A new dawn for IDP Data? Standardising IDP identification in large survey programmes will improve national baselines as well as humanitarian & development data (JIPS, GRID2023) - JIPS - Joint IDP Profiling Service

A new dawn for IDP Data? Standardising IDP identification in large survey programmes will improve national baselines as well as humanitarian & development data (JIPS, GRID2023)


This background paper, written by Stein Terje, EGRISS and Statistical Expert and Wilhelmina Welsch JIPS Coordinator, is JIPS’ contribution to the 2023 Global Report on Internal Displacement, issued each year by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

Updated statistics on one of the most vulnerable population groups in the world, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), have for long been missing in many countries with good reasons. Situations of Internal Displacement bear specific challenges that require adapted methods and approaches especially when it comes to identifying populations that are sometimes hard to find or do not want to be identified fearing exposure to violence and persecution.

This applies to both counting how many IDPs there are and describing their specific living conditions and key displacementrelated vulnerabilities. A key obstacle has been the lack of standardisation of definitions and concepts to guide the production of data on IDPs both as part of national systems as well as in the humanitarian and development data realms. This has for long impeded the ability to fully describe and compare the challenges those affected by Internal Displacement face.

With the endorsement of the International Recommendations on IDP Statistics (IRIS) by the UN Statistical Commission, a common statistical framework to produce reliable and comparable IDP statistics is now available. This paper outlines efforts by JIPS, as a founding member of the Expert Group on Refugee, IDP and Statelessness Statistics (EGRISS), in collaboration with JDC and UNHCR, to develop another key piece of the puzzle to make IDPs visible: a standardised way to identify IDPs in sample surveys across the world. This can pave the way to produce more timely and reliable statistics on IDPs, contribute to the Leave No One Behind agenda, and further allow for a better and more nuanced understanding of displacement and its manyfaceted interlinkages with the achievement of the SDGs and the collective response to finding Durable Solutions.

Key messages from the background paper: 

  • Standardization the identification of IDPs in line with IRIS addresses a key missing link: comparability. While official statistics may not always meet the needs of the humanitarian sector and vice versa, the standardized approach will facilitate comparability between different data sources.
  • Standardizing the identification of IDPs in sample surveys brings advantages such as reducing the need for costly stand-alone IDP surveys and enabling investment in appropriate sampling strategies. It also increases the availability of statistical information on IDPs, improves timeliness in producing critical analysis, supports the measurement of population-based SDG indicators disaggregated by displacement status, and facilitates the development of Durable Solutions strategies.
  • National Statistical Offices and humanitarian actors now have a powerful tool to produce reliable and comparable information about IDPs, including their food security status. Collaboration among all actors is necessary to leverage the full potential of the standardized approach and ensure that the puzzle pieces show the full picture, making IDPs visible and enabling a new reality.

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