In the future, an integrated PRIMES trust and service platform will be the single entry point for all digital interaction between UNHCR and partners with the individuals who are registered. PRIMES is an enabler for:

  • Registration (biographic and biometric) and certification
  • Case-management (including the principal Protection aspects: Refugee Status Determination, Resettlement, Repatriation, Legal and Physical Protection, Child Protection, SGBV and others)
  • Assistance (cash and in-kind)
  • Data management, including reporting and sharing

PRIMES consist of a centralized repository of all relevant identity data, visible and editable – by UNHCR staff and UNHCR partners with appropriate access rights – from anywhere. Certain self-service functionalities for those registered are being developed. PRIMES is fully aligned to the Policy on the Protection of Personal Data of Persons of Concern to UNHCR.


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PRIMES deployments  

Time frame for deployments and additional components

By the end 2017, proGres in Partnership (proGres v4), which is now a component of PRIMES, was deployed to 37 operations but covering 10% of the refugee data. Following clearance by the High Commissioner and the SMC obtained in January 2018, DIST, DIP, and DPSM are now accelerating the roll-out of PRIMES.  Hence, planning for 2018 prioritises 80% of the refugee population for which UNHCR holds data. 

This includes the roll-out of a single, centralized data base with case management modules (proGres v4), UNHCR’s cutting-edge Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS), and a newly developed Rapid Application (RApp) that allows for off-line registration of both refugees and other displaced populations, such as IDPs. Potentially, the RApp tool will also support case management work enabling operations to conducted processes in the deep field.  The Rapid Application will expedite registration times thus reducing the amount of time people have to wait. Another RApp innovation is that registration can take place outside of registration centres, in the homes of the people for example. PRIMES also includes a Data Port, i.e. a business intelligence tool giving all colleagues access to aggregated statistical data on registered caseloads.

The PRIMES suite of applications will greatly enhance the capacity of UNHCR and partners to protect and assist refugees and other displaced populations. A newly set-up User Support Unit, consisting of protection, registration, and technical staff, supports Field operations daily during working hours. UNHCR’s Global Learning Centre is preparing new training programmes (online and in seminars) for 2019.

Main timelines are:

End 2018

Roll-out by the end of 2018 to 80% of operations holding data completed


Cross divisional PRIMES Governance and management structure is set-up and functional


First IDP operations use RApp to enrol IDPs


Prototype of the PRIMES trust and service platform is being piloted


Various pilot projects to develop PRIMES are ongoing


Upgrades and additional functionality is being added gradually to the PRIMES eco system

End 2019

All refugee Data in a central Population Registry

Over time, more applications are to be developed and integrated in PRIMES. This new ecosystem will enhance UNHCR’s capacity to collect and analyze data and provide users with more accurate data. However, the ultimate objective of PRIMES is to empower refugees and other forcibly displaced persons: A recognized identity and close inter-operability with State population registries and CRVS systems will go a long way in ensuring inclusion into socio-economic life. With PRIMES, UNHCR and partners contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, including Goal 16 containing the target on providing legal identity for all, including birth registration (target 16.9). For more information, please download our flyer.

PRIMES Support

Who are we and how can we help PRIMES users?

  • A multi-functional team consisting of DPSM, DIP and DIST staff is providing dedicated user support to UNHCR and Partner Users of PRIMES around the world. PRIMES Users can contact PRIMES Support with any question or request related to PRIMES tools.
  • The PRIMES Support site contains training material such as tutorial videos and PowerPoint presentations and reference material such as User Guides, How-to Guides, FAQs to help users find answers to their questions and future users to familiarize themselves with PRIMES tools.
  • PRIMES Users and future Users can also refer to this site to learn more on PRIMES Deployments and Developments.

PRIMES Support can be reached via a user-friendly Contact Us form or email [email protected]. For urgent matters, PRIMES Support can also be reached by phone at +41 22 739 8888.

Go to PRIMES Support

PRIMES - links to resources