Initiatives for better data and evidence

Expert Group on Refugee and IDP statistics 

An international Expert Group on Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Statistics (EGRIS) was established at the 47th United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) session in 2016. This decision was based on a joint proposal by Statistics Norway, Eurostat, the Turkish Statistical Institute and UNHCR in order to improve the collection and dissemination of official refugee statistics. EGRIS consists of participants from national statistical authorities, international and regional statistical organizations and other technical experts. The role of EGRIS is to develop recommendations on statistics related to refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced populations.  

The International Recommendations on Refugee Statistics (IRRS) were adopted in 2018 at the 49th session of the UNSC. This was an important milestone as it set a global standard for the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of refugee statistics. EGRIS also developed a refugee statistics compilers’ manual with operational instructions established in compliance with the IRRS.

In addition, the International Recommendations on Internally Displaced Persons Statistics were adopted at the 51st session of the UNSC in March 2020. For the first time, a comprehensive statistical framework exists for refugees and internally displaced persons.

Further information: 

  • Report of the Expert Group on Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Statistics to the UN Statistical Commission at its 51st session, March 2020
  • Working together for improved statistics on refugees and internally displaced persons, December 2018 
  • Technical report on Statistics on Internally Displaced Persons, March 2018 
  • Report of the International Conference on Refugee Statistics, October 2015 
  • Report of Statistics Norway and UNHCR on statistics on refugees and internally displaced persons, March 2015 
  • EGRIS Newsletter November 2020

Expert Group on Statistics on Statelessness 

The Expert Group on Statistics on Statelessness (EGSS) was established with the aim of developing and adopting common standards and definitions to improve the quality and relevance of statistics on stateless populations. In December 2019, the Expert Group gathered together in Bangkok to discuss the development of International Recommendations on Statistics on Statelessness. Representatives from 16 countries, including experts from national statistical offices and line ministries, as well as UNHCR, the United Nations Population Fund and UN regional commissions participated in this meeting. The group developed an ambitious work plan to deliver the recommendations on statistics on statelessness within one year. The ultimate objective is to submit the international recommendations to the United Nations Statistical Commission for its adoption in March 2022.  

Inter-agency Group on Statelessness Estimates 

The Inter-Agency Group on Statelessness Estimation (IGSE) has been established to update the Inter-agency estimates of statelessness in order to advance the work on monitoring progress towards the SDG’s overarching ambition that no one is left behind in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The IGSE considers improved methodologies for analyzing and collating data on statelessness for use by agencies associated with the IGSE. A Technical Advisory Group supports this analysis through expert advice on the methodologies to be developed and applied. 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Indicators 

UNHCR has worked with the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) to add to the indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals an indicator measuring the number of refugees as a percentage of their country of origin population (indicator 10.7.4), within the 2020 Comprehensive Review. The inclusion of this additional indicator ensures refugees are granted the specific importance accorded to them for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Data disaggregation in the SDG context is equally important. Read more about this topic in our Data disaggregation of SDG indicators by forced displacement report. 

UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center 

The World Bank - UNHCR Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement aims to enhance the ability of stakeholders to make timely and evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of the forcibly displaced and their host communities. The JDC will capitalize on the synergies between UNHCR and the World Bank, complementing each other’s strengths: UNHCR in protection data, registration and collection, and the World Bank in household data, policy dialogue and analytical work. Both organizations expect to achieve efficiency and provide value to partners such as governments, the private sector, civil society, NGOs and researchers, among others.