Durable Solutions

The pursuit of durable solutions is a long and complex process that involves IDPs overcoming vulnerabilities related to their plight so they are able to re-establish their lives free from discrimination related to their displacement. The IASC framework on durable solutions for Internally Displaced Persons outlines the process and establishes internationally accepted criteria for measuring progress.

Most IDPs need support from a broad range of stakeholders to achieve durable solutions, and as such profiling exercises are particularly useful in informing strategies, policies and interventions to that end. They take a comprehensive, cross-thematic approach to understanding a displacement situation that incorporates the various aspects relevant to solutions into a single analysis. They also combine different methodologies into one approach that includes not only IDPs but also their hosts in determining what is needed to support solutions.

The fact that profiling exercises are inherently collaborative undertakings to establish an evidence base for joint action also helps to foster a culture of working together on the response. They ensure that the data needs of a broad range of stakeholders working toward durable solutions are considered, and at the same time encourage partners with diverse interests to pull together in the same direction. They help humanitarian and development partners to identify joint priorities and make the most of their comparative advantages, and promote the incorporation of displacement into development planning processes.

Last but by no means least, profiling exercises involve IDPs and host communities themselves throughout the process to understand their perspectives, needs and intentions, which is essential for the achievement of durable solutions.

Case in point: Somalia

The combination of armed conflict and severe and recurrent drought and floods have forced huge numbers of Somalis to leave their homes. The capital, Mogadishu, hosts the country’s largest population of IDPs living in protracted displacement, many of them in informal settlements.

JIPS supported a profiling exercise in the city in 2015 and 2016 that helped to convince the government that durable solutions to internal displacement should be incorporated into the national development plan, and that a specific strategy should be developed for addressing protracted displacement in Mogadishu.

According to Mohamed Moalim, the head of the national statistics directorate at the Ministry of Planning: “The Mogadishu profiling results and recommendations have been used by the ministry in the formation of policy and analysis, and were a great springboard to discuss including a durable solutions chapter in the national development plan.”

The exercise brought national and local authorities together with UN agencies and NGO partners to inform planning and programming for durable solutions. It involved a comparative analysis of different populations living in informal settlements, and revealed not only the specific challenges IDPs faced as a result of their displacement, but also issues more broadly related to poverty and urban development.

Case in point: Sudan

Displacement dynamics in Sudan are complex and difficult to analyse. There are many people living in prolonged displacement, and others continue to be newly displaced. Seasonal migration is part of many communities’ traditional way of life, and many refugees have also returned from Chad. Following a support request from the UN’s resident coordinator for the country in 2016, JIPS and its partners are in the process of conducting a profiling exercise that will identify opportunities for durable solutions and inform planning for their achievement.

A set of joint tools and methodologies are to be piloted in the urban area of El Fasher in North Darfur and return areas in Um Dukhum in Central Darfur. In line with the IASC framework on durable solutions, the tools emphasise IDPs’ preferences and priorities.

Particular significance will also be given to steering the analysis from a focus on humanitarian assistance toward longer-term planning and incorporating durable solutions into local-level development programming.

The profiling coordinator will now work with community-based organisations on concrete ways to engage the wider community and ascertain their priorities, which will feed into the final analysis plan for an area-based profiling exercise. JIPS’ profiling advisor Khadra Elmi is currently on long-term deployment in Sudan to support its partners in moving the exercise forward.



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