What We Do

© UNHCR/Gordon Welters

The JDC aims to set in motion a transformative process to dramatically improve the availability and accessibility of high-quality socioeconomic data and evidence on affected populations. These can in turn be used to inform policies and programs at the sub-national, national, regional and global levels. Our activities are organized along the four strategic objectives. We are currently working with partners and supporting over 40 activities, carefully selected to contribute toward our vision and mission.


 Our geographic scope

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.

Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo



© UNHCR/Roger Arnold




 Objective I: Activities to strengthen data systems and standards

“Strengthen national and international data systems and build capacity through the implementation and development of statistical standards, methods and tools for relevant forced displacement data.”



Development and implementation of international statistical standards on refugees, IDPs, and stateless populations

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Developing statistical standards on statelessness

Support EGRIS’s development of international recommendations on statistics on statelessness; and improve statelessness estimation and aggregation methods.

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Implementing and refining statistical standards on refugee and IDP statistics

Support the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS) in its implementation of the international recommendations on refugee and IDP statistics, through dissemination of the recommendations, strengthening capacity of national statistical systems to apply them, and enhancement of the associated Compilers’ Manual.

Enabling visibility of forcibly displaced persons in the SDGs

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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 SDG indicators. 

Developing standardized and innovative displacement specific methods and tools for a range of relevant data sources along the data life cycle, based in the statistical standards set by EGRIS.

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Expanding statistical methods and tools on forced displacement

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

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Supporting UNHCR's creation of an integrated and standardized “flagship” global survey series

Enhancing data management and technological solutions

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Automated Text Analytics for the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement

Support the monitoring of the scope and coverage of MDB’s projects and programs related to forced displacement, identify gaps in their research and analytical work, and provide tools to researchers and project managers to easily discover useful information in this vast knowledge repository. MDBs make much of their respective research output and project documents publicly available. The project will build a largely automated system (based on machine learning, natural language processing tools and methods) that will extract and organize information contained in these documents, to provide a detailed description of how MDBs, over time and across countries, address forced displacement and related issues.

Read this activity description here.

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Enhancing KoBoToolbox for data collection and analysis

Support the ongoing development of KoBoToolbox for collecting data on those affected by forced displacement through improved sustainability and knowledge management as well as improve data literacy and standards through improved knowledge management and ultimately better the quality of data informing humanitarian and development decision-making.

Read this activity description here.

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Filling information gaps on forcibly displaced populations through geospatial data

Identify, document and fill data gaps leveraging geospatial technologies in IDP and refugee settings leveraging non-traditional data by collecting, cataloging, curating and making these data available to the public via relevant platforms, to the JDC to support data collection efforts, and to national statistical offices and relevant stakeholders working in these contexts.

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Exploring innovative methods to strengthen data

Foster creative and innovative methods, tools and technological solutions in often data-scarce environments and used to collect and analyze evidence on issues of forced displacement.  By encouraging innovation through support for project pilots using experimental and novel approaches to data collection and/or analysis, it aims at improving the quality and quantity of data and analysis as the successful projects may subsequently be integrated and scaled up in the different phases of data production (collection, analysis and dissemination) of forcefully displaced populations and host communities.

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Improving the quality of survey data on forcibly displaced populations

Develop and provide tools, guidelines and methods for improving data quality for surveys on FDPs and host communities, as well as build capacity around their use. These produces tools are critical in the different phases of the survey design and implementation (sampling design & creation, questionnaire design and data collection) in improving the quality of the data collected and managed on populations affected by forced displacement. The proposed tools will be built around free or open source solutions and designed to operate in capacity-constrained environments.

Read this activity description here.

© UNHCR/Jiro Ose

Objective II: Activities to produce data and analysis

“Produce quality socioeconomic microdata and analysis at sub-national, national, and regional levels to inform and improve policy processes and response.

Data collection and analysis activities (combined or separated) will be selected for support on an annual basis, through approval by the Head of the JDC and the JDC’s Management Committee according to established processes. A flexible rolling window fund will allow the JDC to respond to more immediate operational needs or evolving crises.”

Building capacity and enabling National Statistical Offices to include forcibly displaced persons in national surveys

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Central African Republic: IDP survey as part of the 2021 national Household Harmonized Living Conditions Survey (EHCVM)

Data on IDPs to be collected as part of 2021 EHCVM, implemented by the CAR National Statistical Office with technical assistance from the World Bank. Extra modules on forced displacement are added to the survey and a dedicated sampling strategy is applied to select respondents in IDP sites.

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Ethiopia: Including refugees in a national socioeconomic household survey

Data collection to be undertaken by the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) in close collaboration with the Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the World Bank. The plan is to undertake the refugee survey simultaneously with the official Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES), undertaken by the CSA.

Read this activity description here.

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Kenya: Integrating vulnerable populations into Continuous Household Survey Framework

Data collection to be based on a representative sample of refugees explicitly stratified by location and country of origin, as well as host communities. The questionnaire will be compatible with Kenya’s Continuous Household Survey Framework (KCHS) to allow for comparative analysis, but also include a special module on specific vulnerabilities.

Read this activity description here.

Data collection on the socioeconomic situation of affected populations in prioritized countries and regions. 

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Burundi: Survey(s) on vulnerable populations

Support household surveys to include refugees, returnees, IDPs and host communities, adding relevant samples to the national household survey, or as part of a stand-alone survey.

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Djibouti: Identifying and monitoring displaced populations

Identify and monitor displaced populations to understand their profiles and socioeconomic conditions; Conduct qualitative interviews with key information; Undertake a detailed cartographic exercise to build a sampling framework and; Conduct household survey.

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

Conduct a socio-economic 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. 

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

Design and implement Rapid Monitoring Systems (IRMS) for collecting data on IDPs in close collaboration with the National and Regional Statistics Offices, UNHCR, and Statistics Sweden. Efforts will be made to make the questionnaires compatible with the national comprehensive household survey (SIHBS).

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Turkey: Agricultural labor market and socioeconomic status for Refugees and Turkish Citizens

 Baseline Data Collection for Impact Evaluation

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

Generate original, timely and reliable evidence to fill egregious knowledge gaps on flows, patterns, living conditions, service provision, and income earning opportunities.

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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 feeding into the humanitarian and development response supporting displaced populations. 

Undertaking analysis of data on affected populations on the national and regional levels.

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

Inform the medium-term response to Cox’s Bazar’s development and the Rohingya influx through the (i)  creation of a data and statistics center that can track key welfare indicators for Rohingya displaced and hosts in the medium and long term to identify critical areas for policy action; (ii) initiation of a locally-driven evidence-based policy dialogue on refugee-focused policies and interventions; and (iii) activating the use of short-term data from ongoing project interventions to build the evidence on what can work.

Read this activity description here.

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

The Crisis Observatory to conduct mobile phone-based structured interviews with forcibly displaced households and hosts. The information collected will focus on development- and welfare-relevant information, including household socio-economic characteristics.

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Chad: Refugees in Chad - the road forward

Carry out analytical work based on the 2019 Chad national poverty survey, to provide rigorous evidence to inform policy responses to manage the refugee situation and support the government and international community to improve programs supporting refugees and host communities.

Read this activity description here.

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Mashreq Region: Mitigating the poverty impact of COVID-19 on host communities and refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and the KRI

Harmonize data available to either the World Bank and/or UNHCR from multiple sources to prepare welfare analytics for countries which host a large number of refugees, particularly refugees from the Syria crisis.

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Mashreq Region

Measuring changes in socio-economic welfare since COVID-19 on FDPs, and host communities.

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Strengthening UNHCR's capacity at country level to use socio-economic data and evidence

Provide UNHCR’s country operations with the capacity to generate in-depth research and analytics from socio-economic data.

Integrating forcibly displaced populations into Covid-19 High Frequency Phone Surveys

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Data collection in Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Jordan

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Covid-19 Analytics in in Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Jordan

Facilitation of further analytical work for each country and a cross-country analysis of the experience of displaced populations and their hosts in the selected countries.

© UNHCR/Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo

Objective III: Activities to enhance safe and responsible data access

 “Enhance access to quality microdata on forcibly displaced persons while maintaining appropriate protocols to enable access without jeopardizing the protection of individual persons or groups.”


Enabling safe and responsible accessibility of microdata on affected populations

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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.

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

Define a comprehensive and practical framework of procedures, tools and systems for all relevant data producers or holders that will facilitate the responsible dissemination of microdata. The objective of increasing availability and access to microdata will be pursued with a specific concern to provide tools and methods to identify, assess and minimize risk of potential harm to data subjects.


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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 this activity description here.


Increasing the readiness of UNHCR’s global registration system for increased access and use

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Enhancing the capabilities of UNHCR's global registration system

Enhance the centralization, standardization and quality control capabilities around UNHCR’s global registration database with a view to improve access and use.


© UNHCR/Petterik Wiggers

Objective IV: Activities to build evidence and share knowledge

 “Fortify the growing international research community on forced displacement through disseminating research products and evidence; and facilitating knowledge exchange amongst community members as well as with practitioners and relevant policymakers.”


Generating global and comparative analysis and overviews

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

Provide technical assistance to a UNHCR-coordinated effort for refugee hosting countries to develop a shared understanding and common methodology to measure the impact of hosting, protecting, and assisting refugees.

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JDC Knowledge Agenda

 Develop mapping exercises of existing data and evidence, and that which emerges from the projects included in other areas of the JDC work plan. Its main deliverables will consist of a range of summary studies, topical reports and derivative products.

Promoting knowledge dissemination

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Knowledge sharing activities of the JDC: Disseminating evidence and data on those forcibly displaced

The JDC Outreach activities include a quarterly seminar series; an annual research conference; monthly newsletters and literature reviews; a quarterly digest series; blog posts; JDC webpage; support to agenda-setting publication(s); and separate activities designed to respond to immediate requests from the research community.

Read this activity description here.

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

Lend support to an institutional assessment of refugee laws and policies, including through the sponsor of the online data platform of de jure asylum and refugee policies developed and maintained by a joint team of academics based at Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania.

Young fellowship program and research visiting stays

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Knowledge sharing activities of the JDC: Fellowship program and senior visiting stays

The Fellowship program aims to train young scholars and professionals from displaced or host communities in middle- and low-income countries. The Fellows’ activities are coordinated in collaborations with the World Bank and UNHCR. The senior visiting stays will allow experienced researchers to visit the JDC to develop their research on forced displacement, while providing inputs into the JDC activities and offer guidance to its Staff members.

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.

 Our resource commitments

To support the above activities we have committed a total amount of 18,5 million USD. The budget-distribution across our four strategic objectives can be seen in the chart on the right. A flexible rolling window fund of 1 million USD also allows us to respond to more immediate operational needs or evolving crises.

JDC work program objectives and resources committed to them

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