What We Do

© UNHCR/Gordon Welters

Our Work Program

Th JDC leverages partnerships and innovation in its focus on the collection, analysis, and dissemination of primary microdata that enables policymaking and programming.  Our work program is structured along five themes; i. Strengthening Data systems, ii. Filling Data Gaps, iii. Filling Data Analysis and Knowledge Gaps, iv. Improving Data Access, and v. Sharing Knowledge. It supports country level engagement to increase the coverage of socioeconomic data on populations affected by forced displacement, as well as global systemic efforts to strengthen norms and standards on statistics that will improve the quality of data collected.

The 2020 work program includes some 40 activities, carefully selected for their contribution toward achieving the JDC’s mission

2020 Work Program Countries

JDC Work Program Countries

This map was produced by the Cartography Unit of the World Bank Group. The boundaries, colors, denominations and any other information shown on this map do not imply, on the part of the World Bank Group and UNHCR-the UN Refugee Agency, any judgement on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.


Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Republic of Yemen
South Sudan



2020 Work Program: Financial Scope

The financial scope of activities in the program amount to USD 13.2 million for 2020. The budget-distribution between the five work streams can be seen in the chart on the right, plus a USD 1 million set-aside for a floating fund to support opportunistic and timely activities  during the year.

JDC Operation 2020


© UNHCR/Roger Arnold

Strengthening Data Systems


Supporting phase III of the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS)

Disseminate and implement the international recommendations of the Expert Group on Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Statistics (EGRIS) through strengthening capacity of national statistical systems and enhancement of the associated Compilers’ Manual.

Read this activity description here.

Strengthening IDP statistics

Work with partners to build on and refine the International Recommendations on Internally Displaced Persons Statistics (IRIS) to standardize vulnerability measures, complete the statistical framework, and develop associated tools as needed.

Improving statistics on statelessness

Support the development of international recommendations on statistics on statelessness, and improve statelessness estimates at national, regional, and global levels.

Read this activity description here.

Improving the quality of survey data on forcibly displaced populations

Support the ongoing development and maintenance of digital data collection tools including Survey Solution. These open source solutions will be enhanced to improve the quality of data collected in capacity-constrained environments.

Read this activity description here.

 Making forcibly displaced persons visible in the SDG indicators

Work with countries and custodian agencies to ensure that affected populations are included in the data production and reporting on priority Sustainable Development Goal indicators, when possible and relevant. 

Expanding statistical methods and tools on forced displacement

Develop and promote forced displacement-sensitive data methods to enhance comparability and construct validity.

Supporting UNHCR's creation of an integrated and standardized survey series

Support UNHCR’s data transformation processes, in particular: (a) standardizing and integrating surveys; (b) enabling UNHCR’s country operations to generate comparable socioeconomic data and analysis on forcibly displaced persons for programming and policy in collaboration with national authorities; and (c) enhancing the collection and analysis of registration data and better aligning it with international statistical standards.

Enhancing KoBoToolbox for data collection and analysis

Support the ongoing development and maintenance of KOBO Toolbox. These open source solutions will be enhanced to improve the quality of data collected in capacity-constrained environments.

Read this activity description here.

© UNHCR/Jiro Ose

Filling Data Gaps


Burundi: Survey(s) on vulnerable populations

Support household surveys to include refugees and other populations affected by forced displacement in the national household survey. 

Central African Republic: IDP survey as part of the 2020 Harmonized Living Conditions Survey

Capture internal displacement in the 2020 national household survey, with methods aligned to international standards.

DRC: Crisis Observatory and Household-Forced Displacement Survey in Eastern DRC

Set up a Crisis Observatory which will use traditional and adaptive tools for data collection and monitoring; build local capacities and partnerships; and conduct surveys of forcibly displaced households and hosts on development and welfare information, including household socioeconomic characteristics. 

Djibouti: Identifying and Monitoring Displaced Populations

Identify and monitor displaced populations including refugees, migrants, and IDPs to understand their profiles, socioeconomic conditions, and migration flows; conduct qualitative interviews with key informants, and undertake a detailed cartographic exercise to build a sampling framework, household listing,and survey.

Ethiopia: Including refugees in a national socio-economic household survey

Conduct household surveys and data collection on refugees, simultaneously with the official Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) undertaken by Central Statistics Agency.

Read this activity description here.

Kenya: Integrating vulnerable populations into Continuous Household Survey Framework

Include vulnerable populations in Kenya’s Continuous Household Survey Framework (KCHS) and collect data on refugee samples with KCHS-compatible questionnaire to allow for comparative analysis and vulnerability studies.

Read this activity description here.

Rwanda: Socio-Economic Assessment (SEA) of refugees and host communities

Conduct a socioeconomic assessment  of refugees and host communities, with a household survey covering a national sample and a targeted sample of camp-based refugees, host communities, and refugees in urban areas.

Read this activity description here.

Somalia: Rapid monitoring of socio-economic conditions for Internally displaced people

Design and implement Integrated Frequent and Rapid Monitoring Systems (IRMS) for collecting data on IDPs; and develop questionnaires compatible with an upcoming national comprehensive household survey.


Support data and evidence on the socioeconomic status of refugees and host communities by establishing a system for regular data collection in collaboration with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. 

Bangladesh: Cox’s Bazar Humanitarian Development Statistics Center/ Analytical Program

Set up a locally-owned Cox’s Bazar Humanitarian Development Statistics Center to track welfare indicators for displaced Rohingya and hosts, initiate policy dialogue on refugee-focused policies, and activate use of data in project interventions.

Read this activity description here.

Yemen: Forced Displacement Monitoring Systems

Work with an experienced call center and set up a digital platform to continuously collect data from key informants to produce analytics for humanitarian and development response.

Read this activity description here

Venezuelan Crisis: Regional data collection and analysis on Venezuelan Refugee-like population

Generate evidence to fill knowledge gaps on flows, patterns, living conditions, service provision, and income opportunities among those displaced to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru by the Venezuelan crisis. 


© UNHCR/Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo

Filling Data Analysis and Knowledge Gaps


Chad and Niger: Country level programming

Based on Chad and Niger National Poverty Survey, conduct analytical work and provide evidence to help governments and international community to design better policies and programs for supporting refugees and host communities.


Creating a harmonized data set for Uganda, Chad and Niger

Create a regionally harmonized dataset for Uganda, Chad, and Niger based on household surveys in refugee and host areas in each country.

Exploring innovative methods to strengthen data 

Explore innovative methods to strengthen collection and analysis of data on forced displacement, including an innovation award. The scope of the award is to be developed but could include predictive analytics and use of big data. The award will be widely distributed amongst private and academic sectors. 

Developing methodologies for measuring the impact of hosting, protecting and assisting refugees

Support the continuing development of a methodology for measuring the impact of hosting refugees. The objective is to provide technical assistance to a UNHCR-coordinated effort for refugee-hosting countries, which will help them develop a shared understanding and common methodology for measuring the impact of hosting, protecting, and assisting refugees. 

Chad: Refugees in Chad - the road forward

Analytical work based on the 2019 Chad national poverty survey. The proposed analysis will provide rigorous evidence to inform policy responses to manage the refugee situation and help the government and international community to design better programs to support refugees and host communities.

Read this activity description here.

© UNHCR/Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo

Improving Data Access


Supporting the development and operation of Microdata Libraries at UNHCR and the World Bank

Support the establishment and further enhancement of UNHCR’s external Microdata Library system, through technical support and knowledge sharing from the World Bank Microdata Library team to UNHCR. Moreover, enhance the identification and organization of content related to forced displacement in the World Banks’s catalog.

Read activity description here.


Developing World Refugee and Asylum Policy (DWRAP) Online Data Platform

Conduct institutional assessment of refugee laws and policies, and support the expansion of the Developing World Refugee and Asylum Policy (DWRAP) online data platform to an open global policy dataset.  

Enhancing microdata accessibility to improve policy and response in forced displacement situations

Support a multi-year consultative process to enable open data practices among a multitude of stakeholders who collect, manage, and protect data on forced displacement. The first stage will focus on UNHCR Registration and Survey data, and will build on existing efforts within UNHCR to improve data access.

Automated Text Analytics for the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement

Build a system using machine-learning techniques that will provide a detailed description of how the multilateral development banks, over time and across countries, address issues related to forced displacement. The system will rely on open source machine learning techniques, extract, organize, and update information on a regular basis.

Read this activity description here.

Compiling and curating UNHCR's datasets for the Microdata Library

Support the continuous discovery, cleaning, documenting and anonymizing of the backlog of data present in UNHCR’s various operations and technical sections for publication on the Raw Internal Data Library and Microdata Library. It will also assist in institutionalizing the use of the RIDL as a corporate application and will standardize curation procedures and methods described in the Data Curation Handbook, through capacity development and trainings of UNHCR’s Data, Identity Management and Analysis staff. It will further familiarize staff members with the roles and procedures on Data Dissemination

Read this activity description here.

© UNHCR/Petterik Wiggers

Sharing Knowledge


Promoting a knowledge agenda - mapping data and evidence gaps 

Complete mapping exercises of a) socioeconomic microdata on forced displacement, and b) evidence on what works to improve the welfare of forcibly displaced populations and their hosts;  produce topical reports on specific areas of policy relevance for forcibly displaced; and generate responsive research on specific questions of operational effectiveness.

Knowledge Sharing Activities of the JDC: Disseminating evidence and data on those forcibly displaced

Conduct JDC outreach through quarterly seminars, an annual research conference, monthly literature reviews, and an active blog platform. This will include targeted support to agenda-setting publication(s) and events focused on forced displacement to enable knowledge exchange across stakeholder groups.

Read this activity description here.

Knowledge Sharing activities of the JDC: Fellowship programs

Train young scholars and professionals from displaced or host communities in middle- and low-income countries through the JDC Fellowship Program. The JDC will also invite experienced researchers to visit the Center to develop their research on forced displacement.

Read this activity description here.


 Our COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the most disruptive social event in decades. This crisis affects all sectors of our society, but for those forcibly displaced, the impact of the pandemic will be exacerbated by the conditions in which they live.

Forcibly displaced populations need to be included in the global response to the virus, but designing any appropriate policy response will require deep knowledge of the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of these populations – data which is often limited.

To respond to the pandemic within the JDC’s mandate, the Center is working to include forcibly displaced populations in research and phone surveys on socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.

The JDC has also published a Primer on the Consequences of COVID-19 on Forced Displacement, summarizing over 20 research and projects related to pandemic and its impact on forcibly displaced persons. The Primer will be updated regularly with new research on this issue. Read it here: The Consequences of COVID-19 on Forced Displacement. 

Furthermore, the Center has launched a Paper Series that provides a review of the existing evidence about the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on forcibly displaced, including refugees and internally displaced persons and host communities. This inaugural issue of the JDC Paper Series on Forced Displacement highlights how investments are urgently needed for evidence-based humanitarian response to improve the lives of FDPs and their host communities during the pandemic. Read the paper here: Highly vulnerable yet largely invisible: Forcibly displaced in the COVID-19-induced recession.

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