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UNHCR Demographic Projection Tool


UNHCR has developed the “Demographic Projection Tool” (DPTool) as an online tool for creating demographic projections to estimate the composition of forcibly displaced populations for a time horizon of up to three years. The main objective of the tool is to promote a consistent and harmonized approach for generating planning figures across operations, since there is presently no systematic, standard guidance to help UNHCR staff to derive such figures. In doing so, DPtool takes as inputs data on population structure, mortality and fertility rates, and estimates of the future number of arrivals and departures into a given territory. The tool functions optimally when ‚proGres‘ (Profile Global Registration System of UNHCR) data are available, although it can also be used without registration data.


The DPtool is to apply demographic methods for projecting forcibly displaced populations in conflict situations.  It can help UNHCR workers to allocate resources, plan, and respond in support of meeting urgent needs and implementing durable solutions. For example, in 2017 the DPTool was used to project the composition of South Sudanese refugees in Kenya for the period until 2019. In this case, the demographic data showed that 67.0 to 71.6 per cent of the population were going to be children and young adults of 0 to 19 years of age, which helped guide UNHCR to implement interventions primarily directed at school-aged children. Overall, the DPTool is an innovative project that allows for the use of different data sets in multiple operations under one systematic, standardized approach to meet specific needs of forcibly displaced populations. It can be replicated to other organisations as well, and it is especially useful to provide for overarching guidance in parallel institutional operations, requiring demographic insights of conflict-induced displacement contexts for analysing and meeting humanitarian needs.


(Picture: ©UNHCR, Mark Henley)

Last modified
26 May 2021
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