Friday, May 23, 2014

South Sudan: IOM Pilots Biometric Registration for Displaced People in South Sudan

Source: International Organization for Migration

South Sudan - IOM has completed a registration of a total of 28,968 internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in two of South Sudan’s largest protection of civilian (PoC) sites in Juba – UN House and Tomping.

Biometric technology was incorporated into the process for the first time in South Sudan in a biometric pilot registration at the UN House site.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking and Monitoring (DTM) unit conducted the registration over one week, covering 3,587 households representing 14,448 individuals in UN House and 4,314 households representing 14,520 individuals in Tomping.

It gathered baseline information on the displaced population, including demographic statistics, household size, and tracking data linked to IDP intentions regarding future movement. A thumb print record of the head of each IDP household was also taken.

These records will serve as a vital record for aid agencies to identify vulnerable groups during the distribution of food, shelter and non-food relief items.

“IOM plans to use biometric technology, where possible, to digitally register IDPs facing long-term displacement and to improve the overall registration process. The methodology has been refined so that registration of any one site can be carried out within a day in order to enable more effective identification of the displaced population,” says Vlatko Avramovski, an IOM human mobility tracking expert.

“The new technology and revised methodology aims to provide more accurate demographic data that can be used by emergency service providers to plan efficient interventions, while at the same time facilitating discussions to identify potential displacement solutions for the ongoing crisis,” he adds.

Registration exercises were carried out in close cooperation with the IDP communities involved. IOM engaged with community leaders and employed site residents to assist in each stage of the process, including community mobilization, sensitization and data collection.

Thousands fled from neighbourhoods in Juba during the first week of the crisis in December 2013 to the safety of PoC sites in the UNMISS base and UN House. The vast majority of IDPs at the two sites are from the Nuer community, together with smaller numbers of foreign nationals, many of whom are migrant workers, transit nationals or undocumented refugees from countries in the region.

There are currently an estimated 1.3 million South Sudanese internally displaced or seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. In total, over 87,000 IDPs continue to seek protection in eight UN bases across South Sudan.