Fifty million children are on the move today (UNICEF, 2016). This estimate includes children who have migrated across borders or within their country of birth, either voluntarily or due to conflict and violence. However, this number paints an incomplete picture. We still know very little about who these children are, where they come from, or where they live now. Many countries lack reliable statistics for even the number of child refugees or internally displaced children and their ages.
Efforts to improve data production frequently disguise a disconnect between data producers and the people who are using data to directly inform programming and policy. This brief attempts to bridge the gap in understanding between data production and use, highlighting key limitations in the current data landscape, as well as challenges decision makers face in using data to help children on the move. It highlights several recent initiatives that seek to improve data production and data uptake. It includes several recommendations to improve data production and to help decision makers more easily use data and improve outcomes.