Mapping the unmapped: GIS challenges for refugees aid

Session

Flygtninge og GIS

Abstract

An important way to organize and understand data is to structure it around geographical locations. As UNHCR is concerned with the movement of people and projects its operations globally, geography is a common and useful framework for understanding and analysing data and the contexts in which we operate. In this session, the UNHCR team will present how GIS is used in UNHCR and discuss the main challenges and solutions being tested.

Målgruppe

GIS practitioners, humanitarians, NGOs, researchers, students, local authorities

Yderligere uddybning af abstract

UNHCR works to lead and coordinate international action to protect people forced to flee, delivers life-saving suppport, safeguards fundamental human rights and finds solution for a better future.

Created by UN in 1950, UNHCR is a humanitarian, non-political organization funded mainly by governments and has more than 9,600 staff in more than 120 countries.

The people we help are: refugees and asylum seekers, stateless people, returnees, internally displaced people and victims of natural disasters. We help them because we believe than anyone can become a refugee and that refugees, who are true survivors and deserve our support and respect.

UNHCR gathers and utilizes a wide variety of data and information. Such data includes information on the location, origin and characteristics of people of concern* programme budgets and expenditures, performance and results achieved, stocks in warehouses, the number of staff deployed globally and the distribution and roles of partners. Analysing data to its full potential and making it both useful for decision-making and accessible to decision makers remains challenging.

As UNHCR is concerned with the movement of people and projects its operations globally, geography is a common and useful framework for understanding and analysing data and the contexts in which we operate.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have powerful tools designed to support geographical analysis and the creation of maps and other products. But they are also demanding in terms of resources (both human, material and financial). In the humanitarian context, the challenges are more acute but need to be solved. From geodata acquisition to dissemination, humanitarians are trying to find innovative ways of doing their work with limited resource and access.

Some UNHCR tools and systems like camp mapping, use of Kobo for need assessments will be presented.

 

People of concern for UNHCR refer to refugees, internally displaced people, asylum seekers, stateless…)

 

Mapping the unmapped: GIS challenges for refugees aid
Shadi Mhetawhi
United Nations