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Justice needs of IDPs and host communities in Burkina Faso

The data on this page comes from a Justice Needs and Satisfaction survey conducted by HiiL in the centre and centre-north of Burkina Faso. We interviewed 2,168 randomly selected internally displaced persons and people in host communities in these regions in 2021. In 2022, we launched a report that gives a voice to the justice needs and experiences of thousands of IDPs and host communities in the country. 


legal problems
0 %
Took action to resolve their problem
Completely or partially resolved their problem
Number of people interviewed in Burkina Faso
Photo by Noyan Yalcin

Below you will find the story of justice problems in the life of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Burkina Faso. People told us how the problems affect them, what they do to resolve them and how they experienced the formal and informal justice system.

Read more about the justice needs of IDPs and host communities in Burkina Faso here

How people experience justice in Burkina Faso

Have you encountered one or more legal problems?

A legal problem is a problem that takes place in daily life – a dispute, disagreement or grievance for which there is a resolution in the (formal or informal) law. It does not matter if the individual sees it as legal or whether she took action to resolve it.

The chart shows how many adults who are internally displaced and are members of host communities have encountered one or more legal problems in the last 4 years.

What is the relationship between problems experienced by IDPs and displacement?

In this graph, we investigate the relationship between the justice problems of IDPs and displacement. Majority of the IDPs in the study report that their justice problem is cause of displacement.

Which are the most frequent legal problems of people?

Crime which denotes a range of problems such as theft, assault, homicide, kidnapping is the biggest justice problem for IDPs and members of host communities. However, the prevalence of crime among IDPs is higher than among host communities. 

Which are the most burdensome legal problems?

Which problems should be addressed first? The justice gap is enormous and policy-makers and service providers must focus resources on the most burdensome legal problems. 

To calculate the burden of a legal problem, we combined the impact and prevalence (frequency) of the problem. Legal problems that are both frequent and impactful have high burden scores. Impact and prevalence vary across key socio-demographic variables. Therefore in the chart, we let the users play and make their selections to see what are the most burdensome problems for specific groups.

How much impact did the problem have?

Legal problems affect people in different ways. Violence, stress, deterioration of important relationships and loss of job are possible consequences of legal problems.

This graph shows how much impact the justice problem had on the lives of IDPs and host communities.  

Did you look for legal information and advice?

Information and advice are key for resolving legal problems. People need to know how to limit the damage, what to do and where to go to resolve the problem. 

Did you take action to resolve the problem?

To resolve a problem, the first step is to take action on it. This graphs indicates the percentage of IDPs and people in the host communities who have taken steps to resolve their problem. 

Is there a relationship between obtaining legal advice and taking action among IDPs and host communities?

Sometimes, taking advice on a problem can nudge people to take further action on it. As indicated by the accompanying graphs, this was found to be true in the case of both IDPs and host communities. However, it is difficult to establish a clear causal relationship between obtaining legal advice and taking action. 

Which are the paths to justice that people rely on?

The path to justice for IDPs and host communities in Burkina Faso consists of more than one justice provider. In other words, they rely on a combination of justice providers to resolve their justice problems. 

This graph can also be used to understand where there is scope to integrate better services or processes. For example, both IDPs and host communities rely on police to resolve problems, so great processes at that level could be a gamechanger. 

Do legal problems reach resolutions for IDPs and host communities?

The number of legal problems tells us about the size of the demand for justice but it is not enough to measure the total justice gap. To measure the justice gap, it is also important to understand whether these problems are converted into fair resolutions that help people to continue with their lives.

There is a big difference between IDPs and host communities in terms of the number of problems that were resolved. IDPs have far more unresolved problems than host communities.

What is the relationship between problem resolution and displacement for IDPs?

Displacement has affected the experience of justice problems for IDPs. In this graph, we examine whether resolution of justice problems varies as per its relationship with displacement. 


How do IDPs assess the quality of justice?

We asked the IDPs to rank their satisfaction level on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 (closer to the center) is ‘not at all satisfied’ and 5 (away from the center) is ‘completely satisfied’ with the following elements of their justice journey:

– Quality of the process: Voice and neutrality, respect, procedural clarity

– Quality of the outcome: Fair distribution, damage restoration, problem resolution, outcome explanation

– Costs of accessing justice: Money spent, time spent, stress and other negative emotions.

For each metric that measures the quality of justice, the rank of satisfaction is represented by the blue dot on the axis. The accompanying graph shows that IDPs were least satisfied with the metric on stress and emotions.