The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) established IDMC in 1998 in response to a gap in the protection and assistance provided to internally displaced people (IDPs), and a request from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) for comprehensive global data to inform efforts to address it. Today our mandate is as relevant as ever, but we also recognise that we have to evolve to better serve the needs of policy makers, governments, the humanitarian community and IDPs themselves.
Sixteen years after we began our monitoring, we continue to document an annual increase in the number of people who flee their homes to escape conflict and disasters worldwide. More people are exposed and vulnerable to the many drivers of displacement in increasingly complex situations, and growing numbers find themselves displaced for protracted periods of time. The effectiveness of the international response has improved since humanitarian reforms began in 2004, but IDPs’ needs are still far from being addressed.
There is growing concern about the availability and quality of statistical information on IDPs. Current reporting rarely captures either the full scale or the complexity of displacement at the global level. New drivers have also emerged, of which we still have only limited understanding, including development projects, criminal violence and various forms of discrimination. For the most part, displacement is a multi-causal phenomenon, and the process of achieving progress toward durable solutions is both complicated and challenging.
Our audience has consistently recognised that our greatest contribution lies in the provision of quality data and analysis, which is used primarily by decision-makers in their advocacy and policy work.