Humanitarian Population Figures guidance (IASC IMWG)

May 18, 2016

The final version of an inter-agency guidance document focusing on definitions, methods and good practice on how to derive overall, inter-sectoral humanitarian population figures.

A small dedicated inter-agency group (JIPS, IDMC, REACH, ACAPs, UNICEF and UNHCR) led by OCHA colleagues initiated the work over a year ago. The UNICEF GCCU led on presenting the overall problem statement around inconsistent processes and terminology around population figures; ACAPS led on methodologies. The work culminated in a joint workshop with wider Cluster and agency participation back in November with 30+ participants from lead agencies and Clusters.

The current version of the guidance focuses on deriving figures concerning people ‘affected’ and people ‘in need’. It is hoped that this guidance will at least help to standardize terminology so that we don’t use ‘affected’ when we mean ‘in need’, etc.; and, moreover, when agencies attempt to add up population figures from different sectors/Clusters, that those overall figures are more accurate.

The work is seen as complementary to the IASC guidance on assessments (

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