The socioeconomic conditions of populations in Somalia

Short surveys will provide data to a rapid monitoring system that will enable the Somali NSO, UNHCR and partners to assess the changing needs of IDPs, refugees, returnees and host communities.

13 Jul, 2023

Overall objectives

The main aim of this activity is to provide humanitarian and development partners with evidence that can inform policy and programs.

Activity description

To overcome these challenges, the JDC will support the development of an Integrated Frequent and Rapid Monitoring System (IRMS) which will collect data that monitors food security, employment, and agriculture production – cheaply and regularly. The cost of a large comprehensive survey like the future Somali Integrated Household Budget Survey (SIHBS) is often substantial and the information static. In contrast, one round of the IRMS costs less than five percent of the SIHBS, making frequent and rapid monitoring of these indicators far more feasible. IRMS’ twenty-minute surveys will help to fill critical data gaps on IDPs and allow the effect of seasonality and well-being shocks to be evaluated. The results of the surveys will help the government develop effective policy interventions.

Engagement with partners

This activity complements the Somali Integrated Statistics and Economic Planning Capacity Building Project which builds the capacity of the Federal Government of Somalia to collect, process and disseminate poverty and selected macro-economic data through traditional household and business survey methods and administrative data. The rapid monitoring survey methods and techniques can be transferred to the Government and integrated into their existing statistics. The team will also engage with Statistics Sweden and DFID, who also actively develop statistics in Somalia.

Background and Context

Somalia has recently witnessed an historic year drought – a situation not seen in more than 40 years. While an estimated 2.9 million people are displaced in Somalia, one third of this population has been displaced since January 2021, when the current drought began. Famine is looming and it is expected that the next rainy season will also fail. When it does, it will displace even more people.

Large scale displacement is not a new phenomenon in Somalia. In 2011, approximately 1.5 million people were displaced by drought and conflict. While this number has doubled over the last decade, it has increased by almost a third in the last eighteen months.

Most of the displaced population has moved from rural areas to settlements or informal sites in urban and peri-urban locations. These people often live in hazardous circumstances, where they are at risk of unlawful evictions, food insecurity, overcrowded and unsanitary environments, with limited access to basic services and have lost their productive assets.

Insecurity in many parts of the country makes frequent monitoring difficult and, even when the environment seems secure, it can rapidly deteriorate. Data on internally displaced people (IDPs) was last collected in 2017 in the Somali Household Frequency Survey. Significant costs and risks apply to the evaluation of policies, projects, or programs of the Somali government and development partners as enumerators are unable to stay in the field for long periods to collect data.


For further details on this activity, please contact:

Harriet Mugera – [email protected] 

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