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Over the nearly two and a half years that IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has been running in Libya, it has aided the humanitarian community in better planning its crisis response. The programme does so by delivering baseline data on displacement and migration, helping measure the magnitude of the crisis. The data collected and shared includes: mobility tracking, which is a static number of “people on the move” – both migrants and displaced Libyans – in Libya; flow monitoring, which is the volume and frequency of people moving across the country; and detention centre profiles, which is a snapshot of migrants held in detention.     

Currently, DTM is undergoing its annual methodological review, ensuring that the programme keeps up with and adapts to changing migration dynamics in Libya. In 2017, IOM’s methodology review of DTM lead to the updating of Libya’s Common Operational Dataset (COD) to ensure that all partners referred to the same geographic boundaries, sharing of monthly multi-sectoral Municipality Factsheets (Baladiya), sharing of monthly analytical information packages highlighting data on migrants by nationality for each of Libya’s neighbourhoods and OCHA being equipped with required baseline data for Libya’s 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). In 2018, IOM is undertaking a similar methodological review of its DTM programme with an aim of better equipping all partners in Libya with the data needed to develop evidence-based response plans.

Through ongoing consultations with humanitarian actors, Government authorities and donors, revisions to the programme will help meet information gaps, create more user-friendly mechanism to access data and develop more accurate and analytical reports. More precisely the methodological revisions will focus on improved capturing of the estimated caseload of migrants in Libya, the access migrants, displaced Libyans and returnees have to services and the return patterns of Libya’s displaced populations. Expanding on Libya’s current DTM methodologies, in 2018, DTM will seek to develop both static and interactive products that enable practitioners from the either the policy, media, humanitarian or academic field to easily access data on Libya’s human mobility dynamics.

DTM 2018 methodological updates are based on a review of the programme’s achievements and lessons learnt in 2017. One such initiative involved a complete review of DTM’s key informants network with the intention of expanding from whom, and from how many key informants, DTM collects its information. DTM enumerators collect information from key informants at two administrative levels. Firstly at the municipality administrative geographical area (Baladiya), to identify and routinely assess where displaced people, returnees and migrants reside and secondly, to review this process at a lower administrative geographical location (Muhalla). Each assessment is implemented separately with one capturing data at an aggregate level (Baladiya level) and the other used to triangulate and verify the data at a finer and more granulated level (Muhalla). DTM’s 2018 methodology will strengthen its enumerators triangulation mechanisms with the aim of increasing the number of sources at different administrative levels involving: Local Crisis Committee representatives, humanitarian and civil society organisations, representative of local security forces, local community and tribal leaders, Baladiya and Muhalla representatives, representatives of educational facilities, representatives of health facilities, representative of migrants networks, local religious leaders and migrants community leaders.

Since the summer of 2017 DTM has increased the number of key informants interviewed every six weeks from 1,258 to 1,426. By mid-2018, DTM expects this number to reach 2,500 key informants. To support this effort, since October 2017 DTM has been carrying out a data and key informant verification process in Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi, Sebha and Al Kufra. DTM’s data verification process is an initiative towards ensuring that DTM is delivering the highest quality data possible. Each Municipality was selected either due to its relevance in the terms of the number beneficiaries recorded during 2016 and 2017, or the number of key informants reported to interview. The purpose of this effort (to be published in March) is to deliver greater transparency on DTM’s key informants, strengthen DTM’s data triangulation mechanisms, and better equip DTM in its 2018 methodological upgrade.

DTM’s data verification effort is compounded by a drive to increase support to direct assistance programmes. In 2018, DTM is expanding its operations towards linking its data collection work with IOM’s direct assistance programmes such food and NFI distributions. This effort is to ensure that DTM is both playing a contributing role in narrating Libya’s complex human mobility story but also guiding humanitarian assistance. In a final push towards harmonizing DTM’s methodological revisions and an overall programme improvement, a new set of assessments will be launched in 2018. The new assessment forms are based on consultations with all partners and stakeholders and most specifically with UNICEF with a view of enhanced protection considerations.

“With this improved methodology, DTM has managed to expand its information gathering systems towards better capturing the total number of migrants in country,” said Dan Salmon, IOM Libya DTM Coordinator. “The number of migrants presented in DTM’s December 2017 report reflects IOM’s estimates of 750,000 to 1 million migrants in country. In 2018, DTM expects to increase the number of key informants from which it gathers information, better capture the total number of migrants in country, mainstream protection throughout the programme and create more flexible and dynamic portals to access its data. DTM Libya’s overall goal for 2018 is to deliver a stronger and more flexible programme that provides a reliable platform for the accountable use of data,” said Salmon.

The first DTM Libya report of 2018 is due to be launched later this month.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Libya, Tel: +21651084554, Email: