Somalia: Report on profiling of internally displaced persons - Mogadishu

Originally published



The IDP Profiling Project Somalia is a Somalia Protection Cluster/IDP Task Force pilot initiative that has developed and tested tools for profiling of internally displaced persons (IDPs) with the aim of providing overall information on IDPs for global monitoring as well as proving context specific information to facilitate preparation of local assistance to IDPs. The project has been guided and monitored by a core group of agencies consisting of UNHCR, UNOCHA, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Danish Refugee Council (DRC), with support from UNHABITAT, UNICEF and other members of the Protection Cluster Work Group/IDP Task Force. Implementation in the field has been led by DRC while UNHCR has been handling data management and proving support to report production. The project has been based on the draft Guidelines for IDP Profiling developed by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The project applied simple random sampling in defined IDP settlements. Given the nature of these IDP settlements, this sampling method was found appropriate and sufficient. The sampling was made on the basis of an estimation of the IDP population in any given settlement. This estimation, in turn, was based on previous surveys, reports and updates from agencies operating in the area, and information from local authorities and IDP settlement leaders. The tools applied were focus group discussions/participatory assessments and household interviews. Focus group discussions were held with small groups of selected settlement representatives such as elder, religious leaders, and settlement management. They served partly as a 'door opener' to the settlements and partly as a way of providing a certain basic knowledge of the settlement against which the interviewers could assess the information obtained in the household interviews. This basic knowledge also served as a simple frame of reference in the subsequent process of data analysis. Household interviews were considered the most appropriate and effective way of systematically gathering the type of data wanted for the profiling.

The project developed a long questionnaire and a shorter version with a selection of the questions from the long version. However, after testing both of these in Bossaso, it became clear that the long questionnaire took too long time and discouraged people to take part in the interviews. It was therefore decided that after Bossaso, the short questionnaire should be the only one used, but in a slightly extended version.

Data from the questionnaires were transferred to the database at UNHCR Branch Office Somalia in Nairobi. A Standard Report was then been produced on the basis of the raw data in the database. In principle, such a report lists all the answers provided by the respondents in the household interviews. Based on the Standard Report, the present profiling report provides simplified overviews of selected parts of the raw data, makes minimal analyses, and points to potential fields of interests for further analysis. While this will be sufficient in some situations, there will in other situations be a need for more sector-specific in-depth analyses or a need to focus on specific settlements or sections of the IDP population. This may be done by consulting the database directly, thus getting more details than the present report provides, and by linking the different data fields in the database. The present report provides examples of such linking. Agencies with more detailed or sector-specific interests are encouraged to contact Protection Unit, UNHCR Branch Office Somalia, Nairobi, for assistance in more advanced data extraction.

The project carried out surveys in five locations: Bossaso and Gaalkacyo in Puntland, Mogadishu and Baydhaba in South/Central, and Burco in Somaliland. Reports on findings have been prepared for each of these locations. In addition, a separate Process Documentation Report has been prepared describing and analysing the process of developing and implementing the project and lessons learned. Some of the lessons concerning inappropriate formulations of questions in the questionnaire were learned so late in the process that they could not be corrected before the work was done. Where this is the case, a note is made in the present report to explain apparent discrepancies.

1.1 Mogadishu

The city of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, was the second location for IDP profiling under this project. The implementing partner was the local NGO, SAACID. Due to security reasons, DRC project staff was not present in Mogadishu during the actual survey; supervision and monitoring was done via e-mail and telephone communication.

Preparation for the profiling survey and training of SAACID staff started in mid-December 2006 at a time when the city seemed calm. This was interrupted, however, by the outbreak of fighting during the last week of December 2006. Towards the end of January 2007, the security situation was once again considered acceptable, preparations were resumed and the field survey started early February and was planned to last one month. Shortly after the start of the work, it became obvious that security in Mogadishu was not improving but rapidly deteriorating with new waves of attacks on government and military targets bringing also civilians in danger. By mid-February it was discussed whether to suspend the profiling survey in order not to bring SAACID staff in danger. SAACID argued, however, that by then the parts of the city worst affected by fighting had already been surveyed and that what remained would not pose a security risk to the staff. The work therefore continued as planned and was completed early March 2007.

As a consequence of increased fighting in Mogadishu, the number of people leaving the city increased from February through March and April and reached an estimated 365,000 by end of April (1). Details are not available as to who these people are, but they are believed first of all to be more well-off people while poor people by and large have remained in the city surviving by moving from one part to the other depending on where fighting goes on. Towards the end of April fighting decreased and it was reported that people had started coming back to Mogadishu; however, no substantial information has been available on this so far. Thus, at the moment of completing this report (early May 2007), we don't know how the population movements since February may have affected the IDP situation as it was at the time of the profiling survey. This needs to be taken into consideration when reading the report and using the data in planning of aid interventions.

Basic data on Mogadishu survey

Banadir Region, South/Central Somalia
Region code (UN code system): SO13 (in the absence of UN number codes for the 16 districts in Banadir Region, letter codes were used - see Annex 1)
Estimated total IDP population: 250,000 persons (41,000 households)
Number of settlements surveyed: 260 (see list of allsettlements in the Standard Report that also provides estimations of population number of each settlement)
Period of survey: 4 Feb-7 Mar 2007
Total number of households interviewed: 4037
Respondents: Female: 2770 (68.6%), male: 1250 (31.0%), (0.4% no data)
Sample size: 10% of estimated total IDP population

The survey covered a total 260 IDP settlements in all 16 districts of the city. This report provides an overall presentation and simple analysis for the city as a whole. For those with specific interest in certain parts of the city, the database provides the opportunity of looking at individual districts and specific settlements.

GPS readings were taken for all the surveyed settlements in Mogadishu with the aim of producing a map showing their exact location. This map is attached in a jpeg-format as Annex 3. On request, a pdf-format map may be obtained from the Protection Unit, UNHCR Branch Office Somalia, Nairobi; this format provides more details and allows zooming in on selected areas of the city.


(1) Population Movement Tracking, UNHCR Branch Office Somalia, Nairobi, 27 April 2007