SE090 The Migration Pulse:  Monitoring hunger and displacement by giving a voice to affected populations using advanced digital technologies


  • WFP
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Conflict and violence have forced more than 70 million people away from their homes, which includes 41 million internally displaced and close to 26 million refugees (UNHCR, 2019). According to the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises, more than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced severe hunger in 2018 with conflict, climate and economic shocks being the main drivers. In May 2018, the UN Security Council recognized the links between conflict and hunger, when the Council unanimously voted in support of Resolution 2417 to prevent and eradicate conflict-induced hunger.

WFP's Vulnerability Analysis and Monitoring (VAM) in close consultation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has set-up the Migration Pulse initiative to give a voice to the displaced and help further understand what is the food security status of migrants and displaced populations, what is driving people to leave their country of origin, what motivates them to stay or continue their journey, and what are their needs and challenges along the entire migration route. The collection of accurate, reliable and comparable data from people on the move has been acknowledged in the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration, which were both signed in December 2018.

At CFS 46, WFP VAM and IOM will organize an event to help answer the following two questions: what role does food security and other factors play in migration and displacement decisions and how can new technology help to capture the voices of displaced women and men of various age groups along the migration routes? Through a presentation of the Migration Pulse initiative with a focus on recent integrated analysis conducted by IOM and WFP on migrants and refugees in Libya, the session will shed light on the needs of hard-to-reach population on the move and linking them back to the root causes driving people to migrate in the first place.

Key speakers/presenters

  • Claudia Ah Poe, Head of the Needs Assessment & Targeting Unit – WFP, Rome
  • Katrina Frappier, Needs Assessment Officer – WFP, Rome
  • Paola Alvarez, Project Development Officer – IOM, Coordination Office for the Mediterranean
  • Tassilo Teppert, DTM Coordinator – IOM, Libya
  • Jean-Baptiste Pasquier, Food Security Analyst – WFP, Libya

Main themes/issues discussed

WFP and IOM hosted an event to help understand what role food security and other factors play in migration decision-making. Through the presentation of recent joint analysis work on migrants in Libya, the event explored the root causes of migration and displacement, main challenges faced by migrants, their food security and other essential needs, as well as their interactions with host communities.

The event kicked-off with an interactive session on the Migration Pulse and the innovative web-based technology behind it. This was followed by a panel discussion covering the entire migration route: country of origin, transit country and countries of destination, ending with a discussion on the latest global and regional policy frameworks and strategies on migration and forced displacement.

Summary of key points

  • Lack of accurate and reliable disaggregated data on migration continues to be a major obstacle for evidence-based policies and humanitarian programming.
  • New technologies have opened up a new frontier for collecting high-frequency, sex-and- age disaggregated information from highly mobile and hard-to-reach populations.
  • Since 2018, the Migration Pulse initiative has been implemented in over 11 countries and is helping gather critical information on the needs of displaced populations and migrants, creating important advocacy tools for countries.
  • Furthermore, triangulation of information using multiple methodologies and working in partnership allows for data results to be more concrete and tangible for effective strategic planning and decision-making.
  • WFP and IOM plan to continue their joint work in Libya and expand to other countries, where data on food security, migration and displacement is of critical need for the humanitarian and broader international community.

Key take away messages

Session participants found that:

  • Initial research in Nigeria using web-based surveys has shown that remittances received by families in countries of origin are helping to compensate for food security gaps. At the same time, caution was raised that this could be context-specific, and the effects related to family members migrating away from home could be diverse in other countries of origin.
  • Research using a mixed-methods’ approach in Libya showed that food security plays both a direct and indirect role in migrants’ decision-making to leave their country of origin.
  • This being said, there is need to explore different forms of assistance that would support vulnerable families in countries of origin, ensuring people have a choice to migrate rather than leaving out of desperation. This is line with objective 2 of the Global Compact on Migration on minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin.
  • In transit/destination countries, to help migrants integrate in host communities, efforts should focus on encouraging economic integration and promote transfers of skills.
  • Measuring movement intentions still remains challenging and calls for caution in interpretation. Qualitative data offers a new avenue to explore in this regard. 
  • Nonetheless, humanitarian organizations must continue efforts to ensure the continuation of programmes that facilitate safe return of migrants to their country of origin.



CFS 46 Side Event:  SE090 The Migration Pulse: Monitoring hunger and displacement by giving a voice to affected populations using advanced digital technologies


The contents of this page is provided by the Side Event organizers and does not reflect the opinion of CFS