Management Response: Independent Evaluation of JIPS’ Strategic Period 2021 – 2023 - JIPS - Joint IDP Profiling Service

Management Response: Independent Evaluation of JIPS’ Strategic Period 2021 – 2023


Continuous learning and improvement have been key to JIPS’ evolution as an organisation since its founding in 2009 and are integral to the effectiveness of the services JIPS delivers to its partners at the country, regional, and global levels. In this spirit, the management of the Joint Internal Displacement Profiling Service (JIPS) warmly welcomes and appreciates the comprehensive and insightful Independent Evaluation Report spanning the strategic period of 2021 to 2023, with particular thanks to Dr. Patrick Hagan, whose expertise and meticulous efforts in researching and crafting this report are highly commendable.

The evaluation comes at a pivotal time in JIPS’ 15-years history, marked not only by a significantly changed landscape related to data on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) but also internal transitions in JIPS. Notably, it confirms the relevance, effectiveness, and coherence of JIPS’ engagement modalities to support multi-stakeholder efforts around data on internal displacement. JIPS management particularly appreciates the evaluation report’s overall finding that:


“JIPS plays a unique role in bridging the gap between data collected for initial emergency responses and longer-term development of inclusive data systems for durable solutions, using a joint and partnership focused approach that strongly involves community and government actors. JIPS has competitive advantage in this complex space due to its expertise and experience, its role as a small neutral actor, and its prioritisation of working with and for national partners who will own the data and process going forward. JIPS is assessed to be both highly relevant and effective in its efforts and approaches, as it continues to deliver an important niche service given the ongoing need to improve data and responses to displacement.”
– Final Report: Independent Evaluation of JIPS’ Strategic Period 2021 – 2023 (Dec 2023)


While highlighting the imperative of articulating JIPS’ unique value proposition amidst an ever-evolving and competitive data ecosystem, the evaluation report also discusses and contextualises challenges encountered by JIPS throughout the preceding strategic period. It identifies key opportunities for improving JIPS’ work moving forward, to create and deliver higher value but also to refine its business model and fortify its governance framework to build a more sustainable interagency, not-for-profit service. Importantly, JIPS management recognises the imperative for organisational introspection and refinement to address internal inefficiencies and bolster operational and financial resilience.

The evaluation process and report intentionally coincide with JIPS’ formulation of its strategy for the next strategic period spanning 2024 to 2030. JIPS accepts the findings and recommendations set forth, and has used them to inform this future-oriented strategy. In particular, the insights have been instrumental to shape a new theory of change (TOC) as well as guide deliberations on enhancing JIPS’ organisational preparedness for the forthcoming strategic period.

In summary, the evaluation report stands as a pivotal resource, providing invaluable insights and guidance as JIPS charts its course forward. Its thorough analysis and actionable recommendations serve as a cornerstone in bolstering JIPS’ operational effectiveness and strategic positioning for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The deliberate utilization of the evaluation findings and recommendations further underscores JIPS’ commitment to leveraging evidence-based analysis to inform its decision-making and enhance its organisational effectiveness.

The following sections discuss how JIPS has concretely used the evaluation reports’ 11 key recommendations to inform its new strategy, roughly corresponding to considerations around JIPS’ theory of change, programmes, community, and governance:


Theory of Change (ToC)


Recommendation 1

JIPS next strategy should clarify the centrality of country support as the primary effort, and place global policy and knowledge efforts as a supporting effect. The ToC should focus more clearly on JIPS role in supporting the change, how the outcomes depend on and contribute to each other, and thus allow JIPS to use it in practice to assess how it is progressing.

Since its inception over a decade and a half ago, JIPS’ efforts have been focused on country-level impact and, importantly, generating positive outcomes for internally displaced people and other displacement-affected communities. Thus, JIPS management strongly welcomes this recommendation, which is reflected in its new theory of change (TOC).

The TOC delineates two overarching objectives, distinctly focusing on subnational data and evidence generation, as well as providing support for national-level data systems. It is rooted in a logical causal pathway that recognizes that the primary stakeholders required to effectively progress towards durable solutions to internal displacement are predominantly situated within the country. This is further reinforced through its strategic outcomes, services and activities, which articulate in succinct, simple, and concrete terms the different levels of effects and their interlinkages. It is also reflected in its five core approaches, all of which underscore an in-country approach, emphasising government leadership, community involvement in data exercises, and leveraging existing efforts and systems.

This revised TOC, if consistently applied, is expected to provide clear guidance for resource allocation, intervention planning, and prioritisation of JIPS’ contributions in various contexts, facilitating overall changes and successes.


Recommendation 6

JIPS measurement of success should focus on joint measures that JIPS contributes towards. This may involve further thought on meaningful intermediate milestones that should be shared by project partners.

JIPS management values the comprehensive elaboration provided in Recommendation 6, which highlights how JIPS, through its partnership-based approach, serves as a supportive auxiliary to higher-level objectives and larger scale endeavours. The recommendation emphasizes the significance of delineating intermediate milestones as markers of progressive success towards higher-level and often more abstract concepts such as national ownership, focusing on concrete outputs and attributable outcomes such as the development of strategies and the implementation of inclusive data processes. In line with this recommendation, the results framework of JIPS’ upcoming strategy prioritises tangible and attainable successes, reflecting JIPS’ commitment to impactful interventions.

Furthermore, JIPS management appreciates the evaluator’s insightful commentary regarding the need to effectively communicate the organisational “outfit” of JIPS. Acknowledging its small size, JIPS seeks to manage expectations transparently while also highlighting the advantages that come with being a nimble and neutrally convening organisation. While the role may often be behind-the-scenes, it is no less essential and requires careful consideration in terms of costing. JIPS is committed to integrating this perspective into its proposal development processes, ensuring that its unique strengths are adequately costed.


JIPS’ Programme


Recommendation 2

JIPS should focus on shorter operational grounded knowledge products developed as integrated parts of country projects. JIPS should be careful about the extent to which it commits to significant publications, and do so only where funding is directly available, and where there is a dissemination plan to ensure that the effort results in a clear impact.

JIPS recognises the need to adapt its publication and communication strategy to better balance the resource investment for a publication with the expected uses and outcomes. This is also in acknowledgement of the changed environment around IDP data that today sees numerous high-level reports and flagship publications on displacement and migration data. While JIPS management values the feedback provided on communication products, an assessment of the relevance and impact of the different knowledge products, is still needed to better refine a management response to this point. This perceived limitation is attributed to the inherent challenges posed by JIPS’ tailored and often bespoke approaches making them difficult to codify, as well as the absence of systematised program reporting.

Moving forward, JIPS will pursue a two-tier approach: in line with recommendation 1, JIPS will continue to provide support to country partners to make IDP data available, accessible, and actionable, such as through comprehensive profiling reports targeted policy and advocacy briefs, and interactive data stories. JIPS recognises that these tailored publications play a crucial role in facilitating informed decision-making and action at both the national and subnational levels.

Furthermore, while JIPS will continue to share its experiences, best practices, and lessons learnt from its country-level work, this will be done through more concise publications such as short country case studies, advocacy briefs, think papers, and statements. This will enhance the effectiveness of its interventions but also address the evaluator’s recommendation for clearer project documentation, thus bolstering accountability and transparency across JIPS’ operations.


Recommendation 5

JIPS should use the Collaborative Leadership Programme (CLP) strategically where it has identified and responds to a regional/country need. It can use the training as a step in a coherent plan to either build specific national capacities, or to create a network of potential partners from which to develop further national level efforts. Each CLP should be developed and implemented jointly with a regional or national partner, to ensure it is adapted and aligned with the needs of the context.

JIPS has already seen the value of clearly focusing its CLP on a specific region and/or set of countries, in line with Recommendation 5 and 1 from the evaluation report: The 2023 course on the “Fundamentals of Transforming Displacement Data Into Action” proved highly successful by partnering with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and tailoring the content to countries in the East and Horn of Africa.

Moving forward, capacity development will continue to be part and parcel of JIPS’ country support (see outcome 2 and output b of JIPS’ strategy 2024-2030), drawing on the CLP training modules and continuously nurtured by JIPS’ country-level learning. The new Theory of Change (TOC) furthermore meticulously outlines the “what, who, where” of JIPS’ activity clusters and the causal flow from outputs to intermediate and longer-term effects. It is hoped that this enhanced clarity will enable future evaluations to place greater emphasis on JIPS’ deliverables, thus providing a more comprehensive understanding of its impact.

This also points to a few areas where JIPS sees limitations of the independent evaluation: firstly, this evaluation was designed to look broadly at JIPS relevance and effectiveness, rather than specific deliverables per se, thus it is notable that other JIPS deliverables are not assessed as extensively in the report as the CLP. Additionally, while the Evaluation Report briefly touches upon JIPS’ transition from IRIS development to IRIS country roll-out, there is an absence of reflection on adaptations in approaches and methods in response to the evolving normative landscape. Similarly, while the evaluation underscores the importance of JIPS for bridging the triple nexus, it lacks a deeper reflection on how JIPS work aligns with and/or can better build on recent development-related commitments, including the UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda, UN agencies’ institutional commitments, as well as tools promoted by development actors like UNDP and the World Bank.

JIPS considered these limitations in the development of its new Theory of Change, in which it articulates more clearly the distinct services it delivers via its “Service Catalogue” in the section “How we will achieve change”. This is intended (in part) to allow JIPS internally to disaggregate monitoring data on its services, as well as to support future evaluations to better distil feedback around these separate deliverables. This is in addition to the more holistic picture presented through this evaluation.


Recommendation 11

JIPS should continue and expand efforts to develop its project management templates, creating a standard definition of required documents and process guidance. This should include clear guidelines for the development of realistic project budgets, and for staff time tracking to enable project level governance.

JIPS management endorses Recommendation 11, acknowledging the existing opportunities to strengthen institutional tools to support effective and efficient operations. This includes continued investment in mainstreaming program cycle management standards and best practices throughout its operations and ensuring an effective Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) framework. It also involves ensuring sound grants management and a systematic approach to human resource planning and budgeting, including a transparent cost recovery model that better accounts for previously overlooked (invisible) expenses, such as scoping missions and time spent for engagement in global-level processes and initiatives.

While these initiatives may not be prominently featured in the strategy, they are meticulously detailed in JIPS’ internal management plan. Through these concerted efforts, JIPS aims to strengthen its operational foundation and ensure the effective and efficient implementation of its strategic objectives. The MEAL framework will be instrumental in enabling JIPS to accurately measure its impact and successes against stated outcomes and objectives during the new strategic period.

JIPS is also committed to fostering innovation and staying abreast of emerging developments in the field to ensure quality standards and guidance. These efforts are integral to informing JIPS’ programmatic decisions and equipping national partners with the evidence necessary to devise effective durable solutions to displacement challenges.


JIPS’ Community

JIPS’ management highly appreciates the recommendations pertaining to the partnerships that are an integral part of its work. JIPS acknowledges this in the new strategy, in its activity description but also the section on JIPS’ community.


Recommendation 3

While JIPS should continue to have a regional approach in some cases, this should be driven by developing partnerships with relevant regional organisations, and not by a focus on hiring regionally based JIPS advisors. The purpose of the regional approach is to efficiently support progress across a range of relevant countries.

JIPS management acknowledges that the current attempt at building a decentralized organisation, operated by regional advisors requires further consideration and intends in the immediate future to instead focus efforts on building regional partnerships. Such partnerships remain crucial for aligning JIPS’ country interventions with political and strategic processes, a shift towards cultivating robust collaborations with regionally anchored entities, such as the durable solutions secretariats (ReDSS, DSP-Mena, and ASDP), as well as intergovernmental bodies like IGAD, AU, and others, may be supported remotely. Furthermore, JIPS appreciates the rationale that the primary focus of its efforts should remain at the national level. By reallocating resources (including regionally deployed personnel), JIPS aims to streamline its operations to ensure maximum impact and cost-effectiveness while maintaining its commitment to supporting national-level initiatives.


Recommendation 4

JIPS support to larger multi-partner programmes are a strength of the team that drives its ability to continue supporting improvements in nationally owned evidence on internal displacement and should be maintained. JIPS should not engage in projects which are not strongly linked and aligned with its major partners.

The three examples highlighted in the evaluation report – Sudan, Somalia, and Mexico – demonstrate how JIPS emphasises the strategic alignment of its support with larger multi-partner programs or processes. They encapsulate how robust partnerships have been instrumental in driving success and underscore the organisation’s commitment to maximising impact through such collaboration.

These country support contexts also resonate with JIPS’ new strategy, exemplifying the two objectives the organisation aims to pursue: The Sudan and Mexico interventions focus on subnational evidence generation, facilitating the development of common approaches to community development (strategic objective 1). Conversely, the Somalia intervention centres on supporting national-level systems and data harmonisation efforts (strategic objective 2). Levels of stakeholder buy-in will serve as a criteria in assessing the strategic alignment and effectiveness of planned interventions, garnering appreciation from multiple stakeholders.


Recommendation 10

JIPS should maintain its approach of putting the national partner organisations at the centre of project scoping and development, however donor and international partner engagement should occur systematically and prior to the conduct of the scoping mission. Early engagement with donors and international partners will have to shape decisions regarding possible projects, to improve the probability of successful funded proposals.

JIPS impact is dependent on its collaboration with multiple partners and employing a systems approach. Recognising the paramount importance of these factors, JIPS remains steadfast in its commitment to bolstering existing partnerships while actively forging new collaborations across national and subnational, regional, and international spheres.

This strategic imperative is meticulously articulated within the framework of the new strategy, prominently featured in the dedicated chapter on the ‘JIPS community’. Herein, JIPS has identified and named key regional and international partners, recognising their role in advancing JIPS’ strategic objectives. However, JIPS also acknowledges the imperative of formalising these partnerships further, ensuring clarity and coherence in its approach to project tracking and reporting through codified mechanisms.

JIPS aims to continue to increase its impact at the country level, with a strategic emphasis on prioritising engagements with nationally embedded actors, including national authorities, civil society organisations, and national representations of international entities.

Notwithstanding this, the evaluation has additionally underscored the imperative for JIPS to proactively engage with international partners and donors from the outset. This proactive approach ensures early financial commitments, thereby guaranteeing adequate cost coverage and fostering broad dedication to sustain data processes over time. Recognizing this necessity, JIPS is determined to frontload efforts in securing financial support at the onset of engagements, enabling seamless continuity and steadfast commitment to data-driven initiatives.


JIPS’ Governance


Recommendation 9

JIPS should formalise its management structure and responsibilities, with a regular management meeting including the coordinator, the senior management, and the grants coordinator. Projects should be clearly assigned to teams, including their budgets, and then managed within that team under the oversight of the Coordinator.

JIPS management acknowledges the need to strengthen its management processes, contributing to a more robust, efficient, and sustainable interagency service as well as accountability to its stakeholders. JIPS has already started acting upon this recommendation by investing in enhancing management capacities, right-sizing the organization, improving funding acquisition and grants management, ensuring financially sound practices, and bolstering human resources understanding.


Recommendation 7

JIPS should adjust the composition of its Executive Committee to comprise the organisations who can directly contribute to organisational sustainment. This includes the co-hosts, several other major UN organisations who are required to facilitate country project access and partnerships, and the donors.

JIPS is committed to developing and sharing a proposed adjustment process with the current Executive Committee (ExCom), while also soliciting individual reflections on member aspirations and commitments. Through this process, JIPS aims to fortify its governance structure and associated management systems, thereby enhancing its capacity to effectively implement the 2024-2030 strategy. This will entail a comprehensive review of the governance structure, terms of reference (TORs), and decision-making, with acknowledgement of what has worked well and areas identified for improvement.

JIPS will also pay special attention to ensure that it is sufficiently leveraging the knowledge and capacities of its governance members to help advance its work programmatically as well as strategically.


Recommendation 8

JIPS should reinvigorate the Advisory Board, using it as a forum for discussion of key strategic and operational issues around effective and inclusive national ownership and use of data for displacement as it transitions from humanitarian response to country systems. Several members of the current Executive Committee would be more valuable partners to JIPS sitting on the Advisory Board, focused on the sharing of knowledge.

JIPS management endorses recommendation 8, as it closely resonates with the internally discussed strategic vision. The proposal to re-establish the Advisory Board presents an opportunity for Executive Committee (ExCom) members to reassess their involvement with JIPS while retaining their commitment, even if they opt for a change in function.

The Advisory Board, as articulated, is envisaged to serve as a technical and political advisor for JIPS. Its primary mandate would be to ensure a high level of information and facilitating relevant incorporation of pertinent initiatives by its members. This mechanism not only ensures that JIPS remains attuned to relevant developments but also provides a platform for testing ideas and innovations.

Furthermore, the re-establishment of the Advisory Board may serve as a forum for collaborative strategic and programmatic discussions that can promote synergy among stakeholders and optimise the impact of interventions on the ground. The proposed Advisory Board embodies a proactive approach to governance and collaboration, fostering an environment conducive to innovation, coordination, and sustained impact.


Next steps

With its strategy for the period 2024-2030, JIPS is poised to enter an exciting new strategic phase. The evaluation clearly confirms the continued relevance, effectiveness, and coherence of JIPS’ modalities of engagement in internal displacement settings, and signposts both areas that JIPS needs to spotlight and those that need strengthening to amplify its impact.

JIPS highly appreciates the time and energy of Dr. Patrick Hagan to provide such rich expertise and evaluation insights. Critically, he worked closely with JIPS and Rikke Johannessen, who closely supported the organisation throughout the participatory strategy building process, to ensure that the evaluation results fed directly and in an iterative manner into its new strategic direction.

Sign up to our newsletter

Email Format

JIPS – Joint IDP Profiling Service will use the information you provide on this form to send you email updates (usually once a month) about our activities.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect and will never share it with, or sell it to, others. By clicking 'SUBSCRIBE', you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking 'SUBSCRIBE' to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Get updates
Receive news about profiling practice and improving displacement data, right in your inbox.