Insecurity: Forum seeks IDPs data harmonization in Nigeria | Dailytrust

Insecurity: Forum seeks IDPs data harmonization in Nigeria

The Federal Government and other stakeholders have been urged to aggregate and harmonize the data of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Nigeria.

A Data and Displacement Research Team from the University of Ibadan which made the call, said that this, among others will address challenges of IDPs in the country.

They made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, at a conference and presentation of research report titled, ‘Humanitarian Crises and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria: A situation analysis.’

The project under ‘Data and Displacement: Assessing the practical and Ethical Implementations of Targeting Humanitarian Protection’ was carried out by University of Ibadan Research Team led by Dr. Funke Fayehun and Dr. Olayinka Akanle.

Fayehun, an Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, said there was need to start addressing the lack of coherent in data on IDPs in the country.

According to her, there would be the risk of duplication of data having different agencies documenting the same people.

Ms. Fayehun, who is the Lead Investigator on the project, said there was lack of coherence in the management of data on IDP camps in Nigeria hence the need to work on it.

“Even when you have data sets and is not well coherent because of multiplicity of data from different organisations, the problem of reliability and quality of the data will be a big issue. It is going to be difficult for us to start making interventions over data where you have different sources.

“So, what you are seeing from this project is that let there be coherence of systems or structures on IDP data. Let us enhance technological infrastructure in the IDP camps such that data will be accessible and will be easy for people to use. Those are some of the findings and recommendations from this project,” she said.

Fayehun said that if relevant organizations could work together concerning IDPs data set, stop multiplicity of data sources, they could recommend appropriate interventions for government and the people that benefit from it.

She said there were findings from research project that some people just go to the IDP camps and ask the people questions without taking their consent follow ethics and international best practice.

She added that when displaced persons understand their rights on data use, then they can give correct information.

She also urged the government to set up a structure that would coordinate NGOs, funders and donor agencies, and assured them that were key partners in the meeting the needs of IDPs to avoid multiplicity of efforts and unnecessary wastage.

On his presentation on the research project, Dr. Akanle, said that data ethics and value chain-ecosystem was very important in contexts of humanitarianism and IDPs in Nigeria.

He said that the study examined the data targeting processes in the humanitarian sector and other ethical issues.

On the methodology, for the ‘Data and Displacement Project Fieldwork: March 2021-January 2022’ Akanle said that in-depth interviews were conducted on 50 IDPs and 20 practitioners/ stakeholders in Maiduguri, Borno State, with IDP camps in the state as study area.

Also, a Lead Research Fellow, at University of Warwick, UK, Dr. Modesta Alozie, presenting the recommendations of the report called for improve coordination of activities, efforts and resources of stakeholders towards providing technological and infrastructural facilities as well as capacities for efficient and ethical data collection, storage and utilization.

She also called for awareness among IDPs about processes of data capture, data rights and the benefits of improved information for humanitarian interventions.

“There is also need for organize orientation and sensitization meetings with IDPs and stakeholders to support sustainable ethical-data processes and systems,” she said.

On his part, the Executive Director of CORAFID Centre for Innovation and Research, Makurdi, Benue State, Mr. Nathaniel Awuapila, said that the reports would help in effective planning for IDPs.

Awuapila, who is also an advisory board member of the project, said that the research would be of greater benefits to all stakeholders including the displaced persons.

“This research that been shared today will help stakeholders, agencies in charge of humanitarian affairs, NGOs and other interveners to be better guided about how to utilize information that involves displaced persons.

“A project like this helps provide information for both that the responding and the intervention agencies for the purpose of effective planning and utilization of services to meet the needs of the people that are displaced,” he said.

Also, the Country Director of Amnesty International, Mrs. Osai Ojigho, said the was an intersection between data and research to see how the issues of internally displaced persons should be on the agenda of development discussions.

Ojigho identified some of the challenges why Nigeria had not been able to addressed the challenges in IDP camps.

She said that these include complexity of conflicts in Nigeria, access to insecurity affected regions and lack of involvement of the IDPs in decision making and areas of interventions that should benefit them.

She said, “The other factor is the money. A lot of funds have been expended on providing humanitarian assistance, but we know that this is far little in terms of the enormity of the situation.

“Yes, we take care of the basic needs such as shelter, food, security within the camps. What about getting people to restore themselves to their farmlands to their livelihoods?”

Ojigho said that just dealing with the basic needs of displaced persons was not sufficient enough to return them to their homelands.

She said, “The fact that the insecurity particularly in the North East has continue to ravage till date, in spite over 10 years of intervention in those areas. So, many other factors have contributed what I will call a lingering sore that has refused to heal in Nigeria concerning people impacted by conflicts.”

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