At the end of 2023, the first chapter of the World Bank-UNHCR Joint Data Center (JDC) closed and the second opened. With the passing of that epoch, the first JDC strategy also concluded.

Over the past four years, we supported and implemented 62 activities that collected, analyzed, and standardized the data of forcibly displaced, stateless people, and their hosts. This work increased the quantity and quality of data and analysis available and the impact it has had. At the same time, we have also strengthened the capacity of national institutions.

When the JDC was established, microdata was collected by UNHCR in an ad hoc way. Much of it was not publicly available to protect people of concern. Now, most of this data is responsibly shared in the UNHCR Microdata Library and is increasingly standardized and of high quality. To fill the remaining gaps, UNHCR, with support from the JDC, has created a household survey that meets most of UNHCR’s data needs – the Forced Displacement Survey which is currently being conducted in South Sudan, Cameroon, and Pakistan.

A sea change has also taken place within the World Bank with the widespread integration of forced displacement in analytics and operations. This was epitomized in the latest World Development Report, Migrants, Refugees and Societies, which proposes a framework that maximizes the development impact of cross-border movements on both destination and origin countries and on migrants and refugees themselves. But perhaps of more importance are the changes that have taken place in country programs where an increasing number of World Bank national household surveys include forcibly displaced populations.

An example of this is the Central African Republic, where the JDC supported the data collection of half a million internally displaced people (IDPs) that was used in the country’s first ever World Bank poverty assessment. This will help ensure that forcibly displaced people are not only accounted for, but also included in development programs.

Persistent conflict, the onset of new ones, and frequent climate shocks have caused an increase in forced displacement of 30 million since 2019, when the JDC was established. At the same time, the resources available to respond to this challenge are more and more constrained. This calls for increasing the effectiveness of our response by informing decisions with data and evidence.

Soukeyna Kane


Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group

World Bank

Dominique Hyde


External Relations

United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

Global Activities 

In 2023, the JDC continued to create traction on forced displacement data on the global stage. We drew attention to the opportunities and challenges of forced displacement data at high-level events like the World Data Forum and the Global Refugee Forum; contributed to important inter-agency processes like the Expert Group on Refugee, Internally Displaced and Statelessness Statistics (EGRISS) and the data stream of the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement; created space to build and exchange knowledge and to innovate on forced displacement; and generated awareness through various contributions in the blogosphere.

The Director General of the National Statistics Office in Chad (Institut National de la Statistique, des Etudes Economiques et Démographiques), Dr Baradine Zakaria Mousal, speaks at the Global Refugee Forum event jointly organized by the JDC.  


2023 started well for JDC when, we drew the attention the international statistical community to forced displacement data through events at the UN World Data Forum (a hybrid event on statistical inclusion of refugees and IDPs in national surveys, an expert panel on statelessness statistics,  and a “learning lab”), the UN Statistical Commission (a side event on statistical inclusion of refugees and IDPs, and on statelessness statistics), and the International Forum on Migration Statistics.

The JDC also organized “Data, Displacement & Development”, in June, which enabled experts on displacement data to discuss the World Development Report 2023 with an audience of over 300 people. In December, after months of liaison and advocacy, we co-led  a high-level side event at the Global Refugee Forum about the multi-stakeholder pledge on inclusion of refugees, IDPs and stateless persons in national statistics. Over 85 pledges were received from host countries, international and regional organizations and donors – evidence of the momentum which JDC and others have generated around statistical inclusion.

Developing Statistical Standards

The JDC continued to contribute significantly (financially, technically and with direction) to EGRISS, an entity mandated by the UN Statistical Commission to develop and maintain the international statistical standards on forced displacement and statelessness. In 2023, the JDC celebrated the endorsement of EGRISS’s recommendations on statelessness statistics by the UN Statistical Commission. This provides greater alignment and harmonization of statistics on statelessness across government, development and humanitarian partners. A review conducted at the end of 2023 found that 58 data production exercises in 24 countries had used the EGRISS recommendations.

Another important milestone was achieved in mid-2023, when – with technical leadership from JDC – EGRISS released its Compilers Manual, a guidance document that breaks the recommendations down for day-to-day statistical production. EGRISS also offered capacity building on the standrads to 142 national statistical institutions and released two methodological papers on identification and solutions, and launched an e-learning course. EGRISS also provided the Somali National Bureau of Statistics with support to produce IDP statistics for the country’s national statistical system. The JDC also participated in the data task force in the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement as well as the Data Responsibility Working Group.

Knowledge & Innovation

In 2023, the JDC also continued to connect technicians and practitioners and create spaces for the building and exchange of knowledge and innovation. The increased visibility of resources on the JDC website (a 12 percent increase in pageviews) such as  newsletter, literature review and quarterly digests, demonstrated the advancement of evidence on forced displacement. In this way, the JDC is contributing to the body of knowledge that we have on this complex phenomenon.

At the end of 2023, the JDC also revealed a new product that makes it easier for researchers to find the microdata they need for their work: a dashboard called Forced Displacement Microdata, and its supporting documentation.  This builds on JDC’s earlier  engagement to help UNHCR evolve from a closed to an open data institution, impressively evidenced by the 700+ datasets now available on UNHCR’s Microdata Library which was established with support from the JDC. Looking beyond “raw” microdata to accessibility of data in its more refined form (that is, readily-compiled indicators for non-technical audiences) the JDC began another new project in 2023 that will help UNHCR expand its Refugee Data Finder to present socio-economic indicators on forcibly displaced.

Furthermore, in 2023, the JDC collaborated with the Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement (BEoFD) research program to develop a training program  to make the latest socioeconomic research on forced displacement accessible to practitioners and policy-makers. The program attracted 729 registrations.

A related yet distinct achievement in 2023 was the signing of a global data sharing agreement between UNHCR and the World Bank, developed with support from the JDC, which will make collaboration on data between JDC’s parent institutions even more seamless in the future.” The new global Framework Data Sharing Agreement […] marks another important milestone in our collaboration with UNHCR” said Anna Bjerde, the World Bank’s Managing Director for Operations, upon signing the agreement. “This agreement will strengthen our analytical capacity and help our teams gather and responsibly share robust evidence to inform our programmes” added UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the occasion. This global agreement is being put to good use in several countries already and the implementing agreement to streamline its use at scale is being finalized.

JDC Fellowships

Meshack Achore

The JDC fellowship allowed me to explore my research interest in evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to alleviate food insecurity among the forcibly displaced. I also garnered hands-on experience (i.e., data analysis, devising policies and making policy recommendations) on real-world issues to improve the health and socio-economic well-being of forcibly displaced people. Working with the JDC has been a rewarding experience.

Elizabeth Ahikiriza

During my time at the JDC, I gained immense exposure to the use of data and evidence in humanitarian and development operations for forcibly displaced people. The fellowship offered me the opportunity to interact with several resourceful and talented people with whom I worked on different tasks. Besides learning a lot, my experience was engaging, challenging and rewarding which, I strongly believe will be instrumental in shaping my future career path. 

National Activities

In 2023, JDC grew its portfolio of country-level projects by ten new activities in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Moldova, Peru, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Lebanon, DRC, Mali and Malawi, bringing the total number of national activities supported by the JDC to 43, across 35 countries. All new activities were carefully selected with a view to their contribution to the JDC’s strategic objectives as well as their ability to respond to operational data needs and support policy dialogue. These activities shed light on the living conditions of all populations covered by the JDC’s mandate, (refugees and asylum seekers, IDPs, stateless persons, and their hosts).

The JDC’s commitment to working with national statistical systems, building capacity and government ownership of data production and sustainability, was evidenced by the 59% of national activities that either included forcibly displaced or stateless persons in national household surveys and censuses or were stand-alone surveys of forcibly displaced carried out by national statistical offices. The advancement and expansion of JDC’s activities was evidenced by a clear year-on-year increase in the number of national activities that completed stages of data collection.

Highlights of 2023

Central African Republic

Almost 7 out of 10 Central Africans live on less than $2.15 per day, and more than half cannot afford to feed themselves adequately even if they devote their entire household budget to food. Development policies need to support the most vulnerable. At the end of 2023, there were around 500,000 internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in CAR – more than 8% of the country’s population. CAR’s first-ever poverty assessment “A Roadmap towards Poverty Reduction in the Central African Republic” was launched on November 16, 2023, by the Prime Minister, signaling the government’s commitment to addressing poverty. The assessment is a roadmap for this and it found that IDPs living in camps are worse off than the rest of the population across most poverty metrics. The JDC supported the inclusion and identification of IDPs in the national living conditions survey (Enquête Harmonisée sur le Conditions de Vie des Ménages or EHCVM) which was implemented by the Institut Centrafricain des Statistiques et des Etudes Economiques et Sociales. The survey included a specialized questionnaire to identify IDPs outside of official camps.

Peru, Colombia and Chile

A range of activities on displaced Venezuelans, came to conclusion in 2023. The findings from the second round of the “Survey of Venezuelan living in Peru” (Encuesta Dirigida a la Población Venezolana que Reside en el País, or ENPOVE2) was launched in January, and provided detailed insights into food security, employment and income, health, discrimination, mobility and employment. The latest round of data from Colombia’s Encuesta Pulso de la Migración was released in June and found that information, contact networks, and documents for migratory status played an important role in displaced persons’ access to services and employability. Data and reports from this survey were used to develop Colombia’s new strategy for the integration of the Venezuelan migrant population, which outlines a 10-year plan to maximize migrants’ contribution to development. It also informed World Bank Financing of $750M that focused on integrating Venezuelan migrants. In Chile, the national statistical office released six thematic papers from the Encuesta Nacional de Migración, results from which were used to develop Chile’s national migration policy.


The reportSurviving in Times of War was released in February 2023. This report aims to document how and why well-being in Yemen has changed since the last Poverty Assessment which was conducted immediately before the conflict. The undertaking triangulated data from non-traditional sources to describe the evolution of well-being for the entire population. The data analyzed here include high-frequency mobile phone surveys of households over the course of the conflict, food and commodity price surveys, intermittent surveys of local governments, key informant interviews of a wide range of essential service providers, face-to-face household surveys, and a novel internet-based survey.


UNHCR Jordan and the World Bank MENA Poverty Team collaborated on a study in Jordan investigating how shocks occurring outside the country impact the socioeconomic situations of people in Jordan. The study shows differential recovery pattern of refugees living in camps and out of camp and explains how the recovery of refugees differs from host communities. The collaboration also produced a paper on poverty measurement for refugees in Jordan. By using the international poverty line for middle income countries, the joint study shows that 66% of refugees in Jordan live below $5.5 per person per day. These results will be used to update UNHCR’s targeting of cash assistance to refugees and inform the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework.

East Africa

Over 80,000 refugees in Kenya live in urban areas, most of them in Nairobi, despite the fact that they receive some assistance outside of refugee camps. Findings from a new JDC-supported report on these urban refugees was launched in October 2023, presenting comparable data for refugees and nationals.

High-frequency phone surveys of displaced populations in some of the world’s most inaccessible places, expanding the data series on refugees and IDPs that were initiated in earlier years. Findings were released in 2023 for refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Djibouti, as well as IDPs in Somalia.

The JDC concluded its support to an initiative we supported throughout our first mandate, namely economist positions in UNHCR regional and country offices to strengthen UNHCR’s analytical capacity in some of the areas most affected by forced displacement. Over the last four years, the JDC enabled the creation of eleven such positions, of which nine have been in country offices and two in regional bureaux. Nine of these positions have been retained by their respective offices, which is acknowledgment of the importance of an analytical function within UNHCR. 


Collecting high-quality, comparable data is only possible with clear definitions, robust standards and rigorous methodology. This is particularly true of statistics on refugees, internally displaced (IDP) and stateless people, who have been largely excluded from national systems. The JDC continued to invest in the development and implementation of standards and systems that transform the foundation on which data on forcibly displaced populations is produced. In 2022, significant progress has been achieved:

Moving Forward

The end of 2023 concluded the JDC’s initial period and strategy. With a positive appraisal from our parent institutions, a favorable independent mid-term review, and the generous support from our donors, JDC is thrilled to have been granted a second term from 2024-2027. This will allow us to expand and consolidate the achievements of the past four years. We have come a long way in a short time, but more remains to be done.

We know this extension of our finite lifespan comes with high expectations, and we do not take them lightly. We have learned from our first period through an independent mid-term review and an ongoing end-of-term review of JDC’s performance against our first strategy’s results framework. Building on this, and through broad-based consultations with 50 of our internal and external stakeholders, we have developed the JDC’s second strategy, covering 2024-2027.

The new strategy expands and refines our engagement in the forced displacement data space, and is built around four strategic priorities as well as an increased focus on sustainability and mainstreaming our work into our parent institutions:

Priority I – Systematic inclusion in national statistics

Priority II – Targeted production of high-quality data and timely analysis to inform policy and programs

Priority III – Data innovation to increase the quality, timeliness and accessibility of data

Priority IV – Operationalize data and evidence to strengthen solutions to forced displacement


 The JDC team is excited about the coming four years. We will continue to deliver our mission of enhancing the ability of stakeholders to make timely and evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of affected people, and to achieve our vision of improved protection and wellbeing of those affected by forced displacement, through coherent operationalization of evidence-informed humanitarian and development action as well as solutions and inclusive policies.


The JDC would like to thank the individuals, organizations, governments, and NSOs who collaborated with and supported the organization in achieving its objectives, particularly, the guidance provided by our Management Committee and Strategic Advisory Council. The JDC would also like to extend its appreciation to its partners for their generous financial contributions in 2023: the Government of Denmark, represented by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the European Union, represented by the Directorate-General for International Partnerships at the European Commission; and the United States Government, represented by the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The JDC also benefits from support by the IKEA and Hilton Foundations