Displacement severity: Description of displacement severity and how we assess it

In order to paint a truly three-dimensional picture of displacement, we have to go beyond the numbers. We also have to monitor, assess and report on the conditions of the people internally displaced.

With the launch of the 2018 Global Report on Internal Displacement, we have introduced a displacement severity assessment. This type of information – about the vulnerabilities on internally displaced people – can be more useful than the number of people displaced when it comes to directing attention and resources to the situations where these are most needed. People displaced within Syria face a much higher level of severity than most people displaced in in Colombia, despite there being a roughly equal number in each country. Indeed, internally displaced people in different parts of Myanmar and Iraq have varying levels of severity based on their location, type of shelter and access to basic needs and services.

In order to report on the severity of each IDP caseload in as comparable a manner possible, we have adopted a common assessment based on the Framework on Durable Solutions criteria. For each dimension, we combine empirical evidence and expert opinion to generate an initial rating. Then we internally and externally review these assessments to ensure their validity and consistency, making inter-country comparisons meaningful.