From the director
2014 was a devastating year with record numbers of people living in internal displacement induced by conflict, violence, disasters and natural hazards. Meeting the immense needs generated by these calamities remains one of the most challenging humanitarian tasks faced by the international community in modern times. To address these serious situations, IDMC in 2014 published 20 country overviews, 2 global reports, 8 thematic/technical reports, 32 blogs, 8 briefing/discussion papers, 22 submissions to human rights bodies.
Confronted with such record high internal displacement figures for the third year in a row, reflecting disrupted lives and livelihoods on a massive scale, IDMC’s core mandate to provide evidence-based global data and analysis to inform policy and operational decisions has become ever more relevant. Escalating internal displacement in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria has prompted IDMC to step up its advocacy with UN institutions and regional intergovernmental agencies. This pivotal activity helps to keep internal displacement on the international agenda, promote respect for the rights of IDPs, and raise awareness of related protection concerns identified globally by IDMC research and analysis teams. For example, IDMC was invited to brief the UN Security Council through an Arria formula meeting.
A series of IDMC thematic research papers published in 2014 drew greater attention to a wide range of specific internal displacement protection concerns related to factors such as the age and gender of Internally displaced people (IDPs), the pressing issue of the registration of children born in displacement, and access to housing, land and property. We also published numerous country overviews and in-depth reports that pinpointed particular areas of concern in various contexts.
Throughout the year, we maintained our long tradition of partnering and working closely with leading organisations engaged in efforts to assist IDPS, promote respect for their basic rights in line with universally accepted norms, and determine the causes and impact of their displacement. In one such example, we embarked on a multi-year project with the Norwegian Refugee Council, International Alert and Climate Interactive to investigate the impact of multiple displacements on the resilience of IDPs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To influence the response to IDP needs in existing and evolving displacement contexts, we also engaged with local partners including governments to jointly deliver training workshops focused on refining and accelerating the implementation of national legal normative frameworks regulating internal displacement.
At the end of 2014, IDMC underwent a thorough internal and external analysis in order to plan and prepare for its new five-year (2015-2020) strategy to improve the lives of IDPs around the world. The analysis consisted of a rigorous diagnosis phase to determine what our partners and stakeholders want and need from IDMC, how the internal displacement discourse has changed over time, how IDMC is currently positioned externally, and what we need to do to stay relevant in the long term.
What we learnt was that we needed to refocus on our core, UN-recognised mandate as a provider of solid global data and analysis on internal displacement, while simultaneously recognising a changed environment, particularly in terms of data and information technology trends. With this in mind, an exciting and innovative new approach will form the basis of the direction IDMC will take over the next five years built around its vision of “global knowledge for informed action on internal displacement”.
Our mission is to lead on the provision of information and analysis on internal displacement to inform policy and operational decisions that improve the lives of IDPs. We continue to do this by monitoring all situations of internal displacement, providing quantitative estimates of the numbers of IDPs worldwide, and disseminating policy-relevant information and analysis.
IDMC progress towards its objectives could not have been achieved without the guidance and resources of individual and institutional supporters, and the extraordinary commitment to our mission shown by IDMC staff, research fellows and consultants throughout the year.
Alfredo Zamudio, IDMC Director