Jorge Martinez Navarrete edited this page Jan 29, 2018 · 12 revisions

Welcome to the ddart wiki!

The Challenge

We challenge you to develop a form of digital art to capture the essence of internal displacement. Those taking the challenge could take one of two tracks. Either illustrating the nature of internal displacement and the challenges facing IDPs, or the second track would illustrate the processes we use to capture the information.

Appropriate digital art could be

• an online experience (life as an IDP)

• an animation

• a digital story telling platform

• a Virtual and Augmented reality project


The 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles which is celebrated in 2018, constitutes a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the phenomenon of internal displacement.

Millions of people are forced to flee their homes or places of habitual residence each year, including in the context of conflict, violence, development projects, disasters and climate change, and remain displaced within their countries of residence. Millions more live in situations of protracted displacement or face chronic displacement risk.

As of the end of 2016, 40.3 million people were living in internal displacement because of conflict and violence. This is a crisis of enormous proportion and yet, the world is largely unaware. There are twice as many IDPs worldwide than there are refugees, however the issue remains underreported and awareness is low. In addition internal displacement can spill over into cross border displacement, whether it be as a refugee or migrant, so it is key that the entire trajectory and implications of displacement are understood across the spectrum of movement.

Though women and children often make up the majority of the internally displaced, their particular protection, assistance and reintegration or relocation needs are often overlooked or not addressed with priority. National authorities are also responsible for ensuring the specific concerns of groups including women heads of household, unaccompanied minors, persons with disabilities, and the elderly, are taken into account and addressed. Marginalised groups are disproportionately affected and often experience discrimination, including minority ethnic groups, indigenous populations, the rural poor and informal settlers in urban areas.

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (published by the UN in 1998) sets out the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the obligations of governments towards them in accordance with international law. The document emphasises the primary responsibility of national authorities for protecting and assisting all IDPs, regardless of the cause of their displacement. These principles underlie IDMC’s monitoring and analysis of situations worldwide.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are "Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border” (Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, 1998).

The key elements of this definition are: • The involuntary character of the movement. • The fact that such movement takes place within national borders.

Triggers of displacement: see Nigeria model example at

Nigeria model image

Internally displaced people include, but are not limited to: • Families caught between warring parties and having to flee their homes under relentless bombardments or the threat of armed attacks, whose own governments may be responsible for displacing them • Residents of poor neighborhoods rendered unsafe and uninhabitable, at least temporarily, by the impacts of weather-related, geophysical or technological hazards • Indigenous communities forced from their ancestral lands to make way for the construction of dams and other infrastructure projects • Families pushed to leave their homes by constant harassment by local criminal gangs • Rural communities whose livelihoods are decimated by drought, leaving them unable to feed their families and forced to seek external help elsewhere • Communities from coastal, mountainous or arid areas whose land and livelihoods are irrevocably lost because of gradual environmental degradation linked to the impacts of climate change

IDPs are entitled to enjoy the same rights and freedoms under international and national laws as do other people in their country.

Some of the typical needs and protection risks that arise in internal displacement include family separation, loss of documentation, freedom of movement in and out of camps, loss of property, and further exposure to the risk of secondary or onward displacement.

Achieving a durable solution to internal displacement means that IDPs no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs that are directly linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination on account of their displacement. Attaining a durable solution to internal displacement is a process that can be achieved through sustainable integration:

• back in the place of origin (return)

• in the area where IDPs have taken refuge (local integration); or

• elsewhere in the country (relocation)


IDMC obtains data on displacement from a variety of different sources. In the last few years alone, we’ve analysed data from more than 1,500 different data sources.

IDMC’s team of monitoring experts then analyse the data and, when possible, map it onto the corresponding part of our data model
Displacement data model

Sometimes the data corresponds directly, such as when our providers collect information on the number of displaced people in a given location at a given point in time, or the number of people who have been displaced since the occurrence of a disaster. Other times, especially to account for gaps, we have to transform the data in order to produce our basic displacement metrics. This when we bring all of the raw data into common units of analysis, such as the number of new displacements or returns during a given period of time or the number of displaced people as of a specific moment in time. For example, in many cases we have to convert “households”, “homes” and “families” into an estimated number of displaced people.

Sometimes we have to do transform the data in other ways in order to map it onto our data model and produce our basic metrics. For example, we sometimes have to produce a rough estimate in the number of new displacements from time series data about IDP stock data: for example, an increase in the number of IDPs may indicate that there have been new displacements.

Contextual analysis, validation and annotation These mathematical processes represent just the first step in our analysis. Next, we cross-reference our results with a review of the meta-data and with contextual analysis. Very often an increase in the number of IDPs does not represent new displacements; instead it results from changes in measurement, such as when data collectors expand their coverage. Sometimes a decrease in IDP figures represents decreased coverage or a change in policy, such as when authorities “de-register” people who had previously been characterised as IDPs.

From the contextual analysis, we assess whether the conditions “on the ground” justify or contradict what the numbers initially tell us. This process often involves several rounds of calls and e-mail exchanges with our data providers as well as other partners who are closer to the ground. Sometimes this work involves field missions by IDMC staff. Either way, IDMC always assesses whether the narrative suggested by the data corresponds with what we know about that particular situation.

Once the steps above have occurred, the initial working estimates are reviewed internally by other IDMC staff and externally by partners and other experts. This review process may result in revisions of the working estimates or the addition of caveats and annotations.

When IDMC produces its country-level IDP figures, particularly for displacement caused by conflict and violence, we also publish a detailed “Figures analysis” that explains the methodology we used to produce the estimates as well as contextual information, information about our sources’ data-collection methodology as well as any significant caveats attached to the figures. Furthermore, IDMC also publishes the date that the data was last updated via field-based data-collection or verification exercises as well as a multi-dimensional confidence assessment for the different metrics.


The two most well know metrics IDMC publishes are: 1) the number of people displaced at a given moment in time (usually 31 December); and 2) the number of (new) displacements that have occurred during the course of a given year. These two metrics are similar to the concepts of prevalence and incidence

Prevalence refers to the number of people or the fraction of the population affected at a specific point in time. This corresponds with IDMC’s figures for the total number of IDPs in a country as of 31 December.

Incidence refers to the number of new individuals displaced during a particular period of time. This is akin to IDMC’s figure for new displacements reported or detected during a period of time – or per disaster event.

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