ukraine: Data-Driven Approach to Durable Solutions (Dec 2020)” was launched in December 2020.
A technical group, which was consulted for the methodology and tool development, furthermore included a number of other NGOs and civic organisations. JIPS provided technical support throughout.
As part of JIPS’ support to the profiling exercise, we looked at the information landscape with a specific focus on mapping out indicators of key data collection mechanisms and the analysis needs, especially against the durable solutions criteria and indicators as per the IASC Framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs and the Interagency Durable Solutions Indicator Library. This allowed partners to understand which information was already available from existing data systems and gaps that the profiling exercise would need to fill for the purpose of informing durable solutions for IDPs and their local integration.
JIPS’ technical support was made possible through the generous contribution from our donors, especially the United States Government and the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO).
Supporting government efforts on local integration and IDP statistics in Ukraine, 2021 – ongoing
Continuing our long-standing support to Ukraine, JIPS is currently helping partners in-country in the area of local integration analysis and strengthening statistics on internally displaced persons, in line with the International Recommendations on IDP Statistics (IRIS).
This included technical input to the research project jointly implemented by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories (MRTOT). Our contribution included the review of the research methodology and tools, local integration case studies, an assessment of local integration criteria and indicators relevant for Ukraine, and a review of the resulting recommendations to the MRTOT that could shape the Ministry’s measure of local integration. It furthermore involved support to the workshop with DRC and MRTOT in April 2021 to share and discuss the results of the research with national stakeholders. The reports were launched at a national online conference in June 2021, co-hosted by MRTOT and DRC, on “Looking Forward: Integration of IDPs in Ukraine” – with JIPS’ contribution of examples of integration measures building off technical discussions from the JIPS Durable Solutions Analysis Learning Community, as well as lessons learned on the design of integration measurements in the region such as in JIPS-supported contexts like Greece, Kosovo, and Georgia.
Our support also involved providing expert input to a series of technical multi-stakeholder workshops on the recommendations, criteria and indicators on IDPs’ local integration. The sessions involved the State Statistics Service Ukraine, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ministry of Social Policy, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Council of Europe. The results aim to link directly to the National IDP Integration Strategy 2021-2023, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in October 2021.
In addition, JIPS together with members of the Expert Group on Refugee, IDP and Statelessness Statistics (EGRISS) is working with the States Statistics Service Ukraine (SSSU) to implement the IRIS for improved official statistics on IDPs.
For the work on the local integration measure:
For the work on improved IDP statistics and IRIS implementation:
JIPS is providing extensive technical support and subject-matter expertise on both topics.