Joining forces to find solutions for IDPs

Understanding profiling in displacement situations

In order to provide appropriate assistance and protection - and eventually find durable solutions - for forcibly displaced people, it’s important to know who they are and what their specific needs and capacities are. The data collected through a profiling exercise becomes the evidence-base for decision-making, securing funds and designing policies that ensure durable solutions to displacement situations.

Profiling is a resource-intensive and often challenging exercise. However, the effort is worth it because the data collected gives useful insight into the lives of people affected by displacement, which includes the local populations living in areas with a displacement influx.

JIPS also strongly believes that when actors work together throughout the process, the results are more likely to be trusted and ultimately used for joint and effective responses. Hence a collaborative process for collecting information on displaced populations is the cornerstone of the profiling approach.

> Read our new publication on profiling that calls for an update to the existing international guidance: Forced Displacement, Go Figure! Shaking the Box of Profiling IDP Situations

What is profiling?

Profiling of displacement situations is a collaborative process that seeks to produce an agreed-upon sound evidence-base on internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as on host and other populations (such as refugees or asylum seekers depending on the specific context). The overall aim of such an exercise is to develop more effective programs to assist these populations, to advocate on their behalf, and to develop national-level policies to help bring about durable solutions to the displacement situation.

> Check out the JIPS Essential Toolkit (JET) for more on profiling, tools, methodology guides and hands-on recommendations!

Profiling is different from other data collection exercises in various ways

In particular, it is one of the few data collection processes that is truly collaborative from start to finish. This means the buy-in and sustained engagement of relevant government partners, humanitarian and development actors, at local and national level, as well as IDP communities themselves is actively promoted.

JIPS helps make profiling exercises a reality in two critical ways. First, JIPS advises and supports profiling processes in the role of the ‘honest broker’ i.e. as an interlocutor and neutral party that can bring parties with different agendas together to agree on numbers and information objectives. In addition, JIPS provides technical support where needed, including shaping objectives, data collection methods, supporting the analysis of data, and report writing and dissemination.

> When is there a need for profiling a displacement situation?