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World Bank-UNHCR 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 (3.5 million) due to conflict, violence, and persecution (UNHCR Global Trends 2018).
  • The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016, recognized the importance of improved data collection and enhanced international cooperation.
  • UNHCR-led consultations on the development of the Global Compact on Refugees — endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 2018— set 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 (WB) and UNHCR have been expanding collaboration in recent years, including through:

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 focuses 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.
  • Population encompasses refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless people, returnees, asylum-seekers, and host communities.



  • The Center is capitalizing on the synergies between UNHCR and the World Bank, complementing each other’s strengths; UNHCR in data protection, 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.
  • The Center is exploring other partnerships based on complementarity and synergies.


Examples of JDC Activities

The JDC’s Work Program is structured around 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. The themes are interconnected and some of the activities include:  

  • Supporting UNHCR and the World Bank microdata libraries and data portals
  • Supporting development and adoption of common standards, methods and modules, and shoring up data systems at national, institutional, and global levels
  • 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 socioeconomic data
  • Sharing knowledge and disseminating evidence through topical reports, derivative products, seminars,  literature reviews, and research conferences


Governance Structure

  • The Center is located at UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • The Center is managed and owned equally by the WB and UNHCR.
  • The Center is governed by a Management Committee with equal representation from the WB and UNHCR as well as representative(s) of JDC donors and refugee-hosting countries.
  • The Center’s Strategic Advisory Council is constituted of stakeholders including member states, NGOs, UN agencies, refugee voices, multilateral development banks, academics, data specialists. It provides the Management Committee with advice on the general direction of the Center’s activities.


Read more about JDC’s Work Program, 2020 (.pdf)


Last updated: May 2020