Profiling Coordination Training 2018: new datasets, new sessions, updated scenario and extended topics - JIPS - Joint IDP Profiling Service

Profiling Coordination Training 2018: new datasets, new sessions, updated scenario and extended topics

Related Topics: Capacity development

This year’s edition of our flagship training on profiling brought together 28 participants from more than 20 countries to work on the profiling process from start to finish. It was an exciting 6 days hands-on training using our revised fictional country scenario Freedonia and concrete examples from our profiling experience over the last years. We also met brilliant colleagues who contributed valuable insights from their own various experiences working in national statistical offices, UN agencies as well as non-profit humanitarian and development organisations.

JIPS has worked hard over the summer and autumn to revise our training scenario and materials. In particular, we have put our heads together to rethink Freedonia. Read on about what’s new, and hear from four participants working in South Sudan and Honduras about their highlights from the training.



New country scenario and dataset

The fictional country scenario of Freedonia not only sets the stage for the PCT content and practical exercises, but it has also inspired and been integrated into many of our partners’ training courses, such as UNHCR’s TIME training, DRC’s flagship Protection training and others. However, we felt the scenario needed an update to reflect our displacement profiling experience over the last years, as well as to ensure that participants’ experience is close to the situations and challenges they might come across in real life. The new scenario thus includes:

  • Adjusted storyline – The countries’ history now entails various political events and episodes, such as colonisation, fragmentation of land governance due to rivalling clans, an autocratic regime era, a civil war and more recent endeavours for democratic governance. The displacement/migration situation is also complex, including conflict and disaster-induced IDPs in camp and urban settings, returning refugees and economic migrants.
  • New datasets – three new datasets were developed to enable a more advanced capacity building on analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as to reflect a common situation in profiling exercises where we often combine different data collection methods due to e.g. access constraints, funding issues or time-pressure: i) an urban dataset to train and test urban displacement analysis, ii) a dataset based on a household questionnaire to enhance quantitative data analysis skills, and iii) a dataset entailing information from qualitative data acquisition to further develop qualitative data analysis skills.
  • Last but not least: a completely revised design, rich yet concise and tailored to training needs, with an specifically tailored country map, data graphs and useful infographics



New thematic sessions

This years’ training also included dedicated sessions focusing on three strategic areas we are working on:

  • Durable solutions: A pre-course survey already indicated participants’ broad interest in this topic. Starting with the “basics”, the session looked at what durable solutions to internal displacement meant according to the definition and principles advanced by the IASC framework, and then applied it to practical examples. Participants also learned how profiling can inform an essential component of comprehensive durable solutions analyses, by looking at the micro-level including IDP’s future intentions. The session received one of the highest scores in the course evaluation, and an additional evening session was organised to go deeper with interested participants.
  • Joint analysis: During this session, we examined together with participants what it meant to analyse data and information in a group of people with diverse backgrounds, and practiced this based on the Freedonia scenario. The session was developed from material piloted in this year’s Humanitarian Analysis Programme run by ACAPS and is also being used in our field support with partners in different countries such as Sudan, Greece and Honduras. The session was greatly appreciated by the participants, since it enabled them to acquire tactics and strategies to interact with partners for a collaborative analysis process in their own operations.
  • Community engagement: This session showcases the critical added value of engaging displaced and displacement-affected communities at key moments of a profiling process. We also discussed methods beyond conducting focus group discussions, such as photo-voice and visual techniques, to allow for richer discussions with communities. Material built upon JIPS’ growing experience in this area, recently shared with global partners at the Human Rights Council side event.

By the way, if you wish to get a sneak peek into the new Freedonia or use it for your own trainings, get in touch!


What do participants say about the training?

Telling from participants’ reactions and feedback through our online survey, the effort put into enhancing the training through these new materials and thematic sessions was worth it. As Jonathan Mendoza (Data Management Associate with UNHCR Honduras) says,

“my expectations have been met: (…) the workshop was really dynamic and there was a lot of encouragement to participate. (I also) really enjoyed the opportunity to network with colleagues scattered around the world”.

Against the background of the current profiling exercise in the country, his highlight was the session on how to jointly analyse the data as well as achieve agreement on its interpretation. This, he says, will be greatly useful in the ongoing discussions with the government in Honduras, to help inform durable solutions and policy making on displacement. For Ali Abdelmajid (Bureau of Statistics Libya), the training was very relevant given the current displacement situation in Libya, and he aims to transfer the acquired knowledge to his staff in the Bureau of Statistics. For Halake Mohamud (Information Management Officer with UN OCHA South Sudan), the session on how to ensure broad buy-in was particularly valuable:

“I’ve learned how to bring together all the stakeholders to one table so they can gather around common objectives and also put on the table their various strengths and what they can contribute to a successful exercise – in terms of technical expertise, financial resources, providing security and safety.“

The training also helped him to better understand the differences between rural and urban contexts, as well as the added value of looking at both IDPs and host communities. Looking back at the six intense days of training, Sebastian Herwig (Protection Cluster State Coordinator at UNHCR South Sudan) mentions:

“These skills, if not applied in the classic profiling exercises that JIPS is doing, can be applied to a whole range of other assessments, such as area-based assessments, interagency assessments, etc.” We couldn’t agree more.


Listen in to our audio recordings of our conversations with Jonathan, Halake, Ali and Sebastian on our audio channel.

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