The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a UN agency that helps to protect the rights and wellbeing of people who have been forced to flee from their homes. In Guatemala, there are many such refugees and forcibly displaced people, typically moving from southern countries (such as Honduras, El Salvador) northwards. One of the activities of the UNHCR in Guatemala is to provide community-based protection (CBP) for these people, however due to the complexity of the situation more information is need to understand where CBP should be directed.
My work for the UNHCR, which began in 2023, is to build an index to measure the vulnerability of populations at the municipal level in Guatemala. This involves bringing together indicators measuring threats, socioeconomic circumstances, and response capacities to give a summary measure which helps to identify the municipalities that are in most need of CBP.
The work is heavily centred around my COINr package, and we are working towards the aim of building an interactive tool which can be used to reproduce the Guatemala index in other countries in Central America in which the UNHCR works.
This is a super interesting project with great people, and could really help to make a (small but hopefully tangible) difference to an important issue, so I am very pleased to put my efforts into this work!