Kathryn Lo
Associate Field Officer
Duty Station: Baghdad, Iraq

Working together with Laura Ronkainen, I am addressing the challenge of how to ensure effective vulnerability targeting for cash-based interventions in IDP contexts through a coherent approach with area-based urban analysis and using existing data systems such as protection assessment information.

Cash-based, targeted interventions are one form of assistance used by UNHCR to enable internally displaced persons to meet their needs with autonomy and dignity, while also supporting local markets and host communities. Improving data collection and analysis methodologies is crucial to improve cash distribution and other assistance programs in urban contexts.

In urban contexts, area-based population profiling methods are an emerging solution to addressing urban displacement with great potential for producing more sustainable solutions. However, area-based approaches are not always compatible with the data needed to effectively target assistance to populations with specific needs and vulnerabilities. As UNHCR improves and expands household-level protection assessments, there is more opportunity to develop sound urban context analysis using these two types of information to effectively identify and target the most vulnerable people, and then tailor cash assistance or other support to have the most sustainable impact. We will combine our experiences with area-based profiling methods, protection assessments, and cash assistance to develop solutions to better analyse urban internal displacement situations to promote effective and actionable information for vulnerability targeting. We will start by looking at the situation of IDPs in Iraq, and perhaps expand to other IDP operations in the Middle East region.

I want to find a solution to this challenge because as UNHCR faces the challenge of assisting more people with limited resources, we must target the most vulnerable people with assistance that will have the most impact.

Better protection information and analysis is needed for improved vulnerability targeting for IDPs living in urban areas. This challenge is of operational interest to UNHCR in targeting the most vulnerable IDPs for cash assistance for a sustainable impact.