Colombia: Enabling Sociodemographic and Economic Analysis of Internal Displacement Through Data Integration 


In order to meet the information needs of public policy and decision makers, the National Statistical Office of Colombia (DANE), as coordinator of the National Statistical System, has identified strengthening the statistical use of administrative records as one of its key priorities. Concerning forced displacement, the Single Registry of Victims (RUV), managed by the Unit for the Attention and Integral Reparation of Victims (UARIV) is the central administrative data source as it contains information on persons who have suffered a victimising event (including forced displacement) as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia, and who have declared these events to the State. According to the RUV, by November 2022, around 8.3 million people have declared themselves as victims of forced displacement in the country [1].  

While recognising the importance of having a strong administrative source such as the RUV, some additional information sources were needed in order to allow for a broad characterisation of the living conditions and other demographic aspects of the registered population. Since the registry has non-anonymised person identification data, it allows linking the registry with other sources of information, such as the Great Integrated Household Survey (GEIH) or the 2018 National Population and Housing Census (NHPC 2018). The integration of data from these sources presents an important opportunity to better understand the sociodemographic and economic conditions of victims of forced displacement. 



A Central IDP Data Source – the Single Registry of Victims

To effectively support victims of the armed conflict in Colombia since 1985, Colombia has developed regulatory and jurisprudential frameworks for the consolidation of a RUV. The registry was created with the enactment of Law 1448 in 2011 and its subsequent ethnic decrees, giving the Victims Unit the responsibility to manage it. It incorporates data from various registries, including the Single Registry of the Displaced Population (RUPD), established by previous regulatory frameworks.  

Law 1448 also created the National Information Network (RNI), which is responsible for the interoperability, traceability and efficient flow of information on victims held by each of the entities of the National System of Attention and Integral Reparation for Victims (SNARIV).  

The statistical use of the information contained in the RUV also allows for statistical analysis of the socio-demographic profile of registered victims of the conflict. It is possible to identify their economic, legal, social and cultural situation, to inform the design and formulation of institutional services tailored to their needs, as well as the evaluation of public policy for victims, ensuring equal access to care, assistance and reparation measures.  

Moreover, the information contained in the RUV and the RNI allows various measurements to be carried out. These include the measurement of overcoming the situation of vulnerability (SSV) and the Indicators of Effective Enjoyment of Rights (IGED). The first measures the situation of households that are victims of forced displacement after the occurrence of the victimising event, in terms of the fulfilment of eight rights (identification, housing, education, health, family reunification, income generation, psychosocial care and food security).  

The fact that the information obtained from the administrative source is directly linked with the policy actions taken, has led to a continuous improvement of the quality of the registry and, therefore, in the quality of the indicators constructed in each of the measurements carried out. Although not without the usual challenges associated with matching personal sensitive data across different sources, results contribute to decision-making to achieve the objectives of the public policy for victims, transforming the lives of individuals, families and communities that have suffered violence and violations in the context of the Colombian armed conflict. 


The Use of the International Recommendations

As part of the implementation of the IRIS in Colombia, two studies have been conducted. The first, for the measurement of monetary poverty and extreme poverty, linking the RUV with the Integrated Household Survey. In the second, a descriptive analysis was carried out, with an ethnic focus, of the urban population that usually recognises itself as indigenous, Rrom, black, mulatto or Afrodescendant, Afro-Colombian, Raizal or Palenquero, linking the RUV with the NHPC 2018. For the development of these studies in 2022, the recommendations for the integration of administrative sources with surveys and census were taken into account (see IRIS, Chapter 6, part D) as well as recommendations for data disaggregation particularly as they pertain to sex and ethnicity (see IRIS, Chapter 5). In addition, the recommendations to enhance statistical coordination and data sharing (see IRIS, Chapter 7) were helpful for the implementation of this work.  

For both studies, data integration was carried out in a deterministic way, using identification numbers of the people in the RUV, GEIH and NHPC 2018. In this way, it was possible to produce the required indicators for victims of internal displacement.  

The first study [2] identified that the incidence rate of monetary poverty and extreme poverty is higher in rural contexts. It also showed that women, compared to men, have a higher risk of being poor in both contexts (rural and urban).  

In the second [3] study, it was observed that people who self-identify as black, mulatto or Afro-descendant have suffered the most from forced displacement, followed by indigenous people, and that ethnic groups in general have a higher incidence of internal displacement than the rest of the Colombian population. In addition, victims of the armed conflict who self-identify as belonging to an ethnic group generally have greater disadvantages in socio-demographic indicators compared to other victims who do not self-identify as ethnic. 


The cross-referencing of statistical information from the GEIH and the NPHC 2018, with data from the RUV, has made evident the potential of integrating different sources to perform analyses on internally displaced persons and other population groups victimised by the armed conflict. The experience highlighted the usefulness of the IRIS with regards to statistical coordination at the national level, which is critical for the effective use of evidence for the improvement of public policies aimed at ensuring people can overcome protection needs and vulnerabilities related to forced displacement.


[2] See report here: Pobreza multidimensional ( and Comunicado de prensa Pobreza Monetaria con enfoque diferencial.doc (

[3] See DANE, UARIV, Urrego, R. (2020). Análisis descriptivo de la población víctima del conflicto armado, Un avance en la estrategia trazada entre la UARIV y el DANE, para dar cumplimiento al Auto 266 de 2017. (Unpublished manuscript)