Colombia’s Victims’ Unit Work on IDP Data & The Value of JIPS’ Support

16.Dec.2019
By JIPS

Colombia has experienced a large scale and significantly protracted internal displacement crisis for a number of years. The Government, primarily through the work of the Unit for the Victims Assistance and Reparation (hereafter: Victim’s Unit) has provided strong leadership in shaping the response in the form of both humanitarian action and reparations. As part of this work, and to ensure action is evidence-based, important efforts and resources have been invested in robust data systems, including finding ways to ensure they communicate with each other.

The Victims’ Unit approached JIPS in 2015 to support their efforts and help strengthen and harmonise methodologies and tools they had developed to assess IDPs’ humanitarian needs, as well as measure broader vulnerabilities linked to displacement. JIPS worked closely with different departments of the Victims’ Unit, as well as other Government institutions, to build trust and shape concrete and feasible recommendations to strengthen vulnerability analysis mechanisms that were already in place to help target humanitarian assistance to those most in need and help measure the extent to which IDPs had overcome vulnerabilities linked to their displacement.

Through this collaboration, the Victims’ Unit also contributed to shaping the Interagency Durable Solutions Indicator Library. Subsequent support requests, under the leadership of Paula Gaviria Betancur (now sitting on the recently announced High-level Panel on Internal Displacement) resulted in further collaboration, helping to identify the extent to which the Victims’ Unit could reply on administrative data systems to assess vulnerabilities and the extent to which further primary data collection was required. JIPS combined forces with Statistics Norway and NORCAP to make this work possible.

This work set the ground for a long-term collaboration, which extends today to the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS). In particular, Colombia, through the Victims’ Unit participation in the EGRIS IDP subgroup, contributed alongside several other country members to share experience and expertise that helped shape the international recommendations on official statistics on IDPs, which are currently going through global consultations with members of the UN Statistical Commission.

Against the background of our longstanding partnership, we asked Ramón Rodríguez, Director of the Victims’ Unit of the Government of Colombia, to briefly explain their data related efforts and how JIPS’ support has been useful in this context.

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