UNHCR, World Bank Launch Data Center to Support Global Compact on Refugees
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UNHCR and the World Bank launched the Joint Data Centre on Forced Displacement in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Center is expected to help build capacity to collect data in refugee-hosting countries, and prepare a review of new technologies to enhance available data.

Also in support of the Global Compact on Refugees, the UNHCR has released an indicator framework to strengthen the availability of global data.

10 October 2019: The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Bank launched the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement, in support of the Global Compact on Refugees adopted in 2017. Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Joint Data Center is expected to strengthen the sustainability of a global data collection system and of country-level systems regarding refugees and other displaced persons.

The center was first announced in October 2017. In April 2019, the CEO of the World Bank Group and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the center. The official launch took place on 10 October 2019, in Copenhagen.

Present at the launch, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted the issue of having official statistics that are completely outdated and do not represent reality. He welcomed centers of excellence in different areas of UN system, where data is effectively collected and used.

Per a brief from the World Bank, the Joint Data Center is managed and owned equally by UNHCR and the World Bank Group. A Strategic Advisory Council will include UN Member States, NGOs, UN agencies, “refugee voices,” multilateral development banks, academics and data specialists.

As outlined by UNHCR, some of the objectives of the Center are to: ensure that population and socio-economic data are systematically collected and analyzed; facilitate open access to forced displacement data in full respect of legal protection standards; and promote innovation to enhance forced displacement data.

The Center is expected to, inter alia:

  • develop methodological tools (including standards, sampling methods, a framework for collection);
  • implement capacity-building programmes for data collection in refugee-hosting countries;
  • prepare a review of new technologies to enhance available data; and
  • enhance UNHCR registration for the collection and analysis of socio-economic data.

The Global Compact on Refugees was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2017 to ease pressure on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, expand access to third country solutions, and support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity.

In support of that Compact, UNHCR released in July 2019 an indicator framework to strengthen the availability of global data. The framework is structured around the Compact’s four objectives outlined above, and is composed of outcomes and indicators. Each indicator is accompanied by a metadata overview specifying its concept, rationale and definition, together with the method of computation, level of disaggregation and data source. [UN Press Release]

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