Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM): Informing Life-saving Humanitarian Response and Policy

Three weeks after a devastating earthquake struck Ecuador’s coast, IOM has just released its first Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report, highlighting sectoral needs of 11,274 individuals displaced across 76 sites. A quarter of displacement sites are schools, another quarter are open spaces.

Parks and sport centers combined account for another 20%. Acute respiratory infections and diarrhea have been identified as the primary health concerns in these sites. The majority of sites do not have separate latrines and shower facilities for men and women. These and other sectorial concerns can be found in the DTM report along with data sets and maps available for download here.

The primary objective of DTM is to provide life-saving information to inform operational programming and adjustments. There is also an increased demand for the resulting information to feed into broader policy processes.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) this week is launching its Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID), summarizing the global state of displacement related to conflict, violence and natural disasters in 2015.

IOM contributed data from 35 of its offices for this report, drawing on DTM data as well as displacement data accessible to IOM field and country offices through governmental and other partners. This is just one example of how DTM feeds directly into policy developments and discussions, with an increased demand for reliable information registered from governments and partners around the globe.

DTM is a system to track and monitor displacement and population mobility. It is designed to regularly and systematically capture, process and disseminate information to provide a better understanding of movements and evolving needs of displaced populations, whether on site or en route. Through DTM, IOM has tracked over 14 million IDPs in 2014-2015, related to both natural disaster and conflict and violence-induced displacement.

The same tools and methodologies are also used to track human mobility in the Mediterranean and beyond, with bi-weekly compilations of data covering the Western Balkans and Central Mediterranean routes. This data is complemented by DTM exercises in Niger, providing weekly updates on migration flows in desert towns Arlit and Seguedin; and DTM data from countries of origin and transit including Iraq, Libya and Nigeria.

IOM continues its primary data collection in 28 countries where DTM is currently active, and is building on its private-sector partnerships to enhance analysis and mapping capabilities, including piloting the use of predictive analytics to better prepare for future disasters and mitigate risks.

For the latest DTM reports and analysis visit