Profiling Arrivals on Greek Islands: Providing Technical Support to UNHCR-led Initiative - JIPS - Joint IDP Profiling Service

Profiling Arrivals on Greek Islands: Providing Technical Support to UNHCR-led Initiative


With almost 1 million people having arrived by sea to Europe in 2015 alone, the refugee/migrant crisis in Europe is only expected to increase as 2016 develops. In the first few weeks of January 2016, over 30,300 people have already made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece. To better understand this massive movement of people in order to inform a better and more strategic response to the refugee population within these numbers, UNHCR has asked for JIPS’ support to help plan a profiling exercise initially in the Greek Islands.

Following remote support during December 2015, JIPS undertook a technical mission in January 2016 working alongside UNHCR’s Information Management team in the operation. JIPS support has so far focused on methodology development, questionnaire design, enumerator recruitment and training.

The mission traveled to the Greek islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos, which are the main islands receiving arrivals, in order to identify the best locations and methods to ensure a representative sample of the population with a specific focus on certain nationalities.

The methodology and sampling approaches for the profiling were developed during the mission, based on stakeholder discussions and field observations.

The questionnaire, finalised during the mission will capture data on demographics as well as the socio-economic background of respondents, their origins, displacement history and route taken, current needs, capacities and travelling modalities. Although limited in scope, this information will be critical for both the immediate response to support arrivals and to inform the broader EU migration policy and preparations for other European countries expecting to receive arrivals from Greece..

During the mission, both Farsi/Dari and Arabic enumerators were trained, on the use of the profiling questionnaire, methodology, code of conduct, and behaviour. A pilot was carried out to field test the tools and get them ready for implementation.

Data collection has begun on four islands and is conducted in two main languages: Arabic and Farsi/Dari. The first analysis and summary report is expected by the end of January, with factsheets and updates expected every month. Ideally enhanced coordination as this process unfolds can help to improve the quality and impact of the results produced.

Find out more about the response to the Mediterranean Sea arrivals and review the latest factsheets, on UNHCR’s Data Portal.

Read more about JIPS support in Greece.

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