Building pathways to move beyond critical humanitarian assistance towards longer-term Solutions to Internal Displacement calls for an all-out effort across disciplines. The UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda is clear: it requires working together, at all levels. And making these shifts a reality starts with individuals who have the skills, techniques, and tools to bridge current divides at both the technical and human levels – from the moment data on a displacement situation is being generated. Our Collaborative Leadership Programme (CLP) does just that: it offers a methodology for better ways of working together to co-create better futures for displacement-affected communities.
Between September 26 and November 5, 2022, we embarked on a learning journey with the first cohort of the CLP. Spanning 20 countries and three continents, 32 participants from 16 organizations across national governments, statistical offices, the United Nations, and NGOs joined us for Course 1 of the CLP The Fundamentals of Transforming Displacement Data into Action for Solutions.
We provided participants with a comprehensive overview of how to foster and sustain collaboration throughout a data process and why it is worth the investment in the longer term, particularly in displacement settings. We explored the following questions and more: What opportunities do joint data processes offer to support Durable Solutions to displacement? How can we secure various stakeholders’ buy-in and support throughout a data process while balancing different agendas? How can we support building and leveraging capacities of all partners involved? How can we turn collective intelligence into collective action to improve the lives of displaced persons?
The CLP Course The Fundamentals of Transforming Displacement Data into Action is based on JIPS’ proof of concept that collaboration is key to unlocking both deeper knowledge and stronger ownership. It allows to generate a wealth of information on the needs, experiences, and perspectives of displaced persons, as well as deeper contextual knowledge such as on the impact of displacement on other affected communities and the broader environment – all of which is critical to inform effective Solutions. It supports joint instead of duplicate efforts, and most importantly, fosters collective ownership and responsibility over responses to displacement. Structured around the data process model (see images below) the training draws on concrete case studies selected from our decade of experience supporting joint Solutions to displacement in over 50 countries.
“In this training I was able to exchange with practitioners with very diverse and different backgrounds from my own and broaden my understanding and skills of collaborative data collection processes. I’d recommend this training because it provides solutions to collecting data in sometimes complex and sensitive political environments with a variety of different actors.” – Babette Schots, Danish Refugee Council Protection Coordinator, Asia
In keeping with the essence of JIPS’ approach, the training was itself designed as a platform for collaboration: to exchange knowledge and good practices among peers. Each self-paced module was followed by a live session re-capping the training content, diving deeper into real-life cases, and offering participants the opportunity to bring in their own challenges to discuss solutions together with their peers and JIPS’ team of experts.
“The JIPS training provides a comprehensive overview of the policy frameworks relevant to displacement and how collaborative data can contribute to supporting common outcomes. It is also a great networking opportunity for strengthening relations with Governments and other organizations.” – Chiara Lucchini Gilera, IOM Regional Displacement Tracking Matrix Coordinator for the East and Horn of Africa
Having both mid to senior-level technical and program staff from governments, UN agencies, and NGOs as participants in CLP course 1 was highly valuable. It brought together diverse perspectives that helped create a holistic picture of key blockers and enablers of collaboration at each step of a displacement data process. Technical staff contributed specialized knowledge and skills, spurring discussion around challenges and solutions for contradicting population estimates and the benefits that a joint baseline estimation can offer. Colleagues from statistical offices reflected on approaches and challenges in collecting data to include IDPs in official statistics, while still others shared how they overcame issues around diverging concepts and definitions when designing a common study. Emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the training fostered learning across contexts, from Somalia to Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mexico, and the Asia region.
In addition to the value of collaboration, participants learned about the importance of applying global standards and best practices when collecting data in displacement contexts, including how to operationalize relevant frameworks and guidelines such as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) Durable Solutions Framework and the International Recommendations on Internally Displaced Persons Statistics (IRIS). These standards ensure that data is collected and analysed in a manner that aligns with international best practices, examines the underlying causes of displacement, and is sensitive to the needs of affected populations and host communities. Participants also gained insights into various tools and methods such as Joint Analysis, to ensure that the collected data is not only of good quality but also meaningful and useful in real-life situations.
“The training was extremely helpful to understand the displacement data ecosystem, as well as available menus, options, tools. The workshop provided some very concrete user-friendly materials and tools for collaboration in data processes, data design, collection, dissemination and most importantly data use. Quality of the content was excellent, with a nice balance of theory and practice. I really appreciated the constant support of the trainers along with the concise and practical handouts that I will certainly use in my work and share in the team.” -Oxana Maicuca, UNDP Human Mobility Advisor, Europe and CIS region
Central to the training were considerations for ensuring that data collection efforts are guided by ethical principles and human rights. This included emphasis on the fact that partners embarking on a collaborative data process are first and foremost accountable to displacement-affected populations and to all those communities from whom data are collected. A deep-dive session during the training provided insights into why and how to engage communities as equal stakeholders throughout the data process, ensuring their voices are heard and that they remain agents in their own rights.
By the end of the training, participants had a comprehensive knowledge of how to design, manage and coordinate a collaborative data process; identify strategies to collaborate, communicate and build consensus with all stakeholders; apply different methodologies, tools, and frameworks for collecting and using data. Importantly, participants are equipped with the unique Collaborative Leadership skillset needed to overcome key coordination challenges in displacement settings – helping partners to move forward together.
With a new set of tools in their toolbox participants are equipped to approach their work in a more collaborative way to develop Solutions to displacement tailored to their respective country contexts. Several participants have already started applying their learnings of the CLP in their work and are acting as catalysts for collaborative data efforts within their organizations.
Launching Course 1 of the CLP marked an important milestone for JIPS: a first step in equipping a new community of Collaborative Leaders among humanitarian, development and peacebuilding actors, local and national decision makers. We believe that the power of collaboration in collecting and using data in displacement contexts is immense. By working together, we can ensure that no IDP is left behind, and that the data collected accurately reflects their unique situations and needs. Connecting the dots from the global to the regional and local levels, effectively allocating resources, increasing the quality of data on a displacement situation, and supporting shared ownership among partners ensures that jointly collected data can be used as a basis for coherent responses in support of longer-term solutions for displacement.
This year’s course is specifically designed to improve the availability and quality of displacement data within the East and Horn of Africa region. The training also extends to Nigeria and Burundi, where JIPS has ongoing and confirmed country support exercises respectively. Focusing on the importance of supporting government actors as the main duty bearers of responses to Internal Displacement, the course is organized in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat.
The CLP 2023 training is a hybrid training that combines a 6-week e-learning phase from the 22nd of May to the 30th of June and a 3-day live workshop from the 4th to the 6th of July, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a unique opportunity for experienced national and regional actors to build leadership and technical capacities relevant for and beyond displacement data processes. It is not only a training to learn but also to exchange ideas, solve problems, initiate projects and build new partnerships, while having direct access to JIPS technical support.
The training will provide space for 35 participants, with 21 participants identified and selected by the IGAD secretariat, and 14 participants selected by JIPS through an open call for applications (more details on the eligibility criteria in the FAQ). To apply to the training, fill out the application form no later than Friday 12th of May 2023.