Recognizing the scale of internal displacement across the globe, with many displaced individuals remaining uprooted for over two decades, there has never been a more critical moment to address the phenomenon – together. As the global internal displacement situation deteriorates, the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) underlines in his Action Agenda on Internal Displacement: “more of the same is not good enough”. A fundamental change in the way we approach solutions to internal displacement is needed.
It is widely acknowledged that this requires government responsibility for their internally displaced citizens, supported by multi-stakeholder action across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, that is informed by high-quality and trusted evidence. However, as the UNSG High-Level Panel report on internal displacement and the UNSG Action Agenda highlight, this has not translated into better ways of working together.
Key barriers to effective leadership and collaboration persist. When it comes to data and analysis of internal displacement, challenges include coordination issues among in-country actors across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, and lack of capacities to understand and drive sustained data use. This has resulted in duplicate efforts and repeated data collection that fail to include all relevant stakeholders, put additional burden on Internally Displaced People, and fall short of catalyzing meaningful change for them.
Moving beyond silos towards systemic, coordinated, and cohesive approaches to solutions to displacement – including what the Data Values Project terms ‘human interoperability’ of data – is not merely a matter of good will. It requires specific skills to foster and sustain collaborative spaces, unite agendas, generate locally owned evidence, and act in a concerted manner based on a shared understanding of a displacement context. It necessitates a critical shift in mindsets and capacities, towards a culture and system that are anchored in Collaborative Leadership1 – at all levels, including decision making.
Our new hands-on, blended training suite – the Collaborative Leadership Programme (CLP) – is a direct answer: It teaches the technical, process and collaboration skill sets needed for enhanced cooperation across the humanitarian, development and peace landscape – reiterating that no actor alone has all the tools and expertise to effectively respond to internal displacement. The training is anchored in JIPS’ expertise based on 13+ years of experience working in diverse displacement contexts and supporting the establishment of more than 45 collaborative data collection platforms in-country, treating collaboration as a skill, showcasing its added value as well as teaching it.
“Only by working together and cultivating a mindset and a culture of collaborative problem solving and leadership, will we be able to address these challenges and deliver more effectively and sustainably the support that is needed by those we serve.” – Wilhelmina Welsch, JIPS Coordinator, welcoming the first cohort of the CLP course 1
Particularly, through the training we seek to leverage and scale the transformative, multiplying and long-term positive impact that collaborative data processes achieve by enabling joint responses to displacement, catalyzing changes in attitudes and political will, aligning the agendas of governments and the international community, countering misconceptions on the needs and priorities of Internally Displaced Persons, and empowering them to have a say in the key decisions affecting their lives.
Expanding on JIPS’ former Profiling Coordination Training, run successfully since 2012, Course 1 of the CLP “The fundamentals of transforming displacement data into action for solutions” takes place between 26 September and 5 November 2022. It equips participants with the fundamental methodological approaches, tools, and capacities needed to plan, manage, and facilitate collective efforts to turn evidence into action. This entails the joint generation, analysis, and use of data on internal displacement towards more coherent data ecosystems, as well as the application of global standards and guidance on durable solutions, data responsibility, and IDP statistics.
Beyond teaching Collaborative Leadership skills, relevant for and beyond displacement data processes, the course offers a platform to exchange knowledge and good practices across contexts. Participants are invited to bring their real-life challenges to the live sessions, during the so-called ‘case clinics’, to discuss solutions with our team of experts and thus have direct access to JIPS’ technical support.
Inaction on internal displacement continues to place millions of individual lives on hold each year, threatens global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and comes with staggering economic costs (over US$21 billion in 2021 alone). Effectively supporting displacement-affected communities to live in dignity and reach solutions to their displacement in situations with compounding risks calls for concerted efforts to build critical capacities, question current data practices, as well as shift mindsets.
The first course of the CLP is the first step in equipping a new community of Collaborative Leaders among humanitarian, development and peace actors, local and national decision makers to jointly collect, analyze and use quality data in countries affected by internal displacement.
Now is the time to address this global challenge and take the lead – collaboratively!
 We define Collaborative Leadership as the capability to enable and coordinate a diverse range of stakeholders to collaborate across sectors for the generation and effective use of data, to achieve sustainable solutions to internal displacement. This includes the knowledge of key collaborative leadership principles, the skills to communicate inclusively along vertical and horizontal lines enabling co-creative solutions and collectively owned decisions, and adopting an open mindset that fosters trust and accountability in people and processes.