Verifications are a time-bound registration activity conducted in a specific area and/or for a specific population and consist of verifying and updating individual registration records and collecting additional information, as necessary. Verification exercises re-establish accurate population figures at a given moment in time, producing the data needed to determine assistance requirements and design relevant protection programming.
Verifications are critical in contexts where continuous registration is not conducted, whether due to staffing or other operational issues, or because it does not work well for reasons linked to the country context or protection environment. In addition, verifications may be preferable to continuous registration, for example:
- Where there has been a large and sudden change in population size as a result of an influx, onward movement or spontaneous departure, verification can quickly reestablish accurate population figures;
- In a post-emergency context, where the initial emergency registration collected only minimum information, verification may be conducted to expand and improve population data before continuous registration processes are established;
- Where there are concerns of multiple registration or fraud committed by persons of concern, verification (with biometrics) can confirm accurate population figures more quickly than continuous registration activities;
- Where documentation issuance is necessary to provide immediate protection, verification enables UNHCR to reach the whole population of concern more quickly than continuous registration.
Comprehensive verification interviews combined with the use of biometrics significantly improves the quality of data in relation to population size and uniqueness of identity, and also tend to result in a reduction in the registered population, through more accurately identifying double registrations, spontaneous departures and unreported deaths.
It is recommended to conduct verification exercises every two years.
UNHCR verifications are increasingly tracked on publicly available live portals that show overall progress as well as pace of verification on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and by site/location.