Sri Lanka + 1 more

Thematic series: Beyond the Numbers - March 2019



The number of people reported to have been internally displaced and the complexity of internal displacement crises across the world have increased substantially in the last decade.

Quality information on internal displacement is not easy to come by. The lack of robust data and evidence on the drivers and impacts of conflict and disaster displacement makes it difficult for governments and aid agencies to target appropriate and effective prevention and response strategies. Yet preventing and responding to internal displacement is critical to ensure the wellbeing and protect the rights of affected people, and to achieve development commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For countries to include internal displacement in their development plans and their reporting on the SDGs, they need data they can trust. Several countries have invested in improving their data and statistics and committed to making progress on reducing internal displacement. Some have started including it in their progress monitoring reports on the SDGs. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Economy highlights internal displacement as an impediment to economic growth and poverty reduction, linking it to the achievement of SDG 1 on poverty reduction. The Nigerian government recognises conflict displacement as a major obstacle to the achievement of the SDGs and discusses it under SDG 4 on quality education, SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and SDG 17 on partnerships for sustainable development. The government of Egypt mentions it under SDG 13 on climate action, referring to the anticipated displacement of millions by sea-level rise, flooding and erosion.

Many countries have also been increasingly open about the challenges associated with collecting, validating and analysing data on internal displacement and applying it to policy-making and investment planning.

IDMC proposes a composite index bringing together publicly available information on the drivers and impacts of internal displacement and on the measures governments and their partners have taken against it, as a first step to facilitate progress monitoring over time at the national, regional and global levels. It will include indicators of a country’s likelihood of being affected by internal displacement, of its capacity to respond to it and of the severity of existing displacement.

The index is intended as an entry point into the complexity of internal displacement for non-technical audiences, including policy makers, government representatives and other interested stakeholders. It will provide a global overview of the situation and will be systematically accompanied with country-specific information and resources for additional material helping its interpretation. The overall ambition of the index is to advocate for increased investments to prevent internal displacement, reduce its negative consequences and raise awareness on this issue before a broad audience.

As a result, its methodology is designed to remain accessible to all.
This report presents the rationale and methodology of this Internal Displacement Index (IDI) and initial results for Syria and Sri Lanka. The IDI will be applied to more countries in 2019 and is intended to be updated annually. It is published with the aim of facilitating progress monitoring on internal displacement by affected governments, their partners, aid providers, development agencies, academics and other interested stakeholders.