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Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)

Last updated: 20 Feb 2023


The provision of humanitarian assistance is highly dependent on trends and patterns of human mobility. Humanitarian actors require information on the location and composition of the affected population in order to deliver services and respond to needs in a timely manner. The sheer scale of displacement caused by natural disasters and conflicts prompted IOM to improve the capacity of existing information management systems and methodologies. To address response challenges based on a better understanding of human mobility, IOM has gradually improved and refined the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), a system which regularly captures, processes and disseminates multi-layered information on the mobility, locations, vulnerabilities and needs of displaced and mobile populations throughout the course of a crisis.

Conceptualized in 2004 in Iraq, for IDP assessments and monitoring exercises, the DTM has been continuously refined and enhanced through years of operational experience in both conflict and natural disaster settings. It delivers an essential role in providing primary data and information on displacement and population movements, both in-country and at the regional and global levels, in support of clusters, sectors, humanitarian partners, national authorities, and other stakeholders. Past and present implementation includes conflict, natural disaster, and complex emergency settings, from small and short-term to large and protracted case of displacement.

DTM has also proven to be highly effective as a preparedness tool, as well as in support of the recovery and transition phase in the context of return and reintegration processes. Integrating DTM into capacity building activities, mapping of potential evacuation and displacement sites, and setting up data collection mechanism to be ready before a disaster occurs are some examples of how the DTM can be employed as an effective preparedness measure.


DTM Global Infosheet, January 2022




For more information, please contact the DTM Support Team: DTMSupport@iom.int

Key Points

  • The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is a system to capture and monitor displacement and population movements. It was designed to capture, process and disseminate information regularly and systematically to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of mobile populations in places of displacement or transit.
  • DTM has been implemented in over 120 countries worldwide to support humanitarian and peace building responses to support mobile populations in situations of conflict and natural disaster.

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