Monitoring progress on internal displacement

Internal displacement is a complex phenomenon that cannot be measured with numbers of IDPs alone. IDMC has developed tools to complement its displacement figures with standardised assessments of the conditions in which IDPs live and of affected countries’ capacity to address the issue. These assessments are updated regularly to allow governments and their partners to monitor progress over time.

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) and the complexity of internal displacement crises across the world have increased substantially in the last decade. The lack of data on the drivers and impacts of conflict and disaster displacement makes it difficult to design effective prevention and response strategies. With this in mind, IDMC developed new measures to supplement its displacement figures with more information on the conditions in which IDPs live and on affected countries’ capacity to address the issue.

The Internal Displacement Index (IDI) combines information on the impacts of displacement, the context in which it happens, and governments’ efforts to address it. It is the first and only tool available today to comprehensively measure progress on internal displacement. The IDI 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 provides a global overview of the situation using standardised indicators and data sources, and points to specific challenges and good practices from around the world.

IDMC's first IDI report provided a baseline assessment at the end of 2019. The second report captures the global situation at the end of 2020 and shows that, while moderate progress has been recorded in some areas, significant progress is still to be made. This top-level assessment should be complemented with more in-depth, country-specific analyses, and can be adapted into national progress monitoring tools.

In addition to the IDI, IDMC developed a standard methodology to assess the conditions in which IDPs live across different displacement situations. In some contexts, IDPs are exposed to high levels of violence, malnutrition and disease in overcrowded and unsanitary displacement camps. In other cases, they are provided with free social housing and priority access to services. To call attention to situations of particular concern, highlight key threats to IDPs’ safety and wellbeing, and better measure progress towards finding solutions to internal displacement, a first severity assessment was conducted at the end of 2019, followed by an update at the end of 2020. Annual revisions will follow to support progress monitoring across 50 countries.


Christelle Cazabat

We are always looking to strengthen and expand our existing partnerships. If you are interested in working with our research team, please contact