Amy Pope
IOM Director General


Over the past 10 years, the number of internally displaced people (IDP) has more than doubled, from 33 million to 71 million. They are now in half of all the countries in the world, often driven to move because of the impact of climate change, conflict and other disruptions and hardships.

This inaugural (PROGRESS) initiative is intended to contribute to a people-centered, data-driven foundation for IOM’s work. We created this report in consultation with host communities, academia, international partners, governments, and most importantly, directly with people who have been displaced. We hope it will be insightful and useful for everyone working to drive solutions to displacement at scale, so we leave no one behind.

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At the core of this report, and at center of IOM’s strategy, is data. For this report, IOM’s Global Data Institute and the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University pulled data from 15 countries, which, together, have over half of all IDPs worldwide. The information and experiences illuminated in the data analysis provide a springboard for decision makers. Through this data, they can examine patterns and dynamics of displacement, pinpoint obstacles and identify promising potential solutions.

To develop services that integrate internally displaced people into new settlements, that reduce their vulnerability, and improve social cohesion, national governments and local authorities need data. To address these needs, this inaugural PROGRESS report advances the Action Agenda call for a fresh evidence-base approach. The report:

  • Identifies the vulnerabilities of internally displaced persons that need to be addressed in order to develop durable solutions to their displacement.
  • Reveals the challenges to moving people from displacement onto a pathway for their greater development, and practical solutions to those challenges.
  • Uses existing data to document what was learned in producing the report, and charts out the next steps needed to get deeper, richer data that can help produce even solutions for internally displaced persons.

We are grateful to all our partners for their invaluable contributions in supporting the PROGRESS initiative. Future iterations of this report will focus on specific critical issues, such as climate change, where the potential for proactive work can be augmented through data and data analysis.


IOM's First Periodic Global Report on the State of
Solutions to Internal Displacement

The IOM’s Global Data Institute (GDI) and Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) collaborated to create the first Periodic Global Report on the State of Solutions to Internal Displacement (PROGRESS). This analysis of primary data collected in 15 countries selected as pilots for the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, offers people-centered and operationally-relevant insights to expand the evidence base about interventions that contribute to helping displaced communities find solutions and pathways out of displacement.

In collaboration with

Annual Cycle

The first edition of the PROGRESS 2023 report marks the beginning of an annual activity cycle by IOM's Global Data Institute and partners leading to the preparation of the 2024 edition. The process will include consultations with Member States, UN agencies, and partner organizations, followed by a broad public dissemination. With data partners, GDI will review and integrate lessons learned as well as recommendations for operational adjustments in Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data collection operations.

Following that, GDI's DTM will roll out updated tools to support IOM operations in displacement settings, with the aim to gather additional data on solutions in various countries in addition to the 15 countries included in the 2023 edition. This primary data will be analysed and contribute to the 2024 report. In parallel, IOM will continue with comprehensive consultations with partners to expand their contributions and partnerships in data, analysis, and/or joint data collection efforts.

Humanitarian & Development Partners Displaced Persons Host communities Governments Data consolidation and analysis Datasets Q2 Consultationsand finalizations Draft Findings Q3 Release Date November 2023 Q4 Dissemination campaign Review and lessons learned Operational adjustments Data CollectionOperations Enhanced tools Q1


Assess the status of progress toward solutions to support efforts by governments and other stakeholders to end displacement

Identify key gaps in data needed to measure progress toward solutions and develop ways of addressing these gaps

Provide evidence to engage national governments and UN system to outline next steps on solutions programming

The annual report is part of IOM’s contribution to the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement

The first PROGRESS report, provides a people-centered and operationally-relevant contribution to the UN Action Agenda on Internal Displacement through actionable data analysis. The analysis conveys a data-driven understanding of the IDP experience of solutions, in line with the International Recommendations on IDP Statistics (IRIS) and recently developed recommendations from the Data for Solutions to Internal Displacement (DSID) Taskforce established under the Office of the Secretary General’s Advisor on Solutions to Internal Displacement. PROGRESS provides age and sex-disaggregated analysis, socioeconomic dynamics and comparable trends for IDPs and host communities in the fifteen countries prioritized by the Action Agenda. The report's first edition represents a comprehensive stock-taking of existing operational datasets analyzed through a solutions lense to provide actionable information for operations and programming.

UN Action Agenda

Highlights from the report

IOM GDI and Georgetown University teams analyzed over 20 datasets containing data collected through household surveys and key informant-based assessments conducted in the fifteen countries selected as pilots under the Action Agenda on Internal Displacement (Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Niger, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Vanuatu and Yemen ).


IDPs displaced by drought are 20 times
less likely to return home


IDPs with adequate shelter are twice as
likely to have a stable source of income


1 in 10

IDPs living outside a camp
receives humanitarian assistance

Host households
IDPs households

Voices From Communities

"Fear has dominated us: fear of being evicted, fear of losing our jobs, fear for our children and ourselves. Returning has instilled a sense of beautiful stability and security. Being in our own homes has provided a feeling of comfort and familiarity, a stark contrast to the alienation we experienced during displacement."
Focus group discussion with female returnees, Kirkuk Governorate, Iraq, August 2023.

As part of the PROGRESS 2023 edition, to complement the analysis of quantitative data collected through household surveys and key informant assessments, IOM field teams carried out 74 focus group discussions with 570 participants in Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. The focus group discussions included detailed and sometimes personal information from the perspectives of people who were displaced, had returned, or were part of communities that hosted IDPs.

Although there were many commonalities across countries and regions - including a strong focus on economic recovery and security as fundamental to durable reintegration - the discussions also revealed the diversity of experiences within and among families, communities, and country contexts. Moreover, they served as a forum to share viewpoints not captured by traditional wide-scale data collection exercises, including affected communities’ perceptions of cultural and gendered effects of displacement in their countries. The discussions were conducted in local languages and translated by IOM DTM staff.


"For those of us who have been away for a long time, for better or worse, we have created an environment and it may not be so close to the place we left. We have already created ties, a habitual life, so for us to say "return" might not be of so much interest anymore, because we won't even have the support to be able to return and we won't have what we had when we left. So, I think we should consider another option for support, so one doesn't feel more displaced because forcing them to return right now is another displacement."
IDPs in Colombia, mixed male and female group, (August 2023)
The state of the local economy, including access to wages or livelihoods, was overwhelmingly the top concern among all three population groups to build durable solutions to displacement. Despite deterioration, however, host community perceptions of the economic effects of displacement were sometimes mixed (Iraq, Libya and South Sudan) and the presence of IDPs fuelled the local economy in Mozambique, benefiting some host community members who owned small businesses.

The strong focus on economic insecurity in FGDs was often weighed against the risk of physical insecurity. Infrastructure that was damaged during displacement caused difficulties for many people, who had limited access to services following return. Water wells in Yemen and water schemes in Ethiopia were of concern, along with damaged houses, mosques, schools and health centres.

Food insecurity was most often tied to lost agricultural possibilities in the place of origin, as in the cases of Iraq and Yemen. Together, these paint a clear picture of how displacement was associated with significant losses for IDPs, which return did not recoup. Elders and youth in Ethiopia both described psychological effects of trauma affecting members of the community. They described trauma and mental health effects as ongoing. Others shared that since return they had a sense of stability and security.

"In my view, there are two sides to the relationship between the displaced and the host community. On the positive side, these interactions have led to the expansion of social networks, marriages between members of both groups, and the exchange of information and experiences. However, there were also initial challenges arising from differing views, especially due to lower levels of education and differing customs among the displaced. Over time, these differences were overcome, and integration into society was achieved."
Host Community Members in Iraq, mixed male and female (August 2023)
Economic security was the most common solution to displacement expressed by returnees and host communities alike. For returnees, the chance to reclaim homes and assets, or at least to rebuild them, could improve independence and relief assistance.

Among IDPs themselves, however, in 5 out of 10 countries where FGDs were conducted, participants did not cite return, and in the other 5 countries, IDP intentions to return or to work toward solutions in their places of displacement were mixed. IDPs sought education and fulfilling careers, stability, economic independence, support for investments, and access to land, housing, and basic services. They did not necessarily believe these would be available upon return even if conflict or violence ceased. Host community members in Mozambique categorically stated that displaced populations did not affect the realization of their progress toward solutions, but in Yemen and Libya they suggested that IDPs symbolized the persistence of conflict and so they would not consider their objectives for stability as realised until IDPs could return.

For returnees, peace and economic stability were the most common desires in the next five to 10 years. Homes and infrastructure were very often shared as necessities to reach their goals of independence.

"As you observed, everyone in this village is staying home and dependent on relief assistance. Do you know why? Due to the conflict, we have lost every asset we had before the displacement: farms, farm equipment, grain stock, camels, goats, sheep, cows, oxen, and donkeys.

So now that we are not living properly, we need support in the form of agricultural equipment and inputs to resume farming, livestock restocking, and shelter repair materials to reconstruct damaged houses, and then hopefully we can start enjoying our decent life as we did before and we will no longer be considered as returnees."
Returning IDPs in Ethiopia, mixed male and female youth group, (August 2023)

Action for Solutions include setting up cooperatives for livelihoods, including fishing and farming, were emphasized to support IDPs in host communities. Investments in smaller businesses and the importance of providing agricultural inputs were crucial for supporting economic self-reliance among IDPs.

Meanwhile, the topmost priority for host community support was improved infrastructure and access to basic services. This included the demand for the construction and renovation of schools, hospitals, water points, health centres, and road expansion. Host community members also highlighted the pressing need for additional housing and shelter. Addressing housing shortages was seen as essential to accommodate the increasing population from displacement and relocation.

In Chad, women used the term “autonomy” to describe economic security, forming an umbrella that covered repaired shelters, replacement of lost goods and assets necessary for subsistence or livelihoods, but also implying a deeper sense of freedom and regained independence. These were the same concerns in Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen. Six FGDs in Libya, Mozambique, Sudan and Yemen stated that for IDPs to return to their location of origin, security in that village or location would have to be restored. Furthermore, peacebuilding was a fundamental need shared in Ethiopia, where returnees suggested community conferences, community dialogue, reconciliation, community-level negotiations and political will.

Partner contributions

As an operational report employing a consultative process, IOM’s Periodic Global Report on the State of Solutions to Internal Displacement (PROGRESS) reflects the diversity of actors working on durable solutions to internal displacement. The analysis presented in this report illustrates that resolving displacement is a challenge requiring work across the humanitarian-development and peace nexus. In line with this, actors with a range of expertise and roles across this nexus must be involved in defining what actionable data looks like.

 A sample of these actors have contributed their unique perspectives on data for durable solutions through the lens of their technical areas of expertise. These areas include national statistics and censuses, food security and agricultural livelihoods, child protection, and data collection on internal displacement. Their contributions highlight the multifaceted ways in which data can have a tangible impact on achieving lasting solutions for displaced populations and addressing vulnerabilities associated with protracted displacement.