Internally displaced persons in a camp near the city of ... - UNHCR

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Internally displaced persons in a camp near the city of ... - UNHCR

Internally displaced persons in a campnear the city of Sukker in Sindh, Pakistan.This family, together with millions of otherPakistanis, was affected by severe flooding.14 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010


Sources, Methods andData ConsiderationsUNHCR / J. TANNERBOTH THE 1951 CONVEN-TION Relating to the Statusof Refugees 16 and the Statuteof the Office of the UnitedNations High Commissionerfor Refugees 17 refer to the responsibilityof States to provide statistical datato UNHCR. This includes statisticson the number and condition of refugees,asylum-seekers and other peopleof concern to the Office. UNHCR alsocollects and disseminates informationon internally displaced persons (IDPs)that include statistics on their numbersand profiles.By monitoring returnees (both refugeesand IDPs) UNHCR endeavoursto determine the magnitude and sustainabilityof returns. It engages withgovernments and partners withinthe humanitarian community both toprovide comprehensive assessmentsof the numbers involved, and to identifyprotection gaps and needs of refugees,IDPs, stateless persons, returneesand other populations of concernto the Office. Complex factors influencethe availability, timeliness, qualityand comparability of the statistics,and complicate the task of providingthese assessments.The main purpose of this chapteris to present the basic concepts underlyingthe data presented in thisYearbook. These include definitions,classifications, estimation methodsand other aspects of data quality. Mostof the statistics have been collectedthrough UNHCR’s Annual StatisticalReports 18 , and generally reflect thedefinition and data collection methodsof governments, except in countrieswhere only UNHCR registrationsystems are used.D EFINITIONS AND SCOPEUNHCR identifies seven populationcategories, collectively referred to as“persons of concern”: (1) refugees; (2)asylum-seekers; (3) internally displacedpersons; (4) refugees who havereturned home (returnees); (5) IDPswho have returned home; (6) statelesspersons; and (7) other people who donot fall under any of the above categoriesbut to whom the Office extendsprotection. In 2007, two sub-categorieswere introduced: (a) people in refugeelikesituations (included under refugees);and (b) people in IDP-like situations(included under IDPs).Refugees include individuals recognizedunder the 1951 Convention relatingto the Status of Refugees and its1967 Protocol; individuals recognizedunder the 1969 OAU Convention Governingthe Specific Aspects of RefugeeProblems in Africa; those recognizedin accordance with the UNHCR Statute;individuals granted complementaryforms of protection 19 and thoseenjoying “temporary protection” 20 .The refugee category also includespeople in a refugee-like situation. 21Asylum-seekers (“pending cases”)are individuals who have sought internationalprotection and whoseclaims for refugee status have not yet16 “…the Contracting States undertake to provide them in the appropriate form with information and statistical data requested…”. (Chapter VI, article 35: Co-operation of the national authoritieswith the United Nations).17 “The High Commissioner shall provide for the protection for refugees falling under the competence of his Office by ... obtaining from Governments information concerning the number andconditions of refugees in their territories …”. (Chapter II, paragraph 8: Functions of the High Commissioner).18 The Annual Statistical Report is the official data collection form completed by all UNHCR country offices.19 Complementary protection refers to protection provided under national, regional or international law to people who do not qualify for refugee protection under refugee law instruments butare in need of international protection because they are at risk of serious harm.20 Temporary protection refers to arrangements developed to offer protection of a temporary nature until such time the situation in the country of origin improves and allows for a safe anddignified return or individual refugee or complementary protection status determination can be carried out.21 The term is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country or territory of origin and who face protection risks similar to refugees, but for whom refugeestatus has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010 15


Sources, Methods and Data ConsiderationsFig. I.2 Trends in sources of refugee data (%)| 2008-20103540UNHCR only4326 Profile Global Registration System.353733States only20081513UNHCR& States2009 2010111511Multiplesources13the data within a given country, morecommonly more than one source isused to obtain data on refugees.In 2010, information on data sourceswas provided by 175 countries andterritories. Joint governmental andUNHCR statistics were quoted as thesingle source or one of the main sourcesin over 150 countries. The host governmentwas the sole data provider ofrefugee statistics in 57 countries (33%).This represented a small decreasecompared to 2009 (37%), and resultedfrom the inclusion of a number ofPacific and Caribbean islands whereUNHCR was in many cases the primarysource of information.Despite UNHCR’s efforts to transferresponsibility for data collectionto States, the capacity of a number ofcountries to provide refugee statisticsis limited, and this responsibilityremains with UNHCR. At the end of2010, the Office was reported as thesingle source of refugee statistics in76 countries (43%), 3 per cent morethan the previous year. Together,States and UNHCR accounted for76 per cent of global refugee data ascompared to 60 per cent in 2006. Thenumber of countries where UNHCRand the government were jointly responsiblefor refugee statistics has decreasedin recent years. At the end of2010, in only 19 countries (11%) the collectionand provision of statistics wasreported as a combined undertakingwhereas in 2006, one in four countries(25%) reported a joint responsibility forrefugee statistics.Multiple sources that can includeUNHCR, governments, NGOs andothers, were reported in 23 countries(13%). Forty-two countries reportedreceiving data from more than onesource.Fig. I.3 Basis of refugee data | 20105116816DATA COLLECTION METHODSTogether with its partners, UNHCRuses a wide range of data collectionmethods such as registration/registers,surveys, censuses, and estimations,to provide a comprehensivepicture of persons of concern to theOffice. Each method has its ownstrengths and limitations. To ensurethe comparability of data across populationcategories and countries, UN-HCR ensures that statistics from allthese sources are triangulated.Registration is a vital source of statisticsfor planning and managementpurposes. It often establishes a legal oradministrative record, as evidence oflegal status, or provides the basis forthe delivery of entitlements and services.For protection to be effective andcomprehensive, reliable registration istherefore imperative. UNHCR’s registrationsoftware proGres 26 has helpedprovide meaningful, consistent andup-to-date statistics. In 2010, this softwarewas used in 82 countries, includingits application by governments insix countries.During the registration process,data are collected, verified and updatedfor each individual or household.They include name, sex, date ofbirth, country of origin, relationshipswithin the household, marital status,place of displacement and specificneeds. The data are normally storedEstimationRegistrationRegistration & estimationOthersUNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010 17


Sources, Methods and Data Considerationsin proGres, complemented as neededby paper files or additional case managementtools.Periodic registration exercises oftenlead to a revision of populationestimates. Refugee statistics are generallybased on individual registrationrecords kept either by the host government,by UNHCR, or jointly. Althoughregistration is a governmentresponsibility, UNHCR may assistor undertake registration activities ifthe government is unable to performthis task.Registration was the method ofdata collection most frequently usedin 2010, and represented the onlymethod in 116 of the 172 countries andterritories (67%) that reported on datacollection methods. Although registrationis the most reliable source ofrefugee data, many refugees are notable or willing to be registered. Forthis reason, in 22 other countries (13%)registration was combined with estimationor other methods to obtainoverall refugee figures.Estimation is the second main datacollection method used by UNHCRand partners. In most industrializedcountries, which do not provide informationon the number of refugees,UNHCR estimates this number usingofficial data on the number of asylumseekersrecognized over a 10-year period.In 2010, estimation as the solesource was used in 24 countries (16%),most of them industrialized. It wascombined with registration and othermethods in 12 other countries. 27The example of Poland (see rightbox) illustrates the estimation processin industrialized countries. Ten yearsare assumed to be the average timerequired for a refugee to acquire thenationality of his/her host country.Estimation methods are also oftenused to gather IDP statistics. In viewof the operational and legal difficultiesinvolved in registering IDPs onan individual basis, 28 most humanitarianagencies rely on IDP profiling.This allows them to obtain a moreaccurate picture of IDP populations,and to identify where they are located,what are the difficulties of dis-27 Since many countries now have access to proGres, estimation is rarely used in non-industrialized countries.28 See www.humanitarianreform.orgExample: Poland• Asylum-seekers granted Convention refugeestatus, 2001-2010: 2,538• Asylum-seekers granted a complementaryform of protection, subsidiary protectionand/or allowed to remain in the country forhumanitarian reasons, 2001-2010: 13,017• UNHCR estimate of the refugee populationin Poland, end of 2010: 15,555.Improving data management in UNHCRStrengthening UNHCR’scapacity for evidence-based planningand results-based managementdepends heavily on good operationaldata. Proper data management canhelp reinforce the monitoring systemsin operations, helping UNHCR andpartners conduct needs assessment,undertake protection case managementactivities and deliver assistance.To this effect, UNHCR launchedthe Operational Data ManagementLearning Programme (ODMLP) in 2007.The principle goal of the ODMLP wasto train UNHCR staff to be able todesign, operate and maintain robustmonitoring systems, and to interpretthe resulting information in order tosupport good programme decisions.The ODMLP is a cross-sectionallearning programme that has beendeveloped to improve data collectionand management capacity in UNHCRoperations. The data collection andmanagement principles taught inthe curriculum apply to all displacedpopulations equally well and useexamples from all UNHCR activitiesincluding registration, child protection,health, and durable solutions.The ODMLP starts with asix-month self-study phase followedby hands-on training. The programmerequires participants to apply whatthey have learned in their operation,with direct and positive impact onoperations and on the populationof concern. Projects have includeddeveloping Standard OperatingProcedures on how assistance isrecorded in UNHCR’s registrationsoftware proGres to avoid duplicationof assistance; designing a processflow for fraud reporting; GISproject mapping to make graphicalrepresentation of camps; tools forearmarking resources, and traininginitiatives that focus on populationtracking, data confidentiality anddata collection methods and analysis.Participants have developed toolsthat track reintegration projects,and monitor returns. Over 220 staffmembers have been trained since2007 with an average 89 per centcompletion rate in the self-study phase,and an average 82 per cent completionrate in the graduation phase.These projects have assistedoperations to directly addressweaknesses in their information systems,while allowing staff to apply the conceptsand principles from the ODMLP to reallifeoperational situations. •18 UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010


Sources, Methods and Data ConsiderationsUNHCR / S. KRITSANAVARINRefugee children in Nayaparacamp, Bangladesh play on swingsin the refugee camp.tinguishing IDPs from host communities,and to compile baseline informationfor protection, programmingand advocacy purposes. 29In some countries, more than twomethods have been used, making datacomparability difficult. UNHCR hasthus ensured that statistics from allsources were triangulated to increasethe reliability and quality of the data.This has required regular interactionwith the stakeholders involved in collectingand compiling statistics.OTHER DATAQUALITY ISSUESHistorical data pertaining to the formerUSSR are reported under theRussian Federation, while those forthe former Czechoslovakia are reportedunder the Czech Republic. Datafor the former Yugoslavia as well asSerbia and Montenegro have beenreported under Serbia (and Kosovo: S/RES/1244 (1999)). In most tables in theAnnex, the word “Democratic” hasbeen abbreviated to “Dem.”, whereasthe word “Republic” is often reflectedas “Rep.”Figures below 1,000 are generallyrounded to the nearest 10; figures between1,000 and 10,000 are roundedto the nearest 100; figures between10,000 and 100,000 are rounded to thenearest 1,000; figures between 100,000and 1 million are rounded to the nearest10,000; and figures above 1 millionare rounded to the nearest 100,000.Unless specified, the 2010 StatisticalYearbook does not refer to eventsoccurring after 31 December 2010. •29 See www.IDP-profiling.orgUNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010 19

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