About UNHCR’s Microdata Library

The UNHCR Microdata Library (MDL) is a digital data repository established by UNHCR to facilitate access to microdata providing information about all its people of concern: refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs, returnees, stateless people, and other. The MDL contains unit-level (e.g. individuals and households) microdata collected directly by UNHCR or indirectly through its partners, but supported in some way by UNHCR. Most of these datasets originate from censuses, household surveys, and administrative registries of refugees and asylum seekers. Supporting documents such as metadata or survey questionnaires are also provided for complementary information on the datasets. The Microdata Library also includes links to datasets provided by international organizations, statistical agencies and other government agencies. The MDL is continuously updated as new datasets from UNHCR and its partners become available. Organizations which collect relevant data are also highly encouraged to submit datasets for dissemination through the MDL.

It aims to be the reference repository containing metadata on censuses, administrative data, and surveys regarding forced displaced people and other persons of concern to UNHCR, as well as provide direct access and/or links to the microdata. More specifically, through its Microdata Library, UNHCR aims primarily at:
  • Facilitating free access to quality data regarding people of concern
  • Supporting stakeholders in making timely and evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of affected people
  • Reducing duplication in data collection
Within the MDL, the data files are contained in regional Collections and can be browsed centrally through the Central Data Catalogue. The level of access to the data files is established depending on the sensitivity of the data. All data and surveys within the Microdata Library are documented in compliance with international standards and practices. Statistical disclosure control and data anonymization methods are applied by UNHCR’s curation team to safeguard the identity and safety of the respondents and to comply with international standards and practices as well as applicable laws and regulations.