UNHCR-World Bank Group Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement Fact Sheet


Global Context

· Globally, there are an estimated 70.8 million people who have fled their homes either as refugees (25.9 million), internally displaced persons (41.3 million), or asylum seekers as a result of conflict and persecution (UNHCR Global Trends 2018).

· As set out in the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016, UNHCR led consultations on the development of the Global Compact on Refugees, which was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 2018. The compact sets out a program of action to strengthen international cooperation and move toward more equitable and predictable burden and responsibility sharing arrangements.

· The need for reliable, comparable, and timely data to enhance decision-making by policymakers and partners is recognized as a critical tool to deliver on this new approach.


The World Bank and UNHCR have been expanding collaboration in recent years, including through:

· a series of joint analytical work in the Horn of Africa, the Lake Chad Basin and the Middle East;

·  joint work with government institutions to expand the collection of microdata; and

·  joint missions to inform Bank Group programming of new resources to address refugee situations. This includes the Global Concessional Financing Facility for middle income countries and the IDA 18 sub window for refugees and host communities.

Building on these efforts, the two institutions have committed to operate a Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement.  

Mission Statement

The Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement aims to enhance the ability of stakeholders to make timely and evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of affected people.


· Ensure population and socioeconomic data are systematically collected and analyzed.

· Facilitate open access to forced displacement data, with adequate anonymization and safeguards to ensure the integrity of the legal protection framework.

· Promote innovation to enhance forced displacement data.

·  Strengthen the sustainability of a global data collection system, based on common norms, definitions, and methodologies, with a particular effort on strengthening country systems where necessary.


· The Center will focus on the collection, analysis and dissemination of primary microdata.

· Data refers to demographic and socioeconomic data – which includes detailed information on income, consumption, skills, health, and economic activity among others – that will be anonymized to protect privacy and prevent identifying individuals.

· Work will encompass refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless people, returnees, asylum-seekers, and host populations.


· The Center will capitalize on the synergies between the UNHCR and the World Bank, complementing each other’s strengths; UNHCR in protection data, registration and collection, and the Bank in household data, policy dialogue and analytical work. Both organizations expect to achieve efficiency and provide value to partners such as governments, the private sector, civil society, NGOs and researchers, among others.

· Other partnerships will be explored based on complementarity and synergies.

Proposed Activities (Illustrative)

· Establishing a microdata library and curation project

· Developing methodological tools (including standards, sampling methods, framework for collection)

· Implementing capacity-building programs for data collection in refugee-hosting countries

·  Preparing a review of new technologies to enhance available data

· Enhancing UNHCR registration for the collection and analysis of socio-economic data

Governance Structure

· The Center is a physical structure located at UN City in Copenhagen.

· The Center is managed and owned equally by both the UNHCR and the WBG.

· The Center will be governed by a Management Committee with equal representation from the WBG and UNHCR as well as representative(s) of JDC donors and host countries.

· The Center’s Strategic Advisory Council will be constituted of stakeholders --including member states, NGOs, UN agencies, refugee voices, multilateral development banks, academics, data specialists,-- providing the Management Committee with advice on the general direction of the Center’s activities.


Last updated: September 2019